Tuesday, October 19, 2010

LIVING LIFE: Giving Me the Business

Our one year of marriage is the longest my Wife has been without a dog in her house since she was in elementary school and it’s starting to get to her. Everywhere we go, she oooh’s and ahhh’s at every dog we see. She even has a “Puppy of the Day” feature on her iGoogle homepage that I’m forced to suffer through looking at every evening.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t want a dog. I love dogs. I can’t wait to have a dog. But I keep trying to explain to my darling bride that the only issue keeping us from having a dog is that we can barely afford to take care of the two of us right now. Let alone one of man’s best friends.

Fortunately, I have found a decent alternative to keep her temporarily happy while we wait on getting our own canine companion. Our friend, Laura, lets us occasionally puppy-sit her Lhasa-Poodle mix, Millie, whenever she has to go out of town or if my Wife just desperately needs a doggy fix.

We have watched Millie a hundred times in the past and Laura asked if we could watch her last weekend because she had a lot of things to do and didn’t want to leave Millie alone for an extended period of time. Normally, this wouldn’t have been an issue, except for the fact that this particular weekend, my Wife was ALSO going to be out of town for a friend’s wedding.

Not wanting to leave Laura – or her dog – in a jam, I offered to take care of Millie by myself for the weekend.

Much to the surprise of My Wife.

“What’s the big deal?” I said to her. “I used to take care of my parents’ dog all the time by myself.”

“I know,” she said. “But this is someone else’s dog. What if something goes wrong?”

“What could possibly go wrong?” I responded defensively.

I should really start reading my own columns.

Laura dropped Millie off at our apartment on Friday night and we had a great evening. We played with her toys. We went out for walks. We watched the baseball playoffs (that reminds me, I still owe Mils money on the bet we had).

And as I drifted off to sleep that night with Millie cuddled up next to me, I was hooked. When my Wife got back in town, we were going to get our own dog. No matter the cost.

Saturday morning started off as pleasant as Friday had ended. I took Millie for a long walk and it’s important to note that she… um… took care of her business while we were out. We came back in the apartment and I jumped in the shower, only to find another nice little surprise when I got out.

She took care of business on our carpet.

Not a big deal, dogs do that kind of stuff all the time. Quick clean up and we were good to go.

Or so I thought.

About an hour later, I took her out for another walk and she took care of business three more times. I was getting a little concerned because, while I’m not expert, this seemed like a lot for a small dog in one morning.

We weren’t back in the house 10 minutes after the walk before she handled her business on the carpet again.

At this point, I didn’t know what to do. Part of me wanted to call Laura just in case something was medically wrong with Millie but my pride stepped in and convinced me there was no way I was going to fail at dog sitting.

I decided to have a little pep talk with Millie.

“Hey Mils,” I started. “Any chance we can tone down the business inside the house?”

Millie looked directly into my soul and I could instantly tell what she was thinking.

“You’re mine, buddy. I own you. I’m going to do whatever I want and you’re going to like it.”

Uh, oh.

After business was conducted on two more walks in the afternoon, I thought we were done for the night. Millie snuggled up next to me on the couch while I was watching television and I was starting to nod off when I noticed her getting up off the couch.

In what could have only been maybe a full minute, Millie did her business in three different places on our carpet.

Naturally the shock and smell caused me throw up on the carpet too.

Realizing something must be really wrong, I finally had to call Laura to come pick up Millie and spent the rest of the night cleaning the business filled war zone that had become our living room.

When my Wife got back home the next day, she couldn’t resist.

“How did it go?” She chuckled.

“Great,” I snapped. “Guess who is NEVER getting a dog?”

“Oh, come on,” she said. “Just consider it good diaper changing practice for when we have a baby.”


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