Maisie and I See Eye to Eye

Maisie is by no means the perfect dog.

I can’t shift on the couch without that dog bolting expectantly toward the door. And she’s infuriatingly opportunistic about the chaos of the farm. If I’m distracted by a kid or grabbing something from the car, Maisie’s gone at warp speed. Then someone (ie, Martin) has to fetch the damn dog from the path along the river.

But in Maisie’s eyes, I’m probably flawed as well. She probably thinks that I’m too stingy with the table scraps and a lazy schlump to boot (everyone’s a lazy schlump by Border Collie standards).

But the dog and I have found common ground: We agree that “The Walking Dead” is heart-thumpingly stressful.

As it sounds, The Walking Dead is a horror TV show — on AMC, of all channels. Simply put, it’s a gory, violent story about a handful of survivors in the aftermath of a zombie apocalypse. The series has run its course but lives on with Tivo. Martin recorded it and while I watched the first two episodes, with that isn’t-it-fun-to-be-scared mentality, the graphic images of shuffling skeletons terrorizing a few lonely souls was too much for me.

But slipping out of the room wasn’t enough. I tried working at my desk while Martin watched, but the shrieks and the soggy “thuds” as the main character bludgeoned a zombie to his second death made my heart race. I lobbied for another channel. Anything but The Walking Dead.

Fortunately I found a kindred spirit in Maisie, who ranks zombies on par with thunderstorms and other ominous sounds that signal the end of the world is near. Halfway through a Dead episode, Maisie slunk from her post by the door and crawled into Martin’s lap. She tucked her snout under his chin, thumped her tail and pleaded with her one blue eye. She couldn’t have gotten any closer to Martin if she tried.

Thankfully, Maisie’s toxic breath and my subtle comments (“I can’t stand the sound of that anymore! Turn it off!”) …persuaded Martin to find something less violent to watch on TV: Football.