Well, actually I do know why. And I’ll tell you.
We have two dogs. Koko and Charmin. Koko came first to us about a year ago. She was less than a year old, and the people who had her on Craigslist said their landlord wouldn’t allow them to keep her any longer. We adopted her on the spot because she was great with kids. It didn’t take us long to figure out that the landlord spiel was just a ruse. A cover-up for the real reasons she was being banished from this family. A few of those meticulously crafted lies we were told? Oh, let’s see…
- “She’s house broken.” The truth: Um, I have a spot on my carpet there, and there, and there, and there, and there, and there, and there, and there, and there that says otherwise.
- “She’s a cuddle bug.” The truth: She loves to cuddle with you…in your bed. Regardless of whether you want her there or not. It doesn’t matter.
- “Our children take her for a walk all the time.” The truth: She turns into Captain Spazmo when you try to put her collar on. Their young children, their itsy bitsy, tiny, young, WEAK children take her for a walk? No way. No how.
- “She loves being outside.” The truth: She loves geography. So much so, she will try to get to China. From your backyard. Straight down.
- “She loves people.” The truth: She freaks out when she’s alone. So much so you’d think she was getting ready to be pawcuffed, blindfolded, and strapped down in a dark closet with Skinny Puppy blaring at too high of a decibel level. Yeah, that kind of freak out.
After several months, I couldn’t take it anymore. When it was time to go somewhere, not only would I have to wrangle two kids and all their crap into the car, I would have to literally pick up this 50 pound fur ball and carry her outside. She could tell we were getting ready to leave, and she wanted to let me know she didn’t like it. Not one bit. Take her with me, you say? Yeah, we tried that. Once. I was in the middle of my suave acrobatic act, the one carefully crafted to keep the dog in and get the kids out, when she bolted. Freaked and bolted. I chased her. Dragging my kids. Screaming “KOKO” until I was hoarse. A sailor’s cursing would be considered benign when compared to what was going on in my head at that moment.
So, a few more weeks of dog hell, and I told Greg she had to go. A few months after that (yeah, you can see he listened to me), something in me decided to give her one more chance. One more very expensive chance. We called Bark Busters. It was Koko’s date with destiny. If it didn’t work, she was outta here. It cost a whole crap load of money. And what did we learn? We learned how to growl at our dog. And you know what? The shit worked. She is the best behaved dog, and I absolutely love her. She’s my favorite. (What? Our dogs can’t read. I can express favoritism!) Now if Charmin would follow suit, we’d be one happy family. Brady Bunch even.
So, Greg and I growl at our dogs to let them know who’s boss. Our growls sound something like a deep, guttural, “BAAAAAAAAAAGH!” The kids aren’t considered high in the dog pack, so they technically aren’t supposed to growl at the dogs. But children learn by example, right? And we growl in our house. A LOT. It actually comes very naturally and easy to us now. Probably TOO easily.
At any given moment in our house, you may hear something like this:
Braedyn: “Charmin! Get off of my legos! BAAAAAAAGH!”
Emily: “Koko licked me!” (Tears) “BAAAAAAAAGH!”
Me to Charmin as her nose is precariously close to that dinner plate on the table: “BAAAAAAAAGH!”
Emily after being told she can’t have more juice: “Mommy!” (Tears) “I want more juice!” (Emphatically) “BAAAAAAGH!”
Emily: “Charmin’s on Didi!” (Her blankie!) (Tears) “BAAAGH!”
Emily to Braedyn: “Give it back!” (Tears) “BAAAAGH!”
Me to snoring husband: “Roll over! BAAAGH!”
So, there you go. We growl a lot. At the dogs. At each other. It’s engrained into us as a way to express frustration. To dole out discipline. Whatever. If it doesn’t work, it at least makes us feel better.
And then today:
Me to a fly: “BAAAAGH!”
Yup. It popped out of my mouth before I even thought about how absurd it was.
There was a young lady that growled at a fly. Now you know why she growled at a fly.