Dear Goddamned Dog,
There have been a lot of girl dogs in this house. You didn’t know them, but Emma, Betty and Addie lived here a while ago, before the Beagz. Daisy comes to visit (she’s my goddog, and we share a birthday, so you know she’s quality people), as does her little brother Joe.
Joe is technically a boy, but nothing eleven pounds and that squeaky can really be considered one for the testosterone team, if you catch my drift, though I believe he identifies as The Hulk. Other visiting dogs have come and gone, but let’s face it, this has always been a bitches’ house. In so many ways.
I tell you this because I see you as you wander confused among us, through the the living room, the kitchen, your apartment downstairs, and I want you to know I understand your plight. As your person, the beagle and I share sushi and home renovation shows, you sit in your makeshift prison thinking manly predator thoughts like, “Where’s the hedgie?” and, “OMG that monkey thing is awesome,” “Is that a rope toy? I LOVE rope toys! Why isn’t my rope toy as good as that rope toy?” and, “Ouch, was that wall always there? Who put that wall there?” To be clear, you could be released from your X-pen confinement if, just once, you didn’t “accidentally” end up directly in front of the beagle while maniacally squeaking and tossing her toys. The prison is for your own good, dog. We’re saving you from yourself.
My Things know your pain. Thing 1 is permanently scarred from the time I made him go curtain shopping. Twice. He still talks about it a little too much, frankly. It was just one shopping trip and an exchange. And yes, it does matter what they look like. No, it’s not acceptable just to duct tape sheets to the windows in the guest room. Thing 2 tries, but recent anatomical discoveries have shown that the rods and cones of the human male eye are incapable of seeing clutter, or items directly in front of a man searching a refrigerator, so it’s not his fault.
Perhaps this explains the camaraderie you display whenever the Things are around. You hurl yourself into their laps, extend yourself, paws first, into their video game play, and clean their sweaty faces of the residue of their human toil. And snacks.
None of this is made easier by your own self. Everything goes just a little slower for you, doesn’t it, buddy? Just a bit. Surprise table corners, ungraceful landings on unsuspecting laps, blank, confused stares, and suddenly stopping to look around, seemingly unsure of how you got where you are, are kind of your thing. You are a wonderful dog, friendly, sweet and handsome. Yet of all the clubs life has arbitrarily assigned you to be an outcast from (AKC, CKC, The Kennel Club for instance), only Mensa seems fair. Blue, you’re kind of an idiot. I mean that in the most loving way.
I’m not going to lie, you’ve had a rough few months. You and your person have lost your home, your possessions, even your sister, and that would leave anyone exhausted and dulled by stress, sadness and change, but there’s something more in play here. As unexpected as life has been these last couple of months, one gets the feeling that it’s been no more unexpected than, say, rain. Or a leaf blowing down the street. Or night. Or toast. Or that wall.
All this to say that when the veterinary staff sent your person a picture of you with a “He’s doing great!” note after your hind-end renovation yesterday, this ultimate unexpected event seemed, for a moment, to have had an impact. “You cut what off?” your eyes seemed to say.
This will be for the best. Because of this last (at least for a while) change, you’ll get to be surprised several times a week by going to play with other dogs while your person goes to work. Genteel society will more easily accept you into their Northern circles, surprising you with training classes, copious cookies, and something called, “agility” which will, I’m guessing, surprise you every few feet, running full speed, for a considerable amount of time to come.
I’ve got a human friend whose nickname is also Blue, and he’s invited you to run at his farm. It’s all fenced in, and you can keep anything you catch, and you can play with his dogs now that you’re renovated (FYI, his boy dog was renovated too). The Beagle will show you around town, if you feel like it you can try out a dog park, and we’ll take you to the beach, where Beagz will warn you of things called, “waves” that are incredibly rude and wash up your legs, belly and back side – now there’s a surprise.
So worry not, Goddamned dog. The bad surprises are over, and many good ones are to come. I look forward to watching you discover them, over and over again.
Your Extra Person