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Itís Not My Puppy
It’s Not My Puppy
By G. E. Shuman
So, last night I was out on the side lawn, in the dark, in the rain, watching my wife’s new puppy do her little doggie duty. She’s already pretty well trained, I think, for an eight-week-old. (Not my wife… the puppy.) But, nothing’s perfect. Nearly, and I mean nearly, every time we pick Day-Z up after a meal and plop her on the lawn, she succeeds in doing some plopping of her own, and the other thing too. I’m not sure if that really means the puppy is trained, or if we are, but it keeps little presents off the carpet, either way. And, either way, I’m not worried. It’s not my puppy.
Now, as I said, I was out on the lawn with my wife’s puppy, watching the thing wander around in the dark, and the rain, and wondering why I was there. Suddenly, a man who was walking his own dog down our street in the rain, stopped and said, and I quote: “What am I looking at?” To which I failed to respond, as I wasn’t certain who he was talking to, or who he was ’looking at’; me or the dog. He then repeated: “Hey, what am I looking at?” And then: “Is that a ferret?”
“No.” I responded, a little put out that he would mistake the baby dachshund for a ferret, until I realized how much she looked like one, with her short legs and long little body, ‘ferreting through the grass’ in the dark. “It’s my wife’s puppy,” I said.
“Oh!” He replied. “I thought you had trained a ferret. Ha, Ha.”
“No. It’s a puppy. It’s not my puppy. It’s my wife’s.” I repeated, somehow thinking that I might look less strange standing in the rain with someone else’s puppy, I guess.
“Ha!” He said again, as he continued walking down the street.
“Ha, indeed!” I thought to myself, feeling slightly insulted that someone would think I would be outside in the dark, in the rain, with a stupid trained ferret. Did I look like a ferret-training type of person? No, I didn’t think so. I looked like a person who had a puppy out for a rainy poop, as if that was a more dignified type of person to be. Besides, it wasn’t even my puppy.
I will say that Day-Z, my wife’s ferret, I mean puppy, has fit into our home pretty well, so far. I’m not sure how it all works, but she seems to have succeeded in filling what must have been a little tube-shaped hole in Lorna’s heart. My thinking is that the last two kids are threatening to leave the nest, and that Lorna, evidently, wants to always have something to pick up after, and something for ME to pick up after. I had no hole in my heart, but probably had one in my head, for suggesting that we go look at the litter of puppies when I heard about them a few weeks ago.
Please understand, we are not people who think of puppies as members of the family. No matter how many sweaters and booties we walk past in the pet stores, to us, puppies are pets. I will never have an “I Love My Grand dog” bumper sticker. (Another sticker I will never have is one I noticed recently on a lady’s car: “All My Children Have Four Paws.“ Really? Well… um… if that is true, what does that make you? Just sayin’. ) No, Lorna and I have adopted two beautiful children, and the adoption of a child is a wonderful and binding legal proceeding which I highly recommend. We didn’t adopt Day-Z. We bought Day-Z. Sorry Day-Z.
So, here I am this evening, in my recliner, writing about an animal, even as that very animal snuggles down in the small space beside me. I’m sure she has not made her last mistake in the house, will continue to drag my shoes behind the couch, and will cost more in maintenance over the years than she is probably worth. That’s okay. It’s not my puppy.
To comment, read other columns or learn more about George’s novel, “The Smoke and Mirrors Effect,” visit George’s World at http://vtpenner.blogspot.com/
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