There are two kinds of people in this world; me and everyone else. Not sure why we always like to divide people into groups, but there you go. Another group – those who own dogs, and those who don’t. We don’t. I owned one dog yeeeaaars ago, and was a foster dog parent for a couple of years.
In a previous life, I thought it would be a nice thing to get my wife a dog for a gift. She wanted a Weimaraner; I got her a Saint Bernard. Found out a few things in a hurry. 1) They take up a LOT of room, wherever they are. 2) They slobber a lot, and when they shake their heads at the same time, it often reaches the ceiling. 3) “Picking up” after your dog is a (ahem) big job.
Years Later, while my daughter was attended college in northern California, I kept getting phone calls from her roommates about the damage her dog was doing to the house they were in and to their personal belongings. My daughter insisted it wasn’t her dog. When she moved back home, though, she brought “it’s not my dog” – a pit bull/retriever mix. Super-friendly with people, but that dog had jaws of steel. When my daughter moved out, we learned more about it. Up here on Puget Sound, lots of people use large, round rubber boat floats for tree swings. Zappa learned how to jump up, grab the bumper in her jaws, and swing back and forth.
One time while camping at a lake, I tossed a branchless tree about 10’ long, a good 4” at the butt into the lake like a missle. Zappa would swim out to it, grab it by the thick end, swim back, pull it up to the beach and drop it by my feet – again and again and again. A bystander stood amazed, and in broken english said “Dog have strong jaws!” Yep, we know.
She also needed a LOT of exercise everyday, even in the winter. I’d be out in the total dark, lit only by a yard light, throwing the frisbee for her, rain or snow, for an hour. She could leap six feet into the air to catch that frisbee.
The big lesson I learned was that owning a dog is much like having an infant. They need a lot of attention, they need to be fed often, they can make messes, their poop needs to be cleaned up, and they are not universally welcome. None of these fit well with our new life. We love to travel; most motels and our time-share don’t allow dogs. Our house and yard aren’t particularly dog friendly – both are pretty small, and generally well kept. Dog hair and dogs digging … and barking, hmm, not so much our thing. You can say what you want about cats, but at least they don’t bark. And – just an observation, not a judgement – we often see where people’s lives end up revolving around the needs of their dogs, which can limit their ability to connect with us. Dogs give a lot of love, which is fabulous for many – but we would rather love on each other.
So, we often appreciate, and even love, others dogs. In fact, I told Terri we may get one – when we are too old to travel, the grandkids are all grown, and we are all alone. Until then, we won’t own a dog – or even a cat, for that matter.
My friend, David C, DOES own dogs, including one named Baxter. He has written a series of posts detailing his challenges with his dog. A few are included here, with his permission, and they are hilarious. And just another confirmation that maybe we just aren’t cut out to be doggie parents.
The Baxter Chronicles
Baxter the Wonder Dog aka the Dean of Duffus U. will give a lecture this weekend entitled “How to Draw Objects into your backyard. This is a must hear for all dogs who have their own air conditioned room with a doggie door that leads out to the backyard/bathroom. Somehow, like a magnet he draws objects into the yard that were never there before. Example: bricks, balls, skateboards, small sledge hammers, other dogs, dead animals,etc. Yesterday while I was in the backyard doing my weekly scanning of the minefield I discover a perfectly good sprinkler head. I checked, it was Not one of mine! Don’t you feel that your dog should have the opportunity to hone this skill? Remember Duffus University, BR 549.
This is the life I lead.
Wake Up America!!
Well it once again is time for another tale of The Baxter Chronicles. Sadly, this may be the last chapter in the ongoing tale about Baxter the Wonder Dog, aka The Puke of Earl, Uggy Face, The Junk Yard Poodle, The Turd from Hell, and Fart Face. That’s right, I have finally decided to kill him. Apparently it is not enough that I have spent over $100 on dog beds. There are now two in the bedroom, two by the fireplace, and two in the Dog Cave. Fart face has decided that on sunny days he would like to lay on his bed in the back yard and bask in the sun. The only problem is that there is not a bed in the backyard. This is not a problem for the Puke of Earl. He just somehow pulls the huge dog bed through the tiny dog door and then puts on his sunglasses, fixes him a drink, and basks in the sun. Say a prayer for him, his days are numbered.
Welcome to another chapter of the Baxter Chronicles. I am convinced that JODI purchased Baxter the Wonder Dog from Quinlan Auto Salvage and Gift shop. They have a no refund policy. I can understand why.
So Sunday we went to PetSmart to get Baxter’s vaccination. JODI had to go with me and we took her car. He is no longer allowed in my truck. JODI had to go because, as you will remember from last year he dropped a load on my foot and an innocent young girl standing in line. So I no longer have to suffer the embarrassment that is Baxter the Wonder Dog aka Puke Face.
I made sure not to feed him in the morning so as to discourage puking. I also put two dog beds in the back of the car. He puked any way! On both beds. I am pretty sure he puked up the medicine that we paid $98 for.
If that is not enough Daisy got sick and we had to move her to the dog cave for the night. The dog cave has, by the way, it’s own A/C unit so they won’t be uncomfortable. Baxter doesn’t function without Daisy so we moved both dog beds to the dog cave for just one night. Baxter chewed his up.
This is the life I lead! I can feel the envy!