Mabel is a four year old Basset Hound, which means she loves meat. Becky doesn’t eat red meat, and we watch how much the boys eat, so sometimes I’ll cook a steak for lunch before I go to work.
Now, Mabel loves Filet Mignon, but not nearly as much as she loves Delmonico, because she gets the fat and gristle and there is more of those on Delmonico. Despite, she loves it all. You Google “meat” and on the “People who also like meat…” list, there’s a picture of Mabel.
But she hates it too, because she knows I always hold a piece back to lure her into the crate before I leave.
And, oh, but how she hates that meat. I see the struggles of self she has as she wages the unwinnable war of not being suckered into the crate. I see her as an addict not wanting to fix and sweating it out. She walks to within four or so inches of the door as if she has resigned herself to giving in, and then she shies, but she doesn’t shy as far back as she was when she began that fly-by of the door to the delicious meat. And she slinks when she shies, as if she knows just what a miserable wreck she is and how she can buck herself up all she wants and just know this time it’s going to be different, when she knows deep down that she ain’t gonna wind up nowhere but back there suckin’ on ‘at ol’ dirty teat.
I also see her with the rationale of a toddler, wondering if there’s any way that all this freedom that exists outside of the crate can coexist with that meat, maybe not sure there isn’t.
She resigns and slinks and she shies, but less, she resigns and she sulks and she shies, and a little closer still.
And then she resigns. And she’s in, and it’s meat, and it’s there, and so delicious. The door is shutting, and she doesn’t even care, because it’s meat, and it’s there; it plunges the plunger down and for a moment she’s there, where she wanted to get, the place she was convinced existed, almost.
And it’s meat, and it’s so delicious, and it’s there…but it’s not. It was there; it was there, and it was delicious, and she was at that place, but it’s gone and the place is gone and she’s grasping at the vapors of the recent past trying to hold onto it, and the man is closing the door and latching it….
And she plops, beaten and knowing it. Now the true resignation sets in.
I leave quickly because she’s cool if you do that. If you’re still in the house a minute after you’ve put her in she’ll be barking to get out. I don’t know if she thinks maybe you decided to stay, but a minute is about all you get.
So, I’m driving away shortly enough, and I’m thinking she’s settling into the nap, which will last about two minutes shorter than the time she’s in there. I wonder if she is disappointed with herself as she’s falling asleep. I wonder if she’s just sick of all the failures. Every damn time it’s the same thing with the dude and the meat and the crate…with its door.
I wonder if she doesn’t fall into a little bit of the host from The Chris Farley Show. “Stupid!”
Of course the rumors of Paul McCartney being dead were just rumors.
And then does she think about how it was there and how it was delicious? Does she think about how she was there? It may have only been five seconds…but she was there.
When I began this, my only intention was to write about the me suckering the dog with the meat and the battle that is waged inside her. Having finished, however, it seems more like a veiled–only slightly–metaphor for addiction throughout.
I have been blessed that I have never suffered from any physical addiction to alcohol or any illegal drug. I became a champ at mixing bad habits with compulsive tendencies, but I never got physically hooked on anything besides cigarettes. Thus, take it as a cute little anecdote about a dog; the caution is here however, if you take it the other way, you’re looking to get something from the words from a dude who knows little of what he’s talking about. Take your chances.
As for me, this one was rough. It just was.