Award-winning writer: Jackie Papandrew

Airing My Dirty Laundry!

The Dragon Lady

There’s a sad segregation in my neighborhood, an intractable chasm between the people who like big dogs and the people who like little dogs. Like oil and water, these two just don’t mix. The small-dog crowd, owners of canine bits of fluff that would fit nicely in the purse of a celebrity, look askance at the large, slobbery cretins who share their streets. The big-dog bunch sees their neighbors’ diminutive darlings as annoying, slightly oversized rodents. Wars have been waged over lesser matters.

By virtue of the fact that we own a Labrador mix – and despite clear evidence that our dog’s brain is no bigger than a flea – my family finds itself firmly on the jumbo side of the doggie divide. Our dog, Ebony, seems to have made it her mission in life to terrorize our subdivision’s pint-sized pups. She sits by the front door, waiting for someone to leave it ajar. Then she’ll bolt out and, upon spotting a mini fido, she’ll unleash a fearsome barrage of barking. When the alarmed owner rushes to pick up the puny pooch, and both master and mutt are quivering with fear and indignation, Ebony will stroll back to the house with obvious satisfaction. If, however, her intended prey actually growls in return, my all-bark-and-no-bite hound will collapse in submission like a cowardly house of cards. All of the small-dog owners hate her.

One of Ebony’s fiercest foes is a woman I affectionately call The Dragon Lady. This is the neighbor who will point out that your lawn needs mowing, your porch needs sweeping and your children need spanking. And she frequently suggests that Ebony, who takes special delight in worrying The Dragon Lady’s wiener dog, needs intense treatment that would permanently take her to another city far, far away.

When my cranky neighbor walks her equally cranky dog daily in front of my house, she encases the creature in a blue harness that makes it just look like a walking sausage. The other day, The Dragon Lady and her sausage went by at the exact time that one of my children left the door open for a moment. Naturally, Ebony shot through it like a bat out of a hot place and raced toward the wiener, barking up a storm, with my children chasing her. I was bringing up the rear.

Instead of picking up her dog, my neighbor frantically hoisted him aloft in his harness and began to twirl him around and around, yelling at my children to get control of Ebony. Our dog, meanwhile, was in hog heaven, running circles around her nemesis, barking and jumping joyfully up at what looked like a flying can of Spam with legs.

My kids finally calmed down our unruly tail-wagger, and the woeful-looking wiener was returned to terra firma. The kids and I burst out laughing at the whole silly spectacle until I caught sight of the sweating, furious face of the poor Dragon Lady. I apologized profusely and inquired after the welfare of both the woman and the wiener. She didn’t give me an answer, just stalked silently away. They haven’t walked by our house since then.

~  © Jackie Papandrew 2007 ~

Jackie Papandrew is an award-winning writer, syndicated humor columnist, coffee addict and mom to a motley crew of children and pets who provide a steady stream of column ideas and dirt. She's also wife to a very patient man who had no idea, years ago when he still had time to escape, what he was getting himself into. Visit her website at:  JackiePapandrew.com

[ by Jackie Papandrew Copyright © 2007, (me@jackiepapandrew.com) -- submitted by: Jackie Papandrew ]


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