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Little F***ers

something aint right

Somethin ain’t right

Look closely. Does anything seem out of order to you? I mean, besides the giant backpacks and the briefcase on the sofa. And all the crap all over the coffee table. And the giant square pillow in the foreground. Do you see the three little balls of sh*t in the middle of the floor? That would be the dogs’ fault.

Or really, it is my fault, because I had the audacity to spend a few minutes picking out my outfit for tomorrow, in my bedroom, with the door closed, when I should have been feeding the little dogs. It was, after all, two entire minutes past their scheduled dinnertime.

It is also Mike’s and my combined fault because we’ve been meaning to rearrange the litter box area so the box is up high enough that the dogs can’t get into it and we haven’t done it yet. Because, you know, life. It’s busy.

Not to mention I should have scooped the litter box as soon as I got home. I knew it needed it and I didn’t do it because I just wanted to relax for a minute. In retrospect, I should have just cleaned the box and then relaxed, because it is amazing how cleaning up half-eaten cat sh*t completely depletes any recently acquired feelings of relaxation.

All of the dog-training books say not to let your dog watch you clean up their mess because it sends the message that you like the mess. I have read this a million times. It must also apply to a cat’s mess. I do not bother to take five seconds to crate the dogs before I clean the cat box because it’s too much trouble. Instead I let them watch me do it. Thus, sending the message that I think it’s super awesome to play with poop. And, in their little dog brains, I must be eating the poop, because why else would I be playing with it?

They sit there, little ears perked up, little tails thumping while I scoop the box, and I willingly teach them to play with the poop. It really is entirely my fault. But it makes me think. They spend a whole lot of time watching me in the kitchen. I wonder if they had longer limbs, would they try to mess around in the kitchen, too? Would it result in a cooked meal? Or a washed dish?

I mean, this could be really amazing. What if I got them a little, tiny, working vacuum cleaner. Something they could operate with their forepaws or push around with their noses. Do you think they’d start vacuuming on a regular basis?

shit eater

Hey little sh*t-eater. You need to start pulling your weight around here.

Close Call

my wiener

I was chopping tomatoes at the kitchen counter just before family dinner the other night, when I heard my brother yelling, “Where’s the wiener? Where’s the wiener?”

The fencing in my parent’s yard is just wide enough that both little dogs can slip through without any effort at all. The first day we were home we found Valentine sniffing around in the front yard of the house across the street and down two. An hour later we caught Theo lapping water out of the next-door neighbor’s pool. As a result, those little dogs are no longer allowed in the backyard unattended.

On this particular evening, I’d spent the entire day working in the yard with the dogs off leash and they hadn’t tried to go through the fence, not once. When I went inside to chop tomatoes, I didn’t think anything of leaving them alone in the yard. They’d done nothing but sleep in the sun all day and I could see them right through the kitchen window. It wasn’t like they were going to slip through the fence while I watched.

But I wasn’t watching the little dogs asleep on the shearling cushion. I was watching the tips of my fingers. So when Ty started yelling, “Where’s the wiener? Where’s the wiener?” my heart leapt into my throat. Most likely drowned in the neighbor’s pool, I thought, because I am the worst dog-mother in the world. I dropped the knife and ran into the yard.

“Wiener! Wiener! Wiener!” Ty yelled.

I joined in, “Theo! Theo! Theo!”

Nothing. Not a sound.

Usually when I call Theo, the tags on his collar jingle. He doesn’t always come right away, but at least his tail starts wagging, and on that hot dog body of his, a little tail wagging goes a long way. His butt gets going and the movement travels down his long spine and his tags jingle till they sound like church bells to my worried ears. But not that night.

That night we called him and called him and the yard was silent. We ran around the yard, our calls getting louder and more frantic, but he was nowhere. I rounded the side of the house and there he was, safe and sound under the roses, happily eating a pile of shit like it was a fresh london broil. I couldn’t kiss him for a week.