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Canine Award of Excellence

July 27th, 2006

Thank you to all who have written encouraging notes and bits of advice for me and my continuing adventures with No Nap Joe.   A special thanks to Karen for her book recommendation.   The earlier bedtimes are definitely making a difference, though naptimes, no matter what time, are still a matter of a challenge.

It occured to me today (though not for the first time), that Kenny might very well have been a great napper if not for our wild dog Dudley.

Kenny, July 008.jpg

Dudley is a weimaraner, which is German for “dog who needs more exercise than any human can possibly supply.”   When we initially got Dudley, we definitely had the capacities and time to furnish as many exercise opportunities as one could resonably expect.   Now, however, he is resigned to my every-other-morning training run and our daily 2 mile walk with the stroller.   As a result, his unused energy manifests itself in generally being a big pain in the rear.   His favorite pastime, when not stealing whole sticks of butter off the kitchen counter, is waiting until I am quietly nursing Kenny, who  looks moments away from drifting off into a sweet ellusive slumber, trotting into the room and either 1) walking a few inches away from the rocker and  shaking  his head  violently, tags jingling and spittle flying, covering Kenny and I in a cold shower; 2) grabbing a toy off the shelf and proceeding to chew it to bits from just a centimeter out of arms reach; or 3) coming into the room with one of my few expensive shoes in his mouth, showing it to me, and then trotting gleefully away with the air of “catch me if you can!”

Needless to say, any of these fully wake up my sleepy boy and that’s all she wrote.   Yes, I’ve tried closing the door.   This results in a frantic whine in weimaraner which, roughly translated, means “oh my gosh the baby’s got her in there and how do I know they are safe without me oh my gosh I need to get in there and save her NOW!”

Dudley also causes many a mealtime challenge for Kenny and me.   Yes, he is very well behaved, and sits patiently just behind the highchair, waiting for crumbs to drop, but every once in a while, he sees the bits of deli turkey and cheerios fall into Kenny’s lap, and then he’s nose-in, where no dog should dare to tread.

Kenny, July 0021.jpg

(Kenny says, “Mommy, Dudley’s nose is cold!”)

But today I was also reminded that our dog is most likely the best, most gentle canine on the planet.   He is so patient with Kenny and seems to know instinctively that Kenny is a little person to be protected at all costs.

At one point today, I sat Kenny in the living room floor with his favorite toys (the TV remote and the stereo remote) so that I could unload the dishwasher a few feet away.   Within a minute I heard a wild cackle coming from Kenny’s tiny throat – the kind of cackle that is usually only instigated by his Dad the tickle monster.   I looked up, and there was Kenny, standing up, laughing like a hyena, holding on for dear life to the folds of skin under Dudley’s neck, swaying back and forth as Dudley licked every pore on his perfect face.   Was my first thought, “Danger!” or “Germs!”?   No, it was “Oh my goodness, where did I put the camera??”

But I instantly came to my senses, and did the Bo Duke hood-slide across the granite counter top to land in front of this fiasco and swoop Kenny up.   But I didn’t actually grab Kenny away.   I saw that they were both kind-of having fun, and aside from the dog-saliva, there was no harm as long as I stayed close.   Dudley gently nosed Kenny’s nose and Kenny quietly replied, “Daadeee!”

Boy’s best friend.   Thanks, Dudley.   You’re a pretty good rascal, all considered.

Kenny, July 014.jpg


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