Save a dog -- adopt a mommy!
By Elizabeth Thompson
Actually, I didn’t know it was a problem -- isn’t that how it typically goes? -- I mean, at least I didn’t feel it was such a big deal in thinking:
“No sweat; I could handle it!”
I was wrong.
Then I thought perhaps it’s not such a problem and more like a setback, really. With a little time, self-control and more of a consistent effort on my part, it’ll right itself in no time.
Current events have proved, otherwise.
I can’t do it….lost all control….and don’t care to let others know that I do NOT have it in me to restrain myself from the situation.
What I’m saying is…
My name is Liz and I’m an animalholic!
Don’t give me that look -- like you don’t know at least one animalholic, when you see one -- you know!
I’m one of those people who can’t have just one…pet.
I never used to be this way - I could take care of my in-law’s cat and pet a friend’s dog, as well as the next person, and then just walk away.
Then, it started with a cat…oh, c’mon…just one to keep me company on those long lonely nights while my husband traveled…and then another one…well…to keep it company, of course.
This worked well, for a while.
Hell, it’s only two cats…I can handle it!
Then, my grandmother became ill and my parents decided it was time for her to move in with them. I was five months pregnant with #3 and showed up with #1 and #2 to help Mama pack, when she gave me the look and said, in her Bela Lagosi-type accent:
“M-eye deer…I cunt (shuddup!) tay-kah heem to yur muh-dair’s howz…b’cuz she huz vun, und a dok, all-red-eee!”
I tried telling her:
“But, Mama, I can’t! I’m pregnant and I’ve had too many, already!”
So, I bought my grandmother’s cat home with me, thinking:
“No sweat; I’ll sneak it in the backyard, forget about it and don’t need to tell the hubs, anything!”
I didn’t have to, because my two oldest girls did:
“Mommy bwinged Pum’kin home and he wivs wif us, now!”
It’s been years now, living with three cats was more than satisfying; until I got an itch for the hard stuff…I wanted to get a dog!
It took some persuasion (i.e., a particular sexual favor) but my husband capitulated to my iniquitous influence and we got a dog!
And I slowly began to lose control.
“Moooooooomeeeeeeee! Someone’s at the backdoor, Mooooooomeeeeee!”
At first, I was going to use my typical summertime response:
“Hide like we’re not home!”
Then I thought, what if it was an emergency and one of my neighbors needs help?
“Hide…like we’re not home!”
She’s old, like in ancient old, and usually calls on me to tell me that it was time I cut the grass or I’ve left my underwear drying on the line for far too long.
And all four kids are now at the back door, waving at So-and-So.
I pulled at my nightshirt, which suddenly seemed way too short, and answered the door:
“Hello, So-and-So…what’s up?”
She answered in a very screechy voice, with dentures clicking:
“I think your –un dog got loose!”
I looked around the black pine and stared at the empty lead.
“Your-un dog saw a rabbit and went after it behind Whozee-Whatsit’s yard!”
After the dog had already eaten two dolls, a stuffed animal and gone through two toilet paper rolls, my nerves were already pretty much shot. So, I yelled…So-And-So’s name…in my confusion and nearly scared So-And-So away from ever seeing her ninety-seventh birthday.
“Sorry! I mean…Rudy…COME!”
I clapped my hands and shouted:
I ran across So-and-So’s yard, into Whozee-Whatsit’s.
I saw a flash of chocolate run across the street - oh shit…it’s rush hour!
“NOOOOO! ROO-DEE…COME HERE YOU BASTARD DOG!!”
The rest gets a little fuzzy, from here on in.
All I do know, for sure, is that Rudy took one look at the truck barreling down the road and I got a good look at the driver, snapping a picture of my half-naked ass with his camera phone, as the stupid dog high-tailed his way back to our yard…with me in hot pursuit.
I chased him up the stairs, quickly shooed the kids in, slammed the back door behind us, threw the bolt and locked Rudy into his crate for the rest of the afternoon.
It took me hours to calm down after that and – even though it was only lunch time - I poured myself some wine and downed an entire glass in one gulp!
My husband came home right before dinner and found us swimming in the pool.
“What did Doofus-Dog do, now?”
All four kids started to answer him, at the same time:
“Rudy…ran away…mom chased him…naked…almost hit by car…drinked a whole glass of wine…no, it’s not drinked…it’s drunk…okay…mommy’s drunked, again!”
Hello, my name is Liz and I’m a recovering animalholic, who – with four kids, two cats, one big pain of a canine, not to mention the holidays just around the corner and a house in desperate need of new furniture and carpeting – will in all probability be drunked, again…real soon.
If you’re thinking of getting a pet for your kids for the holidays, consider this a warning - save a dog and adopt me, instead!
[Edited to add: I am relieved to say that my dog and I have made it through yet another year, with each of our body parts reasonably intact, and I haven’t heard from the guy, nor do I recognize my…um…self as someone who HAS to “handle it”…all the time…and still keep out of any subsequent newspaper headlines…so far, that is - Happy Birthday, you big Doofus!]
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