Now, don't everybody get all excited. I will not be posting multiple posts every day. However, due to the miracle of the "sent items" folder, I still have a copy of the story about my sister's new dog trying to kill me, so I thought I would add it. That way, if everyone thinks it's not funny, you can all go ask Kim what the heck she was thinking to encourage this nonsense.
The setting: I have just returned from a sojourn at my sister's home in Florida. The purpose: See previous post.
So, we're back in Spartanburg with more shoes, art posters and a souvenir shot glass. Also, an astral globe from Cape Kennedy which I hope makes me look smarter when I turn it on even though constellations make me kind of dizzy. I had a rather traumatic experience in Florida and felt the need for some sympathy.
The newest member of the family is a little dog named Penny. Who hates me. Seriously. She is ferociously adorable. When Mom entered my sister's house, even though it had been six months since she'd been there, the little dog trembled with such anticipation that she actually fell over. Mom sat down, and Penny hurtled herself into her lap, rolled over twice, fell off onto the floor, bounced back onto Mom's lap and moaned adoringly as Mom scratched her behind the ears.
Then she noticed me.
Now, I had been warned that this dog (who looks just like an ewok) had been abused before my sister adopted it and that it fears strangers. "Fear" apparently means "will growl like an itty-bitty grizzly, leap into the air, bark insanely and snap its itty-bitty teeth." Which is what it did when it saw me. It was, I have to admit, alarming. I have never been attacked by an ewok before. There's this mixed message thing where I wanted to say, "Your itty-bitty canines are so cute when you're attempting to intimidate me," but it darted around so quickly that I had trouble keeping it in sight, let alone carrying on a conversation.
My sister's approach was to tell off the dog. Here's a sample of the telling off of the dog:
"Penny! Stop that right now she's not a threat to anyone she won't hurt you I've never let anyone hurt you Natalie your head is too high put your head down put your head down right now the dog is afraid if your head is too high!"
You see what happened there, right? She speaks logically to the dog and give me orders like a pet.
Then, "down down down!" which was a command to me, not the dog. I dropped to the floor in confusion, and the dog rolled over on her back and glared. This, it seems, is the signal to pet the dog. Now, she had just been baring her little fangs and trying her best to eat me, but I was not supposed to hesitate. "Pet her, pet her now! Scratch her tummy or she'll bite you!"
Not kidding. "Scratch her tummy or she'll bite you." I wondered, as I scratched the tummy, if this would work on terrorists. Maybe there should be signs on planes reading, "Warning: terrorists will have their tummies rubbed without mercy!"
It worked on the dog. Sort of. Until I had to go to the bathroom. You see, it's not actually possible to keep your head below the head of a ten-inch tall ewok dog and use a toilet at the same time. Of course, someone could put down some paper. I suggested it, but received the Glare of Death from my sister and the Sigh of Exasperation from my six year old niece, Isabella, so I had to stand up and leave the room, followed by itty-bitty vicious growls.
Now this really is a very cute dog. Ewoks are cute too, but I was feeling like Han Solo hanging from that spit while teddy bears poked him with a spear. Do you remember that scene? It's all very cute until someone lights the fire. Walking back into the room? That's lighting the fire.
Many hours later, Penny (which is a terrible name for an ewok dog; I suggested Grendel or Grand Moff Tarkin, but I just got the Glare and the Sigh again) saw me cross the line completely: I handed my six year old niece, she of the capitalized Sighs, a tinker toy.
Itty-bitty hell broke loose.
Penny's eyes turned red, she spun twice in a circle, then flew at me like a furry little bullet, foaming and barking. I dropped the toy, while my sister started shouting ("Stop that! She's not threatening Isabella you have no reason to bite her it's a tinker toy why is your head so high put it down put it down!) and my niece burst into tears. Even though my sister moved fast, the itty-bitty insane ewok got to me first, snapping her itty-bitty fangs as she latched onto my arm and, well, slobbered on me quite aggressively. So I helped build the tinker toy tower from a prone position with frequent rest stops to pet a growling animal into blissful silence.
I spent the rest of the time at my sister's place sitting in a corner on the sofa while the ewok stayed between me and the rest of the family, being petted and crooned to, while shooting me tiny red-eyed glances of hatred. I only tried to move to the center of the couch once (Growl bark bark bark growl growl scary cross-eyed look What are you moving for? Stay in the corner stay in the corner your spot is in the corner! Why aren't you petting her?!).
When I finally got back to my hotel, I turned on Return of the Jedi on pay-per-view and cheered for the imperials."
Now there is an update to this story: Penny no longer hates me. In fact, at Thanksgiving, she followed me around, making sure to sit under my chair at all times, gazing up at me with love. What changed? I'm not telling. You see, my sister might read this blog. Let's just say that Penny had a very happy Thanksgiving and leave it at that.
Here is a photo of Penny the ewok dog: