I have several, I guess what most people would refer to as "friends," who (for reasons unbeknownst to me) are fans of the Green Bay Packers. Sometimes life is a mystery.
I however, am not one of these people. I'm a fan of the Chicago Bears, or what I like to refer to as, a "normal" person. I tend to find that most of my Packer-backing acquaintances to be rather loud and boisterous. They also seem to be a little on the slow or dim-witted side. Their personal hygiene is also usually lacking to the point where they have odor issues. The nice guy that I am, I usually don't like to point it out unless, of course, I happen to be writing a newspaper column.
The guy that I work with happens to be one of those stinky people. He has all of the Green Bay paraphernalia - shirts, sweatshirts, hats, coffee mugs, wall banners, etc. .... All of these items have a stench to them that he is apparently immune to.
He has gone to the extreme where he has named his dog Lambeau. For those of you who are not knowledgable about horrible places, Lambeau Field is where the dreaded Packers play. according to Wikipedia, the stadium was named after the legendary co-founder of the team, Curly Lambeau. I personally believe that Curly only got into football after a serious spat with his vaudevillian partners Moe and Larry. I've never been there, but from what I understand, it smells bad also.
Lambeau is the dog that resides out at our workshop. Let me describe him to you. He's a large-sized Yellow Lab that at one time I would have described as the meanest canine that has ever walked the face of the earth. In fact, the first time that I met him, he growled and viciously barked at me causing me to experience immediate weight loss, mostly in bodily fluids.
He would do this every time that I saw him. I used to think that he treated me this way because he could sense that I was a Bears fan. I figured that his smelly, dim-witted owner had trained him to act this way towards me. Part of me still thinks that.
It didn't take long to realize that if I was going to be at the shop on a daily basis, I was going to have to figure out how to coexist with this hellhound. For the first week, it was the same thing every morning. He'd bark at me and then pace around and growl. I would stupidly say "Who's a good boy?" while trying not experience anymore immediate weight loss. Somedays, I was successful.
As time went by, the barking and growling became less intense and he even started to let me pet him a little. He let me fill up his food bowl and let me take him outside to go pee and all the other stuff dogs do when they go outside.
I have come to the realization that Lambeau isn't necessarily a mean dog. He's just a little grumpy. And I figured out why. It's because of his name. That's gotta be the reason. I'd be upset too.
Don't tell my business partner this, but I call him by a different name when he's not around. It's a name that has literally soothed the savage beast. Ever since I started doing that, the dog has mellowed out quite a bit. He seems much more at ease with the world as he lays around the shop licking himself. I think that I might have missed my calling as an animal psychologist.
This once frightening beast now allows me to roughhouse with him, scratch behind his big yellow ears and he eats whatever I don't want from my lunch. He still won't give me his red rubber chew toy without a battle to the death but I am confident that day will eventually come.
While I'm sitting here at the workshop writing this, my new four-legged buddy is standing beside me, panting with his slobbery tongue hanging out, looking at me with those big bloodshot, brown eyes. He's just a big old lug of a mutt and I'm sure that I'll have all sorts of stories about him as time goes on.
But for now, you'll have to excuse me. Soldier Field has to go outside and tinkle.
You can contact Wallace at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow him on his blog at http://gregwallaceink.blogspot.com.
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