Friday, February 26, 2010
This Week's Guest Blogger: Hoover
Hello. My name is Hoover, and I am a good dog. I am also a handsome dog, don't you think? The Woman asked me to fill in for her this week because she has writer’s block. She told me to tell you that she loves you and will write for you again next week. She promises.
Between you and me, the Woman has been hormonal lately (I can smell the chemicals coursing through her body), and she suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder because it’s always gray in winter in Ohio. Needless to say, she’s a bit grouchy, but not to me. She didn’t even yell when I pooped in the basement yesterday. Hey, I had to go, and she was not home. What’s a dog to do? Do the doo and look innocent. Works every time.
Golden retrievers never suffer from SAD because we are furry and golden and carry sunshine in our hearts. Our whole existence is about spreading warmth and happiness to the world. Except to the UPS man or mail man. Or the schnauzers down the street. Or the vets who smell funny and do horrible things to us. We want to fry them with our warmth. Watch them run away from us! Ha, ha, ha!
We goldens don’t suffer any sort of depression, except when we don’t get treats or have to wear the cone of shame or our peeps leave us. Usually, when my peeps go have fun without me, they take me to a place they call “Dog Lady’s Pet Camp.” Huh. It’s not a camp. It’s a puppy prison. Except for the play yard. That place rocks, Dudes. One day, I was having so much fun in the play yard that I didn’t come in when the Dog Lady called. Ha, ha! I got down in a play stance and wagged my tail and said, “You can’t catch me!” That’s when I found out the Dog Lady is also the Rodeo Lady. She lassoed me with a rope and dragged my adorable furry butt back into the prison. Totally not fair.
The Dog Lady is nice enough when she doesn’t have a rope, I suppose, but she’s not the Woman. The Woman is my favorite human, and not just because she didn’t yell about the poop yesterday. She also gives awesome, totally radical butt scratches upon request. All I have to do is present her with my butt. She automatically reaches down with both hands and scratches the base of my tail vigorously until I just can’t take the joy anymore.
She also gives me peanut butter on a spoon. I love her.
But the Woman was not always my favorite. The Man was my favorite for years. I put up with the Woman because she gave treats and stayed up all night with me when I had kennel cough. But back when I was a young and frisky and furry imp, she was definitely not my alpha. She yelled at me when I peed in the house and when I ate a pillow and carpet and the Man's wedding ring.
When she called me, I would go the other way, unless she had food. When she told me to sit, I would think about it and only cooperate if I felt like it. Unless she had food. And sometimes not even then. She felt the weight of my disapproval, I tell you.
It was all because she loved the White Dog more than she loved me. The White Dog was my big sister who bit my lip when I jumped on her head. I ask you, was that called for? I didn’t think so, either. Anyway, the Woman laughed when the White Dog bit me, so neither she nor the White Dog was my favorite.
But I was still sad when the White Dog died. It was worth getting bitten for the fun of jumping on her head.
Back then, I loved the Man most. He took me running in open fields and swimming in lakes and ponds; the woman said I stank afterward and made me take a bath. Pond water is perfect; bath water is evil, evil, evil. I had lots of fun with the Man. Twice, in fact, I had so much fun that the Man and the Woman had to take me to the doggie hospital to have my paw pad sewn up by the Evil Vet Person who smelled funny and took my testicles away. That was bad. I had to wear the cone of shame and was so, so sad. But running on sharp rocks is fun, and pond water and open fields smell good. So good.
One January, after weeks of strange goings-on that I didn’t understand, the Man left home in the middle of the night with a bunch of canvas bags. He’d often left for a few days or sometimes a week, but he always came back, and I could jump and whimper with golden joy when I saw him again. This time, I knew something was bad because the Woman closed the door on the garage when he left and started crying.
Thus began the First Long Sadness. The Woman watched news channels all day and late into every night that didn’t show golden retrievers. Why are there not more golden retrievers on news channels? Instead, the new channels showed tracer bullets and bombs and other unpleasant, unfurry, loud things. The Woman cried a lot. I licked her tears and looked cute, but she was so worried and that made me worry, too. I started to wonder if the Man would ever come back.
Happily, he did, and the First Long Sadness ended. He smelled of dry, dry desert sand and jet fuel. I forgave him for abandoning me because I am a good dog.
Everything was normal for a few years. The Man took me on walks and loved me and petted me and let me get on the bed at his feet every night. But then, the unthinkable happened. He packed a bunch of bags and left AGAIN! What the hell was that all about? Golden retrievers can cuss. Did you know that? When the Man left me for almost five months, I had every reason to cuss. The Second Long Sadness began.
During that five months, the Woman did not cry or watch unfurry news programs. She missed the Man but wasn’t worried, so eventually, I quit worrying about the Man, too. The Woman fed me, walked me, picked up my poop, and let me sleep on the bed all night with her. She gave me butt scratches and tossed biscuits for me to catch. I gave her lots of happy kisses and shed my beautiful fur all over her dark clothes. People really do need more fur. I missed the Man, of course, but the Second Long Sadness wasn’t nearly as bad as the first, and by the end of it, I’d almost forgotten to be sad about the Man.
Then, the Man returned, smelling of salt water and beach sand. That was the final insult. He went to the big, giant, fun-filled, endless water I can only dream about, and he DIDN’T TAKE ME! Can you believe that? Neither could I. Oh, the betrayal!
Now, the Woman is my favorite human. When the Man calls me, I go the other way, unless he has food. When he tells me to sit, I think about it and only cooperate if I feel like it. Unless he has food. And sometimes not even then. Now it is his turn to feel the weight of my disapproval.
Since the betrayal, the Woman is my go-to person. When I need to get up in the middle of the night or wee hours of the morning (get it, “wee” hours! I crack myself up!), I go to her. She doesn’t yell at me when I flap my ears and woof quietly in her ear. She pulls on her robe because, sadly, she’s not naturally furry, and she walks down the stairs and opens the door. Sometimes, I need to be outside for a while, but she just waits for me patiently and opens the door as soon as I’m done.
After dinner, when the peeps are eating dessert, I go to her first because she will always leave a little ice cream on the popsicle stick for me to lick off. She also understands that I can’t jump on the bed anymore, and she gives me pills that make my bones feel better so I can sleep, sleep, sleep all day long, except when the Woman has food because if I look alert and cute, she shares. She loves me.
But really, it was the butt scratches that totally won me over.