The sound of a few Weiners howling in anguish because you are leaving them—AGAIN!—is heart wrenching. As intended. I know Mercedes starts the chorus because I can hear her piercing ” ARFARF!!” the two seconds after the door closes on their beseeching, disbelieving little faces, rather like an orchestra leader tapping his baton to get everyone’s attention. Then Izzy, not to be outdone, begins to utter the short barks that linger a little in the air preparatory to a sliding scale howl. I’m usually halfway to the car at this point, beginning to run, actually, since I really can’t stand to hear any more.
However, one time I left my keys outside on the table next to the front door. Quickly turning around, I sneaked a peek into the window, and this is what I saw: six Weiners sitting in a crude circle, looking and sounding for all the world like an orchestra tuning up as they leaned into each other, adjusting pitch, and keeping an eye on Izzy who apparently was conducting from the couch. Except for Fritz, who was doing his Ray Charles impersonation, they all seemed to be more concerned with impressing each other with their tone and range than expressing the tragedy of my exit seconds earlier. Phoebe, still a puppy, kept trying out different pitches, giving Izzy sidelong glances as if for approval, while Franny would occasionally bring in the flute section with a glass shattering high pitched Weinerwhine/ howl that made my hair stand up. I think she knew I was at the window.
Needless to say, I was a little surprised. All the times I had left to do errands or go to work, their piteous cries following me out the door and bending me with guilt, and here the little buggers had just been enjoying the hell out of themselves. Furthermore, they stopped all at once about 3 minutes after I had left, which paid the lie to the idea they were pissing and moaning the whole time I was gone. (OK, that was a poor choice of words. They don’t need to get any ideas.)
Franny is looking at me as I write this with one arched brow, her way of saying, “Really? What a weenie”. Not to be confused with Weiner, obviously. Since she has my attention, she decides to activate the Weiner Mind Meld, making her eyes as big as possible and staring directly into mine, sending HBIC* over the mental airways. I try not to laugh. But I do, so she bounces off the couch and onto the floor, does a quick spin and bounces back onto the couch to execute a rapid fire tatoo on my chest, making me appreciate once again my foresight in falling in love with 8 pound Dachshunds and not 80 pound Labrador Retrievers.
Franny deploys the WMM when she wants me to do something for her, like get her Franny Food (the much coveted canned version), let her out, take her upstairs to wallow in our bed, or give her a cookie. Or, my personal favorite, just to see me jump. I like to think that when I leave and she joins in the community sing- a- long with what can only be described as a scream, it’s because I’ve slipped beyond the power of her gaze. Actually, I know they all have their reasons: Mercedes starts it because she is truly upset; Izzy because he finally gets to lead in something; Fritz because Izzy is leading; Phoebe because she thinks it’s a party. After that they just get into for its own sake. Come to think of it, Mokie is the only one I’ve never actually seen join in. One gets the sense that Mokie just doesn’t give a rats ass what the others are doing. Mokie has her own agenda,which mainly involves food and status, and trots along to the beat of her own little drum.
* Head Bitch In Charge