thisworldofhurt

Books, Shoes, Life, and Death

In baths, books, children, death, dogs, life, love, Moms, shoes on May 15, 2011 at 6:13 pm

There are a couple of things that my wife truly loves. One, she loves to read books. She’s always in search of a well-told story and she enjoys many different kinds of literature. However she will always eventually circle back to the tried and true romance novels. She will buy a new one—usually a six or seven dollar paperback—read it intently, transporting it from room to room, occasionally bursting out in laughter, all leading up to the inevitable waterworks. What is it with crying? This seems kind of unreal to me, but when a female cries, she may be neither sad, nor be in any kind of pain. In fact, I have discovered the full gambit of human emotion could at any time be expressed through tears. So when a woman cries, she could be sad… or overjoyed, or angry, or stressed out, or completely indifferent and upset about the fact that they feel completely indifferent, or it could be that there is just currently too much information running through her head to be processed at one time. All you can do is ask her what’s wrong, and chances are she will respond between sniffles by saying, “nothing”.  If that wasn’t strange enough, they will seek out forms of entertainment such as television, cinema, and books that will evoke this very particular response.  Girls are weird.

Anyway, the second thing that my wife truly loves are shoes; specifically high heels—around five to six inches—and I have to say that I dig the whole “love for heels” thing. After all, high-heeled shoes are sexy; are they not? I mean how often do you hear some guy say, “Hey, did anyone see that gorgeous bombshell in the flats?” I don’t love it so much when we go on any kind of road trip, mainly because of the amount of shoes that are brought along. But you never know what you’re going to do on vacation, and—of course—any outfit that may be worn for any particular outing or event is going to have to start with the perfect pair of shoes. Needless to say, however, whenever we travel, at least one suitcase is going to be full of various makes and models of elevated footwear.

Now, as it happened one sunny afternoon, I arrived home with a carload of my young ladies. The teenager and mom had not left school yet when I followed the younger kids through the front door of our home. I was forced to remain just inside the entryway as the children had formed a human roadblock, keeping me from proceeding to the living room. I instructed them to keep moving, reminding them that my hands were full, and gently tried to nudged them from behind. But, it was if they either didn’t hear me, or were incapable of moving at all. Then, as they stood there frozen, whatever items they were carrying suddenly dropped to the floor, their limbs, paralyzed with shock. I continued—for a moment longer—with my orders to keep a forward motion when I saw for myself what had petrified my children.

There, in the center of the living room floor, were a pair of my wife’s, sienna colored, open-toed, heels. The shoes were covered—as well as much of the rest of the floor—with what appeared to be confetti. Tiny pieces of paper lay strewn about the room, some of which seemed to have markings on them. I noticed a few larger pieces, and then a few more; it seemed as though to be a trail. I followed this trail of increasingly sized paper, all the while, cocking my head this way and that until I realized with a great measure of alarm just what those markings represented: words, sentences… paragraphs.

This scenario temporarily gave me pause as my mind worked out the possibilities, followed by terror of the potential outcome of my internal investigation. I instantly turned back to the shoes in the middle of the floor—having not remembered seeing them there when I left for work that morning—for a closer examination. My fears became reality as I inspected the shoes, finding thousands of tiny holes and missing pieces of leather. Oh know, I thought, the dog!  You see we are the owners of a young two-year-old Border collie. A dog, mind you, that I firmly said, “No” to, and one that my wife brought home the following afternoon anyway. However, she is a beautiful animal, smart, good with the kids, and was my favorite price… free. Even though I wasn’t thrilled about this new addition to the family at the time, I have grown to love my dog, and could not imagine my life without her. That’s right I said her. Why should that come as a shock at all by this point? It’s just one more girl.

I knew that the children and I had to work fast in order to save the life of the K-9. We had to thoroughly clean the crime scene, as well as make sure the room itself was free of any of our personal items that did not belong in the living area. My wife has unusually sensitive olfactory senses; so it would also help to spray the room with the cinnamon and apple spray that is her favorite.

I instructed the children of what needed to be done, to which they agreed immediately—after all they were also concerned about the life of the family pet—and we began to work with furious efficiency. It was about this time when the dog arrived, having come from her hiding place in the teenager’s room—the one furthest from the front door—and cautiously returned to the scene of the crime. “Duchess Archiline Hurt,” I exclaimed to her, “are you out of your mind? You ate mom’s book, and a pair of heels. Holy crap! She’s going to kill you!”

Her face was solemn as she looked up at me with her golden eyes and in my head I heard her soft British accent reply, “I know and I am truly sorry. I just get so nervous when I’m alone in the house… But in my defense, I only ate the first three chapters of the book; they were not as delicious as the shoes.”

We continued with due diligence, and by the time that my wife walked through the door, the cleanup operation was successfully completed. “Mmmm, it smells good in here,” she said upon entering, and then swiveling her head about continued with a gasp, “and it’s so clean!”

I took her by the hands and looked lovingly into her eyes. “Baby,” I said, “There is something I have to tell you.” To which she immediately exclaimed, “THE DOG ATE MY SHOES DIDN’T SHE?!” I sat her down and explained the series of events that had just taken place. Fortunately, for the dog, my wife had already finished the first three chapters of the book, and the shoes were not her favorite pair. So, much to our relief, she agreed to spare the life of the dog.

Now, I told you this story to help illustrate a truth I have just recently discovered. Even though we live way out in the county, we prefer Duchess to be an inside dog. This is in part because being a border collie she instinctively attempts to herd any animal she sees, and my brother-in-law’s horses do not wish to be herded, and partly because she always seems to return covered in all sorts of nasty material, and of course, smell like a dog. This does not sit well with my wife’s sensitivity to smells and I am in turn delegated to bathe the dog.

In those cases in which Duchess has made a successful escape from the house I have noticed that she will not return to me when I call for her. I will call her name, she will turn in recognition, and I will see momentary contemplation of decisions in her body language just seconds before she sprints away in the other direction. Now, how can this be? She minds me with unquestioning loyalty inside the house. It will literally take but a snap of my fingers to bring her to my side from any room in the house, but only inside the house, never outside. She will come to my children and she will more often than not come to my wife. My father-in-law frequently takes her with him riding around the countryside and reports that she helps him herd the cattle and returns to him with no problems… but not so with me.

As I pondered this, the answer hit me like a shovel to the face of an unwitting burglar, the baths. Yes, that is it. The dog now believes that I am calling her, not to bring her in for food or shelter, but for the dreaded scrubbing of a lifetime.

This is a member of the family that I feed, water, show love, and ritualistically scratch those hard to reach places like the base of the ears. I take her out—sometimes in the middle of the night—when she has to go, sneak the occasional delicious treat to when no one is looking, and at least on one occasion, have saved her life, and yet—because of my wife’s nasal issues—she listens to me no more than any one else in the family. It would seem as though, my wife and her overactive sense of smell, have managed to put a significant strain on my relationship with my dog. I have come to the conclusion that there will be no resolve to this situation, as I am frequently reminded by the youngest of the 10 year olds, “A happy wife leads to a happy life.” I gather that I will just have to take it one day—and one bath—at a time living in This World of Hurt.

  1. Jeff,

    Just discovered your blog of your (or your wife’s) post on Facebook…I’ve enjoyed readying several of your entries, especially any referring to Sundown…those were the days, huh?

    So nice to hear you are doing well, enjoying your life.

    Take care friend,
    Jennifer

    Like

  2. Another great one! I can relate because this wonderful family pet has also eaten a pair of my shoes and dad’s shoes…..but we still love her too!

    Like

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