Everyone who comes to visit our house for the first time asks what kind of dog we have. We don’t know exactly - she’s a rescue dog – but we suspect she’s part coonhound and Doberman with a huge dose of Woody Allen tossed into the mix. She’s neurotic as hell and always looks guilty when you walk into a room.
In fact, when we first got her and she’d hang her head in shame while peeking at us from the corner of her eye, we’d say in our sternest voices, “What did you doooo?” Chew up shoes? Rip the furniture? Wet on the rug? Nothing. Seriously, we’d search the whole upstairs, and there would be nothing out of place. The worst thing she ever destroyed was used Kleenex, which is really a weird behavior if you think about it.
Well, this morning I have to take Dani to see the vet, and I’m dreading it. Not only does she have a guilt complex, she has what the vet terms “nervous drooling”. Copious amounts of nervous drooling. In my car. Thirty minutes there and thirty minutes back. That doesn’t seem long, but in dog years… Needless to say, I’ll have to find the tarp.
We used to go to a vet much closer to home, but they were more whackadoo than my dog. (Actually, our current vet is a little odd too. He’s the only person I’ve ever heard use the word troubadour in a sentence. But hey, I can deal with an advanced vocabulary.) I remember the last time I took my dog to the old vet. Dr. Rainbow Bright raised her eyebrows and said, “Tell me what your dog enjoys doing?” as if I might say something really interesting like, “She has a passion for Anton Chekhov, parasailing and getting caught in the rain.” Um, she gallops like a horse, stands in the middle of my dining room table to see out the window and tap dances while sneezing when she wants us to feed her. (Those I didn’t make up.)
But the kicker came when I checked out and the receptionist handed me a small plastic container that looked like a compact and a Popsicle stick then told me I could bring in my dog’s fecal sample later. Now, I really thought I was doing them a favor and helping them save a little money when I said, “Yeah, I’m not going to do that, so you can have this back.” From the outraged glare she gave me, you would have thought I’d said I was going to shoot my dog in their parking lot. First of all, it was subzero weather and secondly, ew!
Some days, I feel she’s lucky to have a roof over her head, expensive dog food and medical care at all. She’s a thief, pure and simple. One day I pulled a leftover NY strip steak out of the refrigerator for my lunch, the phone rang, I answered it and when I came back, the whole thing was gone. In one minute, she inhaled my steak! Another time, I cooked a chicken breast for lunch, left it to cool on the stove and she snarfed it while it was still steaming hot. Now if I have to walk away from my food for even a second, I hurl threats at her first. “You touch my food and you’re so out of this house!” And I think she understands, because she doesn’t even go for it, as long as I threaten her.
Yet, despite her thieving ways, she’s my buddy. She naps in whatever room I choose for writing and moves with me when I need a change of scenery. Some days I even appreciate her neurosis. No solicitors stand a chance of selling me anything because there is no way Dani is letting them in the house. In fact, I can’t even hear their sales pitch over her obnoxious barking, so I don’t even try. I’ve even yelled, “I’m sorry, I can’t open the door because my dog will attack you.” I don’t think that’s true, but you wouldn’t know it from looking at her and it works great at getting rid of pests.
So, tell me, what does your pet enjoy doing? ;)