We interrupt your regularly-scheduled Reporting On Very Serious And Also Fairly Depressing Things to bring you this important update on where we stand in my campaign to convince Otto we need another dog
Mario’s family went away for the weekend, and so we had Kaiser here with us for a couple of days. (You remember Kaiser! He is Licorice’s boyfriend and partner in random barking, as featured in this post about our recent camping adventures.) I was thrilled because next to Licorice, Kaiser is perhaps my favorite dog. And I figured they would play together and it would be delightful. And also I am not very smart.
Shortly after Kaiser was dropped off, we had to head off to the hospital and leave the dogs alone for a while. But this was wonderful; they’d have each other to hang out with, and no one would be lonely. At least, this is what I told myself as we were pulling out of the driveway and we could still hear Kaiser barking.
“I’m sure he’ll stop once he realizes we’re gone,” I said to Otto, who was giving me A Look. “He WILL,” I insisted. “I’m sure he will. There, I can’t hear him anymore! Problem solved!”
“We’re a block away,” my darling husband pointed out.
“Shut up,” I replied, lovingly.
When we all returned, hours later, it was a cacophony of barks and yips and slobber. Kaiser was delighted because he had no idea why he was at our house in the first place, and then the fact that we’d abandoned him had been Oh So Very Sad, and then when we RETURNED it was very happy. Licorice was delighted because we brought Chickadee home and she was VERY happy to see her, plus you could tell that she was feeling like Kaiser was really sort of putting a crimp in her style (and by “style” I mean “tendency to just nap when we’re not around”). There was much rejoicing, and also kibble.
After a lovely evening at home watching my girl delight in being in her house, and her room, with HER STUFF, for the first time in months, it was eventually bedtime. And for the first time in THREE WHOLE MONTHS Otto and I were going to have the chance to sleep in our bed sans dog—Chickadee had already requested that we put Licorice in with her for the night. So we put Kaiser in her room, too. All was well; Chickie and the dogs came down in the morning, all perky and happy.
That morning I took the dogs out and got to watch quite a show; as I tried to usher the pups into the dog run to do their morning business, of course both of them kept running around on the rocks over by my garden, instead, because why go poop out in the run specifically intended for that purpose when you can drop a load right over by the tomatoes? So I called to one dog, and then the other, and they’re running all around, totally not listening to me, and then Licorice stopped to pee, and the Kaiser had to pee right on TOP of that same spot, and then I got Kaiser out into the run but Licorice was still roaming around and Kaiser came out to see what she was doing, and then Licorice came into the run, and she finally squatted down to do her thing and Kaiser came over and lifted his leg RIGHT OVER MY DOG. Fortunately, he was empty by then, but still. Not cool, man. You don’t pee on the dog that’s sharing her digs with you.
Unfortunately the morning with the kiddo didn’t end up going as well as we’d hoped, and I think the dogs probably were off napping while things went downhill and we ultimately made the decision to take Chickadee back to the hospital earlier than planned. At some point in the midst of this—divine providence!—Lemur’s mom called and offered to come pick Monkey up and take him to their place to play for a while. So Monkey went off with them, eventually I sent Chickadee off with Otto, and then I was left at home with two dogs, trying to come down off this adrenaline rush and a slew of not-great feelings.
I did the only thing I could think of, which was to go take a nap with both dogs. They were very willing to accommodate me.
Now, Otto hates having even one dog in the bed, because Licorice is always so! excited! to see him at first morning light that she often wakes him at dawn by plunging her tongue into his nearest ear canal. Also, she apparently likes to steal his covers. But me, I feel like napping with a dog is never a bad choice, because it’s like having bonus warm pillows. When I crawled into bed on Saturday afternoon, Licorice curled up by my stomach and Kaiser curled up behind my legs and I fell into a dreamless sleep. Perfect.
It was perfect right up until Kaiser heard something outside and let out a little bark, and then Licorice barked a little louder, and then I woke up to both dogs going ballistic because… someone had closed a car door down the street somewhere.
On Saturday night there was football to watch, and watching football is distraction technique #146 on the big list of Ways To Stay Busy And Not Talk About How Awful And Disappointing That Leave From The Hospital Ended Up Being, so we watched the game while the dogs alternated playing with toys and napping on the furniture.
At one point Kaiser was dozing and emitted a little *fffffrrrppp* of a fart, which was entertaining in and of itself because 1) I’m a 12-year-old boy and 2) Licorice never farts, or at least I’ve never caught her at it (she’s a lady!); but then it got even better, because he was DEEPLY AFFRONTED BY HIS HINDQUARTERS, first briefly growling at his own butthole in surprise, and then aggressively sniffing the air around it as if trying to pinpoint the source of the confusing aroma. Needless to say, this was even more entertaining than the football game.
All was glorious until bedtime, when I realized that without Chickadee there, we would indeed have to have two dogs in our bedroom. Well, no matter—Kaiser had come with his own bed, so I moved it into our room and set it next to my side, and showed him where it was, and even, eventually, plopped him down on it, and that was fine. Licorice went and hid under our bed, as she often does, so despite Otto’s grumbling, there were no dogs in our bed.
Until we turned out the light. Then Kaiser hopped up. Licorice was still hiding, so I assured Otto that this was fine, no biggie, and besides, he was on my side, not a problem.
Well. Licorice sometimes gets into our bed and decides it’s time for her nightly grooming. That’s annoying, but we can often divert her, and even if we can’t, it doesn’t seem to last all that long. But Kaiser, it turns out, is a champion groomer. The sounds that began emanating from him were… obscene. There was licking. Lip-smacking. Grunting. Constant wet slapping sounds. It was like a really bad porno was taking place in our bedroom. And through it all, I tried several times to remove Kaiser from the bed and set him down on HIS bed, and each time he would stay there for a few minutes, then rejoin us, and rededicate himself to the slurpiest self-grooming in the history of dogs.
Finally I took the dog and his bed to the other end of the house and closed Kaiser in my office. I returned to bed.
Licorice came out from underneath and joined us in the bed. And then as Kaiser began to whine and bark, she began to whine, as well. DOG IN DISTRESS. WE MUST RESCUE HIM.
I waited as long as I could, hoping that the dogs would settle down. Kaiser would occasionally stop barking for a minute (one assumes to lick himself, though that, fortunately, I couldn’t hear through two closed doors), but then he would start up again.
Finally I ended up upstairs in Chickadee’s bed with both dogs. (My husband is a saint, and I figured at least one of us should get some sleep.) By then Kaiser was either fully groomed or just figured maybe he shouldn’t push his luck; everyone went to sleep.
The next day, both dogs were delightful again. They ran! They played! They drank a lot of water and slobbered on all of us! At several points Otto and I found ourselves sitting on the couch, each of us with one dog to snuggle, and I would say, “Isn’t this nice? One dog for each of us?” And he would give me A Look.
I was actually sad to see our little buddy go when his mom came to pick him up last night. I require a lot of dog therapy, and having two dogs for a while was good fun. Moist, but fun.
*I don’t really want a second dog. Licorice is the perfect dog! Also, pets are expensive and we cannot afford another dog right now. I just like to torment my husband sometimes and also maybe daydream about the relative ease of dogs compared to children. Stop giving me That Look, Husband.