Monday, December 9, 2013

This is why we can't have nice things. Or pets.

"Did ANYONE feed the dog?"

Our neighbors must think our dog is clinging to the brink of starvation (he's not, trust me) based on the nightly ritual we go through to determine when the last time was that the dog ate:

"Uuuhhhh. I don't think so."
"Max did!"
"No I didn't, Dad did."
"So he's eaten?"
"I have no idea."

The dog sits on the kitchen floor, looking up hopefully. Tail wagging. I throw him some turkey. And then I put the leftover bowl of turkey pot pie on the floor for him. He eats everything but the peas, which are licked clean and left to the side.

We have 2 pets. Boston, the dog, is extremely low maintenance. He's an outside dog, because outside includes a carpeted screen porch, 100 sq feet of deck, his own private lanai, and because we live in fucking HAWAII. It's NICE OUT THERE. If I let him inside, he runs in circles, knocks over furniture and tries to jump through the plate glass windows to chase the geckos outside. He's a teensy bit neurotic. I can relate.

I have bought him countless dog beds, and he tears them all to shreds then gleefully sleeps in the dirt under the house. Or if he's feeling motivated he'll climb up on one of our upholstered benches, which is a huge no-no. But because I feel guilty that he has no dog bed, I let him get away with it. I even went out and bought covers for the cushions, because he started eating those too. His new move, because he doesn't like the covers I bought, is to drag the curtains on top of the bench, and then lie on top of THOSE. Because that is just fucking perfect.

I bought this really expensive flea/heartworm combo pill and he's still covered with fleas. I take him to the groomers and he pees on the floor, takes a dump in the bath, strangles himself trying to eat the jaunty kerchief they tied around his neck, and then bolts out the door and almost gets hit by a car in the parking lot.
EVERY TIME. And the next day? Fleas.

I bought him all different kinds of dog food and dog treats, but he prefers dry dog food from Costco and whatever I cooked for dinner. Have you ever seen a dog spit out a Milkbone? I have. The guy at the carwash watched it land on the pavement behind my car and was all "Whaaaa?" and I'm all, "Yeah. It's totally wasted on him."

He likes walks, kind of, but he doesn't really get the leash thing - sometimes he walks nicely, sometimes he's gagging and dragging me down the sidewalk. He also walks at a 45 degree angle: his butt walks along next to the front half. It's unsettling to watch. You just want to straighten him out, but it's no use. He's bent.

Our second pet is a beta fish, Blue. Because he's blue. He's the replacement of TonyAlice (don't even ask) and he is a total asshole. I really think the care and feeding of my beta fish is going to break me. He's currently hiding inside his log glaring at me and spitting bubbles because I moved him to the bookcase.


I can't blame Blue for being pissed: we forget to feed him, too, but not for long because he will bang his head into the glass bowl like he's having a seizure until we give him some food. And it has to be the pellets, because he won't eat flaked fish food. He wears the flakes on his head like a jaunty beret. They perplex him.

When Blue feels like he is not getting what he needs, or when he just wants to let us know that he thinks we suck, he splashes me. He throws himself in the air like he's breeching, and lands with a splash. Or he smacks the surface of the water with his fin.

Point made Blue. Enjoy life on the bookcase, asshole.

I have more parenting guilt and stress related to my pets than I do about my own kids, who have learned to build a bridge and get over it when life gets tough.

The dog and the fish on the other hand? Not so much. I can't tell if they are brilliant or dumb as rocks, but I know this for sure:
I need new curtains. And an opaque fishbowl, because Blue is starting to freak me out with the whole knocking on the glass and glaring at me thing.

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