Standing In The Hammock

Wise Words To The Pups

When I was young, if I happened to be in the line of sight my father would say I made a better door than a window. I shouldn’t say this was exclusive to my childhood. I expect he would still do it today if a random stranger did likewise. We all have the expressions (and expletives) our parents used that we find ourselves repeating as adults. I rarely use the door-window expression, but I am sure there are nuances in my language I picked up in my home as a child. One that often comes to mind is the sage advice I give my dog when I am leaving the house and she is wearing her what-do-you-mean-you’re-not-taking-me-with-you expression, “You be a good puppy and stay.”

My personal superhero uses more of these expressions than anyone I ever met. He often attributes them to his father. When we began dating, I just took them in stride, amused, but now I ask if the words were actually spoken by his father, or if his father gets the credit simply because it sounds better when he adds the attribution. The split is usually fifty-fifty. Nonetheless, of all the expressions that amuse me – and yes, even a few that annoy me – my favorite is when he tells his dog that he is likewise in the way, except his metaphor likely makes no sense to the sweetest of bulldogs. “You’re standing in the hammock.”


The day my sweetheart departed for his overseas assignment, his sweet pup watched his owner depart, wondering if he, too, would get to accompany him on the outing. Dogs have short memories. Yes, they learn by repetition – they know exactly where the treats are kept in our house – but they also don’t realize the difference between a run to the grocery store or a two-year departure abroad. Both of our dogs do recognize the impact of suitcases being loaded into the vehicle, and that they are huge fans of road trips. This time, however, he must be a good puppy and stay.

As we are attempting to load the luggage into the vehicle, Bond sits in the doorway, complicating an already stressful process. It’s not uncommon for him – he simply wants to observe what is happening and make a canine-informed decision. As an obstruction, the 60-pound pooch proves a triumph at his task. While his presence in the threshold annoys my better half, I find it endearing. I don’t even mind having to step awkwardly over the white and caramel-colored boy. Yes, he’s definitely standing in the hammock, and this time, it makes sense. I get it. He wants to watch his person’s every movement until the last moment. Sometimes it’s really difficult to be a good puppy and watch your person not stay.

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