There’s probably some cosmic psychology out there to explain why animals outnumber people in my household. Right now the score is 2-1, and they’re winning.
Cats used to be my pet of choice, but no longer. Now it’s all about the dog. In an effort to do my part to rescue the swelling animal shelter population, I adopted a calico cat - Bebe - a few years ago. She’s nice enough, but kind of useless ever since the dog appeared on the scene roughly 8 months later. Bullet is either a Siberian Husky, an Alaskan Malamute or a mixture of both. He’s the third dog I’ve owned from that breed "family", and you’d think by now that I’d learn how willful and wily they are. I’m just a total sucker for those ice-blue eyes and the muzzle upturned into a slight smile.
Ever since Bullet moved in with me, he has asserted himself as the alpha. He stares at me and barks when he wants food, water, a bathroom call, to play, or peanut butter in his kong. And it’s up to me to figure out which one he’s demanding. His predecessor, Razoo, used to bark at me when he decided it was time for me to go to bed.
In his male glory Bullet demands attention and, if I leave him alone for too long, he punishes me by peeing on a $5,000 antique Scottish armoire. I’d prefer he use the $120 hall tree, but only the best will do. Bebe has established residency on the top floor, as Bullet will not tolerate trespassing on the main floor. The cat is so starved for attention, that she taps my arm repeatedly while I try to sleep at night. Her food and water must be kept in the spare bathroom’s tub...the only place that the dog will not venture to eat it. I don’t brush her enough, so she rewards me by hacking up giant hairballs.
If you’ve ever owned one of these dogs, the books tell you that they shed or "molt" once or twice a year. They lie. Bullet sheds 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days per year. I’m tempted to save the hair to market a Fur-pedic line of mattresses.
My homeowner’s association requires me to "pick up" after my dog, so I stroll down the street with poo-filled bags, praying that they don’t biodegrade as quickly as the store that supplies them has promised.
I try not to think about the march of time that makes me more like Bullet, losing hair, barking complaints while my kids try to figure out what I actually want them to do. Let’s hope I don’t live so long that they’ll have to stock up on those plastic bags.