The 15 Minute Dog

Posted on February 24, 2012

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(The following is part of my Friday series, “Old Posts to Dredge out on Slow Weekends Because When I Posted Them Originally People Cared More About the Economy and World Peace Than My Blog.” Although nothing has changed, it’s the start of a slow weekend.)

A lot of people, consisting entirely of my daughter and my younger son, always ask me why I don’t have a dog.  This is because when they were growing up,  Then Husband and I always had a dog.  The answer is that Now Husband does not want a dog and denies all knowledge of having had a dog when he was growing up.  “It wasn’t really a pet. It lived outside,” is his excuse.  “Everyone lived outside in that part of the world”, is my counter.

In spite of this, I found an ad on Craig’s List.  The photo showed a beautiful little beagle mix.  The ad said, “Dog was found wandering along the road.”  It should have said “Dog was found WANDERING ALONG THE ROAD.”  Now Husband and I drove 25 miles to see the dog.   I was assured by the people who found her that the vet had given her a clean bill of health and that she was totally housebroken.  I fell in love.  Now Husband fell in “I Don’t Want This Dog But I Am Willing To Sort Of Let It Come Home With Us.”  It wasn’t the best start, but it was a start.

Things went downhill rapidly from there. This had “outside” and “inside” mixed up.  No matter how many walks we took and no matter how long the walks were, she waited patiently until we were once again in the house to do her business.  Another problem was that she refused to stay inside.  She didn’t want to walk; she just wanted out.  Within a millimeter of the door opening, she would bolt into the space at full-tilt-boogie speed.  Each time she did this, I assumed she was about to find the nearest thoroughfare and go WANDERING ALONG THE ROAD.

I tried love.  When I petted her or played with her, she would put her head down and look either pitiful or bored.   I couldn’t tell which emotion was being displayed because unless a dog is chewing on your leg, it has two basic expressions: asleep and awake .  I spent several days getting hysterically excited when she appeared to consider even slightly the possibility of peeing or pooping on our walks (follow through was never actually accomplished). I cleaned up poop and pee.  I threw dog toys into the air and then ran across the room and retrieved them myself.  All in all, I was actually turning myself into a pretty good pet for someone.

Finally, I admitted defeat.  I tied her outside, where she spent many happy hours just sitting there, being OUTSIDE.  She came  inside only when it was time to poop or pee.  So we had achieved some sort of predictable routine.  I should interject here that the bonding I had hoped for between the as-yet-unnamed dog and Now Husband was not exactly taking place.  Mostly, Now Husband got really quiet and started searching for one bedroom condos on Craig’s List.  To make matters worse, he refused my help, even though I am a Realtor.

About two weeks into this new lifestyle, I had to leave for a few hours, and Now Husband wasn’t home.  The dog was, as usual, happily sitting OUTSIDE watching the air currents change.  Jorge/George, our tree-climbing lawncare-type person,  was working in the yard.  I told Jorge/George my sad story and asked him to keep an eye on the dog while I was gone.

I returned to find Jorge/George and the dog, happily sitting together on the porch in a state of complete bonding.  The dog actually looked happy.  Several minutes later, a car pulled up and a family poured out and all rushed toward the dog.  Mom, Dad, two young girls.  They all began smothering the dog with hugs and petting.  The dog’s tail was wagging.  I had never seen that before. Jorge/George explained to me that he wanted to adopt the dog and “share” her with his best friend who lived in the same complex.  His daughters had been asking for a dog, and my dog was perfect.  I’m not sure why my dog was perfect, unless the complex they lived in consisted entirely of OUTSIDE.

I asked no questions.  I grabbed the dog carrier, a dozen toys (most with my own teeth marks in them,) a leash, all the vet papers and a huge bag of kibble.  I waved as the family loaded the dog into the car.  The dog did not wave back.  By the time Now Husband got home, I was serene.  I knew the dog had a great new home with people who would love and care for her.  Better yet, I was able to contact the condo owner on Craig’s List and cancel my husband’s appointment to preview the unit.  Hopefully, if he ever feels in crisis again, he won’t resort to searching ads on Craig’s List, but will, instead, talk to me first.  After all, as I have stated before, I am a licensed realtor.

*****

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Posted in: dogs, humor, life, mishaps, satire