I have spent many hours mourning the loss of Norm this week. In between the random and uncontrolled bursts of tears, I found myself day dreaming about all the various dogs that have touched my life. Norm still ranks number one on my list but I thought this story about Sport, the first yellow lab I ever met, was fitting for my weekly post.
The year was 1990 and my high school friend Shannon was turning 15. We did what we always did back then when there was a birthday. About 5 or 6 of us would get together and have a slumber party. We would order pizza and stay up late talking and giggling about boys. During this particular party we met Shannon’s family dog, Sport. Sport was a handsome dog. A yellow lab with a golden color. He was solid, weighing around 100 lbs. I honestly have no idea how old he was at the time but if I had to guess, I would say maybe 3 or 4 years old. He had puppy-like energy. He greeted every car as it pulled into the driveway and frolicked in the woods until it was time to have pizza.
We all gathered in the kitchen and ate our dinner. “Pizza! Pizza! Pizza!” we all chanted. As a teenager, there was nothing better in life than eating pizza on a friday night. Sport did what all labs seem to do…he waited patiently under our feet for any scraps that we would like to donate in his honor. One by one, as the girls finished eating their pizza they would throw their crust to Sport and then gather outside in the front yard. The last 2 at the dinner table were myself and my very best friend, Molly. We were friends since the age of 6 and we did everything together. Molly was a peanut. Don’t quote me on this but I am going to guess that she weighed somewhere in the neighborhood of 90 lbs and was less than 5 feet tall (although she will insist on 5-1…liar!). She had light brown hair, blue eyes and lots of freckles. Her freckles were her trademark. She was always happy and had a contagious laugh. I patiently waited for her to finish eating so we could walk outside together. Everything seemed to be going fine until Sport stared at Molly the way a dirty old man stares at a teenager wearing a bikini at a car wash. I nudged Molly and pointed at Sport. “You better give him that last bit of pizza. I think he wants it.” Molly looked at Sport and got a little nervous. “Oh my god. He is frothing at the mouth. Where is Shannon? Tell her to call Sport.” “She is outside. He wants the pizza. Just give him the pizza.” Molly didn’t think twice about it and quickly threw it in his direction. He caught it mid-air but continued to stare at Molly. “I don’t have any more buddy. It’s all gone.” she informed him. We closed the empty pizza box and headed outside to join the rest of the party. Sport followed close behind.[insert my evil laugh here]
We broke up into small groups the way teenagers do and I sat on the front stoop with Molly. We shared notes that we wrote during class and giggled but it wasn’t long before the sun began to set. We basically all decided simultaneously to bring the party inside before the bugs ate us alive. Just then an idea came to Molly, “Wait! We need music. Should I get my CD book out of my car before it gets too dark?” “Definitely.” we answered. Music was a huge part of our lives and how could we have a slumber party without it?
She trotted towards her car to grab her music and around the same time we heard a rustling in the woods. Branches were snapping. “What the heck is that?” I asked Shannon. It was almost pitch black outside and we couldn’t see a thing. The woods were very dark. Then out of nowhere….without any warning at all….a big yellow blur came bolting out of the woods like super dog. “Spoooort!” We all chanted. We were just happy it was a familiar face making all that racket in the woods. He did some laps around our group as if he was excited and encouraging us to play and then he zeroed in on Molly. Again, he gave her “the look.” She was minding her own business, gathering her CD’s that were laying on her floorboard and had no clue that a 100lb dog was charging towards her at full speed. Shannon cupped her hands over her mouth and tried to slow him down “Sport! Come here boy!” he didn’t even glance her way. He was focused on the prize. I yelled to give Molly some warning, “Molly!!!! Watch out!” Molly was busy organizing her CD book when she caught a glimpse of Sport over her left shoulder. I will never forget the look in her eyes. Sheer terror. She squealed and then put her hands up to encourage him to stop or at least slow down so he wouldn’t completely knock her over. We weren’t sure what he wanted. Did he think she had food? Was he going to jump on her? He didn’t seem like he would bite… but we weren’t positive? The only thing we knew for sure is that he was on a mission. Within a few seconds, he was an inch away from Molly. She turned her back towards him so he wouldn’t knock her over.
This is when Sport slammed on brakes and did the unthinkable!!!!!!!!!! He climbed up on her back , wrapped his front paws around her waist and rode her like a rodeo queen. “Oh my god! Shannon? He is humping her.” I said in disbelief. Dumbfounded… we all just stared at first. Was this really happening? Molly tried to get his paws off of her but he was hanging on tight and he literally was bigger than she was. Then Tabitha pointed out the obvious, “Oh my gosh!!!!! His pink lipstick is out…ewww! We have to help her!” and as much as we all tried to help poor Molly, we couldn’t get Sport off of her. I know it was wrong but we all laughed uncontrollably! Molly was horrified but somehow she managed to laugh with us. Shannon pulled his collar and jerked him off of Molly “No Sport! Bad Dog!” [giggles] but he remounted with more authority. I tried to step in between them but he dodged around me. Two of the girls finally grabbed his front paws while Shannon held his collar and Molly was able to escape under his body. She turned around to see Sport being held down by almost all of us as he desperately tried to escape. “Oh my god!!!” screamed Molly in between a half laugh/ half cry. “Run!!!!” We all yelled, as he was slipping out of our control. She ran for her life. She opened the front door to the house and disappeared.
Shannon’s dad came outside to see what all the commotion was about and he grabbed Sport and put him in the garage. We watched him gain control of Sport. He made it seem effortless. I mean.. this dog was very strong and that wasn’t your average leg humping. We all looked at ourselves. We were exhausted and sweating. “Phew!” We went inside to check on Molly. She was inside on the kitchen counter. Yes…that’s right. She was standing on top of the kitchen island prepared to defend her body against any canine that wanted it. Still physically shaken and now her skin was splotching from all the stress. Shannon was laughing as she apologized and helped Molly off the counter. “Wow. You are on the counter. [more laughing] I’m so, so sorry. He is in the garage. He has never done that before. Don’t worry. You are safe now.”
We all calmed down and went into Shannon’s bedroom. We tried to put the “Sport humping” behind us but every now and then we would visualize the scene in our heads and burst out into laughter. Molly, still humiliated, tried to help us understand. “That was not cool. He is huge! So freaking embarrassing.” Of course we felt bad for her but it was still so damn funny. There is no doubt about it…this dog humping incident will make the story about the seagull who shit on me at the beach that summer seem like yesterdays news. We watched some movies and hung out for the remainder of the night. It was getting close to bedtime when we heard Shannon’s brother open the garage door. Uh oh! Immediately, we heard the thunder of Sport’s feet running full speed up the stairs.
Molly’s eyes got as big as saucers and she grabbed my hand. “Don’t leave me…..he is coming.” I have to admit..my heart was racing too but I couldn’t stop laughing. Molly was like cat nip for Sport. He must have been planning his attack while he was trapped in the garage all those hours. Shannon and her sister had a Jack and Jill bathroom in between their bedrooms. With no time to spare we both hid in the bathtub and pulled the shower curtain. Sport would never find us there [wink, wink]. We were very, very still. I covered my mouth with my hand to remind myself not to giggle. Any sound would tip Sport off on where we were hiding. Molly put her finger over her mouth as to say “shhhhhh!”. This must be exactly how Anne Frank felt when the Germans were after her. It wasn’t long before he was in the bathroom searching for his woman. We could hear him panting and his nails tip toeing on the ceramic tile. All of a sudden…like in a scene from the movie Psycho…Sport hurled his 100 lb body into the shower with us and immediately mounted Molly from behind. We screamed a high-pitched teenager bloody murder scream and ran away in an absolute panic. First Molly jumped out of the shower, then me, then Sport. We ran down the hall and back into Shannon’s room, on her bed, off her bed, through the bathroom again, through her sister’s room, on her bed, off her bed and we did this obstacle course several times until we got tired and locked ourselves into a walk in closet in Shannon’s room. Breathing heavy from the chase but finally in a safe place…we caught our breaths. “Holy crap! That dog totally wants you!” We laughed hysterically. Why did he have it so bad for poor Molly? We never knew for sure but there was no doubt that somehow she won his heart. We camped out in the walk-in closet for the rest of the slumber party until the sun came up. We fell asleep to Sport sniffing underneath the door desperate to get his paws on my best friend.
Sport is a reminder that all labs have quirks. He just happened to be one horny bastard. I am real sorry that Sport chose my best friend to be “his bitch” back in 1990 but look at it this way….it has makes me laugh so hard that I cry every time I have told that story for over 20 years. Oh Molly. Thank you for letting me post your most embarrassing story ever! Only a real friend would allow such a thing. You have helped make me smile during a week when all I have done is cry. We will all have many dogs that touch our lives over the span of a lifetime. Each one leaves us with their own special memories and quirks and sometimes a really good belly laugh!