Sea Side Stories

By Dave

Goober The Porschephile

Today, for some obscure reason, Goober decided to chase cars again. I taught him years ago that chasing cars resulted in severe headaches, tired legs, and nausea, but sometimes he forgets. So, I had to remind him again.

I did this in the typical way dog owners remind dogs of anything. I strung together words into concepts into theories into…what Goober, like all dogs, heard as a string of nonsense sounds into more nonsense sounds into still more nonsense sounds. Of course, like all dog owners, I added the visuals, which consisted of arms and hand gestures and body language…what Goober, like all dogs, saw as a bunch of strange gyrations and motions that meant nothing, other than ‘that that guy who feeds me is having a seizure again.’ And Goober totally ignored all the nonsense sounds and strange gyrations, like all dogs do. Maybe I’m being too broad in my assessment of ‘all dogs.’ Maybe there are dogs somewhere that actually at least somewhat understand what these sounds and gyrations mean, but Goober is clearly not in that canine cohort.

And then there are the dog owners who employ various technological methods of training their dogs. These range from those largely ineffective electronic collars that send a gentle, humane (dogmane?) buzz to the dog who, naturally, does silly things like spin around and around, trying to locate the source of the annoying and completely useless buzz; paw futilely at his neck in a completely useless (futile and useless..? Hmmm…) attempt to rid himself of aforementioned buzz; repeatedly roll around on the ground, attempting to crush whatever it is that’s attached itself to his neck; or flop on the ground in complete submission. None of these results are really solutions, since the dog won’t be annoyed enough to actually learn anything from the dinky little buzz…but then there are the more effective tech collars that send real, live, shocks to the dog and actually work. Nobody here uses these devices, because we don’t believe in causing psycho-emotional harm to our pups. Which we’ve convinced ourselves these devices do. An opinion that has never been backed up by real research (not the wiki ‘research,’ which is about as real as your average urban legend). On the other hand, there is the school of thought that these devices cause no damage at all, that they actually train the dog to mind—which has the added benefit of keeping them off the coast highway and those lumbering motor homes that consider wildlife nothing more than a minor speedbump. One of us, who shall remain nameless, tried a shock collar on his dog once, and all that happened was a festival of goofiness, as the dog thrashed around like a little furry dope, and the owner thrashed around like a bigger, less furry dope, while laughing hard enough to spill his glass of Bailey’s (the owner’s glass of Bailey’s, not the dog’s…the dog had had his glass earlier, which might have augmented the thrashing around).

Oh, yes, and then there are those electronic boundary fences, where the dog’s collar alerts the invisible barrier that the dog is approaching and sends a mild shock back to the collar, which, in theory, prevents the dog from crossing said barrier. One local dog, who shall remain nameless, figured out that if he ignored the mildly annoying shock long enough, he could execute an athletic leap over the barrier and run like mad far enough away that the signal couldn’t reach him. He (the dog, not the barrier) would then prance proudly down the coast highway to town, where he would flop down and go to sleep on the sidewalk. Hours later, the owner (who shall remain nameless) would wonder where his dog went and would eventually find him and bring him home. This would be followed by a thorough dismantling of the expensive and completely useless device (the barrier and collar, not the dog).

Therefore, since nothing seemed to work on this nameless dog…

Goober reminded himself. He had chased a Volkswagen Beetle, a Honda Civic, and a Harley FLCWhateverGlide (they do love their letters in Milwaukee), and had his sights set on a little black Porsche 930 turbo rasping its way up from the south. Brief aside here: like some dogs and people (the latter of which seem to enjoy dropping hundreds of dollars on a simple oil change and tens of thousands on four tires), Goober has an affinity for high-end German engineering. He’s been known to watch, rather dispassionately, perhaps dismissively, Toyotas, Mazdas, Lexuses (Lexi?), Range Rovers, and even the odd Lamborghini, zip by, but as if by some sort of canine ESP, when any model of Porsche approaches, Goober sounds the red alert, assumes a full upright and locked position at the side of the road, and readies for der Kampf. On the other hand, sometimes his doggie ESP fails, and he’ll chase anything, including bicycles, big wheels, motorcycles, and pogo sticks.

Goober likes to charge up to the slow-moving vehicles and nip at their tires and, like most cars passing here, this Porsche had braked and was creeping along pretty slowly through town. So ol’ Goober lets out his signature Porsche-chasing growl, takes this great big run at the 930t, does one of the prettiest shortstop-into-the-hole leaps I’ve ever seen, opens up real wide, and prepares to engulf the left rear. Just then, the driver of the car, who hasn’t even seen Goober, decides now that he’s reached the town limits he’s going to play grand prix racer, and accelerates away. Now, if this had been a Volkswagen, a Honda, or a Harley—especially a Harley (since they accelerate at roughly the speed of a receding glacier)—Goober would have at least gotten a piece of it. But this being a turbo Porsche, it was up to about a hundred and thirty by the time Goober sailed across the road in his power dive and smacked into the winding road sign.

Yes, I know he’s my dog, but I had to laugh, anyway.

Up Next:
Samuel The Hamster Man


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