The other day, for reasons still unknown to me, I allowed my daughter Lauren to convince me that we needed a dog. We didn’t need a dog. Nobody “needs” a dog. But she had been crying about it for a while and one day we found ourselves driving by a local animal shelter and, under threat of her jumping out of the car going 65 miles an hour, I pulled into the parking lot and we took a tour of the place.
The front part of the building was just a big window display of what I guess they believed to be their most adoptable dogs. We passed display after display of gorgeous little puppies playing with bright bouncy balls and little plastic toys. They weren’t regular puppies either. They were especially trained to perform that sad puppy look on cue. I’m not kidding. The moment you tapped on the window the dogs would turn around, sit, slump their little doggy shoulders and then their eyes would turn into the size of half dollars with little a hint of tear forming at the bottom. Bravo. I was impressed.
Lauren cried at every dog she saw. It was all a set up, of course. All these cute little dogs all cleaned up and pretty. One of the displays even had a sign over it that read “are you my new daddy”? Ha! Nope. Never even met your mommy. Don’t know her. I wasn’t falling for any of that crap. I would even do this thing where I would stare back at them with the same puppy eyes until the dog got uncomfortable and walked away. I am the master of my emotions.
So after watching Lauren cry at every little doggy in the window as if she was saying goodbye to a loved one going off to war, I asked one of the high school kids working there (who was trying to pad her resumes with community hours), “What you do you have out back”?
Lauren cried even more.
That back section was a bunch of cages. You could see that the look in the eyes of these dogs in the back was different than the look of ones in the front. There were no actors here. These dogs had been through stuff. They had been around the block a time or two. I told Lauren that if we are going to get a dog it would be from back here. I did that hoping Lauren would say no so we could leave, but she didn’t argue and started looking around. I stayed back a bit as she asked one of the helpers to let her take out this or that dog out to a fenced in area even further to the back, where she could check out the dog and play with it.
I walked around looking at the dogs too. Some were doubled up in cages and others, more aggressive ones, were left to a cage by themselves. There were all kinds of dogs back there, some pure breeds, but mostly mixed older dogs. I knew most of these dogs weren’t going anywhere. For all practical purposes this was doggy death row.
I walked by every cage. Most of the dogs were loud and energetic, wanting to get out of their cages, others were docile, reserved to just waiting for their fate. I saw Lauren had walked out and back in with a couple of dogs the size of dinosaurs. She had always said she wanted a Great Dane. Or a Chihuahua. She’s not very good at deciding things.
Well Ms. Teary-eyed came over to me and told me she couldn’t decide what she wanted and that we should probably leave before she gets a panic attack. I agreed. I was on the very last row of dogs. She walked with me as we came to the very last cage. It had 2 dogs in it. An older Chihuahua named Paco wearing what I think was supposed to be doggy pancho (Lauren said that was racist), and a small shepherd mix named Blue. I kneeled down to check out Paco, who really just looked like a wet burrito in that thing, and he started barking up a storm. Blue, who had been laying down at the back of the cage also came up to the front. He sat down next to Paco and just watched him bark. I got both their attention and stared at them to see if I could stare them down. After about a minute Paco shut up and walked to the back of the cage to lay down. Blue just stayed there and would not give up eye contact with me. I knew I could beat him though. I rushed at the cage to scare him, but he didn’t blink. He just looked at me and twisted his head sideways wondering what the hell I was doing. I’d seen that look on all my kids when they were little. Dammit. Suddenly I heard a voice ask, “How much for this one?” The voice was me.
So, after a small donation, a lengthy questionnaire intended to judge our “dog worthiness”, and a mandatory 20 minute lecture on how to take care of your dog given to by some high school kid with acne and braces and a bad lisp, Lauren and I walked out of the shelter, the proud owners of a mid-size shepherd mix dog named Blue without any testicles and all his shots. Yay. Ugh.
Here’s the thing about getting a dog for your kids – and you need to know this because your kids will some day ask you for one- kids are liars. Big fat liars. Don’t trust them. They don’t want a dog for themselves. They want one for you that they can visit on weekends and every other Wednesday without so much as paying child support. Dogs for them are like nephews and nieces for us, sure they’re cute, but ultimately not our problem.
So, here I am few weeks later. Just me, not you, and a dog named Blue. Don’t get me wrong I like Blue. Yeah, he leaves his toys lying around, but so does Lauren and I haven’t gotten rid of her yet either, and, unlike Lauren, Blue was quick to be house trained. I can leave him inside the house for 3 days straight and he will hold it (don’t ask me how I know).
He’s got good and bad habits. He likes to watch CNN with me and growls every time Sarah Huckabee Sanders gives a press conference. He has only barked once at the TV, and that was when he saw Mitch McConnell talk about repealing Obama Care. Good dog. He has seen Trump on TV but when that happens he gets up and scratches at the door to go outside and take a crap. I know how he feels. Very good dog.
Taking him outside is always an adventure. He’s got the attention span of a gnat. If I take him outside while another dog is outside he will not do his business until that dog is gone. I now send Lauren out to do recon to see if it is safe to take him out. He’s afraid of most other dogs. Except Fred. Though Fred is not a real dog. A neighbor had put this doggy skeleton out during Halloween and Blue would walk by and stop and stare at it and cry. I named it Fred. Blue would pick up anything he could find and bring it to the dog so it could eat. Lol. I honestly think that Blue thought Fred was a real dog. The neighbor eventually put it away and Blue still stops there and cries for the stupid plastic skeleton. Stupid Blue. Unless, of course, Fred was actually made from a real dog. People are weird. And dogs do have 10,000 times our sense of smell so maybe Blue isn’t that stupid. I’m kidding. He’s stupid.
He likes to roll in shit. I have to keep a good eye on him. When I take him for a walk he constantly sniffs around looking for God knows what. If he takes a dive for the grass I have to give him a good yank before he baths in some other dogs crap. Dumb dog.
He likes to pee on 1,000 things before he comes back in. Every tree, car tire, air conditioner, bbq pit, or small child is fair game. Everything but a fire hydrant. I must have the only dog in the world that will not pee on a fire extinguisher. Even I peed on a fire hydrant once. (Don’t ask)
Oh, yeah, he eats like a goat. He will eat anything. He will eat all the food we give him, but will also eat anything else. He has eaten cotton balls, paper plates, plastic buckets, a spider man toy, and one of my books. He is especially fond of Downy dryer sheets (who isn’t, right?). We have to be real careful with those things. I’ve never actually seen him eat one, but I have seen him throw up a couple, and once, had the distinct pleasure of pulling one out of his butt. He farts were “April Fresh” for a couple of days after that.
Anyways, according to Google, this dog might last a while (barring a Downy dryer sheet overdose) so I will let you know how things go. Me and Blue are gonna sit back and relax to his favorite Pandora music channel. It keeps him out of my hair. He’s actually staring at me right now while I write this so this dog owner has to go. It’s already afternoon and I don’t think I have fed him today. lol. I’m kidding. I might have fed him. If not I got whole box of dryer sheets with his name on it.
I’ll keep you guys updated on Blue in future posts if you want, and, possibly, even if you don’t want. As it turns out I run this blog with an iron hand, or iron fist, or whatever that saying is. I hope all my readers (both of you) are dog lovers. If not, I will forgive the sin for now. But get out to the dog pound and rescue a dog. You won’t regret it.
Tell them Blue sent you.