Monday, February 13, 2012

My Secret Child


As you know, I am the proud father of an incredible 2-year-old. BC is the apple of my eye, the lint in my belly button and the Great Gazoo all rolled up into one.  He's fantastic. While I've been proud to brag about him and shared many tales about my life with him, I have a confession to make.  He's not my only child. 

When I met The Dudette in late 2002, she had just returned from grad school in The Big Easy. She loved New Orleans and her time there. One thing that she did not love, like most Americans, was 9/11. Being so far from home, she needed something to keep her safe during that uncertain time. She's not a firearms kind of gal, so she settled for the next best thing: a 2 pound Chihuahua named Zoey.

I’ll be honest, I am not a "dog person".  I would probably attribute that to the fact that as a kid one of my pals had these giant Boxers that would jump all over me every time I went to his house.  To a 5 or 6 year old, a Boxer is like a giraffe. That sent me down a path of anti-dogdom. Even today I still don’t really care for Snoopy.

When we first began dating I made it clear that I was not a dog person and didn't want to be one. Ever. When we would return to her house after an evening out, Zoey would run to the door, start crying, spin in circles and top the performance off by peeing on the floor. Oh yeah, I'm definitely not a dog person. 

As our relationship progressed, I could see that the dog was an issue. You see, for the first two years of our relationship, I never even touched the dog. Things got interesting, however, when we decided to move in together.



As a non-dog person, I wasn't sure how I would be able to adapt to something so radical. By the time we moved in together, Zoey was about 5 pounds, or roughly the size of a giant Chipotle burrito. Still it would be a big change for me. As time progressed I had become more accepting and accommodating of the dog.  Mainly to not rock the boat in the relationship. I still wasn't a big dog-petter, but sometimes I would stick out my index finger and let her give a lick, even though the thought of it made me want to vomit, kind of like Kathy Bates’ hot-tub scene in About Schmidt. I was always sure to immediately rush to the Purell bottle and douse my hands afterward.   

So when we moved in together I made a few ground rules when it came to the dog: 
  • No dog on the bed. It's just gross. I don’t need that tuchus-scooter laying on my pillow. 
  • No dog on the furniture. I didn't want little white hairs all over our brand new dark brown living room set. 
  • I would not be responsible for collecting or disposing of any feces. Enough said.

Things went smoothly and the three of us got along in our new space. The dog had a bed in every room to alleviate the furniture issue, including right next to our bed. And the feces took care of themselves as far as I knew.

Everything changed, however, when The Dudette started working in the afternoons and evenings. Suddenly I had to take Zoey outside and give her dinner. Let's just say the dog and I worked out an amicable relationship. We were sort of like Al & Peggy Bundy. They would have both rather been with someone else, but they were stuck together and made the best of it. 

I guess I should tell you that Zoey is not like most other Chihuahuas, like the Taco Bell dog or the one from Legally Blonde. Or the loud annoying one your neighbor has that yips all night long. She usually sleeps about 23 hours a day. That was tolerable for me.

Fast forward a few years to when The Dudette was pregnant. One of my concerns about having a baby was dealing with the dog.  When the baby was due, Zoey had just turned 8 years old and was used to having the house to herself. Bring another little one into the house, however, and who knows what might happen. 

When we brought BC home from the hospital we quickly learned how the dog felt about the baby. We had quite a few visitors to meet BC. Every time someone came over, Zoey would go stand in front of BC like a bodyguard. Until she personally inspected each visitor with a sniff and a lick, no one was getting access to her new baby brother. She was sort of like the Secret Service guys who have to eat the President's food before he does to make sure it's not poisoned.

When BC began to crawl he was naturally interested in his walking stuffed animal.  After a couple days of tail grabbing we figured that if Zoey was tolerant of BC, she’d get a treat.  She's obviously a smart dog, because it only took her a couple times to figure out the pattern.  Soon after, we noticed that if BC crawled into the room then Zoey would go sit beside him.  She was willing to take the charge if it got her a little bite of rawhide heaven. Within hours she was flopping like a Kathryn Heigl movie.

Zoey then looks to my wife or me, like Kobe Bryant to a ref, to recognize the contact and call the foul, sending her to the Free Treat Line.  


If you asked me 10 years or more ago if I would ever have a dog, I would have laughed so hard I might have peed on the floor. I'll be honest, I still don't like any other dog on earth beside 
my own 10 year old step-dog. They're all too hyper, or drool too much or smell too bad.  If you are a dog lover and enjoy those traits, more power to you. I will stick to my unconventional family.  Until the day the dog poops in one of my shoes.  





Thanks for reading The Dude of the House. 
For more frequent updates, please visit these links:



I'm linking up again with the great bloggers at Yeah Write. Please go check it out. 
You'll discover some amazing writers floating around the Blogosphere:

29 comments:

  1. Oh my GOD!
    This means you are a DOG PERSON. Really! Wow!
    This is a fantastic post. I loved it.
    I am not a dog person - thought I was because I grew up surrounded by dogs - then we got a puppy two years ago and it was hell. The dog was neurotic and the trainer said he was not kid-friendly AND needed Prozac, so we found another home for him and there isn't a cute, fluffy, white puppy we see where I don't thank my lucky stars we found that dog another home!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ehhhh, I don't know about that. Maybe I'm a this-particular-dog person, but even that's a stretch. When she barfed yesterday, I called my wife to clean it up. I have my limits.

      Glad you liked, Ado. That means a lot. Thanks for reading, my YW44 neighbor.

      Delete
  2. Awww, I am so glad you are a dog person to your dog. She's so cute! I looooove dogs! Sometimes more than people.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are definitely some people that I would choose after dogs and I don't even like dogs. Thanks for reading, TSG!

      Delete
  3. Grew up a cat person then was talked into a BIG dog by Babe. Now I'm a dog person but only to certain dogs. Ours passed a couple of years ago and I can feel myself moving back to the not-a-dog-person side!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know what you mean. I think like a lot of college basketball players, I'm going to be one-and-done.

      Cats, no way for me. Baaaad allergies!

      Delete
  4. It's funny how you said you are not a dog person and like only your dog. I have a few friends that claim they aren't kid people, and like only their own kid. Same difference?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting, I've never thought of that. I'll need to ponder that one...

      Delete
  5. Great post! I despised dogs until age forty-two (I'm forty-four now) then fell in love with two Aussies. People who had known me for years were stunned, or thought it was a joke. Anyway, visiting from Yeah Write and so glad I did.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Louise, Everyone I knew was stunned when they found out about my step-dog. I'm still a little surprised on most days, too. Will check you out on YW soon!

      Delete
  6. You're not a dog person. You're just a Zoey person. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And even that's debatable sometimes, Alison...

      Delete
  7. Definitely one of my favorite posts of yeahwrite#44. I'm going to recommend it to the hubby, because when we first met, he wasn't a "cat person" and now, we have three cats. I feel kind of sorry for him sometimes.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Katie. I know exactly what your husband is going through, though I don't get much sympathy anymore. Three cats is a lot for a non-cat person. I'm way too allergic to even get near one. Thanks for your kind words.

      Delete
  8. Haha. Isn't it amazing how dogs work their way into your heart?!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's more amazing the way she works her way into our schedule. Before her I never had to rush home from doing something to let anyone out.

      Delete
  9. Here is why I love the way you write: "tuchus-scooter" I think I just about peed my pants.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, I take that as high praise. You and I are on a similar canine course this week. What's next week going to bring?

      Delete
  10. Awww, cute. I like dogs but not usually chihuahuas. This one sounds good though! (Not yipping with a little napoleon complex...)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, she's more like a cat than a dog. Minus the allergy inducement.

      Delete
  11. I have three Chihuahuas. Always asked Santa for a German Shepherd. You know, a real dog. Not a cat rat dog hybird. Three. It all started when I realized I wouldn't be having any more babies. I don't dress them up or anything.... loved the secret service analogy. Glad Zoey accepted BC, and glad to read her story here. It is wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Kimberly. People often mock her and ask if she's a real dog or have some sort of rude comments that they would never make about other breeds.

      Delete
  12. I love Zoey! She is so cute and I love that she is smart enough to know her place and that she is "The Bodyguard." I love you amicable relationship and some of the visuals make me smile, like the offering of your index finger to lick, such a giver!:) A lovely post Jay.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks a lot, Shannon. She's definitely something else...

      Delete
  13. We have three pets with whom I have a love/hate relationship. My kids, however love them all the time, and for that reason I put up with the negatives. That's sweet that Zoey is so protective!

    ReplyDelete
  14. Does Zoey want a friend? Big Hairy Dog could use a new home...

    You were one of the most clicked links at last week's #findingthefunny! We're featuring you tomorrow, and I pinned this. Thanks for linking up!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Amazing reference here with Kathy Bates and Al Bundy--and pulled together so nicely. Go love your little Chipolte-size burrito ;)

    ReplyDelete
  16. I grew up in a house where we always had at least 2 dogs... Now as an adult i find dogs cute and all but will not own one, i cant stand the barking, the smell, actually i cant stand most of anything that comes with having dogs lol. Loved your blog post btw

    ReplyDelete
  17. I grew up in a house where we always had at least 2 dogs... Now as an adult i find dogs cute and all but will not own one, i cant stand the barking, the smell, actually i cant stand most of anything that comes with having dogs lol. Loved your blog post btw

    ReplyDelete