Tuesday, April 8, 2008

The Dance of Seven Huskies

I just made the mistake of opening a can of tuna.

Being dogs, Canis Feisticus and Canis Dafticus have such finely tuned senses that they can tell the difference between the opening of a can of tuna and the opening of a can of tomato sauce. Tomato sauce generally evokes no reaction (unless you are simultaneously waving a bag of jerky treats and yelling, "Do you want a TREAT?"). But open a can of tuna and you've got airborne huskies.

And therein lies my mistake. For now, energetic or not, graceful or not, nattily dressed or not, I shall be forced to perform The Dance of Seven Huskies.

Act One: Flying Huskies
Canis Dafticus glides over the couch from a standstill in one graceful leap. He tears into the dining room, hits the linoleum, scrabbles desperately as he rounds the corner into the kitchen in a barely controlled skid, and comes to a stop at my feet before the can is half opened.

Canis Feisticus is a bit more reserved. She follows daintily, refusing to move any faster than a sedate walk, lest you think she's actually interested.

Much nudging and shuffling ensues as both dogs attempt to obtain the prime position in middle of the kitchen floor from which to observe the proceedings. Just in case I should decide to do something unusual, like upend the entire can on the floor. Not that it's ever happened before, but when you're a dog, it's all about hope.

Act Two: Oh, Feed Me or I Shall Perish
As soon as they realize that I'm not about to drop the contents of the can down their greedy gullets, Dafticus and Feisticus settle in for the wait. Canis Dafticus plops himself down in middle of the floor with a long-suffering sigh. He places his head between his paws and stares up at me with an expression that says if-I-don't-get-just-a-tiny-bit-of-that-tuna-I-shall-surely-perish. Canis Feisticus doesn't bother trying to look appealing. She's all about efficiency; she positions herself strategically at the entrance to the kitchen, so when I make my mad dash to the recycling bin, she'll be poised and ready to trip me up.

Act Three: The Dance of Death
As I lift my foot in an attempt to move from counter to fridge, Dafticus raises his head to check the location of the tuna and places one paw on my ankle. I shift my weight and as I begin to lower my foot, he rolls halfway over, gaze still riveted on my hand, covering the spot on the floor where my foot was supposed to go. In an attempt to avoid breaking his paw and my ankle, I twist precariously about and manage to place my own foot on a clear space just as Feisticus raises her head and places her paw on my other ankle. I lift my back foot and just as I'm about to put it down, Feisticus shifts herself under it and Dafticus lays his head upon the other foot. I flail my arms about in a pathetic attempt to regain my balance, wondering where all these extra huskies came from. As I attempt the final approach to the fridge, both dogs roll onto their backs, following my movements intently. I manage to complete my pirouette without killing myself or injuring a dog...but I still have to make it back to the counter. With a jar of mayonnaise in hand...

The Dance of Seven Huskies is performed at least once a day in my kitchen. It has yet to end with the tuna on the floor, although it has ended with me on the floor. More than once.


Anonymous said...

very sweet post...

My dog and two cats both respond immediately to tuna...I give them all a bit of tuna water and that appeases them...


Jazz said...

If the tuna gets opened around their dinner time, I will pour some of the tuna water on their food. Of course, this has just made the begging and whining worse, because now they know what they're missing!

Anonymous said...

yes of course it can be argued that it's a bad habit but how many truly sensual pleasures of such exciting value do our animals get to have?

then again with the dog it's gone so fast I'm not sure she even knows what happened.---that goes with any "human" treat which she doesn't get too often.


Jazz said...

Yes, you've got to wonder if they even taste the treats they do get! My two have gotten in the habit (or gotten me in the habit) of getting a tiny bit of cheese every morning when I make lunches. Canis Dafticus actually waits to eat his breakfast until he's had his bit of cheese. He doesn't know what to do with himself on the days when my turkey-and-cheese child has hot lunch!