Ask anyone around these parts why we got a dog last year and most if not all of them would say “we have no idea. Both Tiff and Biff have stated bluntly that they were never going to get another dog because cats are so much easier and they can just leave for longer periods of time and gallivant and frolic and such without having to worry about some dumb ol’ canine needing to be walked and fed and loved and stuff.”
And it would be true. Every single syllable. Once Skeeter Thee Dog passed on, we were freed up significantly to do whatever we wanted to, when we wanted to, for periods of up to 3 whole days at a time without having to call in the kitty-sitter to come refill the food bowls and check for carcasses. We were footloose and fancy-free, and it was great. GREAT!! No dog hair to sweep up, no toys to throw and throw and throw, no schedule to be aware of, just loosey-goosey life, livin’ la vida lazy!
I didn’t realize how good we had it, until we got a puppy.
The most unexpected puppy ever, a puppy that really probably ought to be living with someone else right now. Someone else who understands dogs, who forgives them their stupidity and messes, who adores their goofy flabbergasting ways. Who might be able to make sense of what happened yesterday afternoon in the 5 hours or so he was home alone. Picture it:
I walk in the door at about 4:15, greeted as usual by Wern, who is standing on the couch in the usual position, happy as all get–out to see me, or so it would have appeared if I was utterly blind and had no sense of touch or smell.
The happiness was not FOR me, though, it was for the ‘work’ he’d been up to while on his own. Work that included jumping ON the kitchen table (he’s never done that before) and eating 2 packets of ketchup, 15-20 Hershey’s kisses (wrapped in festive pastel foil, which I expect to start seeing again any day now), a tube of lip gloss, a tub of tuning slide grease, a (small) bottle of rotor oil, 2 ziploc bags, and a work glove. In the carnage, he managed to dislodge 10+ CDs from the Ziploc they had been stored in and scatter them all over the floor, knock the (small) pile of mail to the floor, possibly eat some of the mail (can’t be sure, it’s either that or he snacked on some cash-register receipts), and knock a box of sewing pins all.over.the.floor (and carpet, and couch, and under the recliners).
It looked, quite literally, like someone had chucked a lit stick of dynamite into just the right spot to maximize ‘stuff spread’ on the BOOM.
I didn’t react well.
To put it mildly.
Oh sure, I put him outdoors (after slamming the door in his face and without checking his feet or mouth for PINS) so he wouldn’t get in my way (‘stay safe’) while I was cleaning up, and once done cleaning up I called the vet to get their recommendation on what to do (they said ‘go to the emergency room’ and I laughed and laughed). Sure, I made sure he was safe and secured the incident zone, sure I did, and then I called Biff and asked him where the shotgun was.
Because #1 – I’d had it with this wild beast and #2 - I do not have, at this time, any money to give to ER vets for our dog. Not even for an X-ray, because here’s why: there was some mix-up in the HR system at work and mysteriously my withholding allowances went from 0-80 (sort of) sometime in the latter third of the year and as such I owed several thousands of dollars to the Feds which I THOUGHT I was going to use to buy siding for the house after we get the foundation work done in May. Put it another way: foundation work + tax payout (the former siding!) = almost my entire savings account, with purt’ near no room left over for stupid dog tricks like maybe SWALLOWING PINS and having to pay out mucho dollars to assess the situation.
Well, calling Biff was the right thing to do, because he couldn’t put his fingers right smack on where the shells were for the shotgun. Not only was he totally non-helpful in my bloodlust, Biff talked me back off the ledge from which I was planning to jumpstart my murderous career and suggested I call our buddy Jen, who knows Things About Animals and is good about putting the tops of upset people’s heads back on when their idiot pets caused it to nearly blow right off. So, I texted Jen, and Jen said ‘call me,’ so I called, and she talked me down from the radiator next to the ledge back to a reasonably comfortable wing chair in the parlor, advising us to take a path that sounded sensible and level-headed and cheap. Gosh Jen, I’m glad we crossed paths at a company that shall not be named many years ago – and not only for your ‘don’t be daft about the dog’ attitude.
So, Wern was fed well throughout the evening. We watched for signs of distress but none came. No GI effects throughout the night. This morning he was pacing a bit but I think that’s because I was up at 4:30 a.m. for NO REASON AT ALL and he didn’t get his customary lie-in until 8 a.m. with me and was confused about how to be in the morning, in the dark. I asked Mason to take him out at lunchtime, and I’m leaving soon to go check on him/let him out/feed him some more/ensure he’s not eaten through the back door and into the garden like some canine Lawnmower Man.
Because even though he was in mega-jerk dog mode yesterday afternoon and evening, I’d still hate for the big galoot to feel sad or sick or ‘off’ without someone there to help him through what ails him.
Which does NOT mean I’m a ‘dog person,’ yet, but I think it’s one more step down the road to crazytown.