Dinner is over and Ron and I are clearing the table, making trips back and forth to the open dishwasher. The 4-pound chihuahuas, Charlie and Copper follow right at our feet, hoping for a dropped scrap while Sasha, the grown up chocolate lab lays off to the side, far too regal to beg. And Winchester, our sweet little yellow lab puppy who’s only been with us for a few months is so excited he can’t decide what to do or where to be. Copper’s little legs get tired so he focuses in on the silverware compartment of the dishwasher, painstakingly licking each fork and spoon and savoring any remnants left behind. Winnie cocks his head to the left watching Copper, then runs over to join in before it’s all gone. He jumps up and leans over the open door to taste the silverware, then realizes there’s even more left on the plates inside that stupid little Copper can’t reach. Jackpot! He leans further in and smears the leftovers all over his face, in puppy heaven. Coming around the corner to add more, I see what he’s doing and say “Hey, get out of there!” He’s so embarrassed at being caught he hurls his whole body back as if to say, “what, I wasn’t in there! I wasn’t doing anything!” Sounds familiar, right? Most anyone with dogs can relate to this scenario that plays out pretty much every night. This story is a little different, though and here’s where it takes a hilarious turn……
You see, when Winnie jumps back out of the dishwasher he doesn’t realize that one of the tines holding the plate he’s tongue-bathing has worked its way under his brand new big-boy collar. So when he jerks backwards, the entire bottom rack of the dishwasher comes with him. This rack is nearly full of brand new plates we’d just brought home a week earlier. The sound of the rack jumping off its tracks and onto the floor combined with the tug on Winnie’s collar understandably scares the holy hell out of him so he does what any frightened puppy would do – he takes off running. He bolts out of the kitchen and rounds the corner by the stairs to the basement with that rack trailing behind him, dishes and silverware flying out in all directions with every step. Ron and I both yell “Winnie, stop!”, not out of anger but so that he will stop running and scaring himself even more. Of course this has the opposite effect and he runs all the faster, afraid we’re upset with him. He makes it to the living room and slams into the closed sliding glass door, the rack pounding into it and ejecting the last few dishes in the process. As he turns back with wide eyes, desperately scanning for a safe place to go, I make it to him, lean down and unhook the rack from his collar. “It’s ok, baby! Are you ok? Calm down, it’s ok, I’ve got you”, I croon at him as I scoop him up in my arms. Poor little guy, his heart is racing and he looks like he’s seen a ghost. Or a dishwasher monster.
I turn back, holding him like a baby as he trembles and whimpers. Ron is standing between the kitchen and living room just looking around in disbelief at the wreckage. Shattered dishes litter the floor, the food debris from them splattered on the walls. All but 2 of the plates from our brand new dish set are broken. Copper and Charlie stare on from the couch wide-eyed, shocked at the audacity of this new member of our family. Sasha saunters in through the mess, sashays past ever so delicately and flops herself onto the living room floor. She sighs heavily and stares at us, her disappointment and disdain unmistakable.
I lock eyes with Ron, we just look at each other for a few seconds and then we burst out laughing. Full on belly laughs, tears running, the whole nine. Did that really just happen? Damn it, why weren’t we recording that? Could’ve been a new viral video, no one will ever believe that just happened. Oh, that Winnie. Crazy boy from the very beginning, he’s lucky he’s so stinking cute.
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