Dogs, on the other hand, can stress me out. They have all this jumpy energy and need constant validation.
But a crazy thing happened a few days ago when my husband and I went out to eat at one of our favorite Sacramento restaurants. We sat on the patio, right next to volunteers from the local animal shelter who were also eating lunch. They brought some dogs.
And when I turned around, one of those dogs was staring at me: A little yellow dog with a curly tail. One ear sticking up and the other down. We locked eyes…
I smiled. He wagged his tail, ran over, and started licking my hand.
And suddenly, I had a dog.
His name is “Douglas” and I’m still not sure how it happened. I can only assume Douglas pulled some kind of crazy dog sorcery because everything is a blur until the part where I’m filling out paperwork then driving home with a little yellow dog curled up on my lap, hoping he wasn’t about to attack our four cats.
Here’s what happened:
- My husband and I walked into our house with Douglas trotting after us. The cats were all lounging about, lazily cleaning their ears until they suddenly noticed a dog in their wake. They froze, poofing up to 3X their original size.
- Douglas wagged his tail then trotted up to Raj, our enormous stripey cat, who promptly punched Douglas across the face.
- Instead of fighting back, Douglas backed off. This was wise, because he was outnumbered. The cats didn’t bother him again.
- I went to sleep that night with Douglas curled up next to me when Violet, our shy black-and-white kitty-cat jumped into bed. She usually sleeps there.
Everything was fine until she realized she had a dog next to her, whereupon her tail blew up like a Christmas tree before she bounced across the room. She jumped onto the desk where she gave Douglas a cold, murderous, death stare FOR AN HOUR.
Frankly, I was a little creeped out.
- Douglas is chewing EVERYTHING. Apparently, the squeaky duck and badger toys we got him just aren’t cutting it. I left the living room for two minutes and came back to find a cantelope-sized hole in the rug.
This is especially problematic because our kids still leave their crap all over the house. He’s been choking down Legos, left and right, and likes to eat princess dolls.
I’m trying to make the best of it by telling the kids they have to clean up their toys before they get eaten. This is a crash course in toy management.
- Bridget is compulsively feeding the dog. She’s throwing lunch and dinner on the floor and shoving food in his mouth all day. Either the novelty will wear off soon, or Douglas is about to get really fat.
- Brontë is revealing in the dog’s shenanigans because it gives her an excuse to boss him around. Four-year-old girls can be really bossy. All day, I’m hearing “DOUG-LAS! That is NOT your princess mermaid doll! YOU PLAY WITH YOUR DUCK!”
The transition hasn’t been entirely smooth. Still, John had to drop Douglas back off at the shelter to get neutered yesterday and the poor guy was shaking, refusing to leave the car. He must’ve thought we were sending him back.
When we picked him up and brought him home again, he was sooooooo happy.
Don’t worry, little Douglas. We’ll make this work.