Monday, September 8, 2008

There Was a Young Lady that Growled at a Fly, I Don’t Know Why She Growled at the Fly

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.


  1. OMFSM. All I have to say is ROTFL, oh and BAAAAAGH!

  2. I just love this story. I almost snorted wine out my nose at the "digging to China" comment. We have several dog craters in our yard as well.

    You guys have great big hearts. Yay for the Moyles!

  3. Hi!
    I am a Bark Busters behavioral therapist and host of 'It's a Dog's Life' on Martha Stewart Living Radio, Sirius ch. 112. I found your story extremely entertaining, and I'm sure my audience would enjoy it as well. I would love to share it on the air, with your permission...let me know. I can be contacted at Keep up the great work with your training (of the dogs and your family!).....

  4. I am running late for work and I kiss my daughter goodbye just now and she says "noooo, I don't want you to go!!!". I am really late, so I just kiss her and walk away and she says "noooooo BAAAAAAAAHHH!!!!"

    I had to stop and blog this.

    I think I have just been reprimanded. I just hope my boss doesn't growl at me for being so late.

  5. Well written and extremely funny! Thank you for sharing, I needed that!

  6. Awesome! That was HIL-AR-IOUS!!! Our family doesn't growl exactly...we "tsssst". We "tssst" kids even "tssst" each other...but growling sounds much more fun. :)

  7. Sounds awesome, may try it on my Lab or husband?? Maybe even the high schoolers in my classes!!


  8. I have not laughed so hard in such a long time. I had to catch my breath. I need this for my children. Going to tell my husband this story and I think we might have to put this into motion with our teens. LOL. Thank you for sharing. You deserve big HUGS!

  9. HA! We do a lot of that kinda growling around here, too (at the dogs and at each other). We just had no idea it was an actual tactic. ;)

  10. This comment has been removed by the author.

  11. Dude, you're going to be on the radio!

    Oh. Satellite radio.

    Maybe if I started growling at my son, I could finally break this bad habit I have of yelling words like gd and f'ing.

  12. I tried the growling thing at work. Yeah, now HR wants to see me...

  13. Everyone has something to growling at...