It was a good moment. Brief, just a flash of a second, but still an enormous moment. The repercussions being that I will never be able to look at my dog without laughing again.
Unfortunately, capturing an identical moment on camera is utterly impossible. There's just no way I could ever be that prepared with a camera. Even if I knew it was coming. And I had no clue what was coming.
Dan and I were innocently watching television. More trashy TV, of course . . . Make it or Break it, this time. Yes, the tweenage show about high school gymnasts. It's right down there with Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, and we love it. It unknowingly set the tone for the evening.
During the day the dogs are confined in one part of the house (which is, just so we don't sound like jail wardens, more space than I had in my 2 bedroom apartment). By having the dogs sectioned off it gives the cats free rein, keeps Blake from becoming a hermit because he can come out of the bedroom to eat, and (the least of our concerns, when all is said and done) also saves our leather furniture from the tornado of destruction that is disguised as Georgie. Right after we ate our dinner in front of the TV, Dan left the room to let them out, and I stayed on the couch, fast-forwarding through the commercial.
Izzy was the first to appear around the corner. She came thundering around the bend--a delicate elephant--and just before she hit the oddly located linoleum (our house is stupid) I saw her slow down and walk cautiously over what is, in her mind, a bizarre patch of slipperiness.
Georgie has yet to learn. Perhaps he can't learn. Perhaps it's all part of the fun? He's not a cautious dog, that's for certain, so maybe he does it on purpose. Whatever the answer is about Georgie's motivation, every night like a broken record, right after Izzy's dainty entrance, he pops into view like a fart and goes skidding across the linoleum. An unruly squirt, the size of chaos.
This time, like always, Georgie came a-flyin' around the corner, skating across the linoleum, and once his feet touched the shag he leaped into the air to sail over the ottoman and land next to me on the couch. No matter how many times I've seen it, the white and black flying blur is frightening enough to make me flinch and brace myself for the impact. How can such a small dog create that much force when he lands on you? I think it's his teeny, pointed feet. Ten pounds is a lot when it's concentrated on feet the size of needlepoints.
But this time my bracing was unnecessary. Something didn't go as he planned.
Somewhere he missed a step. He did the flying, the skating, the leaping, but then . . . it all went wrong. Instead of sailing cleanly over the ottoman, his foot touched down and threw him off balance. He jerked and wobbled, flailed for his center of gravity like someone who hits an unexpected patch of ice. Ever the vigilant gymnast, he managed to gain his balance and the interrupted momentum propelled him forward like a rock skipping across a still pond.
Except with Georgie a rock skip is more like a rudimentary vault, wholly unacceptable. Skipping rocks is something old men do when they're tired of fishing. My little acrobat decided that he would not, could not, come out of this botched job looking like an old man. He had to fix it or be damned.
Mid leap, mid skip, he thought fast and went for the glory. Instead of allowing his body to placidly finish its skip across the pond (er, ottoman) and land nimbly next to me on the couch (which is assuredly what would have happened), he used the foot touching the ottoman to spring shockingly upward. Somehow the angle of his body changed, became vertical, and for a freeze-frame instant he hung in the air--a twisted, grinning salmon. I heard the click of my mental camera, and always and forever will remember Georgie the Ham intentionally posing, unconsciously an imitation of Snoopy doing the Happy Dance on top of his doghouse. I was looking up at him from the couch, actually I was almost underneath him, and he was suspended mid-air. All I could see were his arms stretched wide, a white belly, and black ears stuck to both corners of a joyous smile.
If we'd had time, we both would have thought that he was going to make it. But the camera started rolling again, and the Snoopy impersonation melted away as the gleeful curlicue of his taut body continued its descent toward the couch. Neither of us were aware of the fact that he wasn't going to land next to me until he crashed into the cushy pillow of the cushion and disappeared to the floor.
Without any hesitation, he bounced up and started preening triumphantly. He dusted off his shoulders with a casual nonchalance, and peeked around for the Shakespearean chorus standing stage left and holding up perfect 10's. When that failed, he looked for applause from Dan and me.
But we were frozen, staring at him in disbelief. The scene was stuck, it kept replaying over and over in my mind. Oblivious to our uncultured ignorance and still jubilantly high over his victorious feat, Georgie came over to me and said clearly as if he'd spoken out loud, "I'm a-may-zing." He looked over his shoulder at Dan with a proud, accomplished, "Did you see that?" look on his face.
Dan and I collapsed. Blind with hilarity, we simply let go and allowed ourselves a few minutes of insane-asylum-caliber laugher. Georgie walked back and forth between us, confused and defensive.
"I do my own stunts," he explained seriously. The laugher rose up a level. "No really. I'm that talented," he insisted expertly. The laughter reached the point that we were actually silent. Georgie started pouting when he realized that we wouldn't--couldn't!--believe him, and then he gave up.
He's still sulking and muttering under his breath about the injustice of living with a house full of artless philistines who are completely unappreciative of his superior athleticism and ferocity in the face of danger.