When you last left me, I had purchased the Sensation collar and was all excited to have control over my dogs.
First of all, when you open the package, it is this…road map of fabric going this way and that, with clasps and rings and buckles and hangie parts and apparently some part of it goes over your dog.
Here is what the pamphlet showed:
My poor dogs had that thing around them 80 different ways yesterday. They had it up around their arms like a sweater that gets stuck, around their muzzles like they were rabid beasts, back by their tails for no apparent reason, all around their middles. And the first person who says, "Why didn't you take a picture, June?" gets a personal drive to their house and a bitch slap from me. Because really? REALLY? I wanted to take time out from tormenting my dogs to grab my CAMERA?
Finally I decided I had bought the wrong sizes, and anyway I needed more pill pockets for Francis. Because he is a pill. So I headed out in the 86-degree heat back to the store. This time I took Edsel, to try the harness on him at the store. Maybe they could tell me what I was doing wrong. Other than being born in the first place.
As soon as we got in there? Edsel charged at the sweet potato treats and knocked over an entire stand of dog key chains. I mean a huge display, taller than me. BOOM! Rattle rattle rattle rattle, went the Yorkie and Pit Bull key chains.
I was a little tempted to look at what constituted a Pit Bull key chain as I wrestled Edsel and tried to pick the display up at the same time, but the store clerk said, "Don't even bother to try to put those away. That thing gets knocked over all the time. I'll do it later."
I felt terrible. I grabbed the next-smallest size harness and got the hell out of there. And if this happens all the time, does it ever occur to them to put that huge, top-heavy display somewhere other than not near the sweet potato treats?
Once I got home again, I tried to read the instructions. "The O-ring goes above and behind your dog's haunch." All I could think of was the movie Office Space where the guy says he's gonna show his date the O-face. Besides, how can something be both above and behind a haunch?
After another sweaty hour contorting my poor dogs, I was at this point so covered in fur it was like I'd turned into a werewolf. I had gotten both harnesses on then, but I'd decided they weren't the right size. Tallulah's was so tight I was certain she was going to turn blue, and Edsel's hung on him like he was wearing Madonna's cones.
I decided to put BOTH dogs in the car and take them BACK to the store to get fitted, which right there tells you the state of my mind.
And do you know what's convenient and easy? Putting my dogs in my Bug. Who decided to get two gangly dogs and a small car? I have to make them wait while I lift the seat, and waiting is so Edsel's strong suit. So half the time Edsel ends up hanging himself with his leash half in the front seat and half in the back, and anyway by the time we got to the store we were all shedding and depleted of oxygen.
My dogs know from this store. It is not PetSmart, it is a locally owned place and they get lots of attention and usually a treat, and a cat lives there and they were basically out of their minds with anticipation as we crossed the parking lot.
We could not have called more attention to ourselves as we entered that store had we been wearing pots and pans.
BOOM! Edsel opened the door for us by getting up on his hind legs. BANG! We all crashed through the door in one furry, sheddy mess. Edsel pulled us all back to the Schipperke key chain display, which I noted still had not been completely righted.
Tallulah, meanwhile, had homed in on two tiny poodles, who were there with their owner MEANING NO HARM TO ANYONE.
"BOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW!" said Tallulah, who have I mentioned has the deepest, most menacing-sounding bark on earth?
Naturally, Tallulah barking made Edsel turn from the key chains. "AR Ararararar!" said Edsel, while Lu continued to BowWowWow.
Suddenly Edsel ESCAPED from my grasp, as they were both around my legs and I was practically falling over from their well-behavedness, and he CHARGED OVER to those poor poodles. He skidded to a stop in front of them.
"ARARarararararAR!" he said, wagging his tail. The woman scooped up her poor poodles and glared at me. Can you blame her? I would have glared at me. I WAS glaring at me.
All of this happened in the first 15 seconds of us entering the store. It was unbelievable. The entire place was staring at us.
"SETTLE!" said this voice, as I called Edsel over to me. As I was grabbing Edsel's leash, this woman with a butch haircut was coming over, and as soon as she said that, both of my dogs sat down. JUST SAT DOWN!
"Let's calm down," the woman said, clearly speaking to all of us. She was a clerk there, and I was never so glad to see a butch-haircutted woman in my whole life.
"Hi," I said. "My dogs and I are here, in case you hadn't noticed. I want to get them fitted for those harnesses that make you have more control over them."
"I'd love to see them in those harnesses," she said. Really? Are you sure? Because they're so docile. Are you certain I'm not overreacting?
We went to the back of the store, away from the rest of civilization, and by the time we got back there, Edsel had fallen madly in love with her and had started peeing on the carpet behind her, all the way to where we stopped. Then he paced around, stepping on said pee, leaving pee footprints all over the rug.
Do you know who wishes we'd come back soon? Is that store.
"This dog is so pretty," she said, leaning over and giving Edsel kisses, as she handed Talu a sweet potato treat. Edsel at this point was using my iPhone to get on the DeBeers website to pick out a diamond for this woman. Oh, he was whining and posing and licking and HELLO, JERK! Who feeds you and walks your skinny arse every day? You meet ONE WOMAN with a crew cut and you're a goner.
The best part of the story is that Edsel's lover could not fit these dogs in the harnesses, either. She tried and tried and tried. She tried on stoic, still Talu and she tried on wriggly infatuated Eds and finally she stood up and announced, "I am walking out of here and never coming back unless someone helps me get harnesses on these dogs."
I felt entirely vindicated that it was not just me, who, by the way, had forgotten everything and had been sitting right in Edsel's pee.
Finally, a man came over and got the dang things on, and I honestly thought about leaving those harnesses on my dogs for the rest of their lives so I wouldn't have to deal with them ever again.
Here is a photo of Edsel wearing Tallulah's Sensation harness, because I just ran into the room he was in and put whichever on him.
Please note the blanket on the couch and my pajamas still on at 2 p.m., so drained am I from yesterday's extravaganza. And we finally went for a walk last night as it was getting dark and, eh. They kind of didn't pull.
Also? When I woke up today I realized I'd forgotten to get Frannie's pill pockets.
Maybe the dogs and I will pop into the pet store this afternoon.