Saturday, November 18, 2006
There's No Escaping the Truth
Daisy discovered her voice about two days after she moved in. I was sound asleep at one morning, when I was violently jolted into wakefulness by the shattering sound of a freight train bearing down on my head, with its warning whistle screaming. I sat up in a panic, expecting the last thing I would ever see to be the headlight of the train as it obliterated me and left only miniscule DNA behind on the tracks. Instead, what I found was Daisy, with her head thrown back in a full-fledged wail. She stood scratching frantically at the front of her small kennel, which I positioned on my bed right next to my head each night, just in case she needed comforting or a quick scritch under the chin. She continued to scream. Scream is actually an understatement. It is more like...well…have you ever climbed up on a stepstool, placed your ear firmly against your smoke detector and pressed the ‘test’ button? Well, neither have I. But I can guarantee you it doesn’t take testing out the theory to know that is Daisy’s voice.
I knew enough about training dogs to know I had to wait for her to stop her shrill vocalizations before I could let her out of her kennel. Otherwise, I knew, if I opened the door while she was still shattering my eardrums with her screaming, she would connect wailing with a good reward and she would think she should scream whenever she wanted anything! So there I sat on my bed, with Pup, who had also been happily sleeping when all hell broke loose, hysterically running in circles around the kennel, barking and trying to understand what was happening. I shushed Pup, to no avail, and I talked to Daisy, trying to cajole her into calming down so I could open the kennel door. And believe me, what I wanted more than anything…more than Christmas, and a million bucks, and world peace all wrapped up in one, was for Daisy to SHUT UP so I could open the door of the kennel to let her out.
I think you are probably ahead of me on what happened next. Yes, I let Daisy out of the kennel while she was still screeching. I just couldn’t take it for one more second. I thought I might suffer permanent hearing loss and since I am getting on in years, I didn’t want to risk my good hearing before old age just naturally robbed me of my faculties. So sue me, I caved. I let her out, and the silence was almost painful. My ears throbbed and I felt a bit loopy, like I was in a dream. Daisy squirmed all around, her fat little butt going one way while the rest of her body went the other. She did her best to jump on me, kiss me, and cuddle with me. Is she trying to make up to me? I wondered for just the most fleeting of moments, and then my head cleared and I knew as sure as I know the sun will rise, she wasn’t trying to make up to me. She was trying to give herself pleasure. And at that moment I realized that the whole world was meant to revolve around Daisy. Those of us who fall along the wayside are simply here to entertain her. My life was irreversibly changed. I was the prisoner of a Boston terrier.