The Bite

The Bite

It basically writes itself, this blog. I do nothing and then there goes Angie, biting our friend’s dog, Baumer, on the ear (12 stitches) and catapulting herself up into the #9 spot (don’t worry, she holds several more spots on the top ten list).

Angie typically only picks fights with really really old dogs or really timid dogs or dogs with three legs. Baumer is none of these. He’s a hulking, young, yellow lab with a big ol’ square head. I know he’s got a good bite because he ate George’s lunchbox one time when George made the mistake of leaving it on just a medium-high table at their house (Baumer’s uber-lab appetite requires that all reasonably edible items be placed either in the fridge, on a high shelf, or hung from the ceiling like at a campsite with bears). The fact is, of all the dogs I know, Baumer is the only one that makes me feel slightly ok about my dogs. Sure, he’s incredibly sweet, doesn’t run away, and doesn’t attack other dogs but his table manners…just awful. If you think about it, he kind of had it coming.

So, here, clocking in at #9, is a depiction of the scene of Angie’s latest crime (as I remember it).

My Sunday morning softball game was coming to a merciful end. I was playing center field, mostly watching balls fly over my head and into the fenced pool behind me (we were outmatched, believe the final score was 27 to 4). The second basemen turns to me and says, “be ready, this one’s coming to you”, as if the last 20 weren’t. I look back in at the collection of softballs bobbing in the kiddie pool behind me…and there she is, like a nightmare vision…Angie…sauntering –alone– down the sidewalk leading to the outfield. We live about four blocks from the field. Kate had mentioned she and the kids might come watch. Did she just send Angie?

If I yell at her she’ll just run over and interrupt the game. I’m the new guy, only my second game, and I’ve already let my team down with a double play grounder and a botched pop fly. So I keep still and very quiet. And then CRASH!…screeching, metal on metal. I turn and see a bicyclist lying in a heap in front of a car. The old lady inside the car is moaning, “What did I do?”

My heart drops. I’m pretty sure it was Angie. I look for her and find her just poking around, walking by the injured bicyclist and giving him a sniff and moving on. The bicyclist just lies there. I see the infield running towards me, the guys yelling things like, “don’t get up! Just stay still! Someone call an ambulance!” I just stand there, a warm relief washing over me as I realize Angie wasn’t directly the cause of the accident (though I suspect the old lady saw Angie, was lost in thought about what a wild dingo might be doing in Montclair, and didn’t see the crossing bicyclist). Then George appears on his bike, then Louisa on her scooter, then Kate…waddling a ways behind them. Sirens are blaring, four cop cars are there in under a minute, an ambulance. Kate sees me and I point to Angie and put my hands out like, ‘what’s up with Angie ?’ Kate just shrugs. She points to the downed bicyclist as if to ask what happened. I just shrug.

Ok, so this didn’t have anything to do with Angie biting Baumer but it sets the scene. Angie is off the hook. I’m off the hook. The game is done. I’m feeling good.

Cut to: Angie has been caught and tethered. I’m walking over with her to greet my friend, Mike, who has arrived with his kids and dog, Baumer. I keep Angie close, suspecting she won’t try to attack a healthy, young, Baumer but you never know. She does try to attack him. I pull her back and Mike and I both laugh at the idea of small-ish Angie taking on bigboy Baumer. Angie settles down. She’s done her job established herself as the mean one. It seems over with. She sniffs Baumer and then…she attacks again. This time I’m not as prepared. But I pull back in time. Mike and I both let out Beavis-like chuckles, because, I don’t know, it just seems kind of funny (in retrospect I don’t see what was all that funny about it).

Then…”whoa, dude, is that blood?”

“Is it? Yeah, is it his ear?

Blood trickled down from Baumer’s ear. We looked closer. There was a gash inside his ear.

“Sorry about that, dude.” I say.

“Don’t worry about it, man.” Mike says.

“That won’t need stitches or anything, will it?”


Later, I get a pic text from a friend who got a text from Baumer’s mother:

Angie didn’t, as it may appear, bite off both of Baumer’s ears

12 stitches later, Baumer is back from the vet and high on pain-killers.

I talked to Mike later and we joked about how this incident actually worked out well for each of us –it got him out of a dreaded family portrait that afternoon and it gives me the green light, legally speaking, to put Angie down.

I wouldn’t put Angie down. I don’t think. But it does make me wonder about the laws surrounding home euthanasia. Dads of a different era would just take the sick or just unwanted family dog “out back”, right? Is that still kosher? Seems weird that you wouldn’t be allowed to fight your dog but you could strangle them to death with your hands (as I’ve dreamt of doing).

But what seems weirder still is the fact that my third child is due any day now and I’m writing in my stay-at-home dad blog about killing my dog. I may have to abandon the Top Ten. Maybe just little snippets. Like, maybe I could’ve written number nine up just as well as “Angie showed up on her own at my softball game, may or may not have caused a bicyclist to get hit by a car, and then bit my friend’s dog on the ear.” That’s actually funnier. If I hadn’t just spent an hour of my remaining precious free time before chaos descends on our household in the form of a grub-like baby boy, I’d just erase it and go with this.

So…baby names. My mother’s favorite topic: “Honey, call me back, I have the perfect name.” Two days later… “Honey, why haven’t you called me back? I said I have the perfect name.” The next day…”Oh, honey, I’m glad I got you…Gabriel, what do you think?”

“He’d be Gabe and that’s probably my least favorite name.”

“Oh phooey! I thought it was just perfect!”

Despite my mom’s ongoing efforts, we have no name. Kate likes Teddy. I like Joe. George likes Charlie. Louisa likes George The Bird. More than one friend has joked that we’re probably just going to name him Edward, I guess because it follows George and Louisa in a nice predictable kind of way. Of course now Kate and I are self-conscious about being too predictable. So now we take turns with the baby name book going, “how about 50 Cent?” or, “how about Polodnus? We could call him Plod for short?”

Speaking of names, I overheard a little snippet (I’m dealing strictly in snippets from now on after that longwinded crap story about Angie) of conversation between George and Louisa yesterday. They were looking though an animal picture book together.

Louisa: George, that’s an aboomahoom, did you know that? There are different kinds of monkeys and that’s an aboomahoom.)

George: (after some consideration) I don’t think that’s an aboomahoom.

Louisa is on a tear these days. I don’t know if she’s trying to get out her last bit of fun before becoming the middle child, or if this is just how she’s going to be from now on but it’s something to behold. Granted, every parent thinks his/her kid is just hilarious and wacky. So, to add some credibly to my assertion, I’ll say this: George is neither hilarious, nor wacky. We love him dearly but he’s neither of these things.

Here are few pics to try to give a sense of her lately:

Louisa (the blur) jumping from my bureau –her new favorite trick

She refuses to sit ON the toilet.

She disappears for stretches. This is where I’ve been finding her lately.


The next blog entry will probably (hopefully) be about the arrival of Edward Samuel Brashares (if we buckle under pressure) or George The Bird Brashares (if Louisa has her way, like she’s had for the last three months or so). Or maybe we’ll feel our oats and come out of the gates strong with Jacquizz Polodnus Brashares.


  1. Edward Samuel!!Thats my vote!!!

  2. Was there a third main character on “the Jeffersons” besides George and Weezy? You can’t break the pattern now.

    Actually you can if you go with “Merle” – that would be my pick.