Tuesday, November 15, 2011

St. Francis might smite me

Author’s note: If you’re not a dog lover, don’t read this. Because then you’ll feel all vindicated in that you don’t like dogs and you shouldn’t, because it’s weird to not like dogs. And Bo isn’t representative of most dogs, so you’d feel vindicated and you’d be wrong.

And if you already feel like you might throw up, I'd stop reading now.

Do you guys remember Bo’s “interview” a few weeks ago? Well, that woman has a special place in Heaven with the poor, knocked-over St. Francis, because she’s letting Bo come and stay with her for a few days.

She asked me to write a letter describing him. I thought she saw everything she’d need to know, but maybe she’s on match.com a lot, because she wants likes, dislikes, physical characteristics, diet, quirky habits, what he likes to do for fun, and his sleeping preferences. So I composed a list of salient details to prepare her for his arrival.

1. He eats anything he can find. And then he poops out remnants. A bagful of Hershey’s Kisses will lead to one tightly compacted foil ball in his poop. He could eat a small animal and it would probably come out intact on the other end, so please don’t worry if he’s eating mulch, dirt, rocks, or metal toy cars. And then please don’t be alarmed if you see a pale pink arm sticking out of the poop; chances are it was a Barbie and not a midget that happened into your yard. (But keep the gate locked, in case.)

2. You asked me to describe any abnormal bumps on Bo’s body. Well, the thing is, he’s covered with lumpy things that I fear are malignant tumors. They’re everywhere. His body is like a relief map. Don’t be alarmed because if they were really malignant he’d probably be dead and I wouldn’t be writing this letter warning helping you.

3. He’s also got some bumps on top of his skin that are like warts. They’re everywhere, and if I get them taken off, they grow back, so I stopped. There’s one on top of his head that I think is leaking brains but the vet says not to worry.

4. He is aggressive in bed. By this, I mean he will wake up in the middle of the night and stand over you, barking loudly, until you lift the covers to let him under them. Then, he will want you to spoon him. And he might fart. But he won’t move.

5. Until he gets hot, at which point he’ll get up and shake until the covers have flown all over the bed and the floor – everywhere but on you. And your butt will get cold.

6. If given the chance, he will run away from you, as fast and as far as he can. And he will be laughing.

7. His diet? Well, he (pointlessly) eats two cups a day of that expensive organic dog food. Then he generally snatches a sandwich off the counter while I’m packing the kids’ lunches and eats their leftover breakfast from the plates on the table. At dinner, he only eats if one of the kids excuses themselves to go the bathroom and leaves the table. (I wouldn’t leave the table if I were you.) Other than that, it’s just whatever he can grab when I leave the dry food closet open by mistake.

8. You need to put your trash cans up high. Like on the counter. Or suspended from the ceiling. Because he finds them, knocks them over, and eats everything in them. Including Styrofoam, dirty diapers, if you have them, and chicken bones.

9. He’s strong in a superhuman, superdog, superhero kind of way. So don’t try to put him on a leash. You can’t handle it. Trust me. You’ll go into labor, even if you’re not pregnant. He’s that strong.

10. When he runs toward you, spread your legs. Because he’s headed straight for your knees, where he’ll screech to a stop so you can scratch his butt. Really, take note: you will have eighty pounds of Lab hurtling toward your knees, so be prepared.

Then I read what I had written and realized there’s no way in hell I can tell her the truth. So this is what I sent:

Very friendly and affectionate Lab! Great with kids! Loves exercise! Super healthy and strong!

And I’m sort of afraid she’s going to sue me. For false advertising. But he loved it there, and it's kind of a vacation for him, and I won't feel the oppressive guilt I feel when I put him in a kennel with crates.

I guess it’s like sending a serial bedwetter on a highly desirable sleepover. You just lie, smile, and pray it’s all okay in the morning.


  1. I am DYING laughing. Dying. Because...

    1) Mocha, my chocolate lab, was covered with bumps, including one we affectionately called an extra boob because of its position and shape.

    2) She also had the warts, including one dead-centered between her eyes. We called it a horn and told everybody she was in-training to be a unicorn.

    3) All four of my labs have done the knee-ramming-butt-scratching thing, including my certifiable current Labrigator who never sits still for anything but that. I think they learn it in loopy dog school.

    I love love love the bed spooning thing, and I love love love this post!!!