Monday, May 21, 2012

A for Effort, B for Bathtime

Bruno is probably the most enthusiastic mimic I have ever met. He also wants to help, no matter what you're doing, and no matter that his lack of opposable digitus primi is an issue.

Take plumbing, for example. I've been gutting and reworking the plumbing in the front bathroom, replacing not only the faucet, but all of the guts, too. And suffice it to say, the architects didn't have Wookiees in mind when they designed my bathroom cabinets. So the work involved a lot of uncomfortable folding and bending and swearing and grunting. And in the midst of the foldiest, bendiest, swearingest, gruntingest stretch of work last week, all of this sudden I had this ginormous noggin in the cabinet with me.

I shooed him out with a giggle, only to have said pumpkin noggin pop right back in. So I figured, what the hey, it's not as if I could get any more claustrophobic. He watched for a minute, saw me banging and hammering and twisting on a pipe, and in defiance of all known laws of matter, managed to squeeze one of his gigantic paws into a tiny space that already included the top one-quarter of a Wookiee and a head the size of Sputnik, and started poking and prodding at the pipe along with me.


Maybe not so adorable? (Okay, just as adorable, but a little more time consuming...) I've been doing a lot of work on the yard here lately, mostly planting new grass seed in a couple of big bald spots that died in a drought the summer that Max died, and which I've never really had any reason to do anything about.

I've also been working on slowly clearing out the hedgerow at the back and sides of the yard -- which mostly consists of bamboo -- since we're planning to put up a privacy fence soon. The loss of all that wilderness, though, is particularly distressing to Bruno, who's a shy pooper, and who now has almost nowhere to hide and do his business. Poor guy gets clogged up if anyone catches him in the act, including the neighborhood puppies. I think I might have to add a canine outhouse to my list of outdoor projects.

Anyway, back to the grass -- the planting of which has required a good bit of watering, which has in turn turned half of my backyard into a muddy mess. I was working on raking it the other day, and assumed that Bruno was distracted by his ball, as he usually is when we're outside. I stopped raking for a second, though, and couldn't help but notice that the SOUND of the raking didn't stop when the actual raking did. I turned around, and Bruno was dragging his paws through the wet dirt, making beautiful little raking trails that quite frankly shamed mine.

And so began what has now come to be known as the Week of Baths. I've had to bathe the child every day for the past seven days. Twice today, because a flash flood turned the entire hard into a mud pit.

Thankfully, not all of his helpful efforts end up in such messes. As I was chopping and sawing and carting bamboo to the curb on Sunday, the missus lent a hand for a few minutes. Apparently Bruno thought she would have no clue where the limbs were to be dragged to, though, so as she picked up her first handful, he herded her to the exact same spot in the fence where I had been throwing it over. Cutest. Thing. Ever.

I've also never lived with a herding puppy before, so that's pretty new and fascinating for me.

Still trying to figure out exactly what this boy is, though. Not that it matters, but I've always either lived with AKC registered purebreds, or known the exact mix of breeds involved in my four-legged family members. I think there was some guessing on the part of the people I adopted Bruno from, although I can definitely see the bullmastiff and boxer and, now that I've spent more time with him, the staffie, but some part of me is just unsure. And I hate sounding so unsure when people ask me what mix he is. I feel like a bad dad. So I'm going to get one of those puppy DNA kits soon, just for giggles. It may end up being a huge waste of money, but both my genius virologist friend Abbie and Bruno's doctor said pretty much the exact same thing about it: "Even if it's hooey, I've spent sixty bucks on dumber things than that." So I'm ordering the kit soon! Even if it's not entirely accurate, at least I'll have papers to point to. I'll keep you guys posted.

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