For those of you who don't know, we have two dogs, both of whom are annoying in their own way. Toby is annoying because barking is one of his favorite hobbies. He absolutely loves to bark, at anyone or anything that he happens to view as a threat. We can put him outside on his chain for the sole purpose of going potty, but instead of actually doing his business, he spends the entire time scanning the surrounding terrain for any and all dogs, humans, squirrels, or falling leaves that are apt to launch an attack on our home. If he sees any of these possible intruders, he is quick to fire off a preemptive verbal strike, at the top of his little yorkie-poo-sized lungs. In his eyes, he has successfully thwarted each and every planned invasion. In my eyes, all he really is doing is annoying me and everyone else in the neighborhood.
What really gets my goat is when I go outside to get him, and he looks at me with this sheepish look on his face, as if to say "Oh, ha ha, I was too busy thwarting all of the attackers...I haven't actually gone potty yet..." So then I have to stand there in the bitter cold, waiting for him to find a spot worthy enough for him to do his business. Remember, we live in Minnesota. It's always bitterly cold here.
Other than all the barking, though, Toby is really a very friendly dog. Our other dog, Gromit, is annoying in his own way. He may be the grumpiest mammal of any kind to ever walk on God's green earth. He doesn't like anyone, or anything, at any time, or under any circumstance, except for his food bowl, his ratty old tennis ball that he carries everywhere, and the Wife. He adores the Wife. If the Wife is somewhere in the house, Gromit wants to be there too. If Gromit thinks that the Wife is in a certain room, even if she isn't, he will sit outside the door, waiting for her, for hours on end. The funny thing is that the Wife has never really done anything special to Gromit to warrant all of this attention. It's almost like he fell in love with her the moment he walked into our house for the first time, and nothing will ever change his mind. It's weird.
If you, however, don't happen to be the Wife, Gromit would be just fine if you fell off the face of the earth. He is as grumpy as grumpy can be. One of his favorite activities is sitting under the dinner table while we all eat, waiting to attack any toe that has the audacity to wiggle, or any chair leg that happens to move. Don't get me started on how annoying he is when he attacks the vacuum any time we try to tidy up the place. I have come to the conclusion that pretty much the only thing that makes Gromit happy is not being happy.
The kids seem to have picked up on how grumpy Gromit is. Last week, the Girl got a very troubled
look on her face, and asked the Wife, "Mommy, is Toby going to die first, or is Gromit?" Although a very odd question to ask, the Wife composed herself and told the Girl that, although we never know what is going to happen in the future, Gromit is about a year older than Toby, so there's a fairly good chance that he will die first. Upon hearing this news, the Girl's face turned from troubled to ecstatic, and she did a little dance to show the joy that this news brought to her. We thought this was a strange reaction for a 4-year-old to have, but it just proves that it's better to be annoying and friendly than annoying and grumpy. I think maybe I better take note...