Though there were always dogs on the farm when I grew up, the 1.1 lbs dustbunny was really my first dog. I had a beautiful black german shepherd for all of one week, but the rest of my housemates proved to be allergic, including my at that time, other half, whose dog it really was. As there was another dog in that house, no one suspected allergies just a bad bug going through which no one else seemed to be acquiring, and got better throughout the day, so that one was gone before I had a chance to get attached.
And while I absolutely adored HRP La Principessa Roxie, there was never any question that she was my hunny’s baby. I was definitely useful for my opposable thumbs, and for a comfy lap while napping, but that is the function of a dog’s staff!
No, little AnW – AttentioN Whore – was happy (still is) to get some belly rubs and climb all over anyone who said the magic phrase “OMG she’s cute”. Still does. Nevertheless, there was no saying whose puppeh she was, especially if she decided to crap in some obnoxious, hard to access area, which in a house full of tchotchkes was everywhere.
“Yer dawg…” was the common refrain I would get coming home, rather than those words of yesteryear ‘hi hunny, how was your day’. “Yer dawg chewed/pooped/peed/barfed/ate/drooled/snotted/bit” etc. whilst the Principessa maintained innocence from her pillow, and fuzz muffin nipped my ankle.
Selectively forgetting that Principessa had been notoriously hard to housebreak initially as well, hunny did what any stressed spouse would do: saved it up until I got home, only to read my beads. ‘Yes, dear’, was the mantra response of choice. ‘As you wish’, a la Princess Bride – which used to cause swooning – only got me The Eye.
Strangely, the puppeh seemed to denote that HerFather always seemed to get the short end of the stick from YesDear. And though YesDear treated her very well throughout the course of day, bribing her with noms, belly rubs, cuddles’n’kizzez, like any addictions involved sex trade worker came running when her crack daddy came in. No longer could I sneak quietly in the front door: puppeh was (still is) a very chatty little thing, burbling and warbling like Blue’s Clues’ Blue on meth laced helium.
“Brr? Brrrrr? Merf. Merf!”
“Oh, god,” my hunny would say to his clients, “HerFather’s coming. You thought she was something before, wait for it, you wait until he opens that door and she will. Not. Shut. Up.” In a stage whisper, he’d add “It’s the damn cutest thing”.
As the door opened, I carefully watched for the projectile ball of fluff shoot out from strange location, i.e. under the couch as above, or between the pages of book or some other crazy crevice, going into a higher trilling register, “BRR? BRRRR? Brr-brr-brr! BRR-BRR-BRR!” Lumbering around the apartment, I was sure to nearly crush her 3-4’s a night, as she was usually happily at my ankle. Several times, she would sit on my foot, and I simply wouldn’t notice until I went to walk and shot her across the room.
Of all her bad habits, of which there are many, the one command that I have managed to make work is “No Voice!” The last thing I ever wanted was a yappy little mutt. Chatty doesn’t bug me, but you those other dogs…the cheewho-ah, who-ahs, for example: “BARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKbreatheBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARKBARK”. Can’t stand them. Even today, she can have point second of a loud voice to bring my attention, but if she doesn’t subside to a grumble after me saying “I hear you, Zyll”, then gets the command “No voice!”
However, like some people never forget their baby’s first word, I cannot help but still chortle thinking of Zylly’s first bark.
HerFather just arriving home, and YesDear already done for the day, and already launching into a tirade as HerFather walked tiredly in the door.
“Yer dawg pooped…”
“Yes, dear,” I automatically replied, which was a bad decision, as the chastisement had not yet been fully voiced, thus rendering any acknowledgement moot.
Hunny gathered up a lungfull, in order to properly castigate me, an effort but still manageable in those first days of his diagnosis. “I was SAY-ing…”
Dustbunneh puppeh, my living satellite ceased her orbit around me to run between my feet and plant her teeny self between HerFather and YesDear, opened her Gund teddy muzzle and let out a mighty…”arf”. Then promptly having scared herself with this tremendous sound sat on her haunches and looked upwards and adoringly at me, little tongue lolling, before throwing another menacing ‘arf’ at YesDear.
In the time it takes diarrhea to hit toilet water, he was in tears laughing at the absurdity. “THAT has got to be the GAYEST thing I’ve heard.” This statement was coming from a hairdresser prone to wearing silver lame shirts to do laundry.
“Bitch, don’t make me set my dark fluffy minion of e-vile upon you! She will devour you like a pestilent tumour, like fruits of the devil!!!”
By this point he was clutching his gut, and had nearly stopped breathing from laughing. “If that was my tumour, it wouldn’t be a problem…I’d just need to point the hairdryer at it! OK, stop it hurts.”
Instantly I stopped and stepped towards him on the couch, but lurched short, “Oh crap!”
He stopped laughing as well, “What?”
“What I just stepped in. Fruit of the devil…puppeh crap.”
It was a good night.