Let me explain that title.
I have a dog. This is what he looks like:
Let me say, for clarity’s sake, that this is a picture of his face.
Yogi is an awesome dog. And by “awesome” I mean “painfully obnoxious but we love him anyway.” Part of his awesomeness is that he eats anything. He ate an apple once. My wife was in the process of eating it when he decided it was his. He cleans out diapers (used). Kitty candy is a favorite. More of his awesomeness comes from his barking, which is a loud, braying, howl, something like a mix of an angry were-wolf and a terrified howler monkey. It’s jarring. He unleashes it at jingling sounds, mopeds, roller skates, children. In short, Yogi is a loud eating machine. If an engineer were instructed to build a contraption that eats, makes vociferous noises, exhibits questionable shedding habits (who sheds in winter?), poops and hates to go outside, the best thing that engineer could do would be to study Yogi.
Yogi also hates thunderstorms. They terrify him, and rightly so, because they are, as the Hulk might say, big booms from sky, and Yogi cannot understand them. We’ve had several thunderstorms roll over our house recently, in the early evening while I’m giving our son (A.P.) his bath, and by the time the tub is draining Yogi is plastered to my side, shedding on me. It has happened so often that my son (at 2 and 1/2 years old) states with calm detachment, “Yogi’s scared of the thunder. Don’t worry Yogi. You’ll be okay.” He says this while dripping on Yogi. Yogi spasms in response.
The other night we were at the draining moment, Yogi was throwing great wads of hair at me with his shaking, and my son was trying to calm him with a stream of comments like “Yogi’s shedding. He’s shedding on daddy.” I helped A.P. step over the dog, teeth were brushed, and then into the bedroom for pajamas. Behind me I heard a scraping sound. Yogi was pulling himself under A.P.’s bed, which is a toddler bed and so it’s rather low, but under it he got. Well done, Yogi.
Some stories were told, and then a song was sung. A.P. went to sleep, and so did I. Part of the grand tradition is that I usually fall asleep while telling A.P. his stories. It’s a Pavlovian response. If I even hear the word “Goldilocks” I get weak. It’s like a Manchurian Candidate thing. Once A.P. woke me up to get me to leave. “Okay, daddy, go downstairs.” I’m not joking. This night some thunder woke me and I stumbled downstairs. Before going I whisper-called Yogi, but to no avail. I figured “If he feels safe under A.P.’s bed, fine.”
Three hours later I asked my wife if she’d seen Yogi. No. I shook some dog food. I did this not just because it’s fun but because Yogi will run from miles away at the sound of food. He can be ten feet away and ignore your pleas to “Get off the dinner table” but shake some kibble in Philly and he’s heading to the nearest Greyhound out of NYC. So, I’m in the kitchen, shaking nuggets. No Yogi. I move the stairs. Still no Yogi. I go upstairs, into A.P.’s room. That’s when I realize that the dog is stuck under A.P.’s bed. I had to lift the bed, while A.P. slept, and my wife had to encourage Yogi to get out. He was a little thirsty, confused that there was no kibble in his bowl, and had to pee.
What amazed me about this was Yogi’s lack of barking. This is a dog that will bark at a shadow under a table because he’s not sure he’s seen it before. If he’s on the wrong side of a door he lets you know. He has ruined (don’t tell my landlord) two doors in our apartment scratching at them to change his location. But when he was under A.P. he just lay there and waited. Was it the storm? I don’t think so. The storm was long gone. I think it was A.P. Yogi understood that he needed to be quiet in that spot, under a sleeping A.P. I believe I stumbled upon a “sleeping toddler” rule: When trapped under a sleeping toddler obnoxious mammals will remain silent. This got me to thinking: how else can we apply the “sleeping toddler” to make for quieter world?
The answer is obvious: Baby kennels*. Every kennel should be constructed with a layer of sleeping toddlers above the crated animals. In this way everyone will get the rest they deserve.
*This might also work with frat houses, OTBs, Hooters, or the UN. Testing would, of course, be necessary.
Let me explain that title.