Dog Posse

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By Cate Drew
Cate’s LaughLines
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.

To Learn More about Cate Drew and her Laughlines

About Cate Drew

I’m on the high side of 40, with three dogs, two teens and one husband, living in a small New England town in a house that’s never quiet. Ever. It’s not that I have a really colorful life – I just tend to write colorfully about it. And there’s plenty of material: marriage to the Man of a Thousand Bad Ideas,.. my mom, who moved Dad’s coffin closer to the street six months after he died so she could visit his grave as a kind of drive-up window…our dog posse…our kids…lots of siblings and in-laws, former co-workers, old boyfriends -- they’re all here. Toss in 14 years of Catholic school and you’ve got a lot of guilt, too. Which reminds me: forget “high side of 40.” I’m 51, damnit.

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  • MIcha

    We have an old-style rocking chair in my daughter’s room (solid wood) that I use to rock her in when I put her to bed. Every time I rock in it, it slowly slides until it bumps into the wall. I’ve tried putting a rug under it to keep it from moving across the carpet, but I’m not sure what else to do. I still want to be able to rock in it, but I’m sick of rocking and then hearing/feeling it hit the wall. Any suggestions?

  • Aaron

    You can get a chemical spray from the pet store that deters animals from chewing. It is like a bitter, unharmful chemical that animals find unpleasant. I have a pet squirrel and bought some to keep her from doing precisely what your outdoor squirrels are doing. She would chew up my couch pillows and use the stuffing to haul back in her cage to stuff in her nest box;0) It worked.