Sunday, July 17, 2016

My Dog is Defective

Almost exactly a year ago now, we adopted him. Oliver.

We'd found him through a rescue group, driven over an hour to go meet him. They were sure he was half lab, but had no idea what the rest of his genetic makeup might be. The people from the rescue who had been fostering him and the rest of the litter guessed he was some kind of terrier. The scruffy, wiry hair and little beard were hints. He was black with patches of gray, especially around his face.

Even though he was only about three or four months old at the time, he already looked like an old man.

Tiny old man dog.

We were hooked.

Not that I expected any less, incidentally.

You should know that if you ever were to take my husband and all my kids to "look" at a dog or a cat, you'd better be prepared to bring said animal home immediately.

They suck at window shopping.

Yeah, he was pretty cute.

He still is, even though I've decided that he's hopelessly defective.

Like, I should get a partial refund or at least enough to buy a Roomba.

I have had a dog for almost my entire life. I've even had one that was part wiry terrier before...but none of them have ever been like this guy.

He was supposed to be my son's dog. Supposed to at least be my husband's dog.


Even when everyone else is home and willing to play with him or help him hold the couch down, he's following me everywhere I go, tangled under my feet and completely in the way. He follows me to the bathroom. Cries when I'm in the shower. Lays his head beside me when he asks if he can climb on the bed.

I'm his person.

I didn't want to be his person. 

I was the last dog's person. Jake. Saying goodbye to that guy was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do, and I didn't want to get attached to another furry beast the same way ever again.


Then he showed up and stared at me with those deep brown eyes, the ones so dark they're almost as black as his fur.



He's a digger. He has holes all over the backyard. In the sandbox, in the grass. He dug up the garden last summer after he began a torrid love affair with the broccoli plant, requiring us to build a fence this year. The standalone planters on the patio are his current compulsion. It's as if he literally can't help himself. I've caught him standing inside the planters, determined to displace every single speck of soil.

He buries things all over the yard. We have a huge bag of rawhide chips in the pantry because I refuse to give him any more of them. As soon as he gets one, he whines and whines and prances and dances and begs to be let out so that he can bury his latest treasure somewhere out there. He digs them up too, but not until they've been morphed into a soggy brown mess.

He chews. He chews everything. All the damn things. When he was a puppy, I'd scold the kids for leaving whatever out where he could reach it, telling them that he was teething or couldn't help it or whatever. He hasn't been teething in months. And still, there is no greater joy in this dog's life than an overflowing recycle bin in on the side of the yard. His favorite are the plastic bottles...but really, he'll chew up just about anything. He should have outgrown it by now. He hasn't. I've kind of given up hope that he ever will.

He is weird. He likes to play well enough, I suppose. He'll chase a tennis ball and occasionally bring it back, but he's as likely to get distracted by the butterfly fluttering around the yard and try to chase that instead. Pretty sure he has dog ADHD. Which would make sense in this house.

We've had many, many dogs that liked to roll around with the kids, with my husband and play on the ground. This one can't handle it. He's conflict averse, even if it is play. He has zero tolerance for yelling or hitting or wrestling and will wedge himself in between whoever is doing it. If the kids even try to hug me a little too hard, he's there in an instant, staring with his disapproval, speaking up if things get out of hand.

None of those are even close to the weirdest thing about him, though.

The weirdest thing about this dog is that he has no appreciation for how good he has it, and by that I mean that he lives in a house with a toddler. Toddlers are essentially walking food dispensers. It doesn't help that the baby is in that super fun toddler stage where he just starts throwing food if he's done or bored or annoyed or if I give him a waffle when he wanted oatmeal. Every other dog we've had since we have had kids did what they were expected to do....cleaned up. One dog drew the line at lettuce, but I forgave him that one infraction. Otherwise, they'd eat every little morsel of food, licked the floors clean, would even lick the highchair and the low cabinets when necessary.

This dog? Nope.

He's picky. And lazy. He has no interest in half of the things this kid disposes of. None. Zero. Zip.

Even the good stuff sometimes, and I'll look at him, like really??? YOU ARE A DOG. THAT IS STEAK WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU?


He apparently missed the day when we went over the tacit agreement between dogs and humans. You know the one that says I agree to let him sit in the bathroom with me as long as he eats all the goldfish the kid drops. Either that or he just wasn't paying attention. Either is equally plausible. Told you guys he has dog ADHD.

Between him and the baby, I'm always taking something away from the other one, picking up little pieces of who knows what that one of them has scattered all over the house or the yard.

What the hell, Oliver?

What the hell?

As I type this, he's touching me with his paw. Because he always has to be touching me.

I'm his person.

And he's my dog.

Pretty soon, we're going to get up and walk to the bathroom, me and my defective shadow.

He's lucky he's cute.


so this is the part where i remind people that this is a HUMOR post and that my dog is definitely not mistreated in any way....but it's less funny that way. no need to come for me, dog people. honest.


  1. I get it. We have a 30 pound deaf cat. A 3 legged dog. And other assorted fur balls. But Piggles. ...ah, Piggies. We got him as a kitten. I argued long and hard for a tiny baby cat. We had 4 already and kittens. ..they climb curtains and have tiny razors for claws.
    He was a skinny mostly black tiny poof when he came home. So skinny I could feel where the microchip was. He slept on my chest for hours. I talked to him, I cuddled him. I nurtured that little shit. He was supposed to be my cuddle bahy. You know, curl up next to me and doze. Sleep on my lap.

    Nope! He is now a long sleek ninja. Black with gray fluffy ears and about twelve other colors. He will lie beside and tolerate me scratching ears, booty, chin and even the belly. But cuddles? No! He cries. Like he is dying. He never sleeps next to me. He sleeps next to the fat deaf cat. He is NOT what I ordered at all. But he is a hoot to watch. He starts shit with the other cats. Ninja bombs them as they come around the corner. He loves. ..he ADORES the deaf cat. They sleep together,groom each other, hug each with paws while hanging out. They nurture reach other. Derp (the deaf one) doesn't get a lot of the other cat's clues and was isolated quite a bit before Piggles.
    So I didn't get the cat I ordered. But I got the exact right cat for Derp.

  2. Every single pet (cat or dog) has been progressively dumber than the last...I'm pretty sure if they gt any dumber, they're going to forget how to walk!

    Seriously, anyone who has pets, loves their pets can see the humor in this post - I talk smack about my cat and dog, but they're family - it's what you're supposed to do. But heaven help the one who tries to hurt them!


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