DAAAAAHG

Ever since Virgi visited the other day and brought her “shih tzu poo” (that has to be the worst possible name for a dog breed) along, Mom’s been getting dog envy. I don’t know why; she’s never really hinted at wanting a dog for herself before. She’s suggested we should maybe get one for Micah, but that’s always remained in the realm of distant possibilities. We were more or less of the viewpoint that before Micah was allowed a dog, he would have to show a lot more responsibility in, well, everything. But for the last few days, she’s been going around saying, “I want a do-o-o-o-og.” On Sunday, she was a bit late in coming home. That’s correct, she brought home a dog.

Not just any dog. It’s a puppy, but it’s not cute. I think she said he’s half terrier and half beagle, but from what I can tell he’s just all ugly. He’s got short nappy brown fur, his tail is bobbed, and his head is almost comically too large for his body. Moreover, he’s pretty pungent. Well, I’ll give him a chance anyhow, I figured. Even though we’ve already got two cats, one ferret, and (not to forget) four humans, and quite enough trouble balancing all of them. Now we get to double the load: because a dog is at least as much hassle as all of those put together. With the dog she bought a black metal cage and a leash and some house training stuff. (This, it should be noted, was not free, nor was the dog.)

So what about the dog? Well, he’s got a lot of energy, which is all well and good, but he uses it in being really enthusiastic and easily distracted. It’s like he’s on speed. I took him out for a walk, and he couldn’t keep on task; kept getting wrapped around his leash and stopping and starting for no good reason. Occasionally he would start running until he forced me to pick up speed too, and then he’d run in front of me and stop suddenly. I think he did that at least twice in the course of a very short walk today. He’s also the yippy type. This is why I prefer cats. They only occasionally get in your way, and they’re almost always silent. I can add to that: they don’t need to be walked, there are no leash laws for them, they can retract their claws, and, importantly, they bury their own poop. I’m going to abandon the pretense of giving this dog a fair trial now, because you’ve already figured out that I’m not overly fond of him. What does he have going for him? I can’t think of anything. He’s not cuddly, he’s not very friendly, and he’s needy.

But, because I’m the one who doesn’t have any work or school until later on this month, it of course falls to me to take care of the dog during these integral first few weeks. That means I have to walk him once or twice before Micah comes back. Now, on the face of it, that doesn’t seem too tall an order. But, I also have to tolerate him for the whole time. That’s not so easy. Here’s what happens after Micah and Mom leave for school and work, putting the dog in his cage. Silence for a minute or two. Then the dog starts getting lonely. “Yeep. …Yeepyeepyeep.” Nothing doing, pal, I’m not getting out of bed at 0800. “Yeepyeepyeep. Yeep! Eef! eef! eef! Wrrrhooooyeeyeeyeeeeeee. Wrrrhoooooyeep! yeep! yeep!” Then he calms down a moment, but that’s to give me a false sense of security. “Yeeyeeyeeyeeyeeyeeyeeyee! Weef! Weef! Eeeerooooooooeeeep. Eeeerooooooooeeeep. Eeeeroooooyif! yif! Eeyoooooooooooowoowoowooo!” Then he calms down again, but briefly. “EEEEOOO! WEEWEEWEE! weeWERFoowoowoo. WERFoowoowoo. WERFYEEPYEEPYEEPYEEP!! EE YEE YEE YEE YEE YEE YEE YEE!! WEEF WEEF WEEF!! AUROOOOOOOOWEEEEEOOEEEEEEEEEEEEE” BLOODY HELL MAKE IT STOP. So then it’s either resign to waking up, and let the dog carry on like that until I take him out, or I can let him sleep on my bed so I can get back to sleep. In the latter case, don’t forget that he’s still pretty pungent. And I get to roll in his essence until I get up. Hooray for smelling like dog.

Meanwhile, the cats are feeling shunted, and from what I can tell, no one’s paid any attention at all to the ferret since the dog came. Make no mistake. The dog is the beginning of a new era, fifteen years of nuisance. This thing is going to grow up to be huge. Karl appraised it yesterday and predicted 60 pounds, if not 80. It won’t get any more cute or cuddly either, so the best to hope is that it’ll start acting with a little more common sense and quit arguing by volume. That is, if we don’t do what I would do, and take it back and say, “We made a mistake. It turns out we weren’t actually ready to have a dog.” Just because we’ve bought some accessories, doesn’t mean it’s too late and we’ve irretrievably taken him on for the rest of his life. It’s still quite possible, I’m sure, to realize that it’s just not going to work, and tell the dog-selling people such, so they can find owners more prepared and less overworked with other animals.

The other other option is Dad’s. He got the ferret in retaliation for Mom’s most recent cat; he says a dog results in a raccoon.

File under: irrelevancies


Anonymous

History

Oh, my, there is no hope…for this dog…in your eyes. The dog is primarily Micah’s. By the time you are gone he will probably be trained. I did not want a cutesy dog- I wanted a dog for Micah. And he will grow to be 30 pounds only. Karl does not know what he’s talking about. He is a medium-sized dog. As soon as he is completely trained, he will not be in a cage when we’re out, but more likely in the basement room, in a doghouse, whatever. The dog is Micah. Actually I have taken it on walks and Tom goes along. Today Tom and Fry did make friends. And I have paid no less attention to Gigi than normal. And your dad is being very devoted to Weasel. He’s had her out several times, including now. :) Please don’t condemn the dawg yet.
Mom

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Anonymous

History

I bet you can’t wait to get back to school. If for nothing else, I bet it’s quieter and smells better too. And that’s saying something considering you live in a dorm!

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Anonymous

History

Blackie, the dog we had when Steve and Tom were boys, was half wire-haired terrier and half beagle. Not quite the same as Fly, and didn’t look like what you describe, but perhaps similar in some characteristics. She weighed about 20 pounds until she got too fat and went up to 25 pounds. At that point we had to put her on a diet to get her back to 20 pounds.

Her worst attribute was that she ran away at every opportunity and wouldn’t come back for hours, if then. I hope Fry fairs better in that area.

Aunt E.

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Anonymous

History

Ellen & Chuck,

I remember Blackie, and I quite vividly remember my cat Blaze teasing her by sitting just at the edge of where her leash reached.

This dog is getting along with our cats. Tom (the cat) is no longer afraid or defensive and Gigi is getting used to roaming the house while Fry is being noisy. Of course Weasel sleeps about 20 hours a day and as long as she’s under her blanket she doesn’t care who is making noise. We’re not Debbie but we do have our own little zoo.

Steve works with polar bears every weekend and used to work with manatees, penguins, etc. etc. etc., quite a bit, so we’re getting used to, well, animals in general.

I used to be so anti-dog-in-the-house, but now with Micah REALLY taking care of Fry, he is learning love and responsibility for another creature besides himself. And a dog is a bit needier of companionship than a cat. He won’t be able to just leave Fry for long times because Fry will miss him. I am just praying this whole dog thing keeps going as well as has been.

Mom

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Anonymous

History

Nathanael - The dog can’t be ugly. ALL dogs are cute in their own way. Stinky he can be, though, and Micah can bathe him so you can have him on your bed. But what will Fry do when you go back to Grinnell? Hope they have thought up a plan for that, short of Micah playing hooky from school. I can’t wait to see Fry. I’ll bet he’s just like a little baby–needs attention all the time and stinks if you don’t clean him up. But very much loved all the same. Love, Grandma

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Anonymous

History

ROTFLMAO!

This stuff is farking hilarious! Nathanael, you should submit this thread to some Mother’s day type magazines as a short story.

This is definitely lightening the mood around here! From God, to God d*amn, that thing stinks! LOL!

Dave

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Chuck

History

I find it amusing that you didn’t actually block any of the letters of “damn” with your asterisk; it’s just there for a bit of decoration. So you know to say “damn” with a shiny smile. (*shing!*)

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Anonymous

History

I think you are all nuts. G.Pa. That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it. After all I do know everything except one or two things.

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Anonymous

History

When Nathanael goes back to Grinnell, I will still come home at lunch to walk him (as I have been doing). Once he is older, he will be able to hold for a while but when I can I will come home. He goes out in the morning 2x, lunch, several times in the afternoon and evening. Potty training is going well. He is a smart dog. 2 smart breeds. When he’s older he will have a piddle pad in case of accidents. Right now he just chews those up. But so far so good as long as he goes out often and gets lots of playtime and exercise.

Ann

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