By Cate Drew
We have three dogs, thanks to my husband’s morning habit of reading the classifieds. He reads the ad, I make a call, and boom! We end up with a dog. Millie was the first. A Cairn Terrier, the blonde version of Toto, Millie was being sold at the ‘old age’ of three by a kennel owner after she had popped out a couple of litters. Bargain basement price, said the ad, so we jumped in the car. Poor Mil. She came waddling out to meet us and I could relate to this poor thing. Have a couple of litters and you’re past your prime and out the door. Yes, this mother of two could relate to this mutt – she was overweight (check), bulging belly (check), stretched out tits (check and check), bald patches (not yet, thank god). We carried her to the car, and she repaid our rescue by barfing on the back seat.
Today, Millie is slimmer, trimmer, and the other woman in my husband’s life. I find blonde hairs on his sweaters, have to move her off our bed at night, and she follows him so closely she literally bumps into him when he stops walking. It’s gotten so bad, I told him the standing rule is to leave the bathroom door open when he gives her a bath.
The second addition was Wentworth. Another ad, placed by a woman forced to move to an apartment due to her husband’s illness. Went’s a Westie, and we thought he and Millie would make a nice pair. When I showed up to look him over, the owner broke down in tears as she described her relationship with him. “He’s my best friend,” she wailed, as her poor husband sat quietly at the kitchen table, looking left out. And before I knew it, the woman was shoving his leash and a bag of dog biscuits at me – despite the fact another woman, a widow living alone in a beach house, had expressed an interest. I didn’t think I stood a chance against a widow (undivided attention) and a house on the beach (location, location, location), but there I was, with Went riding shotgun, on the way home. He, too, threw up on the ride home.
Luckily, he and Millie got alone well, but he has a bad habit of ‘marking’ in the house – the corner of our bed and occasionally the northeast leg of the dining room. He is fixed, which is supposed to help in terms of curbing the peeing thing, but in this case, he’s such an alpha male (or a stupid dope, which I guess is the same thing), he doesn’t know he’s missing equipment.
Our third addition is Scout, a Great Pyrenees mix we found on a farm, and who also threw up on the car ride home. She’s a big dog, so just imagine a piece of furniture moving through your house, eating your other furniture. Chair rungs, rugs, patio furniture and clothes: she grabs socks, underwear, anything – wanders the house with them and drops them anywhere. My daughter’s basketball jersey in the middle of the living room, My son’s sock in the bathroom, my bra in my son’s room (please tell me Scout was responsible for THAT one).
She and Went and Mil make quite a trio – a circus act in the making – and it’s been a wonderful ride, despite all that dog vomit. We’ve come to consider the upchucking a kind of a welcome-to-the-family tradition.
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