Archive for September, 2011

Faye the Angel

GROW YOUR LOVE by Garnet Goldman

To my sleep-fogged mind, the noise that woke me in the middle of the night sounded like cats fighting outside the bedroom window. A moment of quiet followed. Then, a noise unlike the first broke the silence. This one had an even eerier edge to it, and I found myself imagining ghosts and ripping shrouds. A moment later, I identified the source of the mystery noises. They were coming from the stomach of Faye, the dog asleep at the foot of the bed.

That wasn’t the first time that Faye’s nocturnal broadcasts have awakened me. In the middle of the night, such gastric turmoil can be unsettling. More than once, I woke up worrying that some mishap had befallen the children. Once I’m awake, the sounds can be entertaining. Their variety is remarkable. No gastric muttering sounds like any that has come before.

On this particular night, as the assorted clangings and swooshings burbled along, it occurred to me that some sound-effects technician might pay good money for a recording of Faye’s stomach in action. In the light of day, the enterprise lost its appeal. Should I ever decide to record household sounds, I think I could better serve the world by recording Doobins when he’s watching The Three Stooges or some other show that he thinks is funny. No matter what my mental state when I hear him laugh, for a moment, I’m happy.

When Garnet and I compared notes in the morning, she, too, thought that the initial emission sounded like dueling cats. When it came to speculating about its origins, our paths diverged. To me, its source was a puzzle. (Faye was rescued from the side of the road, and I tend to attribute her gastrointestinal irregularities to the unknown rigors of her days in the wild.) Garnet found no reason to consider the matter a mystery when a mundane explanation was readily at hand – namely, the mustard-coated scrap of bread I had torn from the end of a submarine sandwich and given her the day before.

Ah, yes. I had forgotten about that. When Faye joined our household, I announced that feeding human food to a dog was a surefire recipe for creating a nuisance and issued a decree that Faye would subsist on dog food only. I made the same resolution years ago when His Dogness joined my household. Again, the boots of indulgence soon trampled those intentions underfoot. I find Faye particularly handy when it comes to disposing of unwanted pizza crusts.

A slice of individually wrapped cheese stands alone as her favorite treat. When I want to make a cheese sandwich in peace, I peel open the wrapper in super-slow motion in hopes of flying under her cheese-detecting radar. I have yet to be successful. Even when Faye is in the far end of the house, I will hear her jump off the bed in one of the kid’s rooms and hurry my way.

When she comes into the kitchen and looks up at me with those eyes, the needle on the Cute-O-Meter sweeps across the gauge, stopping only after crossing into the “Too Cute to Measure” range. I peel off a strip of cheese and drop it into her awaiting mouth. As Garnet likes to say, “She’s an angel.”