Slow Death By Dog

Susi at DogKnobit, A Curious Blend Of The Helpful And Humorous




I wanted to able to lick my eyeballs.


Nothing dramatic, you understand, just a quick flick of the tongue.


But I’m getting ahead of myself.



Against my better judgment, I agreed to have the closing for the refinance of our home done at our home yesterday. I’m “old school” and typically prefer this sort of thing to be done in a business setting, say the office of the mortgage company. The refinancing process had taken so long, however, become so stressful and so mired in providing yet another piece of paperwork at the last minute that I was no longer in an accommodating mood. Let them come to us, I fumed.

The appointed hour came, the processing agent arrived, and we escorted her to a dining room table big enough for the 15,000 sheets of legal papers my husband and I would have to sign or initial.  Somewhere around the 16th sheet of paper (the one signing over our children’s reproductive rights if we ever defaulted) I spotted something on the floor out of the corner of my eye. When I looked at “it” more carefully, the blood drained out of my face.

How to put this delicately.

One of my smart, uber-intelligent, HOUSEBROKEN dogs had deposited a gift of an organic nature on an oriental rug.  At first, I had thought it was one of the dogs’ bully sticks and turned my attention back to initialing the promise to give up my organs, but something about that bully stick didn’t look right and I looked back.

It was precisely what I was afraid it was – and it was situated within plain sight of the processing agent who had been too busy to notice it.


I wanted to die.

We still had 14,984 pages to sign, plenty of time for her to see it and end the meeting on the grounds that we were too disgusting for her bank to refinance.

Getting up from the table to deal with the situation was not an option for it would only have brought her attention to the very thing I wanted her not to see. It was clear I would need help to play interference, but my husband’s back was to the rug and he hadn’t seen the problem at all.

Have you ever tried to get a man’s attention when you actually wanted it?

I caught his eye, rolled my eyes, and darted them in the direction of the rug.
I cleared my throat.
I nodded my head ever so slightly towards the area behind his back.
I scratched my head with my middle finger while using the index finger to point there.
I casually arranged the cookies I’d put out on the table to form an arrow pointing at the “deposit.” He ate the cookie forming the tip of the arrow.
I played with my hair and jabbed the split ends in the direction of the problem.
He had failed to read any of it.  To this man, my body language had apparently seemed normal.  Only when I stuck out the tip of my tongue and pointed it at the rug behind him did I get his attention, and he misread the gesture entirely. He raised his eyebrows, wiggled them up and down, rolled his eyes upwards in the direction of the bedroom, and grinned sheepishly.


Yes, husband. Right this minute, right while we’re in the middle of refinancing a mortgage, let’s leave this complete stranger in charge of our house while we play Ken and Barbie.


And that’s when I wanted to be able to lick my eyeballs. If I’d been able to flick my tongue serpent-like over each eye while the agent was looking at me, I feel sure I would have stunned her long enough for me to get up, grab a paper towel and deal with the problem post haste.

But I couldn’t lick my eyeballs, and to try would only have inflamed my husband even more, he being a man, after all.

From where I sat, I could see my dog’s calling card at the same time I could see my dogs. It had been a glorious Colorado day and I’d put them outside to get some fresh air, but I could see them staring at me through the glass door.  I knew immediately which dog was guilty. It was the one with the most satisfied expression.

Never tell me that dogs don’t have a sense of humor. These dogs had never had an accident in the house. Ever.  They chose this one time to have one?

I wasn’t buying it.

I know my breed, it’s notorious for practical jokes and pranks. I wasn’t amused now, and I wasn’t amused when a dog, long deceased, dragged a sex toy out in front of my new mother in law, a gag gift I’d bought for a friend’s bridal shower. In 30+ years of marriage, the awkwardness of that moment still has hang time when we’re alone with each other.

But back to the problem at hand. There we were, getting close to that 15,000th piece of paper. What was I going to do?

Eventually, we would have to escort the woman to our front door and that meant passing right by the evidence.

What would you have done?

I acted on instinct.

I’d bought a lampshade earlier that day and it was sitting on a table near The Rug. As we got up to leave the table, I casually strolled near “the spot,” picked up the lampshade and dropped it over the deposit.

My ever helpful husband said, “Sweetie, what are you doing?” and bent over to retrieve the lampshade.

OHMYGODDON’TTOUCHTHELAMPSHADE,” I said, perhaps a bit more shrilly than I would have liked.

Husband and agent stopped in their tracks and looked at me. I reviewed my options.

My husband was unlikely to divorce the mother of his children simply because of strange behavior. Besides. I showed dogs. Strange behavior, he knew.

But I wasn’t willing to risk having the agent rescind the deal because of craziness

“Spider,” I said.

And that seemed plausible enough for both of them to move on, even if the remedy seemed to be overkill. The agent left,  my husband got a lecture on the importance of body language,  and the only task left was this one:  How do you play a practical joke on a dog as payback?

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