Father Knows Nothing

The Lady is a Tramp

2013-03-11T00:00:00Z 2013-03-19T11:58:06Z The Lady is a TrampRick Kaempfer nwitimes.com
March 11, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Her bark is so ferocious, I’ve put “Beware of Dog “ signs on my backyard gate and front door. When you get to know her she’s a sweetheart, but she sure doesn’t sound dainty and feminine when you happen to walk into our backyard unannounced.

That’s her turf, baby. She serves and protects.

She doesn’t just protect her land, either. She protects her people, especially the resident alpha dog—yours truly. When my boys get angry at me (which is all the time), she stands right by my side, as if to say “If you want a piece of him, you’re going to have to go through me.”

The boys are unfazed by this, but I kind of like having a wing man.

Whoops. See what I just did there? Now I’m doing it, too. She’s not a wing man. She’s a wing…um what do you call female dogs again? The word escapes me at the moment. She’s one of them.

Her toughness is not the only reason people tend to consider her a boy. For instance, she has never met a mud pile she doesn’t want to explore, and she often looks like one. She doesn’t smell like a girl either. She smells. Just not like a girl. And the way she smacks her lips and slurps while she eats and grooms is positively Blutarski-esque.

There’s not the slightest hint of femininity in this little bruiser. That’s probably why we sometimes forget she’s a girl too.

It happened the other day at Petsmart. Ivy loves to go there. Loves it! There are aisles and aisles of dog food, dog accessories, and other dogs. On this particular occasion, one of the other dogs came over to say hello while my wife Bridget was putting a giant bag of dog food into our shopping cart, and…how should I put this?

He didn’t have a roll of quarters in his pocket, he was just happy to see Ivy. VERY happy.

And how did my little bruiser react to the boy dog’s unsolicited attention? Did she bark and shoo him away. No, she didn’t. Did she try to start a fight like she has with every other dog that has had the misfortunate of walking past our house? Not exactly. There was a skirmish, but it wasn’t like any skirmish we had seen before. Let me put it this way: apparently Hump day isn’t confined to Wednesdays at Petsmart. The little vixen was having an encounter near the Alpo aisle, and seemed to be totally fine with it. I know dogs can’t smile, but none of us had ever seen that goofy facial expression on our furniture-chewing beast before.

We got her out there as quickly as we could, and by the time she was in the car she was back to being her old rough-and-tumble barky self. But for one short moment, we saw another side of Ivy. I’m not going to judge her for that. After all, is there a place in the world more appropriate to sow your wild oats than a place that sells actual oats?

You know what they say: What happens in Petsmart, stays in Petsmart.

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Rick Kaempfer's business card says author/writer/blogger, but his real job is "stay-at-home-dad."