Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Cooch Pooch: How One Woman's Dream Went to the Dogs

Local Broken Springs resident Marilyn Fisher had always dreamed of being in the Eukanuba Dog Show. The 36-year-old had showed dogs her whole life, from Rottweilers to Chihuahuas, from Los Angelos to Boston, where the dogs bahked instead of barked. Her big chance came in Tampa, Florida, where her dog, a two-year-old Scottish Terrier, Jackson Grant Lee (named after the tenth and eighteenth Presidents, and the jeans company, respectively) had qualified for the Big Show.

According to his doggy portfolio, Jackson had beaten some harsh competition in his path. Marilyn believed that Jackson was above the fierce disposition that all terriers are known for, yet deep down she knew he liked winning even more than she did, a trait taught to him by Marilyn's dog trainer ex-husband, Gerald. When they split - Marilyn and Gerald, that is, not Gerald and Jackson, Marilyn retained sole custody of the canine, on the condition that if she ever used Jackson as a stud, she'd share the profits, which to Marilyn was ironic because Gerald's infidelity had caused their divorce.

Well, that and Gerald didn't think Marilyn was capable of showing Jackson competitively. When Marilyn heard him admit it to his AKC buddies, she filed for divorce before the sun was up the next morning. His infidelity had little to do with it, actually, but she never told him that.

The Eukanuba Dog Show was being filmed live on Animal Planet. Marilyn took three hours to pick out a stunning skirt to wear as she trotted Jackson around the auditorium. Two hours before the big event, she bathed her pride and joy, blow dried and brushed him so he looked his absolute best. Jackson was a big flirt, and as such, a judge's favorite. Gerald would be in the audience, so to spite him, she wanted to be as big a flirt as Jackson. Like Jackson, she was having an excellent hair day.

Her seven day diet had really seemed to work. She was trim (if a bit bloated) and looked like a million bucks. Her hair, like Jackson's coat, shimmered like black diamonds under the lights, and fell precisely in place with no need for hair spray. Luck, as it seemed, was on her side.

Timing, however, wasn't.

That time of the month, as it turns out, began only hours before showtime. Marilyn shrugged it off as only a menstruating woman can. Because she'd so occupied herself with catering to every need of her four legged best friend, thoughts of her approaching period had escaped her. Anyway, she'd stopped keeping track since she'd stopped having sex. She calmly found a fifty-cent tampon machine in the restroom. It was nothing Tampax couldn't handle.

The auditorium was packed. Gerald had a front row seat and she smiled to him on her first lap around the judges. As the dogs were being introduced, Marilyn felt like the center of attention. Jackson was strutting like he'd never had before. Even he knew this was the chance of a lifetime. They both smiled at the television cameras all around as they stood in the prestigious Best in Show line.

That was when the unheard of happened. As Marilyn stood there, flashing a devilish grin to the man who never had any faith in her, the Alaskan Malamute from the Working Dog class crept his nose in her butt. She heard a small giggle from the audience. Jackson, of course, was still as a Roman statue, proud and beautiful. When the Malamute was tugged away by his handler, Marilyn composed herself. Sniffing dogs were not uncommon in shows, especially when half the contestants had a very perceptive sense of smell.

The Bassett Hound took a turn next. He was on the other side of Marilyn and when he inched over, Jackson gave him a very subtle growl. His whiff was quick and furtive. She glanced down to her well behaved Jackson, grateful for his tact. The cameras all caught the Bassett, and she could only imagine what the television commentators were saying.

She bent down in embarrassment, pretending to cuddle her dog. Her skirt fell down over her knees and for a brief moment, Jackson was lost under it. The soft touch of his fur against her knee high pantyhose gave her the confidence to stand back up. But when she did, the audience roared in laughter. On the gigantic screen above her, she saw why.

Jackson, proud and beloved canine champion, had retrieved a white fluffy toy, the string hanging out of his mouth.

Who said terriers can't fetch?

(This article originally appeared on Associated Content.)

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