So I have this little thirteen-pound female Lhasa Apso, Noga, and my parents have this sixty-pound, morbidly obese, elderly Cardigan Corgi, Glider. When Noga and I am visiting my parents, which is often, of course Noga has to go pee in the yard every once in a while; and if Glider is not asleep on his bed, which is where he can generally be found at any time, he will go outside and pee on top of where Noga peed, just to make sure that everyone knows whose yard it is.
Friday nights I make dinner for my parents in honor of the Jewish Sabbath. I try to make something special, and I buy special kosher wine (NOT Mogen David or Manischewitz) and do as much of the traditional ritual as they can bear. I gauge this by the angle of my father’s head relative to his chest, and my mother’s frequency of shifting in her chair.
This past Friday night proceeded as usual, except that I had made a dish that broke away from my usual barbecued kosher chicken or salmon: sauteed chicken livers with onions and white wine over Thai rice noodles. It was too rich for me, but they loved it, being traditional Ashkenazi Jews from the New York suburbs, back when they weren’t suburbs but small towns and farm land; and chicken livers are a great delicacy for them, so I made them.
In light of the special meal there was lively conversation. My mother had read a book about religious Jews, and being quite secular herself, had lots of questions and challenges to the beliefs that the book presented, especially since the book had presented the beliefs of religious Jews in a less than positive light.
In the meantime, little Noga was dancing around, trying to tell me, or anyone, really, that she needed to go outside. By the time it sank into my brain, it was quite an emergency, and when I got up from the table to open the door for her, she only made it as far as the doormat. Oh well, my mistake; so I got the paper towels and sopped up the mess.
Enter Glider, who immediately hauled himself off his dog bed (he always reminds me of a bull seal hauling himself onto a rock), and trundled toward the door. I KNEW what he was up to: he wanted to piss on top of Noga’s accident. I ran and tried to get him to go outside, but no dice: he turned around and went back to his bed and lay down. My mother was not happy that I had interfered with him. She is very protective of her dog and cat.
And so it went for half an hour, as we tried to finish dinner: Glider would get up and head for the doormat (I knew what he was up to), I would jump up and try to steer him around it and out the door, and he would head back for his bed.
Finally my mother could take no more of what she perceived as my interference in Glider’s needing to go out, and demanded to let him out herself. ”Bevakasha,” I said, which is Hebrew for “go right ahead, please, suit yourself, have a nice day,” and lots of other things. She ushered Glider to the door, right over Noga’s drying pee spot and, sure as shooting, without even breaking step, he let loose a stream of pee all over the doormat AND the floor.
“See?” I said excitedly. ”See that? That’s what he’s been meaning to do the whole time!”
“See what?” Said my mother, who had not seen. In her defense, I will say that it was dark there.
“See THAT,” I said triumphantly, showing her the trail of pee that started on the tile floor and ran straight over Noga’s little spot.
“Well I’ll be damned,” says Mom, “the sonovabitch peed all over the place.” I was vindicated.
Just goes to show, people aren’t the only ones who will go to great lengths to have the last word.