Tuesday, November 08, 2005

George - canine extraordinaire!

These stories are true. I saw this with my own eyes. When I was in grad school, I lived with a friend I went to high school with. Steve had moved to Dallas and convinced me to enroll at UT Dallas. He could use a roomie to help pay bills, etc. So, I moved in to a two bedroom/two bath flat in the Fall of 1985 and enrolled at UT Dallas in the graduate Biology Program. We lived in that apartment until he got married in 1990 and I had to move out so his new wife could live there. Steve had a border collie mix named George. Now George was a smart dog of about medium weight. He had a black hood of hair that made him look like the canine equivalent of Zorro. Now we had two couches in the living room against opposite walls and facing each other. George and Steve had one couch and I had the other. We invited fellow students over on Friday nights for drinking and watching bad network TV movies. It was an economical form of entertainment, especially in a suburban area with no bars and no college life to speak of. You see, Richardson, TX is dry. No wine or spirits are sold within the city limits. We'd have to drive 5 miles down the road to Plano to get beer. Plano is what we call damp, beer and wine are sold there. If you want the hard stuff, you drive to Addison, TX where all the liquor stores are. Thank you Southern Baptists.
Well, one Friday, we had finished most of a pizza and Steve was puttering around the kitchen. I was watching TV. Something moved out of the corner of my eye. I moved my head a little and saw George looking around to see if he was being spotted. The pizza box with a couple of slices of uneaten pizza was lying on the coffee table. The pizza box lid was ajar. I saw George ease his long snout under the lid and grasp a slice of pizza. He eased it partially out of the box. Then he looked around again to see if Steve saw him. Either he didn't spot me watching or he didn't care that I saw him. Anyway, he then grasped a corner of the pizza slice and pulled it off the coffee table. Now the rule around the house was that if something edible hit the ground, it was George's. As soon as the pizza slice hit the carpet, George consumed it. Victory to George. I called Steve into the room and told him about it. He laughed at the cleverness of his dog. Both of us were impressed at George's sneaky feat of pizza slice heist.
Another Friday a year or two later, we were having a party. One of our friends, a big, tall biophysicist by the name of Ken Johnson showed up. Now Ken graduated from Texas A&M, Texas Agricultural and Mechanical. Now Texas A&M graduates, Aggies, are made fun of in the same way as Polish Americans. You can find Aggie jokes that are just Polish jokes with "Texas Aggie" substituted for the word "Polock". The problem with Ken was that not only was he a Texas Aggie, he was half Polish, actually Prussian, but Prussia is a part of Poland now. There were times when he acted like the stereotype found in the Aggie jokes.
Anyway, George loved BIG rawhide bones. He would chew on one for hours, if not days, until there was nothing left. He happened to have a brand new chewbone lying around the living room. Now Ken being Ken decided to taunt the dog. He picked up George's chewbone, held it up at about neck height, just out of George's ability to jump up and grab it. Now George was sitting in front of Ken and his eyes were fixed on HIS chewbone that this human standing in front of him had grabbed. Ken was wearing a pair of white shorts.
Ken said, "George, look what I have!"
George immediately jumped up, put one paw on Ken's thigh to steady himself and cupped Ken's groin in his mouth while looking intently at Ken.
George was basically saying, "Look Ken, at what I HAVE!"
Ken then said, "You win, George!", and handed George his chewbone.
Steve and I busted up laughing. George had easily outwitted a fellow PhD student and quintessential Texas Aggie. Steve praised George for his initiative and quick thinking once he wiped the tears out of his eyes and regained his composure.

I appreciate the honesty and humor of your blog. Will visit more often. Thank you!
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