When my husband made a rude comment about my weight, I was tempted to throw him into the doghouse. “Leave,” I calmly commanded, pointing toward the yard. He knew what I meant. Problem was, our doghouse is not what it used to be. Ever since Noogie won the show-dog contest last year, we renovated his doghouse and turned it into a luxury canine suite, complete with a flat screen TV and queen size bed. That being the case, how could I possibly exile my husband there as a punishment?
“Never mind,” I said, taking back my penalty. “I have a better idea for you.” As I headed toward our infamously cluttered storage closet, he started panting apologies. He knew something big was coming but it was too late. I was going to get my sweet revenge.
Rummaging through boxes of promotional pet items that I had collected over the years from various vets, pet shows and doggy spas, I was determined to find the perfect punishment gag. There were so many possibilities before me—poop bags, collars, treats, and toys. I never realized how many wonderful samples and free gifts I had saved up. The first thing I picked up was an old logo imprinted dog bowl. I took a good look at it and thought, hmm, maybe I should serve Arnold his dinner out of this tonight. I examined it a little more and decided that dinner in a doggie dish wasn’t punishment enough so I put down the bowl and picked up a tennis ball instead. It read, “I had a ball playing fetch.” I sure did have a ball, I thought, remembering those early days when Noogie was but a wee pup. I toyed with the idea of throwing the ball at Arnold’s head, but then decided I’m better off keeping the ball in mint condition as a memory of Noogie’s youth. Next I spotted a bone. It was wrapped in plastic with a sweet message from the dog salon. Could I force him to chew it, I wondered? And then, out of the corner of my eye I saw it. The leash! And not just any leash but THE leash. The talking leash! The one that our vet handed out as a gift after Noogie got his shots last year. The one with an imprinted message that says, “Ruff, I’m a big shot. Ruff, I’m a big shot.” Perfect, I chuckled to myself, caressing the chain.
My husband was still apologizing profusely. “I didn’t mean it, I didn’t mean it,” he cried. “Then you shouldn’t have said it,” I replied, twirling the leash around my finger, “Give me your neck.” Apprehensively he obeyed, and ever so gracefully I fastened the “big shot” leash in place. “Let’s go for a walk,” I snapped. “According to you I can use the exercise.”
I walked Arnold all around the house with the leash, lecturing him about obnoxious comments and sensitive feelings. Noogie stared in amazement—or was it mortal dread?– as Arnold jumped, sat and rolled over. As soon as I felt Arnold learned his lesson, I took off the leash and gave him a biscuit.
Ever since then things have been much better. Arnold’s behavior is much improved. Even Noogie seems more mindful of his manners. I’m forever thankful to our vet for handing out that great custom printed leash. The only problem is, Arnold seems to have put on a few pounds. If I could only figure out how to keep him away from the biscuits.
Who ever knew how useful it would be?
And I must admit, I’m also thankful to Arnold, my dear husband, for learning his lesson and not making fun of my weight since then.