They didn’t know their names, much less how to walk on a leash. They weren’t housebroken. They were heartworm positive and required treatment.
You said: Put your dogs in the car, and let’s go.
We had driven down to a rescue group’s house in rural Mississippi to check out a pair of chocolate Labs I’d found on PetFinder, a few weeks after the last of our original dogs died. I’d written a letter to the foster family, explaining that your dog – the one who ate the gear shift and the visor in your truck – had died unexpectedly. I explained that we allowed dogs on the furniture, that we walked them and went to Shelby Farms and had children for the dogs to play with.
I said: Look at them! These dogs are pretty, and they seem sweet, and they need a home where they can stay together.
You said: It’s nice not having to vacuum every day, not worrying if we get home in time to let the dogs out. It would be nice to go out of town and not hassle with getting a house sitter or paying a kennel. If we just wait, the right dog will find us.
I said: We’ve always had dogs, and I feel more comfortable having dogs in the house now that you are working nights.
You said: We have an alarm system.
I said: Right, but that’s not the same as having a dog. The thing is, though, I don’t want to get these dogs if you don’t want them, if you won’t help me train them, because you are the dog whisperer, the man who can talk to the animals.
And you said: Put your damn dogs in the car, and let’s go home.
So I did.
They peed on the living room rug, they ate your shoes, and then one of them bit the cat.
We still have them, though.
I feel like that is 11 years of marriage in a nutshell.
(When my husband mentions wanting a dog I clutch my (expired and never used except for theatrical display) inhaler and say that I’d rather have another baby.)
[…] all in one sitting, I wrote a series of 21 posts (20, 19, 18, 17, 16, 15, 14, 13, 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Belonging) about our utterly ordinary marriage, a sort of Father’s […]
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