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Friday, April 20, 2012


I haven't talked about the pets in awhile, and since Bingley's favorite things to do are getting shit stains on our comforter, biting my daughter and drinking water out of every water receptacle except his own damn water dish, I think I will focus on the vastly more noble Patton.

Look at that face. Happy, eager to please, desperately hoping you're about to throw a stick. Loving, emotionally invested in the family, doesn't get shit stains on the comforter. Doesn't even get on the bed or the leather sofa because he is so smart. Just the ratty-tatty sofa in the TV room. That is Patton's domain, his lounge, his bed now that we lost patience with the shredded dog bed he was systematically dissecting all over the house and yard.

Anyways, there's a certain reason I'd like to talk about this dog, aside from all his awesome and exasperating qualities. I want to talk about his stoicism. Hell, the stoicism of all dogs but since Patton is king of all canines, this post is for him.

I finally broke down and washed the big guy about a week ago, and since the inside of my cement-floored house looked like a make out van complete with shag carpeting and furry walls, I decided I'd brush him while wet, then walk him to dry him off, then brush him AGAIN.

I wish shedding made money. That's how bad it is.

Anyways, so I'm outside brushing him and the fur is coming off in damp clumps that look gross enough to warrant Alexandra's shrieking and screaming "OH NO, POOPIES!" which was hilarious but also, sort of true. Fur poopies? I got to his back legs, his butt basically where all the fur just poofs out, and I went to work. Naturally, he fidgeted in place, looking back constantly to see what I was doing. But he never moved. He never put a paw out of place. He just let me work my magic, brush brush brush, shake the fur off the brush, eventually use my hands to remove the fur, fur is wet still and sticks to my hand, I start feeling like Alexandra does about the fur poopies, back to brush brush brush.

After several minutes of this routine, I happen to glance down at Patton's back legs, and I see blood. Not gushing or anything, but I had definitely nicked both his legs. This poor dog, whose stupid mom was brushing him with a metal loop brush too close to the rear, um, foot thingy, stood there and took it. Never growled or snapped at me. Never questioned my authority (which is a big deal with German shepherds). I felt so mortified, and immediately stopped and gave him like five dog bones and tons of wet damp-fur kisses.

I think the issue was the wet fur; it wasn't as voluminous and therefore the teeth of the brush were getting through it all, down to the skin. I still cringe when I think about how horribly it must have smarted. And he just sucked it up and stood beside me the entire time.

That right there is a perfect example of how wonderful this dog is. We have video of him play fighting with the cat, lots of growls and open jaws and putting whole kitty body parts in his mouth, but always gentle. And to top it off, while he's lying there not killing the cat, Alexandra is treating him like her Wonder Horse, and is sitting astride his back, bouncing mercilessly up and down. Basically he was playing nanny to both of them, keeping them entertained and safe. Well, until he got fed up with the cat and left the room, toppling Alex over onto the rug.

I love you Patton, P-Man, Big Guy, Pa-tatten, Da-gah, Goddamn Dog, Get Out Of The Kitchen and all your other illustrious nick names. I am so sorry, and I promise to always use gentle strokes around your back legs, and to never brush you while wet again. Also if you get muddy prints on my clean kitchen floor tonight before Alex's party, holy hell.

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