Thursday, June 10, 2010
Gone to the Dogs...Again
Take your average household. Add spit-up, pee and poo at random and completely inconvenient intervals. Subtract sleep and sanitary floors. Shake well. Repeat for a decade plus.
Now, now - don't get me wrong. I love dogs, I love babies. Both offer boundless unconditional affection, hilarity and a more fulfilling life. I have even had babies, two to be exact. They are growing up. Fast. And except for the last two years, I've had dogs my entire life.
Our last one, a German shepherd mix, died in 2008 at age 15. He left behind tears, memories and broken hearts.
He also left behind fur I'm still discovering, scratches on the hardwood floors and a rainbow of stains on the bedroom carpet from his frequent, unpredictable vomiting. In his later years, he woke us several times a night with his various annoying habits and old-age maladies. He had breath that could peel paint.
Sometimes? I still smell it.
Never, ever again, I said. Ever. I wanted to sleep through the night again . I wanted a fresh-smelling house again.
I wanted new, pristine bedroom carpet again.
Two years flew by. I have yet to buy new carpet. With a job, two kids, their sports, a husband...and Facebook, who has time?
So there I was, merrily minding my own business - not buying carpet - when it happened.
Brown eyes...short, stubby body...and all alone.
Sounds a lot like me during my single years. But it was a dog at our babysitter's house - a beagle. Dropped off, probably, by a hilljack who didn't like his hunting skills.
He'd slouched by our sitter's front door for days, apparently unfamiliar with abandonment, apparently waiting to be invited inside.
The babysitter's family named him Roscoe. When I reached down to pet him, he flinched, cowered and squatted, waiting for a beating.
I was heartbroken. I was smitten. I called the husband.
He proceeded to remind me of my 'Never Again!' rants. He proceeded to remind me of the bedroom carpet. I proceeded not to listen, hung up and decided text message-pestering the best medium for the situation:
Me: "I love Roscoe. Roscoe loves me. Do not come between us."
The Hub: "I am the only man in yo' life!"
Me: "Roscoe is not man. He is dog. This is better. He can't talk."
I continued to pummel the husband all day with Roscoe-related text-pestering, eventually wearing him down, per my plan. I brought my new buddy home.
He gave the house a good beagle-sniffing, while I waited for the old outdoor-dog leg-lift. It never came. Seemed as if he already knew the general rules.
He spent his first night huddled on a blanket, as close to my side as he could without getting on the bed. He seemed terrified I'd leave him. That dog made it through the entire night without a potty break. This is a feat I haven't accomplished in 13 years.
The husband, Mr. "I-Like-German-Shepherds-Not-Beagles," brought him fancy-pants Kibbles n' Bits, not the cheapo Wal-Mart Ol' Roy he used to buy. He also turned a blind eye when he found Roscoe asleep on our white coach.
And so the house will stink again. The hardwood floors have braced for more scratches, the couch for more hair, the carpet for more stains.
Doesn't matter. Against my will, judgment and all good common sense, I am in love.