“Wiener Dog Down”

This past weekend, we had our nephews Johnny, age nine, and Jimmy, my namesake and very wise at age six, visit us at our home in the country. My brother-in-law and mother-in-law were also part of the visiting party. As the weekend wore on, and Saturday’s weather turned uncooperative, we decided that maybe Uncle Jim, namely me, and my brother-in-law Rich should take the boys to the local arcade for a couple of hours of blowing off steam. Simultaneously, my son Connor was drafted to attend church with his mother and grandmother. The church goers quickly made their exit to ensure they didn’t miss the beginning of mass.

As we readied the young men to head to the arcade, they became very excited at the prospect of ‘just the boys’ going out for fun. In fact, Johnny suggested we have some type of club to encourage such behavior. After determining the members should either be male, or in the case of our ever lovable female golden retriever Bella, we decided that the qualifications for entry were a certain part of male-only anatomy or being four legged and furry. For some of us, we come very close to satisfying both, but I digress. After the giggles and laughter from the young men faded, we settled on our club being called the Wiener Dogs. Young Jimmy, ever the observant one, noted that Connor, clearly a Wiener Dog member, had been kidnapped by the ladies. At that point, I patiently explained that the younger you were as a Dog, the more time you would spend on leash and under the watchful eyes of the alpha females of the pack, for as a younger Dog, you tended to run crazy, get lost in the woods, and hit by cars. While accepting that explanation, he still didn’t think it was right that Connor was left behind. Right then and there, we made a pact that no Dog should be left behind, and if we saw that situation unveiling, we would use the code phrase of “Wiener Dog Down!”, taken from the movie Black Hawk Down. We paused in a moment of silence in honor of our fallen Dog Connor, and then headed to the arcade.

Later that evening, we decided that since I had to fly out extremely early from Chicago the next morning, it may be better for me to slip out of the gathering, and catch some sleep at our condo. It seemed much more sensible than derailing the family gathering and merrymaking. After throwing my bags in the car, and giving hugs and kisses all around, I jumped in the car and drove down the driveway. The next day, I would find out that little Jimmy, sadly watching me drive away, stoically uttered, “Wiener Dog Down!”. I chuckled at this, at first thinking he meant me, but after a bit more consideration, realized that he was more likely referring to himself, feeling a bit left behind. As I drove out of sight, using my own classic phrase, he exclaimed loudly … “Jim Out!”

Oh young apprentices Johnny and Jimmy, welcome to the Dog-pound. Learn quickly, young puppies, learn quickly!

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