Saturdays around our house are spent tying up loose ends: laundry, maybe some yard work, last minute grocery shopping. A phone call from a customer changed Tom's plans. He had spoken to his customer earlier in the week but had forgotten that he promised to meet her on Saturday morning. Damn. It would take two hours out of his morning because the customer lives in a small suburb outside of Little Rock.
Tom finally arrived back home about 11:30. I was in the office accomplishing nothing more than reading the news websites and logging in and out of Facebook responding to messages from family and friends.
As is his custom, Joe stood looking at Tom, tail fluttering rapidly, waiting for his god to acknowledge his presence and lift him to his rightful perch on Tom's lap. But once there, Joe began sniffing around Tom's body, up his arms then down to his hands, the stopped abruptly with his paws on Tom's chest, staring at his face.
"Yes, Joe. I've been unfaithful," Tom said. "I've been with another dog."
The customer owned a big, black, friendly lab that left his saliva and scent on Tom's hands, arms and legs in appreciation for the attention Tom bestowed on him.
Joe stood still staring at Tom's face for a long time, then turned around and climbed onto his lap, balancing on Tom's right thigh. Tom reached over and lifted Joe to the floor and got up from his desk chair and headed for the laundry room.
The usual laundry routine is simple. Tom goes through the den to the laundry room and Joe goes to the fireplace hearth in the den and waits for Tom to sit down in his chair next to the hearth, at which point Tom picks up Joe and places him on the chair next to him where Joe promptly goes to sleep.
Not this time.
"I think Joe did something he's not supposed to do," I heard Tom yell at me.
"Why?" I yelled back.
"Because he's acting weird," Tom replied.
I got up from my chair in the office and we both started wandering around the house looking at the floor for an "accident." Nothing.
Tom walked back into the den and Joe didn't follow. Tom called him. Joe walked in the opposite direction.
Completely out of character, Joe refused to go into the den. He wandered aimlessly around the house and finally sat hiding between the couch and coffee table in the living room. When I found him, I carried him into the kitchen and placed him in his bed thinking he would get bored without company and go into the den beside Tom to get comfortable. When I finished filling my water glass, I turned around and Joe was gone, so I looked in the den.
"Is Joe with you?"
I went back into the living room assuming he would be between the couch and coffee table. No Joe. I looked in the office. Nope. I looked in our bedroom. No sign of him... until I turned toward the bathroom where I could barely see him in the dark on the white rug. Very. Weird. Behavior.
Of course, by this time I am envisioning vet bills in multiple thousands because Joe has most likely ingested some sort of poison that our neighbors sprayed so carelessly in their yard which then seeped into our yard because of the rain this morning, so I start examining him for foaming at the mouth, blood from his anus, pale gums and signs of vomiting. Nothing. I put him back down on the floor and he just stood there.
"We need to watch him closely, Tom. He's acting way too weird."
I went back to the kitchen, grabbed my glass of water and went to the office to work on my food blog. As soon as I settled in my chair and took a sip of water, Tom yelled from our bedroom.
"He's under the bed!"
"Well, get him out from underneath the bed," which was accompanied by a silent eye roll.
"I can't! He's too little and keeps backing up!"
Exasperated, I got up from my chair and walked the few steps to the door of our bedroom. Tom was laying on his side on the floor on the opposite side of the bed and I looked over to my left as Joe walked out from underneath the other side of the bed.
I picked Joe up, tail wagging a little, but as Tom stood up and approached, it stopped.
"Did you inadvertently step on him or something?" I asked.
"Are you sure? He just doesn't want to come near you."
This is the dog that, beginning at 2:00 sharp every single work day, stands in the kitchen next to the table staring out toward the living room window until he catches a glimpse of Tom's work van pull into the driveway and proceeds to go berserk until he finally comes through the garage door into the laundry room.
I handed Joe to Tom and said, "Maybe you just need to take him into the den and sit him on the chair next to you and see what he does."
I followed them into the den.
Tom sat down and sat Joe down beside him in "his spot." But instead of laying down next to him, Joe climbed up on Tom's lap, then up his chest and started sniffing again, then commenced licking furiously, starting at the shoulder then working his way down Tom's arm.
As I write this, Joe is finally sound asleep in "his spot" next to Tom, so I guess Tom has finally been forgiven for his blatant infidelity. However, I will insist that Tom take a shower before he climbs into bed tonight.