I hope everyone stops by Michael Offutt's blog to wish him congrats on being offered a contract from a publisher. It's kinda big deal. So I offer him up my best wishes.
My wife was away this past weekend. It was just me, my teenaged son, and a few dogs. I naively thought that would mean a weekend full of storytelling genius was about to unfold before me. What it ended up being was a weekend coddling a teeny little dog that hasn’t been away from my wife for more than a couple hours since we owned it. That dog is very needy. It whimpered, whined, cried, and mostly tried to sit on my lap, or crawl down my shirt, for the few days my wife wasn’t around. Wow.
I realized that while both my dogs are pretty cool, there is a down side. My big girl, Lucy, is in a lot of ways, the best dog I’ve ever had. Two things about her make her higher maintenance than I am comfortable with.
She lays down for like, 10 seconds...
...and she gets up and leaves this behind.
1)Her fur: This dog produces more hair than is possible, period. It can’t be true. That doggy fur is long, like hair, and gets wound into the carpet and has managed to ruin two vacuum cleaners, and one wire brush that I started using to try to get that stuff out of the carpet with. I have to do something daily or it will get out of hand. Anyone who thinks I just need to brush her more is wrong, brushing makes it worse. Why? Because if I don’t brush her, her hair will get matted. Matted hair means less stuff falling out all the time. Actually, I’ve tried both ways and it doesn’t matter. I brush her out for an hour and I have enough hair to stuff a pillow. The next morning when I wake up and equal amount of hair will be in my carpet.
2)Her slobber: Ever see Turner and Hooch? My breed was a cross between something (I forget) and a Saint Bernard. I get all the slobber that comes with that. She’ll come into the house and start shaking those jowls and huge wads of mucus like slobber will go everywhere – the TV, the Laptop, the Couch, the Stove, anything left on the counter, the walls, and of course, on any person. I’ve gotten accustomed to wiping everything down after she comes into a room. The smell of cooking food makes it a thousand times worse.
Those are pretty big things, I cleaned the floors of the house twice this weekend, and cleaned slobber off of everything as well. It won’t matter, I guarantee you that after she’s been in the house for more than a couple of hours that everything will be covered in slobbery hair. I’m so tired of it. Ugh.
Then we move to the little one, that thing has a whole suite of emotional disorders, mostly tied to his need to always be around my wife. He’s actually a playful, friendly little thing. Not really given to much barking or growling. He just always needs to be on someone’s lap, or chest, shoulders, whatever. If you’re in a chair, sitting up, he will jump between you and the backrest and find a way to make himself comfortable. WTF? Why would a dog do that? It’s weird. It’s like the irony police have sentenced me to be punished for saying the main reason dogs are so much better than cats is because of their love of attention and social interaction. Yea, but this dog is like an emotional black hole, just sucking up all the joy you have and still wanting more. I’m so tired. Here’s the thing though… that isn’t the worst part.
1)He isn’t potty trained. This dog seems uncommonly smart to me. I don’t know how it can be, its head isn’t any bigger than a large nut, I’m not sure how much brain one could fit inside that little skull. That thing knows that no one wants it to take a dump in the hallway, in the kitchen, in the living room, the closet, or anywhere else. But it still does. The worst part. He spends so much time wearing you out by always getting up in your face, that as soon as he leaves you think, “thank god, I can take a breath”. What happens of course, is that he’s pissed in the corner, and has taken a dump on the pair of socks I took off 5 minutes ago. After 15 seconds he’s back and I’m thinking, no way in hell that dog could possibly have gone to the bathroom, it’s only been a few seconds. Trust me, it’s too late.
I could totally crap here and everyone would think he did it.
2)Related to the above point, he does it on purpose. I’m sure of it. I said before he’s smart. He also is lazy, like a little kid that can’t be bothered to go potty because if he craps himself he knows his mother will just clean him up. He doesn’t care. My wife has done all this stuff that’s supposed to make dogs want to go outside, sprays, pads, um, treats, whatever. That damn thing just doesn’t care.
I took the little one over to my mother’s house on Saturday, I said, ‘I only need you to keep him for a few minutes, I’m just going to get a bite to eat, and I’m afraid he’s suicidal and don’t want to leave him alone’. My mother laughed and assured me she could handle him.
She called me a few minutes after I left and said, ‘your dog crapped on my carpet’.
Of course he did. That dog uses crap the way most dogs use pee. It’s like a marker for his territory or something. I claim this land as my own!I will prove it by crapping all over it. Dumb dog.
The result of these two together? A carpet that looks like it’s been salvaged from the dump. I’ve got crap that I find from one dog that has drool and hair all over it from the other. It’s like they combine their powers to ruin the house. We have to keep those pet stain removers stashed in almost every room of the house. These pets, without the missus around to take up a big portion of the baggage that comes with them, are very stressful. It’s like having a couple of toddlers that just screw everything up if you so much as turn you head to cough.
Geez, I should probably end this rant now. I do love the things, but after this weekend I’m not sure I can say I think it’s worth it. I need a vacation from my dogs.