Sunday, December 2, 2007

Walk: Sunday Scribblings

One of the first words I learned how to spell was walk, and it was one of the first words my children learned to spell as well. Why is that? I'll spell the reason out for you. D-o-g.

Yes, I was raised in a family with pets, and I'm raising a family with pets. In our house, if you use the word "walk," you are guaranteed to have the mutton head that is our dog come up, look you in the eye and cock her head. And if you show any sign of going out the door, she is on you immediately.

But we humans are smarter, right? We've learned to spell it out. I've learned to not make eye contact with the dog when I'm assessing whether any child o' mine, especially the youngest, my frequent partner in dog walks, wants to go with me on this twice-daily ritual. Because if she gets a whiff of that word plus eye contact, the jig is up.

As I said, I've learned the tricks to trick the dog. The kids? Not so much. They will mistakenly use the word prematurely probably half the time. And then what happens? That crazy dog starts running in circles -- she never walks, by the way -- and running up and down the stairs to herd us as quickly as possible to her leash and her freedom.

And woe be any of us who uses the word in some other context. She waits to hear that word. "Can I go walk to Sophie's?" my daughter will ask. Yikes! "Can I walk home from school?" that same daughter or my eldest will ask. Double yikes. The only time the word can be used is either when we're taking her or we've just taken her, so she knows it's not about her.

Smart dog, eh? Maybe. She now knows what we mean when we spell w-a-l-k. Sadly, she now gets her hopes dashed repeatedly because whenever we spell a word, she thinks it must mean we're going for a walk. She would never get past Round 2 in any spelling bee. And let me tell you, with a five-year-old boy in the house who is learning how to read and write, we're spelling words an awful lot. Maybe I should get the dog a dictionary so she can bone up on her spelling.

[I'm thinking I'm way off on the prompt this week, but you never know, do you? Why don't you go check out some other Sunday Scribblings and see for yourself.]

25 comments:

Kelly O said...

I think it's great to have family pets. The whole reason we got a dog was that our 3-year-old was starting to be terribly afraid of dogs, even puppies no bigger than her fuzzy slippers.

Robin said...

What a great take on the prompt, I've got a big ole grin on my face.

Secret Agent Mama said...

Hahahaha! Our dogs know "byebye" and "hungry" and "food". We have code words for all. And, all hell breaks loose if the code words are NOT used.

Great scribble, Patois!

Secret Agent Mama

Wonders said...

I know when I say walk to my dog he goes CRAZY...everytime...it just cracks me up!!!!

Josie Two Shoes said...

I think this is a delightful "walk" story, Patty! Our dog was the same way when we were growing up. He also knew the dog next door's name was Suzi, and got just as keyed up if we asked he if wanted to go see Suzi! My cats knew that out or outside was their magic password to freedom, and woe to the person who said it but didn't actually head for the door. Three cats would race across the room to the entry, then sit there hopeful and waiting. The disappointed look on their little faces if you didn't follow thru was enough to melt the hardest of hearts. Too funny that your dog has also figured out spelled words might just hold the same magic!

paisley said...

my dogs are older now,, and have come to recognize habitual movements as signals that they are going somewhere... they don't listen for the words any more,, they watch what i am doing......

excellent take on the prompt.

thefirecat said...

Oh God. Hysterical. Been there, done that. We ended up "perambulating" the dog a bunch of times. We also needed to spell things like C-O-O-K-I-E (even when referring to the woman at the framing shop) and O-U-T-S-I-D-E and L-E-A-S-H and occasionally S-P-A-R-E-R-I-B-S. (and you should have seen me trying to keep up with that one as he rattled it off as a dinner suggestion.)

This is probably why we accidentally went through a random phase of spelling out W-O-R-D-S in the middle of S-E-N-T-E-N-C-E-S, which annoyed and amused our family and friends.

Damn. Now you've got me totally rethinking my upcoming post.

Crafty Green Poet said...

This really made me smile. Our rabbit was the same with dandlions or the rustling of a bag, even one that didn't have dandelions in it

Bren said...

Great post! I had to laugh at the dog recognizing the spelled word!

Linda said...

Any chance she recognized the word while you were typing it for this post? I can so picture the poor thing looking balefully at you while you sit at the keyboard and type "walk" over and over!

The Alchemist said...

I think that you are right on the money with this post. Great piece of writing. I enjoyed it...
i m m e n s e l e y

mitzh said...

I actually feel for your dog, Patois.

Another great post from you and sure made me laugh.. :D

Jo said...

A great write.....my childhood dog could spell too -- walk, sick (often hurled in the car just after my mom had spelled out the word to my dad), dinner. They're real smart, dogs!

Rob Kistner said...

Wonderful interpretation of the prompt! ;)

mks said...

Ha Ha loved that post. I posted about my dog for the "walk" prompt too! Have a great week.

TNMomof5 said...

CUTE story!! W-A-L-K!!

Herb Urban said...

Wonderful take on the prompt. I'm a dog person currently living in a cat house. Hmm.. that didn't exactly come out right.

tumblewords said...

LOL. Gotta love this post! It's full of fun, humor and re-memories...

WorksForMom said...

Dogs ARE smart! I love this story Patois. Sometimes me thinks my dog outwits me. E V E R Y D A Y.

Angel said...

haha love it!

Gill said...

Love this! We had the same kind of situation with our dogs just yesterday.

mysticalmommy73 said...

That put a much needed smile on my face

Sian said...

We tried speaking in Welsh when the dog started to understand spelled words, but then we ended up with a bilingual dog! True story!

Toni said...

So funny!

bubandpie said...

Do you suppose it's the intonation the dog is recognizing? Maybe if you spell things out slowly and with lots of inflection, you can get away with it.

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