Saturday, September 6, 2008

Hitting the Bottle

Or rather, being hit BY the bottle.

This is Pepper, the BF's Border collie. She looks peeeeerrrrrrfectly innocent, doesn't she? Just lying there in the grass with a niiiiice soft fabric disc, minding her own biz. Nothing maniacal about her. Nothing at all.

Little would you know she's an evil genius.

Okay, maybe not ALL that evil. But she has invented some games which A) require me to do a lot of ducking and dodging and climbing into unlikely parts of my house, 2) involve a certain amount of pain and wincing on my part, and iii) are weirdly addicitve. (Here I will enter the disclaimer: She did not invent these games for MY benefit, but for Dave's. Dave may believe he taught her to play these games, but I contend that it was the other way around, and aaaaall part of her Plan.)

Like most BCs, Pepper is able to FORCE those around her (well, anyone in posession of an opposable thumb) to play "fetch" games with her. By dint of various engaging expressions, endearing head-cocks and judicious staring, Pepper is able to instill in the primate brain an irresistable urge to pick up some object (which she has thoughtfully provided, generally well-lubricated with varying amounts of dog spit) and throw it for her. Over and over and over again. Until your arm falls off.

See how well it works on Dave? In this case she has caused him to drive her to Canada for some international disc-dog practice. Don't be fooled by the innocent smile. It is all part of her nefarious plan.

Here's the wind-up......

Here's the pitch....... (note the intensity - and be warned).

Now, it all looks perfectly normal, an ordinary game of disc with the dog, right? Nothing at all sinister here. And in fact, that's pretty much the truth... in public. It's only in secret that her true evil brilliance is seen. It all starts so innocuously. You're sitting there, maybe relaxing after a hard day of work or a trip to the gym or unloading hay for the sheep. Maybe it's a hot day and you've just sucked down a bottle of water or a cold soda. Maybe the bottle is sitting on the coffee table in front of you, or on the couch beside you. Out of reflex, the cap has of course been screwed back on. Maybe there's even a little bit of water left in it. Everything seems just fine. Nothing going on here.

Until suddenly, the bottle is presented to you by Pepper. She puts it in your lap - maybe with a little encouraging nudge - and then looks at you hopefully, eyes big and melting, adopting the patented BC crouch to demonstrate her readiness to play. So you think: What the hell, why not? Or maybe you don't think at all, and just toss her the bottle by reflex.

This is where her twisted brilliance becomes clear.

Pepper leaps up like a breaching shark. Her jaws clash shut on the bottle with a sharp snapping noise. But because the bottle in non-compressable (having been capped), it ricochets right back out of her gnashing teeth at approximately 428 mph, directly back into your face. Or some other, less convenient body part. (Poink! Ouch!) But of course, it's sort of funny, and after all, the bottle is now back in your lap. And Pepper is looking sooooooo engaging with her big brown eyes allllll full of hopeful worship. So you think, What the hell..... (and, you are now doomed.)

In the next 15 minutes you will be retrieving the bottle from behind the couch, from under the table, from the top of the bookshelf, and (of course) from the floor, where it's inclined to bounce after it hits you in the forehead. Pepper will, of course, help you retrieve it (see how helpful she is?) - well, not from the top of the bookshelf. She will, however, look politely away as you teeter on the arm of the couch whilst groping for the bottle, lest you feel embarrassed by the ridiculous posture (or the ridiculous reason for which you are assuming it). All the while you are running a commentary: Pepper, catch! OW! [hee hee hee] Oh, crap - go get it! No, wait I'll get that one... Catch! OUCH! [snerk!] Jeez, WHY am I doing this, again? Okay, one more... YIKES! Is my nose bleeding? Dang. Okay, here, catch! Ow, DANG!.... How am I going to reach it up THERE...? and so on.

But don't worry. It's really not your fault. None of us are a match for the the Nefarious "Doctor" Pepper.


Anonymous said...

kids do that to me, too - wait, why am I doing this? Oh, okay, one more time, OUCH, wait maybe ... okay, yes, we can do it again. OOOF.

Usually involves flying them through the air, rather than bottles flying, but same concept. The big melty eyes and full attention focus thing ... killer combination.

Fenway said...

I have one of those BC's and I see I've finally found a kindred soul that fully understands how my days get filled up.

They start so innocently (here, you've distilled about 8 hours into one single thought):
"So you think: What the hell, why not? Or maybe you don't think at all, and just toss her the bottle by reflex.

Then before I know it, the sun is lowering in the sky and I've accomplished NOTHING, except maybe succumbing to those EYES.

Myohmy...have they perfected that "beseeching" look. My BC can out wait all my resolve. They are the most tenacious, challenging and disarming breed, aren't they?

MaskedMan said...

Private interior monologue of the average BC:

You are my puppet - you have no will but mine. You will DANCE for me, you trained monkey! Dance!

Dr. Evil has nothing on a BC... In fact, if Dr. Evil had *been* a BC, we'd ALL be playing fetch right about now...

In Suka's case, the monologue is slightly different, but just as effective:
"Take me on a walk. You WILL take me on a walk. We are GOING to go on a walk...
Wheeee! Walkies time!"

Don't bother resisting; It really IS futile.

AKDD said...

HA! Well, Hedra, I think you may have more to deal with than I do... at least my master manipulators don't have opposable thumbs! I think you've got your work cut out! :-D

Fenway, your BC is adorable and you are cracking me up! The stick-in-mouth view is aaaall too familliar. Didja ever notice that, while on a walk with multiple dogs (because yes, I AM insane, and I have multiple BCs), there is ONE stick that is THE stick, and if one dog has it they all are squabbling over it, despite the fact that there are approximately one zillion other sticks within a 30 foot radius? What's up with that?

You're right about tenacious, challenging and disarming... but you know what they say... Border collie: it's not just a breed, it's an addiction!

MaskedMan, it's too bad Dr. Evil WASN'T a BC... that sounds like just a peachy way to spend my days. If I could make a living just essing with my dogs all day, I'd LOVE that. OTOH, I spend my days messing with OTHER people's dogs (and cats, and ferrets, etc), so I really can't complain TOO much. I'm sure my dogs feel differently about it, though.... Pepper's bottle game is probably a subtle form of revenge...

AKDD said...

Sorry, that's "Messing". I've never spent ANY itme "essing" with my dogs or anyone else's! (whatever that might be....)

Sticky "M" key....

MaskedMan said...

Sticky 'M' key? A likely story, I'm sure. <.<

I just bet that 'essing' is some perverse Alaskan passtime, probably involving dogs, moose, really BIG mosquitos, and ATVs.

AKDD said...

Hmm, yes, you've caught me. I am indeed to be found in the woods nearly every day essing about with dogs and moose and ATVs and mosquitos that are too big to land on an aircraft carrier. But as you've failed to mention anything about cream cheese, bungee cords, sterno or taco sauce, I can see my secret is still safe.


Cavewoman said...

I was about to ask what "essing" is Alaskan slang for.

And it gets worse than your bottle (non)catching BC. My GSD has near perfect aim with a tennis ball. Just try telling him you're too busy to play kick. He'll put that tennis ball in your soup, your cookie batter, or your face until you kick it. It's worse than beseeching eyes, because it leaves bruises.

AKDD said...

In your soup...? Your SOUP? ACK! Oh, wait..... MMmmmmm, tennis ball soup, my FAVORITE!

I get my fair share of soggy tennis balls, but none soggy with soup. So far.

MaskedMan said...

The first rule of Cream Cheese is that you don't talk about Cream Cheese... Oh, wait. Wrong movie.

Tennis Ball Soup? I must try me some of that...

Cavewoman said...

I couldn't resist coming back and posting a link to the video of my GSD throwing his tennis ball. It isn't a great video, but I think it'll give you an idea of what he can do.