It might be a huge surprise to most that I’m an intense introvert. My loud talking, laughing and love of performing might confuse some, but all of that is probably a successful coping mechanism for being able to leave my house.
What I have discovered lately is I am a huge fan of silence. Silence is not golden — it’s like oxygen for me! This, however, is how God gets his big laughs.
I have two daughters that never stop talking and if they do, it’s to sing or sleep … talk. Luckily, my husband is a huge fan of stomping and slamming doors, cabinets and drawers. He doesn’t do this because he’s mad, but rather he isn’t aware of his manly strength — hence, Mr. Loud Guy.
There’s also the agreement in my home (I’m totally outvoted) that at all times, some form of electronics must be on, loudly.
In the cult classic movie, “This is Spinal Tap,” Christopher Guest (Nigel) and Rob Reiner (the onscreen director of the mockumentary) refer to a special guitar amplifier that “goes to 11.” Reiner says, “Most amps go up to 10. Is it louder?” Then smacking his gum, sporting a 80s Hair Band style, he mumbles in a British accent, “It’s one louder. These go to 11.”
We used to laugh that my family’s average decibel level was also an 11. Until, we got the puppy….
I knew there would be numerous trials when owning a puppy. Bodily fluids not making it outdoors, chewing or ingesting of all things plastic, and a few dog tricks that would leave us speechless or screaming; but this isn’t what has increased our noise level by 3-5 levels on the amp dial.
Our dog finds the best entertainment in her world is to chase our two cats around the house. First it starts with the stare down by both parties. The dog leans in and the cat of choice growls, which crescendos into a full-out hiss or scream. Then the ritual of the swatting of paws commences. It’s a real life whack-a-mole session, but not nearly as fun for the cats or me.
The dog hasn’t enough sense to realize that she’s upsetting the cats. She’s not as much of a deep a thinker as the cats. All our puppy is thinking is, “I’m getting that fuzzy thing ready to play tag!” At the cat’s boiling point, he will take off, jumping from counter to table, to mantle, desperately trying to escape the dog’s pummeling of love. I don’t think the dog is doing it to hurt the cats, but she has a bit too much gusto, or puppy energy, and wants to play with friends.
Unfortunately, the cats have devised many plans to escape the huge paw-to-noggin battles, but nothing has worked. Especially if the puppy corners one of them, dog barking and hissing ensue until the larger of the two by 40 pounds will try to sit on them. I’m pretty sure neither cat cares for that.
This “cat and mouse” game is occurring 20 times a day. It’s a special treat for me while I’m trying to enjoy the peace that once was. A lovely time when Hubby’s at the office and the girls are at school.
As you can imagine, the decibel level at my Casa de Loco has increased. I’m hoping as I further age, my hearing will go. Then I can turn off my hearing aids and avoid the chaos altogether while sitting, smiling, and nodding at the pretend silent movie in my living room.
Whose idea was it to get a puppy anyway? They need to be punished and banished from the home. Oh, yeah. It was my horrible idea. Someone should really insist I pack my bags. I hear the Dominican Republic is lovely this time of year.
Stacey Hatton adores emails about other’s dog stories, and can be reached at LaughingWithKids@yahoo.com.