Monday, September 7, 2009

For Barry

My blog has been so sad lately. I have a blog friend who could use a laugh. This is an old story. I hope it brings a smile or two!


Back when we lived on the farm, I came up with this Great Idea. The dogs were pulling me down. Literally. We’d be out walking, enjoying life, and some stinking squirrel, or rabbit, deer, groundhog, fox, figment of Opie’s imagination, whatever would take off down the path ahead of us, and the six whippets would simultaneously accelerate. It is hard to stay upright and hold on to six leads when one hundred and eighty pounds of Whippets go from two to thirty mph and you’re not expecting it. Shoot, it’s hard to do it when you are expecting it, but at least you can sit down.
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I had started wearing a hefty belt outside of my coat, and affixing Giacomino’s lead to it. He was recovering from orthopedic surgery, and he simply could not run loose. So my Great Idea was to make special three- to four-foot-long leads for all of the dogs. I would snap all six leads to heavy brass rings on the hefty belt. That way, the dogs couldn’t pull the leads out of my hands when they took off. And because the leads would be attached to my waist, my center of gravity would be lower. It was a Great Idea!
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I figured the beauty of the Great Idea was that, what with my lower center of gravity and all, the dogs wouldn’t be able to pull me splat on my face, as had become their habit of late. I could dig in my heels, quite literally, and all would be well.
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I walked that way for about a week. There were a few incidents of squirrel, deer, and groundhog sightings, but I remained on my feet and no dogs got loose. I arrived at work fairly beaming. “This is the Best Idea I’ve ever had,” I crowed. “I need to find a way to market this so that everyone can walk all their dogs at once.”
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The very next morning I went walking all the dogs before work, congratulating myself for my Brilliant Idea. I turned the corner at the edge of the woods. There is a slight decline there, as the tractor road dips down for about a hundred yards until it turns gradually left into the woods.
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I felt the speed even before I saw the rabbit. I was somehow flying. Or, not quite. I was running like the Six Million Dollar Woman: going about twenty or twenty-five miles per hour, with each stride getting longer and longer until each foot would only touch down every fifteen feet or more. I was screaming, “No, no, no, no, oh stop, no, no, no, ahhhhhhhhhh,” but the Whippets didn’t hear any of it. They were six dogs who were one. Because of the belt, I couldn’t fall down. It was like I was water-skiing or on one of those flying kites behind a boat. And we kept increasing in speed.
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We had already covered the hundred yards and were turning into the woods. The stupid bunny just kept running straight down the tractor road ahead of us. It could have turned into the woods and disappeared, but noooooooooooo, it just kept running straight in front of the six Whippets and the Six Million Dollar Woman, and I swear to you, dear readers, I swear to you, at this point we were going at least, at least thirty miles an hour.
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Now I’m not a particularly religious person. It’s been years since I set foot in a church. But as we entered the woods, I felt both of my empty hands waving way up above my head. Every finger wiggling like so much wheat on a windy day. And I heard a humble little Patience voice, crying out loud, “Oh, Sweet Jesus, help me!”
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The next thing I remember is wondering why on earth I had decided to take a nap in a wild rose bush. I was lying about five feet into the woods, with my face smack up against a multiflora rose. For those lucky readers who’ve never been up close and personal with a wild rose bush, well, that’s what they use in Ireland to keep bulls away from the cows. A multiflora rose bush makes barbed wire look like dental floss.
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As I regained consciousness, there were six contrite little Whippets looking down at me, each one saying, “It wasn’t me. No ma’am. It wasn’t me at all. I wasn’t even here. I just got here to see if I could help you. Could you move away from the roses, though? They are awfully stickery.”
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Well. I thought it was a great idea.
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(adapted from an essay in Mama Pajama Tells A Story, (c) PC Renzulli, all rights reserved)
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hug your speedy, innocent hounds

31 comments:

  1. This was a true story. It happened about ten years ago. I had a bruise roughly the size of Texas on my butt!!!
    My friend worried that the whole thing wasn't a good idea.
    She was right!

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  2. Hehehe... This is very possibly my all time favourite ;)

    Hugs,
    Ane

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  3. Well I am sure Barry will like this, I know I did. I can hardly handle the two Goldens my daughter has. Do you know the name Wurth from Paducah?
    QMM

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  4. Yeeee-ouch! That one sounds most painful and you shouldn't laugh at people who are having painful experiences! But we did, anyway!

    Lololol,

    Kisses,
    Stella and Mom

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  5. That is a very funny story! Our person doesn't like it when we are on walks and start pulling at the leashes. She has had to hug a phone pole to stop from being dragged.

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  6. We laughed. But truly, only because muzzer was walking both of us yesterday cause dad is sicko and Teka got out of the unescapable, no tug harness, (number 5) and took off. And I really didn't think Muzzer could move that fast at her age. And ya know, I am injured, so I was not moving fast at all. Poor Muzzer. Did you ever try to run fast carrying a 29.5 lb dog? I think your story helped her see the humor.

    thank you
    gussie

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  7. “Oh, Sweet Jesus, help me!” I can't stop laughing, tears are rolling down my cheeks and I still can't stop laughing.

    That was just hilarious Patience. I know the force Lindsay can exert when a squirrel scoots by and can only imagine what 6 whippets can do (well, I don't even need to imagine it, now I know!)

    Thank you, I loved it! And I hope your poor butt is now back to normal!

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  8. Patience!! Sounds like you are ready for cani cross! My niece competes and has a blast!

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  9. OMG P! This is one of my all time favorite stories! I actually have people read this at work for a pick me up. I always tell them, 'So you think you're having a bad day?!"

    Thank you for posting this for all to read. :)

    -A

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  10. Francarrich from WWSeptember 8, 2009 at 4:17 AM

    I still laugh (aren't I unkind!) whenever I read this story. I have had trouble just keeping up to four whippets under control at one time, all on separate leads.

    Wags from Banjo, who can pull like a train when he wants to.
    Snuffles from Aida who can be very stubborn & is, despite her size, surprisingly strong when she doesn't want to go somewhere!

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  11. OMG, you had us laughing from the start and the story only got better! How many thorns did you have to pick out of your skin, Patience? OUCH!

    Love ya lots,
    Maggie and Mitch

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  12. LOL! So I'm guessing you forgot about marketing your Great Idea??
    I got on a runaway horse once, couldn't move for days I was so sore! :)

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  13. I wish I was big enough to do that to Old Girl!

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  14. Patience, That is such a great story. Thank you for bringing us all a laugh (as long as you are laughing with us now).

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  15. What a great story to get us back in gear for the work week. I am guessing that was the last time the Great Idea was used? :)

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  16. The most amazing thing about this story is that, even though i have now had the very UNamusing experience of being pulled like a whippet dogsled myself, it is still hilarious.

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  17. When you got to the part about the incline I could visualize it so clearly. Maybe the rabbit didn't turn because it was laughing at you, or quite possibly THANKING you?!
    I'm betting Barry will like this and get a good healthy laugh from it.

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  18. Dear Auntie P, this is one of your funniest posts.

    Having just completed this morning's "squirrel sprints" with 42 pound Flynn (alias Rambo), I honestly cannot imagine attempting even half of the population of the Great Idea. I only know that the physical conditioning of both me and the entire local squirrel population is now in Flynn's capable paws.

    Your story puts a whole new slant on "Take time to small the roses."

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  19. Great story, Patience! (I read it a while ago, and I'm STILL laughing!)

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  20. Hi, it is homeschooling Janice blogger from the Terra party.

    I'm delurking because this story is so funny!!

    I also loved loved the horse story a few days ago. You are an amazing writer!!

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  21. Patience-please,
    You are very lucky you managed to stay upright the whole time. I would have trouble taking ONE whippet for a walk, never mind six! Holding on to Lindsay can be a trial. You are also very brave and very funny. =D

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  22. Never had a breed that was particularly interested in wildlife on walks but do have many stories about different stances to hold back three stampeding dogs--when they encountered another dog. My best one was the beginning ski squat. Do your hounds ever turn on each other when they encounter another dog or critter on walks? That was always a great problem--three trying to kill each other. I tried all different kinds of linking leashes, but not the round-the waister belt. Glad you didn't waste a lot of time pantenting your invention, Patience! :-) Now it's just casual walkings with one laid back old gentleman.

    Not related, but you've got me remembering the time my walking buddy S fell into a thistle patch when climbing over an English farm fence when we were walking. to this day I still think it's funnier than she does. . .

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  23. Patience, it appears you made Barry laugh, as well as a bunch more of us. The visual was intense. It was like being there, all but the pain. You are wonderful. We love you,
    Jake and Fergi xxoo

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  24. Laughing and laughing. A good thing you've sent today. I have 3 different repair men on their way. Thanks for returning me to sanity.

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  25. yes,one of my all time favorites too! it's a real drool inducer!

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  26. Oh Patience. I'm not sure if you realize this but not only do you have a brilliant product here but you have also invented a wonderful new sport--whippet paragliding. It will be all the rage!

    I think you could host a new and improved Prairie Home Companion.

    wally t.

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  27. Patience would you please visit my post for 9/10/09. I have something for you.
    QMM

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  28. To anyone who needs more cheering up, the interview last Friday during Animal Week on NPR's Fresh Air with dog trainer Bill Berloni was truly heartwarming. Here is the link: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=92582857

    Bill Berloni published a book last year chronicling his 30+ years training dogs for Broadway shows, movies, commercials, etc. and his "stars" are rescues found adopted from animal shelters---one such example being "Sandy" the dog from the "Annie" musical which was the first dog he trained when he was a college student.

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  29. This is really hilarious! Thanks for the laugh.

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  30. What a great story, Patience! And painful as well, ouch ouch!

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