Aug 16, 2010


Most nights of the week, I take care of my neighbor's puggle.  It's a nice arrangement: I take out the puggle when neighbor's at work, neighbor takes out the HyperHund while I'm at work.  We have a deep and meaningful relationship.

If you are not familiar with puggles, you are missing out.  Puggles are touted as expensive "hybrid" dogs, which makes them sound like they run on bio-fuel (which, if you count goose poop as bio-fuel, they do), but it really means they are mixes of two dogs who should never ever be allowed to suggestively bat their eyelashes at each other.

Don't get me wrong... the puggle is great.  But a puggle is the result of a carefully-thought out planned mating between a dog whose main goal in life is to sit on laps, snort and eat (pug) to a dog whose main goal in life is to sniff things and then see if they fit in his mouth (beagle).  The result is a cute, floppy eared dog that sometimes snores, spends a lot of its time obsessively trying to ingest various substances left lying around the house, and has a marked propensity toward gaining weight.

For the sake of this puggle's anonymity, I shall call him Raffles.  Actually, the real reason for this is that Raffles is a really outstanding name, especially for a puggle, and if I owned a puggle, which I will actually not probably ever do, I would totally have to name him Raffles.

Raffles knows a really large amount of cool tricks, if a really large amount equals two.  He is extremely gifted at sitting on command.  If he happens to be running across a field, one could cry out "Sit, Raffles, SIT!" and he would drop into an insta-sit, with his mouth slightly open in case "sit" actually meant "sit and I will give you a microscopic piece of edible or possibly inedible but still stinky something as a reward."

Raffles's owner also taught him to shake hands to the command "paw paw."  In order to obtain a treat, Raffles must sit and give paw-paw.  He is really REALLY good at giving paw-paw.

The problem with this is that Raffles has applied the paw-paw method to every single occasion at which he suspects a piece of  food may be directed toward his mouth.  If, say, I haven't washed all hints of dinner smells off my hands with Lysol and Clorox and I lean down over Raffles to put on his leash, he deduces that I may perhaps be contemplating the idea of giving him a little edible something and he commences paw-pawing.

By this, I mean he starts to windmill his paw repeatedly in some kind of hyperspeed high-five action that doesn't stop until food enters his mouth.  When my brother was a kid, he had this action figure where you flicked a lever on its back up and down and the arm whacked up and down in a punching mechanism; this is Raffles.  But really... with the action figure, it stops when you stop flicking.  Raffles does not stop.

Once, when I was still under the mistaken impression that I could train some understanding into Raffles, I reached down to put on his collar, and he began to paw-paw with great vigor.  I decided to open my hand and leave it there, waiting for Raffles to eventually stop when it dawned on him that I had nothing and was not going to move until he was Calm and Submissive.

You may be thinking how similar I am to the Dog Whisperer.

Haha!  Two minutes later, I had scratches up and down my arm that needed to be washed with peroxide.  Raffles was still flailing in  the ecstatic throes of paw-paw and was neither Calm nor Submissive.  Now, you may be thinking, wow, that Raffles sure isn't bright, or you might also be thinking, wow that Mo sure is a hamburger short of a Happy Meal to leave her hand there for that long...what a fool.

You would be correct on the latter.

Raffles and the HyperHund have a uniquely disturbing way of playing together.  There is a very specific pattern they follow every time they play together.

First, bigger HH will coyly sidle up to little Raffles, and invitingly place his PG13 parts in Raffles's face in a friendly sort of play invitation.  Raffles instantly becomes intrigued and starts sniffing this new and wonderful offering as if it had never been presented thusly to him before.

Fired up with the intensity of the game, the two will race around the room, with HH barking loudly in a high pitched, non-manly way.  The more excited he gets by the game, the higher his voice gets, until eventually it cracks like that of an adolescent boy, if that adolescent boy were going to, for some inexplicable reason, start barking.

Then, in a disturbing but inevitable turn of events, Raffles will latch on to HH's face and...well... start doing stuff I really can't describe without blushing.  He will do this for minutes at a time, and HH just stands there, blinking his assailed eyeballs and looking kind of confused, but not really trying to escape.

Eventually, HH feels distracted and runs forward, at which point Raffles kind of turns while still latched on to HH's head and begins running sideways on his back legs.  This is followed by more pre-pubescent barking noises.

Then, the whole process repeats itself, sometimes ten or fifteen times in a row.

Apparently, this never gets boring for them.

Puggle = Awesome.


  1. You should get syndicated and have your musings published in the Sunday papers.
    You are almost up there with Dave Barry and could make a fortune which would come handy the day that you will have to take care of your old Dad.........

  2. Sweet. A fortune would be nice. You know I'll take care of you regardless of how much money I have. Millie and I will set you out on the porch on a rocking chair and feed you mash.