A Tale of Two Days

January 30, 2009

Recently, my wife got laid off from her job. To comfort her, Archie has been staying home a lot more and skipping out on coming to the office with me. This has led to a dichotomy in Archie’s little life.

His days at the office are full of structure. His days at home are completely random.

A typical Archie day at the office goes something like this:

  • 8:45 – 9:00am: Arrive at office, roll around on carpet scratching back, furiously chase ball up and down halls, greet (and sniff) arriving staff, drink some water, get a treat and settle down.
  • 11:00 – 11:15am: Quick tour of office to greet (and sniff) late-comers, find sunny spot in conference room, rest in sun for a bit and then back to work.
  • 1:00 – 1:30pm: Recess! Head outside to dog run in park for some off leash, butt-sniffing, ball chasing fun! Plus a daily attempt to try to drag me to Petco.
  • 3:00 – 3:15pm: Play time! Furiously chase ball up and down halls; tease staff with ball and try to lure them into chasing him, get another treat before napping (again).
  • 6:00pm: Quitting time. A good walk on the way home (weather permitting).

Naturally, there also unscheduled visits from staff members to pet him along with various attempts by him to tackle staff as they walk by.

At home, there is no typical day for Archie. One day it’s furniture shopping in Greenwich Village with the wife (Archie’s been testing out couches), the next day it’s an all day nap-a-thon at home. Some days it’s a free for all at the dog run near the house, other days it’s obedience training (and stick chewing) in the backyard. No rhyme, no reason, no structure. Just free and easy.

To wit, I came home the other day to find a strange sight. My wife had taken Archie shopping for the day which included a stop a new local pet store (naturally).

Archie was wearing a new Philadelphia Eagles football jersey (home white, number double zero). He looked good and not too grumpy about wearing it (which is saying a lot for him).

As I admired Archie in his new outfit, I noticed something else – he smelled. In fact, he reeked. And not in a stinky dog kind of way. Not in a “I just rolled in horse manure” kind of way. Not in a “I just ate my own vomit” kind of way either.

It was so strange a smell that it took me a minute to process it. In fact, it wasn’t the smell itself, but the fact that it was coming from Archie.

Archie smelled like he was heading out to a nightclub for the evening to pick up ladies. As my wife laughed, she told me that the pet store had a sample of a new dog cologne called (of course) Sexy Beast. She had lathered Archie up with the stuff and now, well, he stank. Bad. From a distance.

And then I realized that I was having a flash back to hanging around South Philadelphia in the 1980’s. Here was Archie wearing an Eagles jersey and doused in way, way too much cologne. Archie resembled, in fact, a guido. It was truly the last thing I could have imagined when I arrived home.

The cologne was so strong that after removing the jersey and petting him, the cologne actually came off on your hands. This called for an immediate intervention via some water and a towel.

So there you have it: a day of structure at the office versus a day of…well, I guess shopping and urban parody?

This is the dichotomy Archie now faces.