It’s Super Bowl weekend and that means we’ll be eating food that is terrible for us (but that tastes SO good!), enjoying refreshing adult beverages, and watching the Puppy Bowl. And that’s before the Super Bowl actually begins!
I have enjoyed the Puppy Bowl for many years. Seriously, how can you not?? My husband tolerates it because he likes to hear me giggle while watching the puppies play. (Yes, I realize how that makes me sound. I’m at peace with it.) I think this year will be a little more fun than years past because of Jacques’ new fascination with the TV and especially the laptop.
I’m guaranteed to get two shows for the price of one. While the puppies are running and rasslin’ on TV, Jacques will be running, jumping, and whining through the house. I have a feeling he won’t be so hot on the Katty Furry halftime show (no offense to our feline friends), but you just never know.
“Forget deflategate! Let’s move on to the real issue – why isn’t anyone playing with me??”
It’s going to be a day of fun entertainment and treats for everyone at our house. Whether you watch the Puppy Bowl, the Super Bowl, both, or nothing at all – we hope you have a great weekend!
Niko, my late German shepherd, was a very talkative fellow. And by “talkative” I mean he yelled at me. A lot. In his defense, it was usually when I had a treat or tennis ball in my hand but still… The funny thing about his “yelling” was that when he did it, it was either very loud and commanding (“Throw the damn ball!”) or it was like someone had hit his “mute button.” The silent yelling was hilarious!! He would jump up and down and move his large muzzle but all I heard was air being sucked in and his teeth gnashing. He was very animated and would get extremely agitated the longer I withheld the ball or treat. And the more I laughed and said, “Speak!” or “Tell me!” the more agitated and animated he would get – yet still he wouldn’t make any sound. At some point he would finally get so fed up (or he somehow got unmuted), he would let out a loud and very annoyed “WOOF!” I never figured out why he did it and had never heard of a dog doing the same thing. It didn’t matter – I was amused by it. Always.
“Let’s go play…”
Every day I see Jacques do something that he learned from Rocky. I watched (and laughed) while he learned these (mostly bad) habits. Niko had been gone for almost two years when we adopted Jacques, so Jacques never had the opportunity to “learn” anything from Niko. Needless to say, I was surprised when he started exhibiting some very Niko-like behavior…
As it turns out, Jacques also has a mute button. We have to work really hard to get him to actually speak (out loud) on command. He goes through the motions – very animated ones at that – but no real sounds come out. Jacques is a bit more stubborn than Niko was, so we quit asking, “Are you a good boy?” or “Do you want a treat?” much sooner than we did with Niko and just give him the treat, otherwise we’d be waiting for a. Long. Time.
(By the way, is it strange that Jacques likes carrots? I mean, he goes CRAZY for them!! I’ve never seen a dog get more excited over a carrot than they do a b-o-n-e. Maybe in addition to being part cat, he’s part rabbit? I guess I would believe that if I didn’t see him bark like an idiot while chasing rabbits out of our yard…)
Now, don’t think that Jacques doesn’t bark. Believe me – he does. And it’s usually at an inconvenient time like when we’re on the phone, when we have visitors over, or when we’re trying to sleep… He seems to save his “banshee” barking for when we’ve just sat down to a quiet dinner or have just curled up in bed. This little guy who has so much to say apparently chooses his moments to speak up. If I didn’t know better I would think he was doing that on purpose.
Before Rocky crossed the Rainbow Bridge, he must’ve had a talk with Jacques because now that he’s gone… Jacques is doing things that he wasn’t doing before – especially when food is involved. (Food was one of Rocky’s favorite things.)
Jacques used to never hover around the dining room table waiting for scraps. Rocky, on the other hand, was always front and center. And by “front and center” I mean, “under your feet” (literally) or “with his head shoved between you and the table.” Jacques always kept his distance and waited patiently. Now… he dances under and around us while we dine. Our dinner conversation is punctuated by the “tap-a-tap tap” of Jacques’ paws on the tile, reminding us that he is there… ready and willing to taste, try, eat whatever we don’t want.
I guess I can understand this new behavior. Rocky was a big boy and Jacques is only big in ego. So now that the big boy isn’t around, Jacques is there to fill the void. That makes sense – well, as much sense as the hot mess that is Jacques can make.
The other thing he has started doing has me baffled and totally amused. It’s as though Rocky is saying “hi” every time it happens. Rocky loved cheese. (Who doesn’t??!) Even in his old age when he couldn’t hear well, he would always heave himself up from where he was laying and stumble into the kitchen when he heard the cheese wrappers crackle.
Quick side story: One time, I made a bologna and cheese rollup that was to be a snack. As I held my snack, I poked my head into the fridge to grab a soda or something and watched as Rocky shoved his head in the fridge trying to get my bologna and cheese. I moved the rollup behind my back, holding my arm out and up and continued perusing the fridge for what I wanted. I felt a slight tug on my arm that was behind my back. When I stood up and looked at my bologna and cheese rollup, there was a Rocky-sized bite missing from it!
Anyway, if I was getting cheese from the fridge, I could count on Rocky showing up. Jacques – being new to the game – never really bothered. He would eventually come into the kitchen to see what was going on, but never really showed an interest. Now… Anytime that drawer opens he comes flying into the kitchen from wherever he is in the house. It’s like he’s being pulled in by the Death Star’s tractor beam. (In the videos, he slowed down as soon as he saw me with my phone – he still hasn’t learned how to work the camera.) He has developed a cheese addiction and a carrot addiction. It’s ridiculous. He goes INSANE for them.
So now, when I open the fridge drawer that holds the cheese, it’s a little bittersweet. I miss seeing my big boy come barreling into the room. But I laugh EVERY TIME my crazy boy comes flying into the room and screeches to a halt at my feet. It feels like Jacques is channeling his inner-Rocky. And that makes me smile.
Niko and Rocky were quite the pair – very yin/yang and always entertaining. It seems like most of their antics happened early in the morning (while I was trying to get ready for work) or late at night (after I had gone to bed).
One morning while getting ready for work, Niko walked up to me and let out quite an attention getting bark. Since Niko was my smart boy, I figured he was telling me he needed to go outside (what a good boy!), so I stopped what I was doing and went to let him out. But when I opened the back door, he just stood and stared at me. Apparently I had misinterpreted his “RAWR!” I started thinking, “What else could he possibly want? He wants me to throw the ball! He always wants me to throw the ball,” so I walked back across the house (with Niko excitedly in tow) to the giant bin of toys and dug through it until I found a tennis ball. I was flabbergasted when he showed no interest in the ball. (Seriously, for a German Shepherd to not go crazy upon being shown a ball is just weird.) I proceeded to go through the bucket of toys to see if any of them sparked his interest – none did. He kept barking at me with this certainty – he wanted something. (Did I mention I was running late for work? Yeah, all this was happening while I was running late for work. Of course that’s when it happened.) I wracked my brain for what he could possibly want. He had food and water. He didn’t need to go outside. He didn’t want a ball or a toy. Finally, out of desperation I said, “Do you want a treat?” He went absolutely insane barking and jumping. Apparently I had finally figured it out. After eating his treat, we went and quietly laid down on his chair. Like I said, he was my smart one. Me, on the other hand… I might not be so bright. 🙂
Niko, my guy smiley
One morning while I was getting ready for work (sound familiar?), it was business as usual. I would often wet my hair by sticking my head under the faucet in the tub. (I lived in a rent house and didn’t have one of those cool detachable shower heads, but I digress…) It wasn’t unusual for Niko and Rocky to cram themselves into the tiny bathroom with me. Rocky usually stood next to my head so that he could catch the errant sprays of water. On this particular morning though, Niko decided he wanted in on the action so he came over and stuck his head between mine and Rocky’s. (Quite the sight, I’m sure. I’m glad I was single and lived alone at the time…) Rocky didn’t particularly care for Niko’s intrusion, so he pushed him out of the way. I felt bad for Niko, and since he so rarely got in on the action, I coaxed him back over and let him stand next to me while I finished wetting my hair. Rocky would have none of it – he let out his trademark piercing bark, which in a small bathroom was deafening. As I stood up to wrap a towel around my now too-wet hair, I saw Rocky look at Niko, look at the tub, then look at Niko again before he jumped into the tub. Suddenly he was slipping and sliding in the wet tub, leaving muddy paw prints and streaks everywhere. The absurdity of it all left me in hysterics – and running late for work as usual. Niko decided the show was over and left the room, followed by a wet-footed and sulking Rocky. I was left with soggy hair, a muddy bathroom, and wondering “what in the heck just happened??!”
I was always a big dog person. I liked small dogs, but the big dogs always got my attention and were quick to grab my affection. Until three years ago. Three years ago I was looking for a companion for my big dog and big love, Rocky, and came across a fuzzy picture of a wild-haired small dog. It felt as though the hot mess in the picture was speaking right to my heart. After a lot of debate (I couldn’t like small dogs! I was a big dog person!), I convinced myself (and my husband) to give it a try. It was a wonderful decision that would change our lives…
I felt like he was speaking to my heart.
While Jacques might not be the sharpest tool in the shed, he is extremely loving, happy-go-lucky (except in the morning – he’s NOT a morning dog), and an absolute clown. He makes us laugh constantly. Even my husband agrees – Jacques is a good boy. We are very fortunate to have him in our lives. We truly love him.
“I am a good boy? Yes, yes, of course… I am a good boy!”
So this Jacques-uary, remember that love comes in all shapes and sizes (and often when you least expect it). Keep an open heart and open mind… You just never know what will happen.
Also, we are celebrating our second year of Jacques’ Dog Blog. We would like to thank everyone for reading and following our blog! Happy Jacques-uary!! May your 2015 be filled with love, laughter, and happiness!!