Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Dumb Dog Strikes Again

I know that many of you love to read about my dog. You love when she makes me look stupid. You think that she is cute. Some of you may even be able to relate to living with a dumb dog. If you can relate to any of those statements, read on.

On Saturday, I took a break from decrapifying my house and decided that a quick errand to buy dog food would be just the thing to break up the monotony of cleaning and yelling at my children. I grabbed Tilly's leash and loaded her into the van. I cranked the tunes, rolled the windows down a bit, and began to whistle, joyful about the simplicity of the errand and the sweetness of the dog.

We drove along, me, singing along to the radio, and Tilly, lying on the floor with her nose in the air, inhaling the magnificent melange of scents wafting through the window. As I was turning into the Petco parking lot, I saw a sign that caused me some unease: "Pet Adoptions Today!"

Uh-oh. Taking Tilly to the pet store when there are no other animals there is an aerobic exercise session for both of us. I couldn't imagine what it would be like knowing that plenty of people and several unknown dogs would share store space with us.

I parked and got out, telling Tilly "STAY!" through the closed doors of the van while I readied myself to block her from jumping out when I opened the back sliding door. Yeah. *snort* Like she knows "STAY!" A girl can dream...

I grabbed her leash and Tilly bounded out onto the concrete and commenced to sniffing and wagging. As we headed into the store, her back half took on a life of its own and I worried that if she wagged it any harder, her tail might actually snap off and go flying through the air like a boomerang. I retracted her leash to keep her close and cursed myself for forgetting to put her body harness on her, as now she sounded as if she were a 30 year smoker with emphysema.

Wheeze! Wheeze!


Wheeze! Wheeze!


We were attracting attention. And not in a good way. Tilly's paws scrabbled and slipped over the floor tiles as she pulled against the leash, straining to run while I cooed "Okay, Tills. Steady now! Let's just go get your food and get out of here! C'mon, now. There's a good puppy." Honestly, it was like Tilly had taken an overdose of Puppy Uppers and I was trying to talk her down from a bad drug trip. I thought about telling people to speak softly and make no sudden movements, but I decided that probably wouldn't help our case.

I dragged her back to the dog food aisle and grabbed a 25 pound bag of food, which I balanced on one hip, while juggling my purse and her leash in the opposite hand and tried to jump over the leash that was in constant danger of tripping me as Tilly ran in tight circles around my legs.

Then I headed to her favorite aisle--the BALL AISLE!! Tilly nearly went out of her tiny little mind at the sight of all those balls. I quickly grabbed two 3-packs and shoved them in my purse. Then I went back to my balancing/jumping jig as Tills tapped danced in the aisle. She looked at me expectantly like I should throw the ball. Then, she sat at the ready on her haunches, eyes never leaving my purse in case the balls should suddenly animate and hurl themselves down the aisle.

"C'mon, Silly Tilly," I commanded. "Let's go pay for your stuff and make tracks."

I led her down the aisle, only to discover that two women from whatever shelter was holding the adoption, were seated at the end of the aisle with dogs on leashes. Tilly had no idea what to do. In about 2.5 seconds she ran through all her options: "Should I bark? Should I growl? Should I cower? Should I bow? Should I raise my hackles? Should I show my belly?" My dog looked absolutely schizophrenic on the floor of that Petco, y'all. The bloodhound that was watching her had a quizzical look on his wrinkled face before he decided that he wanted no part of the Big Bag'o'Crazy that was in front of him. He immediately sat down, reared his head back and bayed. And my dog? She was a blur of fur turning in the other direction with her tail tucked between her legs. She nearly jerked my arm from its socket.

I led her around the other edge of the store trying to find a dog-free route to the registers. Everywhere we went, people were looking at me with a look that said one thing: "Look at that poor woman! I'm so glad we missed adopting that crazy time-bomb of a canine! Whew! Dodged a bullet there!" Meanwhile, Tilly put on her "Tilly the Attention Ho" persona and tried to walk up to every single person she saw and get them to pet her. Now, instead of her dragging me, I was dragging her.

We were a spectacle, y'all. Then again, aren't we always?

I finally got to the register where a gentleman took pity on me and offered to hold Tilly's leash while I paid for her food. Dog people are good people. I firmly believe this. Any person who would kiss my crazy, waggling, wheezing dog on the snout, and tell the dog "Belly rubs while your mama pays for your yummies," is either a truly kind-hearted person or certifiably insane. I'm going with kind-hearted.

I thanked the man and headed Tilly out the door. I repeated the loading process and got the van door closed. Then I started up the van, lowered the windows a bit, patted Tilly on the head, and we headed for home.

The ride home was magnificently uneventful and Tilly even waited patiently for me to open the sliding door. Then she jumped out and barfed all over the garage floor. Fabulous. My dog gets carsick. Fan-freaking-tastic. Remember when I took her in the car to my parents? Apparently that was not an anomaly. I have a goofy, crazy, light-chasing, attention grabbing, disobedient, counter-surfing, CARSICK mutt. I guess now we'll have to find someplace to board her when we go visit our family. I'll be adding "expensive" to the list of adjectives.

The best thing about the whole thing? It wasn't 95 degrees out and she didn't barf in the car. I'd like to think she did it out of courtesy for me, but I know better. She is a dumb dog after all. It's a good thing she's cute...

Oh! And if any of you have any ideas about how to travel with a dog who gets carsick, would you be so kind as to tell me? Thanks!

blog comments powered by Disqus