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Saturday, July 7, 2012

Nobody Says the H-Word

Having a dog can really limit your vocabulary. Do you remember the line from the movie Beetlejuice, "Shh! Nobody says the B-word!" If you said his name three times, all heck would break loose. Well, around our house, and those of some of our friends as well, there are certain things you just don't say around the dog. Unless, of course, you want to experience all heck breaking loose.

Our little Paris has quite a vocabulary. When she gets a new toy, for example, we always give it a name. While she is chewing and flinging it about, trying to break the poor thing's neck like a wolf making a kill, we will say something like, "Is that your new Bunny? Do you like your Bunny? Bring me that Bunny!" She will look at us when we say the name, and after just a few repeats, she knows what the toy's name is. A sure-fire way to get her revved up and "talking" is to innocently ask her, "Paris, where is your Cow?" Or any of the other dozen or so toys she has. She will stomp her front feet and start vocalizing. "Throw it! Throw it! I must chase it, catch it, kill it!"

As with Bowie, whom I've told you about elsewhere, we simply cannot say the word walk. For both dogs, this creates an excitement and expectation for an outing, and it just wouldn't be fair not to deliver. Both dogs will head straight to where their leashes are kept, dancing with excitement. Taking it a step further, we have now come to a point in our home where we have to be careful with words like out or outside. Paris becomes a whirling dervish of delight. Bowie's family, when discussing whether to take him along for an automobile ride, has to use the code of "B. B. in the C." If they decide he should go, you see, the phrase is "go bye-bye in the car." Yes, another ecstatic dog moment.

The word we have to be most careful about here is the h-word. We have gotten to the point where we can't even say it when we are away from home. Paris has kibble that she can munch on at all times, but she loves to have canned food. She has been known to go into the kitchen and start talking to the refrigerator, telling it that she is feeling a bit empty, and would it please give her a dish of food? We can't use the word hungry around here unless we are serious about going to the kitchen and feeding her something. The word hungry starts a reaction that can't be contained. She leaps off the bed, talking all the while. She searches for a toy, any toy, to keep her from losing her mind on the way to the kitchen. She dances in little circles when she knows the food is ready, and sits up and waits for it in breathless anticipation. Heck, sometimes we can't even say Hungary, because it just sounds too much like the h-word!

We slip from time to time, and have gotten some good laughs over it. I don't say I am going to walk to the mailbox, I say I am heading there. We also find it amusing that two mature adults who are nowhere near home will turn to each other and say, "I'm h, are you h too?" But you do what you've got to do. And around our house, that means nobody says the h-word. But maybe I'll whisper it in her ear right now. I love to make a dog's day!