My problem is, I shouldn’t go to PetSmart on weekends. Yeah, that’s my problem. That’s it. You’ve nailed it, June.
But my regularly scheduled pets were running low on food. Well. SOME of them were, and that’s why I haven’t restarted my Chewy subscription yet, because I always feel like, Well, Edsel’s got a TON of food, for example. I keep not needing everyone’s everything at the same time.
(Everyone should get Chewy, though. It’s the best. They give you a big discount, and it comes to your door on a schedule you choose. Chewy should be paying me. I’ll bet Amazon, who owns me, is pissed right now that I won’t shut the fuck up and they’re all, “Say Chewy one more time.”)
So there I was, knowing full well PetSmart has pet adoptions on weekends, and I go all the time because of that, and that’s one thing they have over Chewy. There, I said it. Come get me, Amazon.
Every time I go to one of those pet adoptions, I exclaim like an asshole over everyone there, even the Chihuahuas. I have no shame.
But on Saturday morning, on my way to get cat food, I passed a woman whose adorable pitty mix had had the diarrhea all over yonder, and I was helping her to clean it up, holding her two dogs at the same time, and as I was bending over spraying the floor, not to mark my territory but to sanitize it,
there she was.
She was at the end of the aisle, over at a DIFFERENT pet adoption, in a pen on the floor with one other puppy. The look of disdain she gave me, of utter contempt, pierced my heart immediately. You know I love for everyone to be indifferent to me. Basically I want everyone to be a cat.
“Oh!” I said.
I don’t even remember saying goodbye to Diarrhea Dogs. Next thing you know, I was over there holding this puppy, and asking about her (she’s from a litter of nine someone surrendered, along with mom).
(The puppies were 10 weeks old, they’d guess.) (And yes, she’s VERY calm, they told me.)
For four months now, I’ve lived with the knowledge in my head that the guy down the street, who owns a dog training business and who is forever walking past my house with 19 dogs walking calmly at his side, would help me introduce Edsel to a puppy. He had come over and assessed Edsel, said we could make it work.
For FOUR MONTHS that’s been in my head.
“Is there an…application?”
And here’s the thing. I thought they’d, you know, call the vet that wasn’t open anymore that day, and check my references and so on, but they immediately said, “Everything looks good. She’s yours.”
I thought I’d have a weekend to think about it.
So next thing you know old Jed’s a millionaire and in sort of a daze I’d purchased a bed, two hot-pink bowls–which I later realized was stupid because I still have Tallulah’s leopard-pink bowls somewhere–and I shoplifted a leash. Didn’t mean to. I’d already had it on her and I was somewhat stunned.
I got home and screamed her right into the bedroom. I got away with it–Edsel hadn’t noticed. He’s a regular Einstein. I texted the trainer.
“Keep them apart all week. Call me in seven days and we’ll go for a walk with both of them.”
Really? Because Edsel’s TERRIBLE on walks.
New puppy was so calm. And she didn’t have an accident once! But here’s something I discovered. When it’s just you, and you have to Anne Frank your dogs and keep them separate at all times, it’s not as easy as you’d think. When a puppy starts sniffing around, you have to scoop her up and whisk her outside. I didn’t always have time to put Eds in a room first.
And one of those times, as I was rushing her out the door, Edsel sniffed her back as I held her, and he growled.
Okay, I did not like that.
I feel like I have some mild form of PTSD after The Lottie Incident, because I took Nora (that’s what I named her, Nora Ephron) outside after the growl and I was shaking, and sweating a little, and I just remembered that terrible day with Lottie.
Oh my god, I loved Nora so much. She was a stellar puppy, y’all. She was just so smart and curious and mellow and sweet. Once she decided I wasn’t that horrific, her little tail would wag when I came back into the room. I’d gotten out the cat carrier, because that was going to be a fine crate for the time being, and I was putting her food in there so she’d get happy thoughts about it. I let her sleep with me that first night, and she slept all night. She held my arm and put her little dog head on my hand and slept there.
In the morning, I put up the barricade between the back room and the dining room, so Edsel couldn’t get to the back yard, and yes. I’d paid a TON of attention to him, as much as I could, anyway, with my secret stash in the bedroom, there.
Anyway, Steely Dan, fucking Steely Dan, knocked that barricade over.
and Edsel came BARRELING outside and growled and showed his teeth and snapped at Nora before I could snatch her up.
“Nope. Nope, nope nope.” That’s what I was saying while I spirited her back into the bedroom, and right then I knew.
No matter how many trainers I had, I was too scared of Edsel. I couldn’t put this sweet girl in harm’s way. I’m just too afraid for her.
Nora and I already had a date Sunday to join Ned to look at a house he wanted to rent. It had a lockbox and it’d just be us looking, so I knew taking Nora would be okay. The rescue lady who approved my application knew I was concerned about Edsel, and I knew she was back at the adoption event on Sunday at 1:00. (By the way, adopting via an organization that works through PetSmart and not, say, finding a dog in the road is WAY more convenient. Nora was up to date on shots, I had a voucher for her getting fixed, and I had a whole booklet of coupons for the store.)
She’d said if there was trouble to bring Nora back sooner rather than later. So I texted her and told her. Ned said he’d go with us to return Nora after we looked at the house.
The house we looked at was sort of delightful. It was very old, with fireplaces in three rooms, and a big tall set of stairs. Nora had clearly not dealt with stairs before, and when we went up them, she whined. We stood at the top and encouraged her, till she finally came up them in this little hopping way, and was so happy when we said, “Yay, Nora!”
Once she knew she could do it, she ran up and down those steps a hundred times, finally stopping on a middle step, panting and smiling. Oh, crap. I loved her.
Then it was time to go back to PetSmart.
I brought back her shoplifted leash and her little Triceratops she seemed to like a lot.
When we got to the event, her runt-of-the-litter brother was still there (seriously? Someone go get both) and she knew him right away.
And that’s how I left her, wrestling with her brother.I hope she has a wonderful life. She’s a wonderful pup.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to glare at my dog.
P.S. I never did remember to get cat food.
P.P.S. Iris was unaware we HAD a new dog till she literally bumped into Nora on the deck. Man. More surprised than happy, as my father would say.