People always write these heart warming, cuddly, sweet stories about their pets. I’m not sure those pets really exist. I think they are fantasies of what pet owners wish their dogs were. For example, the stories of pets running for help when the owner falls or has a heart attack. I’m pretty sure mine would stand around until I quit moving and then they would eat me. Thwarting a burglar? Not likely. Mine would roll over to have their bellies rubbed before hopping in the front seat of the criminals car to go for a ride.
That’s not to say my dogs aren’t loving, or even entertaining. Never mind that I adopt in order to do my small part to help out. Trust me, if they weren’t at least mildly amusing and gave back as much love as they get, I wouldn’t do it. I’m not that selfless. Over the years they have provided countless hours of entertainment, good story fodder, and generally made my life a happier, if hairier, thing to enjoy.
There was the time Truman, my Llasa Apso mix, somehow managed to squeeze through a loose board and get into the neighbors yard. The girls next door came to tell me about it. As I was trying to fish him out from under the lilacs, they told me they thought my other dog was trying to come through, too. So I look and sure enough, there is Fergus, also known as Pugzilla, crammed halfway through the fence. All I could see from this side was his head, with his cheeks pulled back and his eyes bulging out, and his two little tyrannosaurus pug legs wedged through underneath him. When I went back to my side of the fence, there was a great view of his back half, still stuck in the fence. To this day, I kick myself for not taking the time to grab my camera.
Then there was the beautiful summer day when I took the same two for a ride in the car and stopped to get gas. I finish filling up and go to hop back in the car. The door is locked. Huh. I don’t remember locking that. No worries. Reach in my pocket. Crap. There are the keys in the ignition. Great. Summer day, dogs locked in car, window barely cracked. My dogs are going to die and I’m going to jail. Determination wins out over embarrassment and I go into the convenience store to see if they have a hanger. Fortunately the girls there know me and they pillage the coat rack. I confidently start shaping the hanger, trying to make like I know what I’m doing, and go back to my car. This is when I found out that I should be a career criminal. With the dogs watching intently, I manage to slide the hanger through the crack in the window, grab the knob and pull it up, first try out.
Yes! I say to myself, grabbing the door handle. Thunk. What the hell? The door is locked again. Fine. I stick the hanger back in, pull up the knob and just start pulling the hanger out when Truman reaches up and gives the knob “five”. Thunk. Locked again. Are you kidding me?! The people next to me are taking notice. “Ha ha – look how cute they are. Isn’t that funny?” No, people, it is not funny. My dogs are going to start cooking here shortly if I don’t get this door open. “What kind of dog is it?” Yours if you want it, buddy. Eventually, I manage to pop the knob and open the door simultaneously, ending my dogs fun. He was very pleased with himself, and very happy about the strangers who wanted to pet him and tell him what a smart boy he is.
One morning I woke up with no toilet paper. When I went to bed, I had toilet paper. But at some time during the night, Izzy, my Chihuahua, decided my bed was not comfortable enough, and proceeded to shred 3 rolls of toilet paper into little, tiny pieces to make a nest. Have you ever had to do your business with a handful of toilet paper pieces? They stick to you.
I was gardening one day, and was planting some heirloom peas that I had special ordered. I got in about 25 and went to grab the package to get some more. Where’s the packet? Turn this way, turn that way, stand up, check pockets, nothing. I look up to see Izzy running through the yard with my packet of peas, flinging her head back and forth, while my peas fly all over the yard. One hundred peas, less the ones I had removed. I spent the afternoon trying to find as many as I could. The other day a pea started coming up in my asparagus bed. I didn’t put it there. And mine haven’t come up yet.
Same dog, different day. I catch her chewing on a gluestick. She’s eaten half of it. I call the vet – she’s fine. Ten minutes later, she’s eating something else. I take it away – it’s half of a battery operated light up piece of jewelry. The magnet is missing. Call the vet – she’s fine. As I’m on the phone with the vet, the dog comes running through the house with a latex party balloon of questionable design. Where is she getting this stuff???!! It’s not like I have things lying around willy nilly. So I watch her. She goes into my pugs crate, digs around under the mattress, and comes out with a hair clip. Huh. So I go into the crate and remove all the bedding. There underneath the floor padding was Izzy’s stash. It consisted of : a bag of chow mein noodles with a hole in it, 2 hairclips, a pen, a dishtowel, another balloon, a bolt, 3 Q-tips, 4 pieces of pot pourri, and the ear of a stuffed animal. Okay then. Apparently the trunk full of stuffed animals is not enough.
There are many, many things that my dogs have done that have been entertaining, annoying, frustrating or endearing, but not once have they done anything heroic. I think I’m going to have to settle for gross dog kisses any time I sit on the ground and knowing that they love me so much they’ll let me have their favorite toy.
Maybe that’s the moral here: Love someone enough to let them have your favorite toy.