The Things I Have Learned
Hamlet (Almost an) Anglin
They say you are never too old to learn. I am here to tell you that you can teach an old dog new tricks. This old dog has learned a lot of new tricks even though I have only been here for a short time.
It took a while, but I learned when the mommy, mommy says “Hamlet” she is talking to me. She is also talking to me when she says anything with “Ham” in it. Hambone, Ham hock, Hammerhead, Hammie, Hamster, ….. Still, I think my name is “No, Ham, No”. She says that one the most.
I learned that there is a room here that has a huge water bowl and a whole wall of mirror that opens to another room full of people clothes. I like that room. The water bowl is always full of cool water. If you push the shiny silver handle, it gives you fresh new water real fast. It must be an important water bowl because every time I try to drink there, the mommy mommy yells “No, Ham, no” and thumps me on my nose. Sometimes, she sits on it so I cannot get my head in there. I keep going back anyway because I like the cool water and looking in the mirror. I am a very handsome fella, you know. I like to put my nose right up on the image of my own nose to get as close a look as possible. When I get caught, the mommy mommy says “No, Ham, no” and thumps my nose.
I learned real quick never to bark at the short, gray fuzzy critter called the cat. She can and will whoop your ass. While she is whooping you into humiliation, the mommy mommy is yelling “No, Ham, no” and thumping the end of my nose. The cat can do anything it wants from now on. I am not saying a word. I won’t even tell if she is up on the counter, which is another place where you get told, “No, Ham, no” and your nose thumped. And, the mommy, mommy has the audacity to call this mean creature, Grace!? I would have named her Hell Cat or maybe Gray Devil, but never Grace.
I learned that we have a very funny looking critter here that does not walk. Somehow, it moves around up in the air. When it sits down on a chair, keep you nose to yourself. This critter absolutely does not like being smelled on any end. Its nose is real hard, pointy and sharp. It will poke you with that hard nose and scream. Again, the mommy mommy will yell “No, Ham, no” and thump my nose. That funny looking critter can do anything it wants and I will head the other way. I just wish it would shut up. The mommy mommy says the critter is singing, but I am here to tell you, that thing will never win Pet Stars. Noise, pure and simple, noise is all that comes out of that thing; loud, shrill noise. Sometimes, it even laughs at you and there is nothing you can do about it.
The mommy mommy claims she is my “sister”. I don’t know how something that funny looking could be my “sister”. She looks nothing like me. I am a beautiful, sleek, shiny Black boy. The mommy mommy says I have big old seal eyes. I don’t know what a seal is, but the way she says it, it must be good. That funny looking “sister” is all kinds of colors – red, blue, green, white. She looks like a flag. Her name is Tillybird and she will try to trick you. Sometimes, she barks at me and I think she wants to play. She sounds like Ruthie when Ruthie wants to play. But that funny looking “sister” just wants to peck my head while the mommy mommy says “No, Ham, no” and thumps my nose.
I learned to never again hump Ruthie. She will bite you and the mommy mommy yells “No, Ham, no” and thumps my nose. Don’t they understand it is a guy thing? We have to act like we are studly with a capitol “S” even if our studliness has dropped out of existence. My studliness may have dropped out of existence, but the leftovers droop to my knees. I keep rolling over onto them. Sometimes, they get in my way when I run. Once, the mommy mommy even stepped on my studliness.
I have learned that “go schoo schoo” means to get out of the way and leave the mommy mommy alone. She loves puppy kisses, but when she has had enough, she means “go schoo schoo”. If you don’t go schoo schoo, the mommy mommy hides her hands and puts her face so far up in the air that I cannot reach it to give her more puppy kisses. I cannot nudge her hands out of hiding either. She locks up like a deadbolt. After a while, it is no fun any more so I go schoo schoo. I dislike “go schoo schoo” the most.
If I go and stand in front of the back door, I get to go outside. I can even play “let dog in – let dog out” all I want. But if I stand in front of the front door, I am told to go schoo schoo. This only makes me want out the front door even more. I think she is hiding something out there she does not want me to see. I am working on how to get passed her to see what she is hiding out there.
There is this thing called “two hands, no waiting”. This means she can pet me and Ruthie at the same time. I do not like “two hands, no waiting”. I want the mommy mommy all to myself. I do not want Ruthie to get any of my pets and hugs. She is easy to push out of the way, too. Well, she was. Then she learned how to climb over me and stand on the mommy mommy’s lap to get petted, too. Still, Ruthie is easy to push around for the most part, just don’t try to hump her. I all ready warned you about that one. If I do not do “two hands, no waiting” and push the others out of the way, the mommy mommy says “No, Ham, no” and I get my nose thumped. She even makes me do “two hands, no waiting” with the cat.
I learned Ruthie may be a girl, but she is faster than me. She runs and runs. If she gets to going really fast, she can knock me down. Then she has to jump on me at least once. I think she may be doing it on purpose. Now, I try to hide behind the mommy mommy when she gets to going fast. Once, she knocked me and the mommy mommy down at the same time. I was scared, but the mommy mommy thought it was funny. At least she did not say “No, Ham, no” and thump my nose
I learned there is this big plastic holder for nifty smelly things called a trash can. Don’t get caught with your nose in there. And, never, ever knock it over so that all the nifty smelly things fall out. The mommy mommy will yell loud, “No, Ham, no”, thump my nose and mumble all kinds of words I don’t even want to know what mean.
I learned how to get to get Ruthie to knock over the trash can so we could mess with the nifty smelly things. Then, the mommy mommy got one with a top on it so nothing falls out. That mommy mommy sure knows how to take the fun out of things.
I learned where the treaties are kept. Getting caught in there is worse than knocking over the trash can. You have to be real quiet if you want to get all the treats. Ruthie is better at that than me. After we got caught a couple of times, had our noses thumped and heard those strange mumble words, the mommy mommy got a plastic holder with a lid that locks AND sits big heavy things on top of it. Like I said, the mommy mommy sure knows how to take the fun out of things.
I learned that no matter what I do to get my nose thumped, I still get to sleep in the house, play with all the toys, eat as much as I want, drag around my blankie, have treaties, play with Ruthie, and get brushed and petted. I still get lots of hugs. The mommy mommy even sings me my own song – Hambone, Hambone, my Hammie bone, Hambone, Hambone, my Hammie bone, Hambone, Hambone, my Hammie bone, now hear the word of the Lord! Now, that is fun.
And, I finally learned what is out the front door. The car! With that, I get to learn a whole bunch of other stuff. So far all I have learned is “No, Ham, no” and get my nose thumped.
*Thank you to Matti for sending us Hamlet’s thoughts.