There aren’t many things that can make Mack bust a move anymore, with the exception of the 3 CH’s: Cheese, Chicken anything, and Children.
Mack absolutely adores small children for reasons we aren’t quite sure. My theory is that Mack loves children because they always have hands that are sticky and flavored with some kind of food. Hubs thinks Mack loves children as they tend to want feed animals anything they have within reach, including but not limited to goldfish crackers and frosted cheerios. Real. Frosted. Cheerios. ((((a bulldog shudders in ecstasy))))
And it’s not all fat jokes. To be fair, children always seem to flock towards Mack when we are out in public, too. Children love Mack because he’s a non-scary big dog, they like how his brown and black brindle makes it look like they are petting a tiger and Mack looks like he’s smiling when he pants. Very inviting. Mack can also put up with kids pulling at his ears, poking at his nub and will endure countless hugs. Parents love Mack’s calm yet protective nature and the fact that he is gentle, even with the tiniest babies. Parents even don’t even seem to mind the coat of drool Mack usually lacquers their offspring in. Hell, a fart elicits even more brownie points from adults.
So, it came as no surprise as to how excited Mack would be when we took him to the cabin for Labor day weekend, SANS PETERBILT, meet up with my in laws and my husbands best friend, wife and two young daughters.
The minute the young family arrived, Mack was there to give them a good-old fashioned, ‘welcome to my lake-home’ greeting.
A first the girls, aged 4 and 2, were a little put-off by the giant, smiling, tiger-crossbred-with-a-bulldog-hybrid breathing heavily by their sides. However, the wise old bulldog knew just the trick to break the ice. Mack grabbed his rope toy and walked over to me. We then began a very tame version of tug-of-war, Mack making sure to omit any growling or grunting so as not to spook the girls (who says dogs aren’t intuitive?).
The girls immediately began to giggle and squeal at Mack’s playfulness and even took turns teaming up against Mack, who made sure to not pull at his full force to make the game a little more fair. The girls father walked in on the game and said, “Oh! Are you playing a game with Macaroni?” Macaroni. It was decided then by the girls that Macaroni would be Mack’s name for the holiday weekend.
I could end this blog here with everyone happy with each others company, but how boring would that be?
For the remainder of that day, Mack relished in the attention of the 2, adorable little girls. The girls would sing “Macaroni….Macaroni” in soft, soothing tones to him, hug him and give him kisses. Mack had it made! All he had to do was lay there and occasionally play tug of war. Mack shot me a glance at one point that I swore said “Why don’t we have more of these at home? They’re so nice! This is going to be the best weekend ever!!!!” When the girls would run to the next room, Mack would follow with a dutiful look on his face. “I will protect you small children for I am Macaroni.”
But then as the evening progressed, Mack noticed he was getting rather exhausted. With two girls constantly vying for his attention and the cabin at full capacity, Mack soon found he didn’t have the option of lumbering off into a spare, dark bedroom for a cat nap. In fact, Mack wasn’t very happy at all with his accommodations. I had to put Mack’s dog bed inside a large closet, clearing out a space that was otherwise filled with winter boots and hunting gear. Mack looked insulted as I gestured him towards his new micro-hotel room. “Look at how cozy it is! It’s completely dark and quiet here, Macaroni! Plus it’s 2′ from our bed! Totally conducive for sleep!” Mack snorted, farted and walked away, resigning back to the family room where the girls were and resumed his baby sitting duties.
Not two hours went by before I caught him passed out in his closet dog bed.
The next day started off on a good foot until after breakfast. I noticed Mack was a little sluggish since he was not able to get his post-breakfast nap in. The minute the girls were up, the search for Macaroni began. Mack’s new role as a baby-sitter/floor pillow/huggable creature/entertainment center was taking a toll and Mack only began to look more drowsy and puffy as the day wore on. Up until now, Macks exposure with children was only in short bursts. I could tell in Mack’s eyes that he was starting to realize that spending a long weekend with little kids was not nearly as easy as he though it was going to be and he wasn’t getting anywhere near the kid’s food payload he thought he would be getting. Not a single goldfish thus far! What kind of shit is this!?!? All of this exhaustion….so tired….
Pontoon rides. Campfires. S’more making. Meal times. Outdoor time. Running around. Fuck that shit. Mack would try to herd everyone inside. ‘Hey everybody! Let’s all go inside and all take like….4-5 hour naps”, Mack seemed to say.
Mack passed out in his dog bed at very early 8 PM that night.
The next day, Mack could barely stand it. For dog that is used to getting a healthy 16 hours a sleep a day, getting by on a meager 9 hours was just not cutting it. The girls’ love for Mack had not changed overnight and they were well rested and ready to kiss and hug a bulldog once more.
Going against the 13-year grain of his DNA, Mack took from following everyone around, to avoiding everyone at all costs. When we’d all go outside for breakfast on the patio, Mack would waddle inside and sneek in a nap on the floor. When we all went back inside, Mack asked to go outside where I saw him plop into a sunny grass patch and fall asleep, face in the grass. All of the adults had a good hearty laugh at Mack. Turns out Macaroni wasn’t the babysitter he talked himself up to be. Here are some great and hilarious pictures the girls’ mama took of Mack, looking absolutely tired and under-enthused:
Later that day we packed Macaroni’s fat old ass into the Jeep to head home. Before we left, I turned around a looked at him and said, “Get your Z’s in, old man. You’ve got 5 months until this starts all over again, but full time.” I then sang “Macaroni…….” until he fell asleep. Which was about 4 seconds.