As evident in the adorable photos taken by my wife, Katniss got a bone for Christmas that is approximately the size of Andre the Giant’s femur—a rawhide bone about 2 feet in length, which seems ridiculously large. Hey, she said she wanted bones for Christmas, right? To put its size into perspective, her bone is as big as:
- the space guy friends often leave between one another when seating themselves at a movie theater, or the width of one standard theater seat;
- the approximate length Tennessee Titans wide receiver Kevin Dyson needed to cover to reach the goal line in the final play of Super Bowl XXXIV¹ in 2000; being tackled a mere 2 feet or so short of the end zone by St. Louis Rams linebacker MIKE JONES² preserved the Rams’ lead and won them the game in one of the more memorable plays in Super Bowl history;
- the radius, more or less, of the zone around oneself that many people might consider their personal space; get any closer to the average person than the length of Katniss’ bone, and you could make someone uncomfortable—Katniss, however, would love the attention; or
- the length of Katniss’ tail. OK, so her tail is 19 inches in length, just short of being 2 feet (24 inches) long, but still, that’s a long tail!
Speaking of invading personal space and Katniss craving attention, she lost her mind and forgot all her manners upon a special visit from her grandparents³ for Christmas, as my parents flew in from Ohio for Jesus’ birthday. To say Katniss was excited to see my mom and dad and was more annoying than Christmas music would be like saying people seem to like the new “Star Wars” movie—Katniss would not leave my parents alone and whined at night because she could not be in the guest room with them at the same time she slept in the bedroom my wife and I share.
While my parents were visiting, Katniss was constantly jumping on them for attention, an annoying habit we have tried to break her of; licking my dad’s scalp as he sat on the couch; licking my mom’s hands as she tried to watch TV; and trying to lay on the couch whenever my dad, wife or I sat on it to maximize the attention she could get. It was these moments that made me realize yet again just how clingy and spoiled our dog is. Oh well.
Once the elation of new guests in her house wore off, however, Katniss was actually calm enough to let my parents pet her and (mostly) stopped jumping on them, which is fortunate—the 42-pound Katniss rarely knows her own strength and nearly knocked my mom down the stairs out of excitement.
I did, however, manage to pull a fast one on young Katniss.
My parents were stuck here in Austin at the airport, as all flights in and out of Dallas—my parents’ stop before going on to Dayton—were halted because of bad weather. After waiting at the airport all day and having several flights canceled, my mom and dad found out they would have to spend the night in the airport, as the flights diverted from Dallas to Austin had hundreds, maybe even thousands, of passengers who were given priority for hotel rooms. An airline employee told my dad the situation was the worst he had seen in 25 years.
I picked my parents up and brought them back to our house to sleep for a few hours, and we were so quiet upon arriving that Katniss—who was by then exhausted and barely awake—didn’t even notice my parents had returned and therefore did not again go into hysterics over my mom and dad coming back for the night. She didn’t notice that we left early the next morning to go back to the airport, either!
And speaking of Katniss being exhausted, she has been sleeping less with us in our bed lately and more on her brand-new sleeping pad that my wife’s parents bought Katniss for Christmas. She still starts and ends the night wedged between my wife and I to elicit maximum attention from her mom and dad, but Katniss now spends a majority of the night in her own bed, which has been a godsend. Her former bed was an old pillow that in hindsight was too small for her. I don’t think my in-laws could have picked a better gift—for me or for Katniss.
Except for perhaps a 2-foot-long bone.
¹For all of you Latin-deficient readers, in Roman numerals XXXIV equals 34. And while we’re on the subject of football, Katniss loves to play the “Madden” football series of video games on XBOX Live against other players. Her screen name is HugThug2014 if you ever want to play her.
²Mike Jones is a fairly common name, so whenever I hear it I think of the rapper by the same name. The Houston-based rapper had a hit song—“Back Then”—about 10 years ago, and part of the song features him just shouting his name (MIKE JONES!) and giving out his cell phone number. It’s 281-330-8004 if you want to call him. I think his music has not-so-nice lyrics, so you’ve been warned.
³I’m not sure how my parents feel about being referred to as “grandparents” of a dog. I guess I’ll find out.