Thursday, July 7, 2011

Quit Doggin' Me!

I gotta tell ya, I am not now nor have I ever been a 'dog person.' The random hairs stuck all over black clothes, the occasional whoopsies on the carpet, barking, bad breath and other unmentionable odor issues, random surprise bug and rodent remains proudly displayed on the front door mat. Nope, having a dog was never on my short list of must-haves.
And yet...we have Sparky. Sparky is a Chihuahua, Rat Terrier mix dog who we adopted a couple of years ago. The kids wanted a dog and I had held them off for some time by insisting that we would not be getting a dog until they were ready to clean up dog poop. This worked very well until one year, right before Christmas, Mattie came into the room and boldly announced that she was ready to clean up the poop so could we please go out right then and pick out a new weenie dog for her.

Having parented myself into a corner, I was left with no choice but to begin searching for a dog that would be suitable for the whole family. On February 14th, we found a Dachshund online that the kids fell in love with on sight and so we called ahead to tell them we wanted the dog and headed out to Kingwood to pick her up. We arrived at the adoption location only to find that the dog that the kids had picked out had already been adopted. Very disappointed, we began looking at other dogs to see if there might be another option.

Sitting off in a corner away from the other dogs, a rather sad looking elderly couple were holding a scrawny (but very cute) little dog on their laps. We approached them and discovered that they weren't part of the adoption group, they had come out on their own to see if someone would be able to adopt this little dog who had been dumped in their neighborhood. They were reluctant to let him go because they had become attached to the poor little guy but just couldn't keep him. We all fell in love with him and decided that he was 'the one.' As we drove away the couple informed us that the dog's name was Pee Wee. Needless to say we were not crazy about naming a dog after pee or wee since we didn't want to give the little guy any ideas and it frankly sounded downright undignified. Soon after we brought him home, Pee Wee became Sparky and fortunately suffered no apparent long term identity crisis.

Sparky is a shameless attention junkie. The more he gets, the more he wants. He follows me around all day as if I were the center of his little canine universe. Until...David gets home.
At that point, I cease to exist in Sparky's world and he follows David around in ridiculous doggie devotion. He is fickle and stubborn and he drives me crazy.

In just one morning a few months ago, Sparky reduced me to a humiliated mess of frustration. We had just bought my first ever brand new car and I finally fell for his little pitiful puppy face and agreed to let him ride to school when I dropped off the kids. This particular morning I was rushed and was wearing my PJ's and a bathrobe. (I know, not cool, but wadda ya gonna do?) So anyway, Sparky starts heaving like he's going to be sick. So there I am, dropping off Patrick, holding the dog out the door, and trying not to wreck the car into the lady in front of me. As I drove out of the parking lot I had to put Sparky back into the car after which he proceeded to throw up in my new car.

After we arrived home, as I was cleaning up the mess he made on the floor board, he jumped out of the car having fully recovered from his stomach issues and ran out in the road to face down the garbage truck. He took his stance defiantly in front of the truck and WOULD NOT BUDGE. I called, whistled, clapped and threatened until I finally had to go out in the middle of the road (in my pajamas, mind you)and physically remove Sparky out of the driver's way. Quite embarrassing, to say the least.

Sparky's little walnut sized brain has convinced him that his barking and tough guy posture single-handedly chases away intruders of all kinds. Especially the yard guys or the UPS truck. He barks incessantly until whoever is invading his doggie territory leaves. Then, having tuckered himself out with all the exertion from barking and growling, he curls up behind the couch cushions and conks out for the day.

I flatly refused to let him on the couch. BUT. He is currently curled up by my head on the back of the couch. I pronounced that I would never allow a dog in my bed. BUT. In a few minutes, he'll go in my room and curl up in bed between David and I. I said I wouldn't clean up after him. BUT. I'm the one who feeds him and cleans up his occasional unexpected carpet surprises. No, I'm not a dog person and though he is a really good dog most of the time, there are times when he really makes me nuts. My house has literally gone to the dog(s). That said, although Sparky has a walnut sized brain, he also has a king-sized heart. I love this little dog and he loves me totally and completely. Right up until the time David gets home, that is. *sigh*


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