My presidential aspirations were shot years ago because of some photographic evidence that doesn’t play well in Iowa. Also, I’ve said a lot of things that shouldn’t be said in polite company, because I’m never in polite company. Now I hear that Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin is in political trouble because he’s allergic to dogs, which is widely considered a fatal character flaw in America. So I’m screwed on that account too. I’m not allergic to dogs, but I don’t have one, and, worse, I don’t want one.
It’s nothing personal. We had a dog, back in the days where you let your dog out to poop in the neighbors’ yards and they let theirs out to poop in yours, and maybe you picked it up with a shovel every couple of weeks when it turned hard and white, but you certainly didn’t bag it up like mixed nuts and carry it around with you. I’m not saying the new protocol isn’t an improvement in many ways, but it took the shine off of dog ownership for us.
Anyway, dogs are lovely. They’re almost guaranteed to like you whether you deserve it or not, and like you all the time, even when it’s not convenient. We do get to have a really swell dog from time to time as a loaner, when her people cut out for the hinterlands. Dana is a big old orangey dog with the finest smile on two continents, and we like her a whole bunch. Turns out Dana is a poop-on-the-fly sort of gal. She keeps walking and drops a bomb every few feet, as though that’s how she’s planning to find her way back home.
She isn’t at all barky, I’ll give her that. She might pop out a whuff if she sees a critter that needs investigating, but she doesn’t go on and on. Still, there’s a whole drum kit of noise that comes with the dog package, and it takes some getting used to. The cat, not so much. Worst you’re going to get out of the cat is a sort of muffled galloping with auxiliary punctuation in the form of, say, a crashing Christmas tree, but that’s seasonal. But even with the quiet, polite form of dog such as Miss Dana, there’s a lot of clickety clickety clickety of the claws on the floor, and then more clickety clickety clickety, and yet more clickety, followed by someone saying go lie down, followed by the whump of the dog hitting the floor, followed by a prolonged, exquisite sigh of disappointment that there isn’t more going on, followed by the shlurp shmack shloop of a sleepy dog getting her lips at ease for the nap.
Ordinarily you get a dog like Dana and you wouldn’t expect a lot of ball-licking, though. She never used to have balls, but when she turned five hundred, she started up a ball collection of her own, and she’s gone at it with all the fervor of a girl with a Bedazzler. They’re all over. Back, belly, legs. When she trots it looks like dingle balls on a sombrero. The bigger ones apparently require regular lingual attention.
So add ball-licking to the list.
It took a few days for the last item in the sound repertoire to register. It was subtle, almost imperceptible at first–the soundtrack of foreboding, a sort of velvety, benign tinnitus. I couldn’t place it until the day I caught a little movement out of the corner of my eyes. Something was roiling in the periphery: clouds of blondness tumbled along the baseboards, clumps gathered and holed up in the upholstery and thundered across the carpeted plains. Yes. The liberated undercoat of the dog was rounding up a posse and getting ready to do everything but clean up this town. Dana’s a good-natured dog. She’d probably let me vacuum her. If she lets me use the crevice device, that would take care of that other thing.
As it is, though, I think I have enough material to make a swell new dog if I ever get the urge.
And your new dog will not need you to scoop its poop. And will be quiet. Possibly not as loving as the other variety though.
If he's anything like Pootie–and there are some material similarities–he could be quite the dickens.
Oh gawd! What if Pootie takes on Hilary with Dana-clone as his running mate? America, you're screwed!
HEY! POOTIE WOULD MAKE A GREAT PRESIDENT!
I'd be screwed if I ran for office for a variety of reasons, but I guess now I can add this to the list. I don't care for either dogs or cats, though I will pet other people's now and again. I just can't respect the way dogs will blindly adore a person, even if they mistreat it. Plus they smell, especially when wet, and have to be taken outside in all kinds of weather. On the other hand, cats are supercilious predators. Fortunately, I am allergic to them, so no one expects me to interact with their cat. I am a bird person, so that automatically labels me as being "eccentric" and "flighty". So any political aspirations I may have had have been horribly and irrevocably dashed. And all before breakfast!
My cat is a non-supercilious predator but is entirely restricted to hunting dust bunnies, eyeball floaters, and the occasional pantry moth.
Well, now you have changed my mind about getting another dog. We have been dog-less for almost two decades.
Which way did I change it? Are you going to get a dog now?
You have hit on most of the reasons to love dogs and also reminded me why I no longer want one. I would love an occasional loner dog though.
What with Facebook, Twitter and cell phone cameras to capture everything said thought or done, there will be no one to run for office ten years from now who has not been captured saying or doing something really stupid especially in their early years of stupidity. The only people acceptable to run for office will be a few nebbishes who spent their lives following Readers Digest rules and will have no life's experiences.
How can you trust someone like that?
Well, you can't. But you can't trust any of the others, either.
Dogs,like women, are high maintenance; but you've got to love them.
I would like to point out, not for the first time, that just because I happen to be highly maintained it doesn't mean I'm high-maintenance.
Best way to get "loaner" dogs is to work with a local shelter to foster. I recommend smaller ones whose poop is no bigger than a miniature Tootsie Roll. 🙂
Or a constipated dog. That would work too, as long as you're just fostering for a few days at a time.
In a past life, I had two of those orangey dogs. Consecutively. About 20 years, total. So tell me about fluff balls! And riding in the car with one, pre-AC? Whoo-ee, fuzz-ee!
I kept glancing back at the dog expecting her to be bald. You don't want to return a dog bald.
If I had to choose my favourite lines from this post, I'd just be quoting the whole thing. Smiles all around!
Your loaner dog looks like a sweetheart. I'm not really a dog person either, though, but it's not because of the tumbleweeds (having more than one cat makes that an issue as well) and it's not because of the noise (one of our cats has a range and repertoire of expression that is more understandable than some people I've met, while his adopted and plump sibling has only one meow, a loud, desperate whine for food, that is slowly driving me insane) … somehow I'm just not fond of dogs but cats are okay – weird how that works.
Although Tater does shed, she doesn't seem to be as bad as some. I think what happens is she grooms herself and poops it all out later. She's never had a hairball in her life. Her fur is so otter-soft and fine it just goes right on through.
And may you continue to feel secure in listening to that "no dog needed" voice. I tend to think that in our culture there's as much pressure to have a pet as there is to have kids–and it's considered a moral failing if you stand up and state, "Nope, not interested." I wish some psych student would do a dissertation on what it is in folks that makes them need others to take on small creatures.
Not to worry. I'm hugely motivated by not wanting to take care of things. No kids. No dogs. Self-cleaning cat. I run away from the needy.
Dana sounds like a wonderful dog, except for the licking thing. That would drive me bananas and is the main reason I don't have a dog. And the fact that a one bedroom flat is no place for a dog. It's bad enough when my cat jumps up onto the table and starts his bath while I'm watching TV. I shoo him off and he jumps up on the bed instead. I also have clumps of fur everywhere, I could have made a half dozen extra cats in the one year that I've had Angel. I used to vacuum once a year, now it's every couple of days.
I'm planning to take up felting.
When Cary and I lived out near Boring (it was great to have a Boring address) in the early 70's we had a half newfy half husky that was the size of a vw bug. He'd walk each day a mile to a tavern where he'd lay on the floor and accept fries and portions of burgers for a couple hours, then walk home.
I think I was there the day our dog Boomer walked into the tav and my friend Fred was just ordering another beer, and tacked on "and a bowl of Heidelberg for my friend."
I love dogs but am a cat person. I think I may have been a spoiled rotten one in a previous life. My female dog also would walk as she was pooping and I always thought that was funny. She would also fart and get up and move away to avoid the smell. It was a dead giveaway for us to also move!