I’m not really a dog person. I mean I like petting them or playing with them every now and then but when it comes down to it, I like other people’s dogs. I can’t handle scooping poop, rushing home to make sure the dog has peed, chew toys and the constant smell of dog that lingers no matter how much Speed Stick you’ve lathered on that day. Dogs take over your life. At least with kids, your friends will babysit every once in a while. At the end of the day you don’t own a dog, the dog owns you.
Which is why, yesterday, when picking the twins up from daycare I confronted my worst nightmare. A lost dog. A lost cute dog that ran right up to TheMonk and licked him in the face. The dog then looked up at me with his big brown puppy-dog eyes and said, “Take me home. You don’t want me to die a slow, painful death in the freezing cold, do you?” (Yes, I know I live in San Diego where “freezing” equals shorts weather in the Northeast but work with me here. It’s all relative.)
After knocking on a couple of doors it became evident that we didn’t know where this dog belonged. Against my better judgment (and to the utter delight of two 3-year-olds) I found myself placing a cute wiener dog into the hatchback of my car.
Before long dog food was procured, a bed was made out of old towels and an old moving blanket in the garage and two little ones threw a ball at the dog until the ball said, “Enough already!” The dog slept in the garage. The twins slept in their beds. Until approximately hellish-early. It was at that time they came running into my room, before the sun had actually crested the mountains to the East, and shouted six words in unison… “Can we go see the dog?!”
(I have never seen my kids dress so quickly. I might keep a dog in the garage forever if it means we can get dressed without naked butts running around wildly while underwear sits atop heads.)
Before we knew it, the kids were playing with the dog while I quickly printed out a flyer to post around the neighborhood. I explained to the kids that Daddy was going to find the dog’s owner and that we would NOT be keeping this dog. I think Swee’Pea’s response was something along the lines of, “Yeah, yeah. Whatever, Daddy. We got a dog!”
But fate was not on Swee’Pea’s side. After dropping the kids off at daycare I proceeded to plaster three streets that surround the area where we found the dog with flyers. I stuck those flyers everywhere. Street signs, mailboxes, slow-moving old ladies. It didn’t matter. That dog was getting found.
And on the last street with only a handful of flyers still in my possession, I heard the best seven words in the English language. “Excuse me. Did you find my dog?” (Admit it, you just counted those seven words didn’t you?)
Anyway, needless to say I FLEW back to my house, threw the dog in the back seat and hauled butt down the hill to where the lady awaited her baby. I presented the dog and she was so grateful she asked, “How much do I pay you?” “Pay me?” I thought. “I should be paying you lady because after seeing the look on my kid’s faces, I thought I was going to have to keep this dog forever.”
“You don’t have to pay me.” I replied. “But can I drop by this evening so my kids can say goodbye?”
“Of course!” she said. “They can come visit Zimba anytime.”
So we did. At the end of the day the kids got to say goodbye to the dog and I got to come home to a poop-free home. I felt like I had won the lottery. No dog would be ruling my life today.
Zimba, I’m sure, was equally relieved.
Bye Bye Zimba!