Rest, you've had a long day
No question, this was my easiest pregnancy. There was no morning sickness. No heartburn. No weight gain. No elastic waist bands or built-in pouches to conceal my bulging belly. And talk about an easy labor. No contractions. No cries of “Get this thing outta me now!” No need for an epidural. All hubby and I had to do was throw wads of money at a strange woman with lipstick-stained teeth, and the bundle of joy landed right in my lap.
Unlike my sons, whose arrivals inspired flower baskets and mini-muffins and a mention in Variety, Dusty's birth slipped by, unnoticed. We thought about registering at Petco, but changed our minds. "Too tacky?" I asked hubby. He nodded. "Ya think?" So fine, there was no puppy shower, no monogrammed chew toys. On the plus side: no thank you notes to write. A bark mitzvah, however, is still on the table.
During the lengthy puppy phase -- could someone tell me when it ends? the dog is eight -- we tried not to get too worked up when Dusty peed and pooped indoors, left bitemarks on our skin, and pretty much destroyed the premises. "Expect $3,000 in damage,” said someone I’m no longer talking to, mainly because her estimate came in low. The pup, often found curled up with a good book -- "Marley & Me" comes to mind -- literally gnawed through the carpeting on the stairs, straight to the wood, while we were out one afternoon. Dusty certainly showed us who was boss, didn't he? Still, we love him no matter what havoc he wreaks. It's unconditional.
Of course, anyone who's known me forever can’t believe my bizarre transformation into dog-loving lunatic. I used to be terrified of dogs. Not anymore. Doggywise, I'm so ga-ga, I'm into the advanced stuff now. I've built up quite a resume helping lost dogs get home. Yesterday, it happened again. SJG to the rescue! There I was, walking Dusty, minding my own biz, when this large, and by large I mean huge, German shepherd charged across the street, rubbed up beside me and got cozy with my inner thigh.
Did I flinch? Did I panic? Don't be ridiculous. I patted him on the head and asked, "What's up?" He dove in for a good sniff of Dusty's genitals. Did Dusty growl? Did he lunge or do that weird dance he does when he feels threatened? Oh, please. The mid-sized dog went submissive, as the gigantic dog got intimate. Meanwhile I contorted myself and bent over, trying to read the collar of the wandering shepherd.
"Quit squirming," I said. "I can't read your... oh, your name's Woofy." Good to know. Naturally, I made an intro. "Dusty this is Woofy, Woofy this is Dusty." Neither one of them gave a crap, it seemed. By now, Woofy's nose was embedded in Dusty's butt. These two had zoomed past name-sharing and would soon be revealing their astrological signs.
Just then, my neighbor from across the street, drove up. "Oh, no, is that Roxy?" Nina asked. Roxy is her German shepherd, the one I'd escorted home two weeks earlier when she got loose. (What's with me and the German shepherds? Why must they love me so?) "No, it's someone else's," I told her. She parked her car and we met on the driveway. I did my best to hang on to Woofy, as Nina gave him the onceover. "I think it's King," she said. "King? But his tag says Woofy," I said. "No, I'm pretty sure it's King." I wasn't about to argue. She's a nice lady. Woofy or King, what did I care? My thinking: get this beast home.
While I held King/Woofy and kept Dusty at bay, Nina knocked on the door of, who else, the notorious party boys. Yes, them again. This is my karma at the moment. I might as well go with it -- as if I have a choice. Out came a fair-haired noisemaker, someone I'd not yet had the pleasure of yelling at, for so many dwell in this particular party zone. Dude claimed the dog, without offering me a fat reward, much less a thank you.
"Come here, King," he said. "How'd you get out?" If King knew, he wasn't saying. I looked at the young reveller and smiled a neighborly smile. I could've said, "I'm the bitch from next door." Or, "the owner tells me you a-holes aren't allowed to have dogs." But I went another way. "Why's he got a tag that says Woofy?" The party boy pondered my inquiry, and came up blank. "Ask Patrick, he rescued him."
You'll be happy to know that as of now, I have no plans to ask Patrick why King is King and not Woofy, even though his tag says otherwise. Next time I save the dog from a hard life on the streets, at least I'll know what to call him.