Saturday, November 27, 2010

The Greatest Fear of Samson the Terrible

Samson is our dog. You may have seen him perched in the window, scanning the perimeter for trespassers. For hours. You may have dared cross his path, earning yourself bark after relentless bark, hoping to get away with your pants still intact. But just like any terrifying creature, he has his fears.

Ben was away for a Dental School interview. I was left with Samson. Samson is excellent company, usually. Always watchful. Always wanting to play. I was busy writing and had forgotten about him (mistake #1).

To get my attention, he hops on the couch with droopy ears, trembling. Violently. "What's the matter?" I ask. Of course he understands everything I say to him. He's brilliant.

He trembles some more, licking his lips like he always does when he's scared. I walk around our house turning on all the lights so that nothing can hide in the shadows. Everything is fine. And Samson is still shaking.

I press gently around his huge, muscular frame, checking for injury. Nothing. I throw his buddy--a fluffy bone made of lamb wool. He just stood there and watched it land. If you've ever been to our house, you know this is strange. Very strange. Now I'm scared.

Samson slinks off into our dark bedroom, hops on the bed, and curls up with a sigh. I've called Ben, called my mom to get the number to the animal hospital, and figured out how to budget our food for the next few months to pay the vet bill.

As Samson lay there on our bed, I heard a soft squeak. He whimpered. Soon after, another squeak. It suddenly occurred to me how many Greenies we'd given him over the course of the past few days (mistake #2). More than normal, because of all the travel. We felt bad (I certainly hope this habit doesn't carry over in to child rearing someday). I heard another squeak, and frightened whimper.

I couldn't believe it. He had gas. Lots and lots of it.

For all his ferocious barking--for all his yanking on the leash to chase after any dog, or person, within eyesight--he's afraid of his own gas.

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