How to catch a dog with a hot dog. / by Shannon Heick

So I suppose I need to give an explanation here. I posted this photo on Facebook a while back with a to be continued comment. It's time we get this out in the open. There are many unsettling things going on in this photo. Maybe we should make a list to make this more scientific? Ok, thank you, I will. IMG_8682

  1. Why is there what appears to be an angry mom, holding a hot dog? 
  2. Why is this dog within snatching distance of said hot dog?
  3. Ok, back this train up....what the heck is that in the back? It appears to be a  little toddler's butt draped over the rearmost back seat of said minivan. What, what?
  4. So, this dog....does he have any eyes under all that fur?
  5. Speaking of fur...or hair........what the heck is up with Shannon's hair?!
  6. What are these lunatics really doing?

Well, just so you know, I am more than prepared to tell you all about this little "regularly occurring mishap of ours". But first....for those of you who are new here, we need to back up and understand just who we are dealing with here.  In case you are really, REALLY bored and on  bed rest or something, I would like to invite you to go back to my old blog, Sweet Little Thing and review a few blog posts. Posts such as the Cupcake Caper, Nothing is Safe, Kinky-haired Rat, Then It Got Weird ...to get an idea of what I am talking about. But in case you aren't in a cast from your waist down and forced to be on the internet all day out of sheer boredom, let's just give the short background story. Maverick is our beloved GoldenDoodle.

Here he is, looking a bit more professional.

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He is really the BEST dog a family could ever have. First of all, the dog doesn't shed!!!!! That is amazing in and of it self, saving me a lot of time and sanity! Secondly, he is such a lover. He just couldn't hurt a fly if he tried. He thinks he only weighs 8 lbs instead of 80, and he loves rolling around on the floor wrestling. He knows a lot of commands, and has the ability to impress say, a preschool class, really fast. I wanted to say he is a great running partner, but a. I don't run and b. he isn't. He gets tired fast and we usually end up dragging him during the last half. In fact, just the other day, I went on a run. (I know, weird, right?) and I found myself talking to him like a running coach..."come on Maverick....you can do it, just one more block"....."just put one paw in front of the other buddy"....."see the goal"......"let's just focus on one more block Mav!" and so forth. You get the point I think.

While Maverick has all these awesome qualities and he really is one of our family members, there is another side to this fluffy, doodle-wonder boy. While he is great at following commands....lately he has stepped out of his comfort zone a bit in our neighborhood. Now today, I won't even be talking about the 8lb pork rump roast that he stole and ate in the few swift minutes Derrick and I stepped outside to visit with the neighbors. Nor will I bring up the entire batch of cupcakes he snatched while I ran down to change the laundry. And I won't even begin to breathe a word about the 1lb bag of chocolate that Maverick relished while on vacation at Grandma and Grandpa's. It would also be unnecessary to point out that this dog has the gall and audacity to jump his big front paws right up to our counter and steal things such as pizza slices, tater tots, chicken nuggets, access bars and baby formula cans. Oh yes, I did just say baby formula cans. The aluminum ones. Shreds them, like a paper shredder. We won't need to be speaking into those areas of his life, however.

Today we are talking about his outdoor manors.

Before we do that. I should clear up this photo. Yes, that is indeed our 80lb GoldenDoodle, with his tail sucked up into our Swivel Sweeper Max Vac. This incident was brought to you by some unnamed little two-year old. I won't name him. For his own good. (you're welcome, Beckett).

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So, back to the hot dog and the Doodle story. You see, not only has Maverick become very daring in his naughtiness inside of our home, but he has now stepped up his game. He is now venturing into the neighborhood doing all kinds of shenanigans. Mainly, he just runs into other garages, garbage piles and looks for food. Seriously, we do feed this mutt. He is just an opportunist. We do keep Maverick on a leash unless we are directly playing with him outside. However, there are times when he slips away, under the radar. Returning home from a shopping trip, hauling all the groceries and three small humans inside is usually the prime time for Maverick to slip out under my radar.

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And this day was no different. I can only begin to imagine what kind of malarkey was going on between me and the boys when I was hauling them in from whatever trip we had just embarked on. Usually my brain is pretty fried after one of those regular errand trips. And sometimes it's even fried without those. But alas, we made it home. Put some stuff away and probably started doing a craft. And  then,all of a sudden, it hits me. Maverick. Where is Maverick? Oh, I'm sure he's just licking his junk in my bed. But no, not a sign of him anywhere.....inside or out. Immediately I know what has happened. So I holler to the boys...."come on boys, let's saddle up....it's time to go on a Maverick hunt again!"  Bear in mind, this is really annoying to have to go and do this all the time.  I could choose to be all ticked and mad and be crabby and all that jazz. But I decided a long time ago to just make it a party! The kids get pumped, I get pumped and we are off on a mission!  So the boys grab their baby binoculars, capes and probably a set of nunchucks. (in case it gets scary out there on the streets). I throw everyone in the minivan and we head out. Now, I don't normally use bait, but my inner mother ninja voice, urged me. So, I bolted back in the house and grabbed a hot dog. Just for good measure. Or in case the mutt decided to ignore me while I was yelling obscenities at him and hurling threats while hanging out the van window.
So, there we are, rollin' down the streets of our little subdivision kids screaming and jumping around like lunatics. And there was me, the biggest of them all, flailing half of my body out the window, waving nothing other than a hot dog. And then I realized we had a new set of neighbors down the street. At first this new guy looked up and sort of readjusted his focus to make sure this was actually what he was seeing. (The only way to make this story any better would be to add some pimped out, jacked up wheels and blaring rapper base. But that would be a lie....so I won't do that to you.) The guy just stared as we rolled by. You could tell he just wasn't sure if he should call the cops or run inside. He stayed. Just in time to watch me pull up across the street in the parking lot of the apartment complex where Maverick was sniffing around in the grass. I stood up, now flailing out my window, yelling at Maverick to get his rump in the Swagger wagon.  Maverick ignored me. So, I turned on my sweet mommy voice and started waving the hot dog and saying, "come on, boy, here's your hot dog......come on.....it's so yummy". And alas, that did the trick. He peeled around the van, jumped in the sliding door opening and stuck his nose right up by me in the front seat....waiting for his reward. But instead....he got this.
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A glare, a "you think I"m gonna actually let you eat this hot dog after all you put us through" comment, and then, of course, I did what any good GoldenDoodle human mother would do, sighed and popped it in his mouth. I got the kids all readjusted and buckled back in their seats and we bounced home. The guy in his driveway, who had witnessed the debacle,was sitting there when I drove by. I reached out my hand, waved, smiled and winked. He waved back and smile/laughed.  It was a moment. ;)