And Briggs Makes Seven

β€œYour dumbass dog is at it, again,” announced my pregnant wife one night early on in our marriage. Lovie was referring to my faithful chocolate lab, Briggs.

What, exactly, was Briggs doing, you ask? Slowly, steadily, and silently releasing dense clouds of noxious gas. Pockets of reprehensibility so flagrant as to even be equipped with their own (and noticeably different) barometric pressures. Tiny, malodorous weather fronts of filth which were greatly disgusting my lovely wife. I looked over at my hound only to find him sprawled out on his bed, his mouth eerily agape, snoring like a bear.

Birggs

That’s right. Briggs was sleep-farting.

And he’s got other bad habits, too. Like going certifiably ape-shit each and every time an outsider bursts our domestic bubble. A knock at the back door, the ringing of the front doorbell, or even a barely audible conversation between two women taking a leisurely neighborhood stroll is enough to send Briggs into a frenzy. A full-blown gallop ensues, throw rugs helplessly askew in his wake, Briggs sliding out of control with each and every change of direction his dash requires, eventually culminating in his breathless arrival at wherever the action is, panting with desperate impatience while shamelessly rocking a solid inch-and-a-half of pink lipstick as he awaits our visitor with… um… excitement.

As soon as said visitor enters the house, Briggs’ll make a bee-line for the toy bin and deftly snatch whatever’s on top, before galloping back to his new friend with the welcome gift he’s selected, wrapped thoughtfully in his slobber. He’ll then circle our dumbfounded (and slightly frightened) guest with speeds that conjure up images of the Tasmanian Devil until he feels it’s just the right time to engage in a little world-class crotch-sniffing.

And I haven’t even touched upon his legendary dirty-diaper escapades. Briggs makes Marley look like one of Paris Hilton’s lap dogs. So the fact that Lovie was having a hard time adjusting to him early in our marriage wasn’t surprising at all. What was surprising, however, was that not only did she eventually accept Briggs, she also ended up liking him.

Pookie and Briggs during one of his calmer moments.

Briggs’s birthday is in December, and as each holiday season approaches, Lovie and I wonder if enough dog years have passed to notice a decrease in his high energy level. This year was sure to be the one, right? After all, he’d be seven. But, if anything, his energy level was even higher thanks to our broken invisible fence. Without it, we couldn’t even let Briggs go outside to blow off some steam without fearing he’d leave our property, barge into an unsuspecting neighbor’s house, and start dry humping their four-year-old.

So his outside activities were limited to bathroom-related engagements only. At least that was the plan. The actual outcome was that Briggs made countless escapes. No fewer than eight different households came to our assistance with either a phone call alerting us of his whereabouts, or in two cases, front-door delivery.

Everyone was very nice about it, but Lovie and I were all too aware that we had likely become “those neighbors.” In our minds, three two-year olds is pretty much a good enough excuse to let anything slide a little bit. But it’s not like others realize what we’re up against. (except for one family–shout out to the Huneycutts) So I was always embarrassed whenever we got one of the dreaded phone calls and often turned to humor as a way of masking my shame.

Ring-ring.

“Hello.”

“John, it’s Anne. I think I see Briggs across the street in the Baker’s yard. He’s sniffing around their nativity scene. He’s right beside the three wise men.”

“Well, at least it’s comforting to know that he’s keeping good company, right Anne?”

We finally got the fence fixed in January. But our relentless brown hero has grown so enchanted with his neighborhood jaunts that he’s decided such strolls are easily worth the jolt of electricity he’ll endure as he hurdles through our invisible barrier to embark upon one. So we’ve been keeping him inside again, unless, of course, it’s time for him to use the bathroom. But having been burned in the past, we’re often skeptical when he whines as if he needs to go. Ever the clever hound, he’s taken to offering up undeniable proof of his plight via large piles discretely left beside the side door.

And that’s where we are right now. At just two and a half years old, all three of our little guys are going poo poo in the potty while their dog is droppin’ the deuce on the kitchen floor. I wonder if we could somehow teach Briggs how to use the toilet.

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About john cave osborne

John Cave Osborne is a writer whose work has appeared on such sites as DisneyBaby, Babble, YahooShine, TLC and the Huffington Post. He was also referenced by Jezebel one time, but he’s pretty sure they were making fun of him. He and his wife, Caroline, live with their five children and spastic dog in Knoxville, TN. Nothing annoys him more than joke-heavy bios written in the third person, with the possible exception of Corey Feldman.

  • http://ifmomsaysok.wordpress.com Tara R.

    We have two Labs – one black (Maxx) and one chocolate (Hershey). Each one thinks she is the size of a chihuahua and has a brain about the same size.

    They are fabulous pets, but can honestly try our patience to its limits.

    Fortunately we have a large, fenced in backyard for them to romp in, but then we also have to periodically defuse the minefield.

    Still I wouldn’t give up The Girls for anything.

  • http://ifmomsaysok.wordpress.com Tara R.

    We have two Labs – one black (Maxx) and one chocolate (Hershey). Each one thinks she is the size of a chihuahua and has a brain about the same size.

    They are fabulous pets, but can honestly try our patience to its limits.

    Fortunately we have a large, fenced in backyard for them to romp in, but then we also have to periodically defuse the minefield.

    Still I wouldn’t give up The Girls for anything.

  • Stacie Keller

    A post I can COMPLETELY relate to! I married a man with a Dalmation, who is now 11, and yes I have secretly research just how long this bread could actually live! πŸ˜‰ Before me and the now almost 2 kids Mr. Duke and Michael were exactly like you and Briggs, only Duke is not the kind of dog that can be trusted around children he spends most of his days on his own couch in the basement or on the back porch. Except at night when the babe is asleep and he has freedom to roll around on the carpet and pass gas. The foul odor always bothers me but being pregnant now, OH MY GOSH I think I am going to puke everytime it occurs. The other night after numerous complaints, Michael said he wouldn’t be upset if I wanted to go and sit on the other couch to get away from the dog farts! WHAT!?????

    That is one strong man/dog bond! :-)

  • Stacie Keller

    A post I can COMPLETELY relate to! I married a man with a Dalmation, who is now 11, and yes I have secretly research just how long this bread could actually live! πŸ˜‰ Before me and the now almost 2 kids Mr. Duke and Michael were exactly like you and Briggs, only Duke is not the kind of dog that can be trusted around children he spends most of his days on his own couch in the basement or on the back porch. Except at night when the babe is asleep and he has freedom to roll around on the carpet and pass gas. The foul odor always bothers me but being pregnant now, OH MY GOSH I think I am going to puke everytime it occurs. The other night after numerous complaints, Michael said he wouldn’t be upset if I wanted to go and sit on the other couch to get away from the dog farts! WHAT!?????

    That is one strong man/dog bond! :-)

  • http://shatteredprose.blogspot.com/ Indigo

    Love hearing about Briggs. Pickles is a December pup as well. At least that’s when we celebrate her. She came to us in Dec. so it makes sense. Not exactly sure of her age. She was a pup during Katrina so we’re assuming that puts her at 4- 5.

    I’m not surprised about the dirty diaper capers. Dogs love the scent for some reason. I had to put up baby gates to keep Pickles out of the kitty litter – ugh…

    I would say Briggs fits right in with the already frenzied homestead with triplets. (Hugs)Indigo

  • http://shatteredprose.blogspot.com/ Indigo

    Love hearing about Briggs. Pickles is a December pup as well. At least that’s when we celebrate her. She came to us in Dec. so it makes sense. Not exactly sure of her age. She was a pup during Katrina so we’re assuming that puts her at 4- 5.

    I’m not surprised about the dirty diaper capers. Dogs love the scent for some reason. I had to put up baby gates to keep Pickles out of the kitty litter – ugh…

    I would say Briggs fits right in with the already frenzied homestead with triplets. (Hugs)Indigo

  • http://pinklets.blogspot.com Donora

    So glad to hear about your 7th family member. My poor husband was the one to marry into it. He’s always dreading to see what stray I’ve picked up on my way home from work each day…

    What type of collar do you have on sweet Briggs? We had to up our small electric fence collar for our Boxer to a 12-volt battery shock collar that actually starts vibrating before they get to the fence and then lets out a dog-halting jolt of electricity. Our adventurous Boxer has yet to get through it.

    If Briggs already has this one on, God love him!

  • http://pinklets.blogspot.com Donora

    So glad to hear about your 7th family member. My poor husband was the one to marry into it. He’s always dreading to see what stray I’ve picked up on my way home from work each day…

    What type of collar do you have on sweet Briggs? We had to up our small electric fence collar for our Boxer to a 12-volt battery shock collar that actually starts vibrating before they get to the fence and then lets out a dog-halting jolt of electricity. Our adventurous Boxer has yet to get through it.

    If Briggs already has this one on, God love him!

  • http://www.buriedwithchildren.com Jen @ buried with children

    Our cat does not sleep fart. He walks right up into our laps, lets one rip and then walks away.

    That is why we through him in the snow.

    πŸ˜‰

  • http://www.buriedwithchildren.com Jen @ buried with children

    Our cat does not sleep fart. He walks right up into our laps, lets one rip and then walks away.

    That is why we through him in the snow.

    πŸ˜‰

  • http://www.tempestbeauty.com Mandy

    I read this early this morning and haven’t had a chance to comment until now.

    I FULLY feel your pain. A dog that you love so dearly… and nearly can’t stand all at the same time. Ours is called “Flint”.

    They keep us on our toes, only in a different way than the babes do.

    If you try to toilet train your dog… PLEASE blog the effort. I would like a little chuckle at your expense. πŸ˜€

  • http://www.tempestbeauty.com Mandy

    I read this early this morning and haven’t had a chance to comment until now.

    I FULLY feel your pain. A dog that you love so dearly… and nearly can’t stand all at the same time. Ours is called “Flint”.

    They keep us on our toes, only in a different way than the babes do.

    If you try to toilet train your dog… PLEASE blog the effort. I would like a little chuckle at your expense. πŸ˜€

  • http://surprisedmom.blogspot.com SurprisedMom

    We have a “Briggs” over here, too. He’s a dauchun mix. We’re not sure what the mix is. Some have suggested Lab. We also have nicknames for our dog, “Fartin’ Martin” and “Gassy Gus” being two of our favorites. :) He also leaves surprises for us when he’s not taken out on a regular basis. He’s not a puppy, he’s six. I am the designated “potty person” and whenever he sees me, he runs straight to our back door to be let out, no matter what time it is.

    If you ever learn how to potty train your dog, please spread the word. I would love never to have to clean up one of our dog’s surprises again.

  • http://surprisedmom.blogspot.com SurprisedMom

    We have a “Briggs” over here, too. He’s a dauchun mix. We’re not sure what the mix is. Some have suggested Lab. We also have nicknames for our dog, “Fartin’ Martin” and “Gassy Gus” being two of our favorites. :) He also leaves surprises for us when he’s not taken out on a regular basis. He’s not a puppy, he’s six. I am the designated “potty person” and whenever he sees me, he runs straight to our back door to be let out, no matter what time it is.

    If you ever learn how to potty train your dog, please spread the word. I would love never to have to clean up one of our dog’s surprises again.

  • http://jugglingeric.blogspot.com Eric

    We had a dog named Smitty. When we lived in the apartment, he would smoke some crack and go crazy. He’d run circles around the living room and reach such speeds that he would enter the Matrix and run with his feet on the back of the couch. He has parallel to the ground.

    when we got our house a few months later he found a loose board and ran off. it’s been 4 years now.

    a few weeks ago i opened my front door and this little puppy ran inside. ugh! it was freezing outside so i took it in.

    it’s outside and appears to be able to reach the same speeds.

  • http://jugglingeric.blogspot.com Eric

    We had a dog named Smitty. When we lived in the apartment, he would smoke some crack and go crazy. He’d run circles around the living room and reach such speeds that he would enter the Matrix and run with his feet on the back of the couch. He has parallel to the ground.

    when we got our house a few months later he found a loose board and ran off. it’s been 4 years now.

    a few weeks ago i opened my front door and this little puppy ran inside. ugh! it was freezing outside so i took it in.

    it’s outside and appears to be able to reach the same speeds.

  • http://worldofweasels.blogspot.com WeaselMomma

    Wow. We were just talking about going the electric fence route. This is food for thought. Long Live Briggs.

  • http://worldofweasels.blogspot.com WeaselMomma

    Wow. We were just talking about going the electric fence route. This is food for thought. Long Live Briggs.

  • http://wwwjackbenimble.blogspot.com/ Jack

    Go Briggs. Got to love a good dog. Of course I can say that from far away because he is not wreaking havoc here. But I have been down that road before and will again.

    My parents’ dog is pregnant and it won’t be long before I have to start thinking about whether I am ready to bring another puppy home.

  • http://wwwjackbenimble.blogspot.com/ Jack

    Go Briggs. Got to love a good dog. Of course I can say that from far away because he is not wreaking havoc here. But I have been down that road before and will again.

    My parents’ dog is pregnant and it won’t be long before I have to start thinking about whether I am ready to bring another puppy home.

  • http://www.madd0g.org Mo

    Good boy Briggs, good boy.

    I reckon with a bit of careful electric training you could get him to use the toilet indoors.

  • http://www.madd0g.org Mo

    Good boy Briggs, good boy.

    I reckon with a bit of careful electric training you could get him to use the toilet indoors.

  • http://pegbur7.wordpress.com pegbur7

    My my my how you bring back memories. We had a Black lab, Lucy. She passed away several years ago when she was about 12 YO. Loved that dog. I now have 3 Grandpoopies! Yes, I spelled that correctly… My daughter, who lives in Nashville, has a Rottwieler, A Chocolate Lab (who sound a LOT like Briggs) and a teacup chihuahua. And the Chihuahua is the ALPHA dog… go figure! The lab though… I sometimes think is retarded… seriously…. maybe it’s just cuz he’s a lab?

    Your dry humpimg the 4 yo made me laugh so hard I almost knocked my laptop off my lap. It almost became a floortop! LOL

    Good story.

  • http://pegbur7.wordpress.com pegbur7

    My my my how you bring back memories. We had a Black lab, Lucy. She passed away several years ago when she was about 12 YO. Loved that dog. I now have 3 Grandpoopies! Yes, I spelled that correctly… My daughter, who lives in Nashville, has a Rottwieler, A Chocolate Lab (who sound a LOT like Briggs) and a teacup chihuahua. And the Chihuahua is the ALPHA dog… go figure! The lab though… I sometimes think is retarded… seriously…. maybe it’s just cuz he’s a lab?

    Your dry humpimg the 4 yo made me laugh so hard I almost knocked my laptop off my lap. It almost became a floortop! LOL

    Good story.

  • http://ivyleagueinsecurities.com Aidan Donnelley Rowley @ Ivy L

    From this post alone, I love Mr. Briggs. Forgive him for the kitchen droppings. He seems like a pretty good and loyal guy :)

    In all seriousness, I love this post because in it you explore the intersection between animals and family. I am planning a post about the relationship between pets and kids, particularly pets who were around before the kiddos arrived. I am sure you might have a few opinions and observations on this topic?

  • http://ivyleagueinsecurities.com Aidan Donnelley Rowley @ Ivy League Insecurities

    From this post alone, I love Mr. Briggs. Forgive him for the kitchen droppings. He seems like a pretty good and loyal guy :)

    In all seriousness, I love this post because in it you explore the intersection between animals and family. I am planning a post about the relationship between pets and kids, particularly pets who were around before the kiddos arrived. I am sure you might have a few opinions and observations on this topic?

  • http://www.lollipopzphotography.com Elizabeth

    Briggs is so CUTE

  • http://www.lollipopzphotography.com Elizabeth

    Briggs is so CUTE

  • http://haikuthoughts.blogspot.com Corinne

    Oh yes I know what you mean about the doggy farts. My puppy does the same thing. Hers are silent but deadly. Uck! Totally feelin ya my friend.

  • http://haikuthoughts.blogspot.com Corinne

    Oh yes I know what you mean about the doggy farts. My puppy does the same thing. Hers are silent but deadly. Uck! Totally feelin ya my friend.

  • http://fiveunderfive.blogspot.com fiveunderfive

    My husband has promised our kids a dog when we move. I’m not sure whether your post has made me more or less excited about this addition!

  • http://fiveunderfive.blogspot.com fiveunderfive

    My husband has promised our kids a dog when we move. I’m not sure whether your post has made me more or less excited about this addition!

  • http://www.friesentriplets.blogspot.com Angela

    I am dreading Potty training 3 kiddos at once, let alone cleaning up after a large dog? I don’t know how Lovie is handling it! Love your sense of humor. Glad that Briggs didn’t bless baby Jesus with holy water when he got out, or did he?

  • http://www.friesentriplets.blogspot.com Angela

    I am dreading Potty training 3 kiddos at once, let alone cleaning up after a large dog? I don’t know how Lovie is handling it! Love your sense of humor. Glad that Briggs didn’t bless baby Jesus with holy water when he got out, or did he?

  • http://solsvik.blogspot.com Lene Kristin

    I am overwhelmed! What to say? I am happy for your kids to grow up with a labrador, but the malodors of puppy poo are drifting across the Atlantic as I read. Wow. How do you stay sane?

  • http://solsvik.blogspot.com Lene Kristin

    I am overwhelmed! What to say? I am happy for your kids to grow up with a labrador, but the malodors of puppy poo are drifting across the Atlantic as I read. Wow. How do you stay sane?

  • http://richmondzoo.blogspot.com Captain Dumbass

    To the best of my knowledge, my fish do not sleep fart. Of course, I’m not sure if they actually sleep.

  • http://richmondzoo.blogspot.com Captain Dumbass

    To the best of my knowledge, my fish do not sleep fart. Of course, I’m not sure if they actually sleep.

  • http://www.freckletree.com freckletree.

    right dog, wrong photo.

    oh, and her name is layla.

    and i don’t LOVE her after having children.

    quite the contrary.

    i have to ask if your wife still feels so fondly towards briggs as you? our twins are 12 months and layla is 8. and layla is way needier, crazier, less self-controlled and maybe still more loved by my hubbs. i, on the other hand, would like to tie our first-born to a tree and spank her with a vacuum cleaner.

    and then feel very guilty for doing so. or writing out the fantasy.

    but not guilty enough to not submit it.

  • http://www.freckletree.com freckletree.

    right dog, wrong photo.

    oh, and her name is layla.

    and i don’t LOVE her after having children.

    quite the contrary.

    i have to ask if your wife still feels so fondly towards briggs as you? our twins are 12 months and layla is 8. and layla is way needier, crazier, less self-controlled and maybe still more loved by my hubbs. i, on the other hand, would like to tie our first-born to a tree and spank her with a vacuum cleaner.

    and then feel very guilty for doing so. or writing out the fantasy.

    but not guilty enough to not submit it.

  • http://suzicate.wordpress.com suzicate

    Funny post! Gotta love labs. Our dear Lab passed in Feb. this time we have a Labradoodle, and believe it or not is even sweeter, even though she sleep farts, too. Must just be a dog thing!

  • http://suzicate.wordpress.com suzicate

    Funny post! Gotta love labs. Our dear Lab passed in Feb. this time we have a Labradoodle, and believe it or not is even sweeter, even though she sleep farts, too. Must just be a dog thing!

  • http://thegoodthebadtheworse.blogspot.com Linda Medrano

    My Harry is part lab, part pit bull, and all heart. But, yeah, there is the farting thing! He’s big and orange and has the greatest smile in the world, so we put up with it without complaining. (Our friends do go a tad pale when he cuts one though!) Love Briggs! He’s gorgeous!

  • http://thegoodthebadtheworse.blogspot.com Linda Medrano

    My Harry is part lab, part pit bull, and all heart. But, yeah, there is the farting thing! He’s big and orange and has the greatest smile in the world, so we put up with it without complaining. (Our friends do go a tad pale when he cuts one though!) Love Briggs! He’s gorgeous!

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