February 15, 2004
The Rake Is In League With The Vacuum and the Broomstick 
Yeah, I know that gleaning life lessons from observing your dog is probably dangerous behavior, but nonetheless...

I have to wonder how much the psychological baggage we carry into our adult life had its origin in seemingly harmless circumstance. When our dog was 8 weeks old, a kitchen broomstick slipped from its position against the countertop and thwacked her on the head. Now a robust 13 weeks (and growing), she has emerged unscathed . . . physically, that is. However, observation shows that the falling broom toppled a series of dominoes that are still cascading within this canine's cranium.

Any attempt to sweep the house in her presence is now met with hair-raising (hers, not ours) barks, and a frenzy of defensive posturing. In her braver moments, she will lunge bravely toward the business end of the broom, and attempt to chomp off a mouthfull of bristles. Apparently, in her mind, the garden rake is most likely engaged in an unholy alliance with the broomstick. I assume so, from her behavior, which alternates between rake handle gnawing and territorial pacing while I attempt to do some backyard landscaping. And of course, the whisk broom and the dust pan would have you believe that they are innocent bystanders, but the dog knows better. And don't get her started with the vacuum. They're all in on it. She wouldn't be so paranoid if not for the fact that they are all against her.

So, the next time you suddenly feel an aversion or fear of someone or something that you simply can't put into words, consider . . . it may have started with the broomstick.

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February 15, 2004
The Rake Is In League With The Vacuum and the Broomstick by James



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