Right now, everyone is outside except for old Steely Dickly, here, and it occurs to me that if he were my only pet, I’d be miserable. He’s never HERE. He comes in to eat, maybe sleep with one gray arm strewn across his eyes, chew a few of my beloved clothing items, then leave for 17 hours again.
Also, that brick needs some sort of molding.
Speaking of pets who make me miserable, on Saturday, the trainer came to help me with Edsel.
She’d asked me a litany of Qs re Eds and his charming personality before she got here, and then when she arrived, we talked about him some more. When I told her that Tallulah died a year and a half ago, tears pierced the backs of my eyes.
Did you ever have that happen to you? You’re perfectly okay-ish with something, but then you’re in a clinical setting 800 years later and you tell the fact of the matter and it hits you all over again? Anyway that was me Saturday.
“And she was our leader,” I said, hoping I would not need a Kleenex. All the women in my row at work, and I just made it sound like Cell Block H. Who can take a nothing show that lasted maybe one season in 1974 and drag that joke out for 40 years? Anyway all the women in my row at work have colds, and I convinced self I was getting it too, so I purchased an entire SIX-PACK of Kleenex, mostly because it was on special and also at the end of the aisle so I didn’t have to walk very far in, and why so hippy.
“She was our glue,” I told the trainer. “And while she’d BARK at other dogs, like a very angry chesty women such as myself, she’d never actually HURT anyone. And so when any dogs were at our house, no one was ever attacked …UNTIL she was gone.”
The trainer worked with Edsel for awhile and surmised that basically he’s a sweet dog who’s completely unqualified for the position of leader, and I will not make a presidential joke here, and see how mature? She said that while Tallulah was BORN for that position, Edsel’s basically “a huge chicken” who, because he is, overcompensates and blusters and I will continue to not make any references to anyone who may or may not be in the White House.
She said he really has to know he doesn’t have to BE in charge, that I do (I do?), and then she showed me ways to show him that.
Now, here is where I get uncomfortable. Because when I put his little picture on Facebook and a video of him being calm around dogs this weekend, I saw a lot of “tell us EVERYTHING” comments, and then I was all, Oh dear. Do I release the trainer’s state secrets? I mean, I just paid her a shit-ton of money for those.
So I’ll …kind of tell you? Will that work?
Okay, so first of all, we yelled at him. I don’t mean I stood over him and told him all the things about this relationship that have bugged me all these years. But when he came near my food, he got a
a very sharp
that startled him, and let him know he was NOT MY EQUAL (he isn’t?) and that he can’t just, oh, have my yogurt any old time (he can’t?). Oh, he was stunned. He was a letter C, and basically he tried to hide INSIDE one of the wooden chairs.
This lead me to want to go hug him, and tell him he was a good boy, but it turns out that’s how I turned Edsel into the psycho that he is, and I have to be firm with him, yet still love him, and WHO THE HELL KNEW.
So after I’d let him know who’s boss (WHO IS THE BOSS, I THOUGHT IT WAS TONY DANZA), we went on a walk in order to see other dogs and really show Eds the old iron fist.
Lemme tell you something. It was a beautiful Saturday. It was a pretty good crowd for a Saturday, and that lyric has always bothered me, and I realize Billy Joel is a millionaire and I’m not, but what a dumb line. It’s right up there with “Like a knight in shining armor, from a long time ago.” Oh, thanks for the specificity, there, historian.
I mean, WHEN WILL YOU GET A BETTER CROWD AT A PIANO BAR THAN A SATURDAY.
Anyway, my point is, it was a perfect Saturday afternoon in my dogged neighborhood, where every yahoo has a dog, and?
No one. It was like there was a dog strike. We couldn’t FIND a dog. Who did we have to fuck to find a dog around here? I even went to Ava’s house and knocked on the door to see if they’d bring her out, like bait. They weren’t home.
Finally, FINALLY, one woman had an ancient black Lab, and sure enough, Edsel whined like he always does, and the trainer
SNAPPED his two
TWO! (for safety, due to the come-with-me-and-escape-my-collar thing from last time oh my god PTSD)
leashes, said “HEY!”
and even squirted him with a squirt bottle. Oh my god, did he letter C. “Edz haff no idea. Edz totleee sorry. Do Edz need to rite letter to lab? He so will.”
I mean, he got submissive immediately. In the past, when he snarled at dogs, I screamed and yelled, but it never got through to him. I have no idea why.
After that, we headed to the park, in search of more dogs.
Y’all. He was DREAMBOAT. I realize my ass is not what you’d call a dream, but it was a boat. Nor is that SWEATER anything to write home about STEELY DAN GODDAMMIT, but that dog.
Dude, look at that. Two huge dogs over there, and there’s my dog. Oh, just strolling past. IT’S A GODDAMN MIRACLE.
Afterward, he slept for 17 hours.
Yesterday I had to go buy a second leash and Dear Harris Teeter: If you’re thinking, “Oh, we’re good on our supply of leashes for dogs,” you’re deluding yourselves. I had to get him a RED leash, which has zero to do with his whole cool blues and seafoams look he has going with his Gentle Leader and Martingale collar, and I, for one, am aesthetically displeased. But we walked and walked, and for once I was DYING to see a dog, and WHERE THE HELL were all the dogs this weekend?
Finally, we saw his favorite thing, a puppy, and it was DYING to come see us, and Edsel put up his (considerable) ears and I HEY!‘d him, and SNAPPED the leashes and squirted him just once, and?
I was walking a letter C.
The next dogs we saw? Zero incident. And those people know from Edsel and me. I could tell they were surprised. “Is that dog unwell? Did she lobotomize him?”
So that was worth it. If you’re local-ish, I linked to her at the top of this, so if you ask me how to reach her, I will snarl at you like Past Edsel, and I wonder where he got his unpleasant personality.
P.S. I’ve been on Ritalin since Saturday. Having just read this without knowing that, can you tell at all? I can’t tell, but I will say this: RITALIN IS WONDERFUL. Oh my god I’m on the top of the world lookin’ down on creation.
Valley of the Dolls-ly,