The hair of the dog that sat in my chair.

May 13, 2009

ellaViking Woman returned from a recent women’s expo waving a handful of brochures advertising all manner of ways to improve her life.

“Lose Ugly Wrinkles From Your Face!” (appearance medicine clinic)

“Lose Ugly Inches From Your Hips!” (fitness centre)

“Lose 200 Pounds From Your Couch!” (divorce lawyer)

There was also a notice from a group looking to adopt out greyhounds whose racing days were over. Those devious, diabolical people had the gall to actually display the dogs at the expo and, of course, Viking Woman just had to stop and coo over them.

“They are sooooo cute,” she told me.

“Did they give you the puppy-dog eyes?” I asked.

“The what?”

“You know, the Bambie Eyes.”

“As a matter of fact, they did,” she said.

“And?”

“And now I want one.”

Damn those eyes! They work every time.

The good news is the greyhounds managed to distract Viking Woman from her desire to own an Irish Wolfhound which are, from what I’ve seen on the Internet, the size of our car. They are massive. They are huge. Which means they eat huge and they poop huge.

Before Viking Woman could give me her version of the Bambie Eyes (a ploy that nearly always works), we were fortunate enough to have Ella come and stay.

Ella belongs to one of our neighbours, who was going out of town for the weekend and asked us to dog-sit.

Ella is a mix between something brown and something black. She seemed like a perfectly fine dog during those times when she accompanied her owner over for an occasional cuppa tea with us. A pat on the head, a bum scratch and off-ya-go.

But things are so much different when that visit lasts for four days. Don’t get me wrong — Ella is a good dog. Nothing wrong with her at all. The problem, you see, is me. (“That’s news?” I can hear Viking Woman muttering in the next room.)

I’m not an animal person. I’ve had a few cats wander in and out of my adult life, and one stinky-ass lapdog Viking Woman picked up in the Cook Islands (OK, to be fair, the stink was a skin infection, but still). We fed them. We petted them. We bonded. And then they died. God’s cruel joke or a reminder that Death comes for us all at some point and the best you can hope for is that it doesn’t happen when you’re in the litter box?

Which meant, in order for Ella and I to get along — Viking Woman wriggled out of all commitments with the convenient “I’ve got to go to work” excuse — adjustments would have to be made. And, because those of us who live on Planet Man consider ourselves to be marginally more intelligent than our so-called best friends, I realized those adjustments would have to be made by me.

And so I played Run With The Stick in the backyard, a game that consisted of Ella bounding around with a piece of kindling in her mouth while I chased her. Followed shortly thereafter by me lying on my back in the grass, clutching my chest, and bleeding from my lungs. No one told me dogs are bad for your health.

I picked up fresh turds with my hands encased in latex gloves. Yes, there was no direct contact with my skin. And, yes, the fecal material still felt warm and squishy right through the gloves.

I did my best not to gag when cutting slices off a fat, greasy roll of dog food which, I’m nearly positive, is made up entirely of compressed lips and arseholes. Whose lips, I’m not sure. I’m also not sure I want to know.

I bit my tongue when Ella decided the house’s cold, uninsulated floor was a tad uncomfortable even for her fur coat and, instead, slept in one of our easy chairs, ensuring I would later spend an entire morning vacuuming up each individual hair.

On the plus side, Ella did scare off the neighbourhood cat that was making a habit of spending nights curled up in another of our chairs, thus saving me some extra housework.

But was that one plus enough to make me want another dog in our lives?

Let me just put it this way: I told Viking Woman there will be no greyhound in this house while I’m living here.

Wait a minute — Viking Woman just walked by carrying my suitcase.

That can’t be good.

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One Response to “The hair of the dog that sat in my chair.”

  1. Alice Grey said

    …welcome to my world!…;)

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