Bark once if you snore

Photo by Vicki Harris

Photo by Vicki Harris

Our dog snores.

It is not a petite snore, one you would expect from an adorable little spaniel with curly blonde hair and big, brown eyes like a toddler. It's the deep, rattling snore of a trucker after a week-long cross country haul on just five hours sleep.

"How do you know what a trucker snore sounds like?" my husband once asked. Okay, so I don't. The only trucker I ever personally knew was my cousin's ex-wife, and I only met her a few times when I was a little girl and, quite honestly, I never heard her snore. I did, however, get to climb up in her truck and do one thing most all children dream about -- I got to honk the big trucker horn. Pure bliss.

"Okay, it's a man snore," I corrected myself. He started to argue, then decided against it, knowing full well that I have, indeed, on occasion borne audio witness to his own nighttime, ahem, melody.

"I wonder if those dogs snore?" I asked, pointing to the television screen, where dozens of big, little, fluffy, hairless, lumbering, tiptoeing, nipping, and stoic dogs made their way around the ring of the Westminster Dog Show. If there's one thing I find hard to pass up, it's a dog show.

"It's really just a beauty pageant for dogs," our daughter commented as we watched the Working Dog group show their stuff in front of the judges. I noted the handler's sensible shoes and suits, all with pockets to hold the tiny treats they gave the dogs. All except for one, who appeared to not have checked to make sure her suit had pockets. It looked as though she was pullling her treats out of her bra. Whatever works, I guess.

We paused to take a look at our own dogs -- the snoring, buff colored Cocker Spaniel and our big, lazy Bassett Hound. Baxter and Buddy. Fine specimens, if I do say so myself, exhibiting the perfect amount of dogginess. They could be in a dog show ... maybe ... on a good day ...

I've known a lot of great dogs in my day. Since I've been married we've had a black lab named Tipper -- my husband thought Tipper Gore was cute, a pound puppy named Barney, a yellow lab named Ranger -- he nipped my mother-in-law on the backside (let's not talk about it), and our beloved Buddy and Baxter. All worthy of a chance in the ring. After all, when all is said and done, the dogs in the Westminster Dog Show are just dogs, just like mine ... they eat and sleep and bark and pass gas and, yes, probably even snore. Okay, so there's a little more to it than that. I know.

But I can train our dogs. I just need the right treats. And the right shoes. And definitely the right bra. My favorite suit doesn't have pockets.

I've read about all that goes into raising and training show dogs. Most of them ride around the country in luxury buses, nicer than the average person's house, traveling from show to show. Our dogs will have to settle for smaller travel digs for a while. Unless, of course, I can somehow track down my cousin's ex-wife. We could throw some blankets in the back, some great snacks. Hey, she might even let me honk the big trucker horn.

Definitely pure bliss.

Contact columnist Mandy Flynn at flyn1862@bellsouth.net.