Have you seen those commercials? You know the ones: an adorable blond puppy snuggling in a pile of fresh smelling laundry or the happy-go-lucky lab mischievously tracking mud into the house while the actor-Mom, sporting a cheesy smile, wipes behind with a pre-moistened Lysol wipe? I’m here to tell you folks: It’s all bullshit!
Puppies are NOT cute.
Yet for some reason, humans hold on to this age-old belief that puppies are adorable little bundles of pure love with giant paws and yummy breath. Sunshine, rainbows and happiness all wrapped up in one precious little furry package. Oh sure, from the outside, they give an appearance of cuteness. That was God’s plan; so people would think twice about killing them.
I recently had the misfortune of spending the very long month of December with a puppy.
Mom was all smiles when she came home carrying little miss No-Name. “At 8 weeks old-how much trouble could she be?” I heard her thinking. She plopped the little back lab mix into Tommy’s arms, No-Name wiggled to the floor and it was all downhill from there.
Here is a photograph of No-Name in a ridiculous Christmas outfit:
We called her a different name each day to find one that suited her.
Mindy. Lucy. Maggie. Suzy. Cindy Lou Woo. Little Miss Poopie pants. She-devil. We settled on Katie.
Sure, Katie has fleeting moments of “tolerability.” I guess she looks moderately adorable while sleeping, her bloated puppy belly gently rising and falling, toes twitching while she dreams of chasing imaginary balls. The other 23 hours a day she is a farting, pooping, peeing, bumbling, royal pain in my ass.
She rambles around he house with no obvious destination. Like a drunken mental patient she runs around, bumping into furniture. All the while her legs are sliding out from under her as if completely independent from her brain.
Because of her limited vocabulary, a conversation with the little monster goes something like this:
Katie: ”wanna play? wanna play? wanna wanna wanna?? Hold on a minute, gotta poop,” (Pause, poop, sniff, and resume) “Wanna play? Huh? Wanna?”
Me: “For the last time Katie, LEAVE ME ALONE!”
I have lost all patience with trying to explain the house rules, which was standard protocol with the other fosters. She doesn’t pay attention. We are certainly not dealing with an Einstein here.
True story dear readers:
Let me give you some background: My Mom is a first class sap! She feels sorry for everyone and everything. From the spider she gently scoops up to put outside (instead of squashing it like a normal person), to the tiny carrot seedlings in our garden that she can’t bear to thin, resulting in our fall carrot harvest resembling a deformed collection of twisted orange legs. Her sappiness is the reason she got into dog rescue.
One night, Tommy tells Mom she looks skinny in her new jeans. Now that is the Holy Grail of all compliments as far as Mom is concerned. If Tommy were smart he would say it more often. If she could hear me speak, I’d be spending the rest of my days, lounging on the comfy couch watching Seinfeld reruns while Mom simultaneously rubbed my belly and stuffed Greenies in my mouth.
It’s a powerful tool.
Here are some examples of how you can use this tool to your benefit:
“Wow, those jeans make you look skinny-can I borrow 50 bucks?”
“Wow, that dress makes you look skinny – can I get a ride to the airport?”
So this particular evening she is singing songs while making dinner, still high from the compliment. She stops, only occasionally, to look at her butt in the mirror. Then, in the middle of her off-key rendition of ”I Heard it through the Grape Vine,” old Katie-girl takes a flying leap and nips a triangle-shaped hole in the thigh of those sacred jeans.
Mom looks at the ripped fabric, heartbroken. And then, my dog loving, spider scooping, carrot sympathizing sappy-ass Mom glares down at Katie-girl and screams: “YOU SUCK!”
Katie gives Mom a blank stare, and jumps up again aiming for the other leg.
I try to get her attention. “Psst…. ix-nay on the umping-jay. Real bad move lame brain”
Tommy, shocked by dear old Mom’s outburst, starts howling with laughter from the living room.
Mom charges into the room and announces: “I would rather stick a fork in my eye than foster another puppy!”as Tommy, trying to hide a smile, puts on his serious face. She does look kind of funny when she is trying to be tough. I stifle a giggle too.
This is now Tom’s favorite story to tell at parties.
Back to Katie:
She dutifully poops and pees every time we go outside to a ridiculous chorus of “good girl- good girl.” Then, after being back in the house for a whole 5 minutes, those same actions get repeated on the rug.
She poops, like, a hundred times a day – no exaggeration! And another rugs bites the dust.
To her credit, she did not chew on the smorgasbord of shoes on the rack by the door, but everything else was fair game; the 80-dollar laptop computer cord (twice), the telephone, the coffee table. But Moms arms were her chew toy of choice. By the end of the first week poor Mom looked like a heroin addict.
One day they took Katie to the vet. I’m not sure why, because unless you consider being a moron a disease, the monster seemed unnaturally healthy to me. I hear talk about a “routine visit,” I’m not sure what that means, but I hoped it was something serious, or better yet-fatal. In retrospect, not my proudest moment.
When mom complains to her rescue friends about Katie’s incessant bad behavior they would act concerned and ask, ” What’s her breed?”
“Black Lab mixed with something “
“How old is she?”
The answer is always the same…. “DUH!”
She was getting no sympathy there. Apparently they already knew that puppies suck.
Fine Readers, if you were expecting another sentimental story with a ” dog meets – dog hates dog – dog grows to love dog” lesson. I’m sorry to disappoint.
She’s been gone over a month and I’m still doing the happy dance!
So is Mom.
Here is a photograph of yours truly in an adorable Christmas outfit: