Tuesday, February 05, 2008

My life as a dog person

For Christmas, my significant other built me a doggy fence for my three critters. Honestly, he could have given me a new Mercedes Benz, and I wouldn’t be any happier than I am with my fence. (His response to this was, “Yeah, right.)

But I am being completely serious. For the past six months, I have had to walk my critters on a leash three or four times a day. It could be raining, 20 below zero, or even midnight, and I had to walk my dogs. Hopefully, my neighbors have gotten used to me being pulled around the backyard in my pajamas.

With my new super-duper-multi-tasking-no-longer-worried-one-of-the-idiots-will-escape fence, I just have to open the back door and let them run. It has truly been a Zen experience for me.

My new pastime is watching them from the kitchen window as they play in the yard. Amused, I watch Don Juan (Chihuahua) hide behind the corner of the garage waiting to pounce on the others, and it works every time. (They really are mentally challenged.)

Since the unveiling (the critters saw it being built and they were waiting patiently), Skipper (Fox Terrier) and Don Juan walk the parameter of the yard looking for intruders or unwelcome wild vermin like squirrels and chipmunks. They will freak out and act threatened like my neighbor walking his miniature weenie dog is secretly casing the house for an invasion.

The hair on both their backs will be standing on end, and they let loose a tirade of yip yaps. Of course, they each weigh less than 10 pounds, so what are they going to do? Gnaw on someone’s ankle?

My Maltese, Toulouse, will only leave the sidewalk for a few seconds at a time – grass phobia, I suspect. He will travel down the sidewalk to the fence, walk along the edge and then walk backward until he is back on the sidewalk. He then prances back up the walk and waits by the door until I let him in.

Skipper has discovered a new way to annoy Toulouse, who hates him with all of his being. He will back up close to Toulouse and kick grass and dirt all over him, and in Toulouse’s toe-nail-painted-barrette-wearing world, this is a travesty. Then the fight begins (well, they just growl and push on each other because both are scared of each other).

The fence has also brought a new critter into my fold part-time. I baby sit my significant other’s three-legged black lab, Jackson, on deer hunting weekends. He is such a sweet dog – a little clumsy with the three legs, but sweet.

Like Don Juan and Toulouse, Jackson hates Skipper who will run through his legs and knock him off his one back leg. Skipper being such an idiot does not realize that when Jackson falls, he has to land somewhere – usually that somewhere is on Skipper who is too stupid to move out from under him as he knocks him off balance. There is Jackson in the splits (or thrits or whatever you call a three-legged dog in the splits) with four little white legs sticking out from under him – poetic justice.

I know what you are thinking – crazy dog person. Personally, I just think I am a normal dog person.

Recently, I purchased a sofa for my dogs because I felt guilty about quarantining them in the kitchen. As insane as it sounds, dog people do stuff like that. I actually bought the sofa from another dog lover who used it for her dog. (I had to stick that in so you won’t think I am completely pathetic).

The truth is, I love my critters like children, but Daddy said this will change when I actually have a real human baby one day. I don’t really know about that. Momma has three children, and she would give her Westie a kidney if she needed it.

I don’t go around wearing my dogs’ pictures on a t-shirt or fry up liver for their dinner like my Aunt Pete did. And I don’t force them to wear matching outfits – with me or with each other. I consider them members of the family, and they should be treated as though.

If you see me taking them out trick or treating next year, then, by all means, plan an intervention.

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