Friday, February 28, 2014

Jamie stories, Vol. 4: the social network

When Jamie wasn’t poking people in the butt with his nose, he was generally a very sweet and gentle dog. He had a wide social circle and enjoyed meeting canine and human friends at shows. He was fluent in that unspoken language that allows two strange dogs to greet one another and instantly decide it’s time to get their party on.

Jess, Jamie and Connor

Jamie greeted his friends all the same way - with a huge smile. He would pull his lips back and reveal every one of his teeth while the rest of him did all sorts of happy, wiggly things. I’d never had a dog who smiled before. It could be endearing and terrifying at the same time - endearing if you understood it, terrifying if you didn’t and were the one seeing the display of teeth bearing down upon you. He smiled at me when I got home from work, at the Farmer when he came in from chores, at family when they came to visit and at all his various peeps when we went to shows.

A friend of mine posted on FB: “He was the first dog I saw grin, a REALLY HUGE GRIN, I almost wet my pants laughing, I had no idea a dog could do that on purpose.”

Connor and Jamie

Jamie liked other dogs but he was enamored with puppies. He could pick out a puppy at a crowded show site and always made it clear he wanted to go see it. He would flatten himself onto the ground and invite the puppy to climb on his head. In fact, he was disappointed if the puppy didn’t climb on his head. His play was always gentle and appropriate. He was the dog my friends brought their new puppies to meet so they could have a safe experience around a big dog.

I remember Marsha bringing her IG Frank out to our place one afternoon when he was a baby. Frank was a cautious fellow and Jamie happily let him climb and chew on him. I’m sure Frank thought Jamie was one great big wonderful heated furball to play with. They stayed friends through the years, with Jamie being the go-to “Safe Dog” when Frank had a moment of insecurity at shows.

I didn’t realize what an absolute treasure he was until I got Phoenix.

Phoenix was a very . . .um . . . intense . . . puppy. He wanted what he wanted and he wanted it now. He did NOT want to be put in a crate or left alone even for a minute. There was a great deal of annoyed puppy screaming and general chaos when he came home. Connor took one look at him and walked away in disgust. I could see the thought bubble over his head as plain as day: “I can’t believe she went and got another one.”

Jamie was delighted. His thought bubble was just as plain: “She bought me a puppy of my very own!” Phoenix leaped up and grabbed a mouthful of Jamie’s ruff and hung on. Jamie wagged his tail and looked absolutely delighted. They were buddies from the start.

If Phoenix was with his Jamie, he was a happy little camper. They chased each other, wrestled, face-fought, growled, tugged and gnawed on each other. This was new to me. My previous dogs all liked each other well enough but they didn’t actively seek one another’s company or engage each other in silly games.

Jamie was simply enchanted by his little brother. I put a 24” baby gate in the kitchen doorway to keep Phoenix from terrorizing the rest of the house. Jamie jumped it to be in the kitchen with him. I got a 36” baby gate. He jumped that, too. I gave up. The Jamie-Phoenix Mutual Admiration Society was in session 24/7.

Jamie’s tolerance level went light years beyond what a normal dog would put up with. I kept waiting for Phoenix’s puppy license to expire and when it didn’t, had to step in multiple times to discipline Phoenix for yanking on Jamie’s ruff or other inflicting other acts of malinois mayhem upon him. Jamie tolerated it all with patient indulgence, although his ruff occasionally looked a little moth-eaten.

Next: miscellaneous moments

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Jamie stories, Vol. 3: the nose

For all that he was generally a very sweet and gentle dog, Jamie had a wicked sense of humor. I am convinced he did things just to see what kind of reaction he would get. Anyone was fair game for his pranks, from the dog savvy to the canine uninitiated.

One of his favorite things to do was to poke people with his nose. Apparently this was a completely recreational activity, since he did it even when there was no chance of making the poke-ee produce treats. Usually he aimed his pokes at people’s hind ends, although other body parts were fair game if those were unavailable.

Those of you who have been nose-poked by a Belgian have probably experienced the sparkle of delight in their eyes when you whirled around to chastise them. They don’t care that they’re going to get a scolding. They’ve already had their jollies. Jamie would dance backward, tail wagging, with a huge grin on his face. No amount of unrewarding feedback would stop him from doing it again, given the chance.

And there were lots of chances. My friends were used to receiving a “Christmas goose” at any time of the year. Jamie had a few favorite targets. The Farmer was one of them. Jamie would lounge around the house, exhibiting casual disinterest in anything the humans were doing, until the Farmer got up from the table or out of his recliner. Then he would slowly rise and with practiced nonchalance, amble along in the same direction the Farmer was going.

For a 60 pound dog, he was light on his feet. He could put on a burst of silent speed, goose the Farmer in the hind end and jump backwards out of retaliation range in seconds. The result was always the same - a surprised squawk from the goose-ee, followed by a volley of empty threats and occasional swear words while Jamie wagged his tail, visibly enjoying the aftermath of his little game. He found it extremely self-rewarding and he played it for years.

My friend Rilda, who died last year, was another of his favorite targets. Rilda was the person everybody’s dogs loved because she always had treats in her pockets and she shared generously. Jamie, who was raised by Shelties, never missed the opportunity to score a free cookie. And he adored Rilda. He really did. Whether she had cookies or not. But especially if she did.

He poked her to get the cookie stream started. If he felt she was not producing cookies fast enough, he poked her to speed things up. Verbal scoldings only made him do it harder. She scolded, he poked, she scolded, he poked faster and so on. By then, she was usually laughing so hard she couldn’t talk and his nose-pokes had achieved woodpecker rapidity on her leg. If he felt nose-poking was not achieving the desired result, he would nibble at her jeans or sweatshirt. I told her constantly to tell him to knock that off and quit reinforcing it but she never did. I think she enjoyed it as much as he did.

Jamie was not above poking people he didn’t know. Every winter, we order fruit from the local FFA chapter. One evening two neighborhood high school boys delivered our boxes of oranges and grapefruit. They were in the kitchen, chatting with the Farmer and Jamie came out to see who was in his house. I assured the boys he was friendly. They clearly didn’t believe me. He sniffed their shoes. They backed up against the wall. He sniffed their hands. They put their hands in their jacket pockets.

“You can pet him,” I said, “he’s not going to bite you.”

They stayed where they were, frozen against the wall. I’ve seen these kids wrangle 1,200 pound steers at the county fair and operate heavy machinery on their family farms. But they were clearly demoralized by being sniffed by a dog.

Jamie took it as a personal affront that they would not acknowledge him. He gently poked their coat pockets. Nothing. He poked a little harder. Nothing. He tried poking at various places on their personage. Nothing. He was gearing up for a full-scale assault when I intervened.

Jamie found people poking so rewarding, he did it to other people at their houses as well.

I asked friends to share their memories of Jamie and my friend Liz wrote, “Jamie stayed at our house a few times and always seemed determined to poke Fritz (her husband) in the butt. One morning I came downstairs to the kitchen with Fritz standing facing Jamie telling him to stop poking him in the ass.

“Jamie stayed with us when Melinda and Michele went to get Phoenix. That was the great ice storm of 2007. We lost our electricity so all of  the dogs and Fritz and I slept in the living room in front of the fireplace. Jamie was determined to poke Fritz in the butt during the night.  We would be asleep or nearly so and there Jamie would go again — poking Fritz’s butt.”

Jamie put his nose to good use in more productive ways, too. He was the first dog I ever tracked with and he was a natural. He learned quickly, certified on his first try and passed his first TD test. Truly, my biggest regret is that I did not go back and pursue his TDX. He was a delight to track with and worked with enthusiasm and power.

Next: miscellaneous memories.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Jamie stories, Vol. 2, camping

(My apologies for the lack of photos with this post. I am one place and my discs and flash drives are in another. I have time to post now, but by the time I am reunited with the photos, will not have time to post. Story of my life. More pics later. Promise.)

To say Jamie was the reason I started camping would not be the entire truth but he was the driving force behind my decision to start sleeping outdoors like a gypsy in a tent on show weekends.

By the time I started showing him in obedience and agility, I was still showing Connor in both as well. Double your fun! Double your entry fees! Run out of money twice as fast! This was back in the day when there wasn’t an agility trial on every street corner and we frequently had to travel out of state to run. That meant overnight stays and that meant motels and that meant bills that added up in a hurry.

So several like-minded friends and I decided we would try camping. Heck, we'd been Girl Scouts once. We could still pitch a tent and set marshmallows on fire with the best of them. You could get a tent site for around $20 a night at most campgrounds and we could put more than one tent on a site. Sure beat $70 or $80 bucks a night for a motel.

Yes. Tents. Not RVs. If we could have afforded RVs, we wouldn’t be having this conversation in the first place. For the better part of 15 years, a band of friends and I camped at state parks, county conservation areas, forest preserves, KOA campgrounds and sometimes, at the show sites themselves. It was always an adventure, juggling the economics of where we could pitch our tents against the degree of comfort the amenities offered. Sometimes the economics were great and the amenities were lacking, but the dogs didn’t care if we had hot showers or not.

Jamie loved camping. He love to lay and look out the tent door, and when it got dark, he loved snuggling up on the air mattress while I read by lantern light. I loved being surrounded by the smell of warm dogs and the soft sounds of their breathing. I will always cherish those moments at the end of the day when the shelties and Jamie and I — and later, Phoenix — curled up and fell asleep together.

I always felt safe with Jamie there, no matter if we were in a crowded urban campground or a remote forest preserve. Even though he could be a complete goofball, he had a presence that made people think twice before they did something stupid. Many dogs have this, by merit of their size, but I always felt Jamie projected an aura of thoughtful watchfulness and a quiet but unarguable willingness to rise to the occasion as needed. He had this effect on other dogs, too, and could defuse a canine challenge with a posture or a glance.

Jamie, 2012
 One of my favorite Jamie stories happened when we were camped at an agility trial site one summer weekend. We’d settled down for the night and I was half asleep when footsteps approached the back window of my tent.

“Shannon? Shannon, is that you?” a voice whispered as a strange face pressed against the mesh.

Jamie thought this was highly inappropriate. He launched, snarling, at the window and stopped a fraction of an inch from the mesh, teeth snapping and a growl rumbling in his chest.

I could hear footsteps hastily retreating and an agitated voice calling out “THAT’S NOT SHANNON!”

Jamie gave them a volley of barks for good measure, then flopped back down next to me, content that the invaders had been repelled and perimeter was once again secure.

The next day, I located the real Shannon, whose tent was on the other side of the agility fields, and we had a good laugh. To this day, we still joke about the  “That’s not Shannon!” incident.

Another time, I camped by myself at a county fairgrounds on the outskirts of a town for a UKC obedience trial. It was a remote location but there were a few other campers scattered around the site so I wasn’t totally alone. In the evening, I was sitting in front of my tent, reading. The shelties were in an x-pen and Jamie was sprawled in the grass nearby.

Two guys stopped at my campsite as they were walking past. We made pleasant idle talk for a few minutes and it was clear they were not connected to any of the obedience trial people. I’m not a suspicious person but something about those two guys made me a little uncomfortable. My grandmother would have called them “shifty” and “up to no good.” They seemed particularly interested in my van and its contents.

The polite small talk ran out fairly soon but they seemed reluctant to leave. Finally, one of them walked toward me and asked, “Do your dogs bite?” He was looking at the shelties.

Without a sound, Jamie stood up and stepped in front of me. He was totally quiet. His hackles were up. His lips were drawn back just enough to show fang.

“Yes,” I said. “They do.”

I’ve never seen two guys find somewhere else they needed to be so fast.

Aside from being my protector, Jamie was not above occasionally using his size for his own ill-gotten gains.

One year we camped near a lake for an early fall agility trial. The weather was unusually warm and late in the afternoon, a group of us took our dogs down to the water to swim and fetch bumpers.

Jamie loved the water. He never swam but loved to splash in the shallows. If there was a body of water available, he was in it. Creeks, streams, lakes, ponds and wading pools meet his approval. Bathtubs did not.

That afternoon, he played along the shoreline and waited for the labs and PWDs to swim out a distance and get the bumpers. When they got back to shallow water, he waded in and took them away.

Never a growl or overtly pushy body language. He just splashed up to them, chomped onto the bumper, looked the other dog in the eye, took the bumper out of their mouth, then ran around with it like it was his idea in the first place while they all chased him. I put an end to that game shortly after it began because it was admittedly rude even though the other dogs didn’t seem to mind and everyone was having a grand time.

When I think of my favorite times with my dog friends, those camping trips always come to mind – walking the trails, playing in the lake, sitting around a campfire, reading by lantern light – always with Jamie next to me.

Next: the power of the nose.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Jamie stories, Vol. I

I didn’t realize the sheer volume of memories Jamie generated until I decided to write some of them down. His presence in my life enriched it immeasurably and the joy he gave just by being himself went light years beyond the ribbons and show ring achievements. Through him I developed some wonderful friendships and had a lot of adventures. And I laughed. A lot.

Chronicling the tales of The Most Patient Dog in the World could take awhile. Pull up a chair. Sit a spell.

Jamie, September 1999

First of all, Jamie was supposed to be a girl. When I started looking for a terv puppy in 1999, I wanted a bitch. I already had two shelties and the Farmer was less than thrilled about adding a third dog to the house, let alone a big hairy dog.

I kept telling him tervuren were not “big.” Irish wolfhounds were big. Great danes were big. Tervuren were bigger than the shelties but technically not big. He wasn’t buying it.

I wanted a female, a nice little girl. With a terv friend pointing me in the right direction, I started contacting breeders. (Sheryl McCormick, 15 years later I still owe you that finder’s fee.)

Litters abounded that summer. Litters of boys. Nope, so sorry, I wanted a girl. More litters. More boys. Nope, I still wanted a girl. Holding out for a girl. What part of GIRL don't you understand?  No boys. No way nope nada absolutely not well all right maybe okay I’ll think about it.

Hello, Jamie.

Jamie, October 1999

Tammy Etscheidt went with me to pick him up. Jamie’s breeder lived in southern Ohio. We had directions to her place. Sort of. That was nearly a decade and a half ago, before GPS units dominated vehicles and cell phones. Like we even had one cell phone between the two of us back then. If you put us in one vehicle now we’d have multiple laptops, iPads, cell phones, Siri, GPS units, Onstar and our husbands texting us where to go. We couldn’t get lost if we tried.

But in the fall of 1999? Not so much. Tammy and I both still hear “Dueling Banjos” when we think about that trip. We eventually found Deborah Sherman and Ariel Tervuren but we saw a lot of countryside first. Did you know you can drive from Ohio to Kentucky to West Virginia and back to Ohio again in less than 20 minutes? Seriously. You can. That was even on purpose.

Did I mention we saw a lot of what I call “hoot owl country”? A couple of times, Tammy wanted to stop and take pictures of the interesting places we drove by (we drove by them more than once because that's what you do when you are lost.) I said no way are we stopping and lock your door. I was sure that Civil War era log cabin was probably complete with either a moonshine still or a meth lab in the backyard and either way the current residents would not appreciate Yankees stopping to take photos. Yep. Hoot owl country.

 But we found Deborah eventually and Jamie came home and became an Iowegian. He grew to 25 ½ inches at the withers. He was 60 pounds of gorgeous mahogany fur with black overlay and a full black mask. The Farmer thought the sun rose and set on him. So much for the “big dog” fuss.

One evening when he was still less than a year old, Jamie was sitting on the Farmer’s lap. They were watching TV. I noticed Jamie was chewing on the blanket. Further inspection revealed he had been at it for some time. The blanket looked like Swiss cheese.

“Did you know he was chewing holes in this?” I asked.


“Why didn’t you tell him to stop?” I asked.

“He was having such a good time.”

And so it went. As far as the Farmer was concerned, what Jamie wanted, Jamie got.

I’d never had a dog as big as Jamie. It took me a while to learn that big dogs had a different world view than my shelties. The tervuren world view included kitchen counters, the kitchen table and the stove top. I was not used to dogs who had access to things above their heads. There was a learning curve.

One evening I set a plate of pork chops on the kitchen counter to fix for supper. I left the room briefly. When I came back, Jamie had liberated one of the chops and was laying on the floor with it between his front paws, licking this new culinary delight.

I squawked. Jamie jumped and abandoned his prize. I scooped it up. It was no worse for the wear, having only been licked, not munched. I rinsed it off, tossed it in the skillet and we had a lovely dinner. (Don’t look so horrified, you’ve done the same thing and you know it!)

Next: camping.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Jamie 1999-2014

OTCh., U-UD Ariel's Escape Through Time, 

Jamie passed from this world on Feb. 19. I feel so blessed to have shared 14 1/2 years with this wonderful, patient, gentle, silly dog.

Soon, I hope to write a collection of Jamie stories. There are a lot of stories and they make me laugh.  Jamie was a very dignified dog but he had that off-the-wall tervuren sense of humor. (If you live with one, you know what I'm talking about.) The beautiful memories are what my mind keeps replaying while it tries to process this huge aching sense of loss.

Today I want to share some pictures of the years we had together. These are in no particular order of importance. I just grabbed them off whatever disc and thumb drive I had at hand. They capture the best of who he was.

Jamie was my partner in the obedience ring. He really didn't care what I asked him to do, he was just happy to be doing something.

Heeling with him was like dancing with a partner who could read your mind (and actually cared what you thought). A friend asked me if I taught him to "float"or if he just came that way. He just came that way. He made me look good without a great deal of effort on my part.

Jamie finished his OTCh. in 2005. (Yes, they made color film back then. No idea why this got scanned and saved in black and white.)

He was the first dog I tracked with. I took this photo while a friend handled him and "the rest of the story" is that Liz was on the other end of the line, touching down about every four feet. Jamie tracked with a great deal of power.

He got his TD at the Smithville Lake tests near Kansas City. The only regret I have about Jamie's life is that we didn't go back and pursue his TDX. He loved to track more than anything else we did together.

Jamie had a collection of nick names: Red Dog, Big Dog, Big Red Dog, Coyote (he howled), Bright Eyes, Furball. But I will always remember him as The Most Patient Dog in the World. Because he was.

This photo always makes me laugh because both dogs look so serious. Like this was a very solemn occasion of great importance. When Jamie and Phoenix were together, that was rarely the case. A friend calls this photo "Belgian Gothic." "A Portrait of Chaos and Mayhem" might be more appropriate.

Walking at a nature trail near our farm was one of Jamie's favorite things. He got to wear the pack and carry the water bottles, a job he accepted with great pride.

The couch at home was indisputably Jamie's. The Farmer and I joked that we spent a lot of money on a leather couch that no one but Jamie ever sat on. But he deserved every square inch of it.

I miss you, Big Red Dog.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The winter of our discontent, Part II

Fans of the “Game of Thrones” series are familiar with the warning “Winter is coming.”

Here in the Midwest, not only has winter come, it has moved in, unpacked its bags and established residency. I’m trying to find a way to blame Canada for this. Forecasters keep talking about the Arctic air masses sweeping over the upper Midwest. I’m ready to pack my bags and move to the Arctic. Since all their air has plunged Iowa into the deep freeze, surely it must be warmer there than it is here.

Well, it IS February after all. Winter is not an unheard of condition in these parts. We’re used to it. Snow. Cold. Blah, blah. Yeah. Whatever. Put on your big girl long johns, spike your hot cocoa with a little Bailey’s, buy a new car battery and get over it.

However, here is an indication of how deep into the winter abyss we have tumbled.

Today at noon when I went to get lunch, the sky was brilliant blue. The recent snowfall sparkled in the city park like a million diamonds. The air was bitterly cold and with a razor’s edge of dryness. Huge piles of snow edged sidewalks and intersections, remnants of the most recent storm. The streets in the business district remained glazed with what is apparently a permanent layer of ice. We haven’t seen the actual street surface in a month. I took a deep breath and thought, “What a beautiful day. This is the nicest day we’ve had in a long time. It’s really not bad out here.” How nice. I could appreciate being outdoors without the imminent threat of succumbing to hypothermia.

I got in my van, turned the ignition and looked at the thermometer. It was 1 degree above zero.

Yes, I was having warm fuzzy thoughts about a day when the mercury had climbed out of its sub-zero pit and achieved such lofty heights as 1 degree.

Welcome to hell. And it has frozen over.

This morning when I drove to work, the air temp was -25. And that didn’t really bother me. Yeah. Whatever. It’s nasty ass cold. Again. I’ve gotten used to it. THAT bothers me. I am so used to wind chill advisories and frost bite warnings and new record lows that they no longer have much impact on my brain. Just another day in Hoth. Watch out for tauntauns and snow speeders.

The radio announcers have started using a new term to describe the winter funk we have collectively sunk into here in the Midwest: snow fatigue. We are just so damned tired of snow. And bitter cold. And wind. And more snow. And cancellations. And delays. And oh look, it’s snowing again! Isn’t that special.

A student in my current class recently moved to Iowa from the southeast part of the country.

“Are winters here always like this?” she asked. The look on her face said she was afraid to hear the answer and more than ready to throw her stuff in a bag and catch the next train out of town if she didn’t like it.

“Um, no,” I assured her, trying to salvage some positive PR for the Hawkeye state. “We get horrible cold spells but they usually only last a few days, not a few months.” Not sure she was buyin’ it. At that point, people could die simply by going outside without the right kind of clothing.

Team Phoenix is headed to our first trial of the year this weekend. I am not giddily optimistic about a brilliant ring performance because our training time lately has fallen somewhere between limited and nearly non-existent. If I planned to meet friends to train at the club building 25 miles away, it snowed. And it didn’t just snow. It SNOWED. As in white-out blizzard conditions resulting in 30 car pileups on the interstate. So I stayed home.

If I planned to attend a fun match at a local club, it snowed, the match got canceled and I stayed home. If I planned to fly over to the club building after work to train before the evening’s classes, it snowed and I stayed home. If by some miracle it didn’t snow, the screaming winds and plunging temps sunk to such dangerously absurd lows that law enforcement warned people not to travel unless it was an emergency. I personally think Phoenix’s moving stand and glove turns constitute at least a minor emergency . . . but I stayed home.

Neither Jamie or Phoenix are getting much exercise beyond chasing one another around the house. It’s too cold for them to be outside any longer than it takes to go potty. Phoenix attempts to do his business without any feet actually touching the ground, then limps back to the house, alternating which miserably cold paws he holds aloft. Jamie thinks going potty directly by the back door is technically “outside,” which has led to a whole new set of problems.

I am not a paranoid type of person but lately I’ve started to feel like Mother Nature is out to get me. The mere act of even THINKING about going somewhere to train causes yet another Polar Vortex to come plunging down upon us from the wilds of the frozen north, dumping more snow and howling winds.

Phoenix’s training has been reduced to working fronts and finishes in front of a mirror in an empty upstairs bedroom at home. This is not an entirely bad thing. His fronts and finishes need work. But so does everything else. I joked with a friend that we are training once a week, whether we need it or not.

The first warm and sunny spring day we get, I’m calling in sick to work and taking my dog to the park to train. Of course it will be knee-deep in mud by then but I don’t care.  In the meantime, we will go to this weekend’s trials and see what’s what. It’s supposed to snow.

Friday, February 7, 2014

A conversation about cats

Phoenix encountered Bonus, the big gray tomcat, on the patio a few days ago. Bonus got neutered last month but he is still very much a tomcat's tomcat, complete with muscles, bulk, swagger and attitude. He and Phoenix are normally friendly to one another, except when they aren't, and this was one of those times.

When the dust settled, Bonus was on top of a shelf in the machine shed, Phoenix had claw marks on his nose and I had a house slipper full of snow from trying to prevent either of them from coming to bodily harm. Neither of them were much concerned with me or my cold foot.

Me: Phoenix, darling, sweetheart, sunshine of my life, why did you try to eat Bonus?

Phoenix: He was in the wrong place.

Me: But you and Bonus are friends. He rubs on your legs and lets you sniff him.

Phoenix: He was in the wrong place.

Me: The wrong place? What place is he supposed to be in?

Phoenix: Machine shed. Shed cat.

Me: So . . . he can never be on the patio by the back door?

Phoenix: No.

Me: Why not?

Phoenix: Cuz he’s a shed cat. Belongs in the shed.

Me: What if he wants to come out of the shed? He can’t stay in there forever.

Phoenix: He’ll go back in if he knows what’s good for him.

Me: What about the Adorables? They’re shed cats, too. But you let them come out.

Phoenix: No they’re not. They’re everywhere cats. Can’t get away from them.

Me: Yeah, you got that right.

Phoenix: Idea! Should bring Adorables in the house. House cats.

Me: Um, no. No. Just no.

Phoenix: Yes. All three. You wait. I will get them.

Me: You want Siren, Gryphon and Weezel in the house? Why?

Phoenix: Yes. Everyone gets a kitty. One for me, one for Jamie, one for papa.

Me: I don’t get one?

Phoenix: You get me.

And that is how most of our conversations end, with irrefutable malinois logic.