You find out a lot about someone when you shack up for a couple months. Some of the things you learn... let's just say you'd rather go around like blind fox in a field full of hounds than be exposed to the truth about their foibles, fetishes and weaknesses.
It's no different when you bring a puppy into the home.
You think after a few months that you know the dog. You observe his behaviors, his reactions, his impulses. You see him dart after dragonflies in the back yard and you think it's cute as hell. You see him go apeshit chasing a glimmer of light on a wall and you fall into adoring hysterics. You laugh at his miniature gaseous emissions and you shudder to think of the harbinger of things to come, about what it might mean when he triples in size and the gas becomes more adult and mustard-like and pungent...
You learn when he wants to eat and when he needs to bomb China outside and when he wants a piece of dried chicken. You try to gauge the opportunities when his brief periods of calm allow you to scoop him up and love on him. You delight in the moments when the matchstick of playfulness within him ignites on contact with the discovery of a new toy.
And then one night, when you're locked inside your home on a Friday night and the lights are dim and you're nestled in front of the plasma watching a movie, he walks out from your bedroom headed for his bed in the living room while dressed in your wife's padded brassiere.
You try not to laugh too hard. There's the chance, after all, that he might take the response as a positive reinforcement. It crosses your mind that there might be a future party at the house during which the dog will loop his head through the arm through a slinky little Wonder Bra and prance through the crowd of invited guests, consumed with pride in his fancy adornment. This is not a behavior you want duplicated.
Then he puts his head down. Does this signal boredom? A crushed soul? A breast fixation? A combination of all the above?
Could be. Beyond me rushing to get the camera to snap these photos, we have neither approved or reprimanded.
Damn if the dog doesn't look crestfallen.
He attempts to go about his normal routine of sniffing and scratching and generally looking for things to gnaw.
But the straps are binding. They trip him as he tries to walk. Clearly he's not ready for "The Show." Perhaps a training bra would be more appropriate.
The frustration on his furrowed face is palpable.
He finally gives up. There is no sense of normalcy for him, no chance that he can pull this off. He blinks with blank reservation in his eyes as we begin to pelt him with insulting nicknames like, "Tranny" and "Lingerie Lincoln" and "Rocky Horror Retriever Show."
Even though one of the cups appropriately settles around his chest, any chance at assimilating this into any sort of a normal lifestyle for him as a dog is now obviously out of the question. His eyes beg, "Remove this from me." We do. He settles back on his bed. He releases a deep, pained, mournful sigh.
His spirit diminished by at least one-third, Lincoln finds solace in the only place he can: the warm embrace of his surrogate's arms. The world is a cruel place for a puppy. Only an instinctual move toward maternal love can rend this seam in his heart.
Posted by Jeff at October 22, 2005 11:42 AM