Monday, March 21, 2011

Dog-Gone Dog Gone

My dog is moving out tomorrow.
She's not a fancy dog, or a well-bred pedigree. She's a roadside dog, really just a mutt. My friend Melina scooped her up on the highway one night driving back from Muleshoe. Her mother had already been hit and killed by another car, and my dog, still a puppy then, was lying on top of her mother's dead body, confused and lonely. Who knows how long she would have stayed there grieving before starving to death or possibly being killed herself.
Melina's landlord wouldn't allow her to have more than one dog. She already had a rough, tough puppy named Cookie, so I brought Hyway home to my kids. Matthew had always wanted a dog. David and Jacob had probably wanted one too, but not nearly as much as Matthew. I think Sara had already moved out by that time, or she was about to move out. I don't remember.
I've never been a dog person. Cats were always my pet of choice. Cats are generally low-maintenance pets. A couple of vet visits, a clean litterbox and a full dish of food. That's pretty much all a cat will demand of you. They have more important things to do than to be in the constant supervision of lowly humans.
Not dogs, though. Dogs need to be walked. They want to play fetch. They need to chase cars and cats and other dogs down the street. They have to warn you everytime the mailman drops mail in the box. They like to hang out with you in the back yard. They protect you from the vacuum cleaner. They howl at police sirens and tornado sirens and the moon. They bury things and dig things up. They go with you to the park and help you make friends. They scare away bad guys in the middle of the night.
My dog is a great dog.
I am a bad human.
I'm gone all day, and I forget to put her outside. I don't leave the TV on so that she's not lonely, and half the time, I forget to check her food. We rarely go walking. We never play fetch, and if she escapes the yard to go exploring the neighborhood, I don't chase her. I wait for her to get tired and come home.
She knows how to knock on the door. Seriously, she keeps banging until I get up and let her in.
Despite the fact that I don't care for dogs, and long for the day I can come home without finding the trashcan knocked over, she's fiercely overprotective of me. You're not allowed to touch me, or climb onto my bed. She'll attack. There will be bloodshed. That's why I can't take her to the park or any other public place. I'm scared she's going to hurt some kind soul who just wants to pet her. My own children aren't allowed to touch me. It makes hugging hard, but they like to tease her. They pretend to swat me, and it just makes her mad . She growls and snaps at them. It gets on my last nerve. I just want to relax and read my book without being in the middle of a war everyday.
Ordinarily, she's a friendly, energetic, bouncy, happy, funfunfun kind of dog. She loves the kids, even Sara, who hasn't lived with her. My grandson thinks she's all that. He likes to steal her toys and he curls up next to her in her bed and takes a nap with her. He cries when she knocks him over, but she's just saying hello, and she calms down as soon as she gets a good sniff of him. She thinks he's her baby. She's very gentle with him when they're playing. She plays fetch, and she actually drops the ball for him. She won't do that for me. She makes me work for it, and I usually get dog slobber all over my hand.
Tomorrow she's going to live with my two oldest children, Sara and David. They rented a house out in the country, and they called me today to see if I would give up the dog. They love her, and she loves them. I know it will be a big adjustment. This is the only home she's ever known, but she'll have more freedom in the country. It's not like I'm abandoning her out there, right? I'm leaving her with family members who love her. They love her.
They really do.
Now I have to go tell Matthew I'm giving away his dog.


  1. Dogs like to watch TV?! I'm not much of a dog person for precisely the reasons you listed. I've got enough to handle w/the kids, and though my kids have been begging for years, I know they'll tire of doggy duties w/in a month, if not sooner. You've been good to your mutt, and she'll miss you (aw, look how cute she is!). But she'll be very happy in the country - and she'll have two young adults to keep her very busy and give her lots of attention. So, no, you're not abandoning her. You'll be sending her off on a wonderful adventure with family she loves. You'll see - she'll be licking you silly for it. ;)

  2. I am doing research for my university thesis, thanks for your great points, now I am acting on a sudden impulse.

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  3. I just want to go on record saying that is NOT my foot in the picture. I think it's my son David's, and, yes, he needs to learn to wash his toes. (Bleck!)