Although I’d like to believe myself a modern Joan of Arc, enlightened, independent woman, I too fall privy to the stereotypical behavior of my gender. Rather than swoon over the soft and catering gentleman, I gravitate to the indifferent but attractive bad boy. Thus, explains my deep affection for one said bichon/shih tzu by the name of Murphy. Murphy, or the land lord as I’ve dubbed him, spends every Friday and various extended vacations and holidays throughout the year, supervising the shop. However, this is all under the guise of a weekly bath and tidy up. This bug-eyed bichon with shih tzu-like coloring and snout, is 12lbs of business and dictates a full demanding schedule during his stay.
It starts with a blood curdling screech wailed from the parking lot. The plaza tenants and patrons all turn to witness this horrid noise coming from a ball of fluff, certain foul play must be a foot. Instead, they see Murphy failing and kicking like a petulant child, trying to free himself from his mother’s protective grip. Inevitably she relents, and in whizzes the land lord through the shop door and gate to greet his adorning public. Graciously he dances around each groomer, although no kisses or touching is permitted at this moment, he assures us that as his schedules dictates such will be required later.
In order to start the morning off right, Murphy requires a sacrifice in tribute. Whining and growling at the baskets that house the ample supply of community toys, he commands I take one out and place it in front of him for his enjoyment. Once I’ve placed the tribute on the floor and it has met his approval, the killing must start. He viciously clamps onto the toy and flails his head. Growls and demonic noises issue from his fluffy little face. Periodically, he’ll throw the toy down in disgust, only to start the violent ritual again. If the toy should become dull or not satisfy he needs, he simply returns to the basket and growls that his public, I, shall procure a new one.
Murphy does not enjoy the company of those he deems lesser beings. Mainly this is puppies and children. While not willing to risk his own well being by applying force, he chooses to take up refuge under the table and growl/ snarl in the direction of the offending party. If one of these unworthy creatures continues toward him, then once again demands are made of his public with a hurried growl and a leap into their adoring arms. All other beings, while not openly offensive are tolerated at most.
Eventually, the dreaded bath calls, forcing Murphy to play the reluctant martyr. Our bather first has to corner/ catch him (Murphy does not do kennels, as he’s decided to protest by drooling and digging to the point of self harm and/or annoyance). Once secured, he flails and kicks attempting to be freed from his captor. However this is not his mother and escape is futile. Thoroughly perturbed, he allows himself to be bathed and fluffed, without once making eye contact or facing his captor. He is truly indigent of the treatment and will make sure to rebuff the guilty party the rest of the day.
Now three times his original size thanks to his fluffing, his focus turns to lunch. An assessment is made of what each member of his public has brought. Pizza from a neighboring tenant of his empire is a favorite. Once nourishment is selected, the greedy groomer must be made to share. Never one to rest on his laurels, Murphy proceeds to growl and paw until a scrap falls before him. If that mannerly tactic is ignored, then the ante must be upped and he jumps into their lap whilst they dine. The Murphy shall not be ignored.
While waiting for his servant/mother to arrive, yet another need must be met. After my day of grooming and cleaning, Murphy growls around my tired feet as I sit perched on my table. Of course, unable to resist I pick him up. He then proceeds to lie prone on my outstretched legs and stomach, belly up, legs spread. It is massage, tummy rubbing and affection time. Although, no outwardly displays are made in return, he closes his little eyes and begins to drift off in approval. I can’t help but smirk at the stressful schedule he must keep in order to manage his empire. Then of course, he jolts awake from his angelic slumber to fuss at his mother for her delay in fetching him. Grunts and growls issued, he dances out to his motorized chariot, and peers out over the dashboard to bid adieu till his next week inspection. A friendly reminder of who is really in charge.