Move Over Mary Poppins!

The real life adventures of one nanny, her husband, child, dogs, house, and whatever else crosses her path.

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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Dog Beds: My Own Personal Brand of Insanity

I grew up with dogs, always in pairs. My parents had two dogs before they had kids. Golden retrievers dominated my childhood, though my Mom had an Irish Setter while I was in high school and college, and now they have a Golden and a mixed breed shelter dog. So, you know, big dogs. With hair. And licking. And all the other stuff dogs do.

I lived in apartments until Mark and I bought the house five years ago. The bottom line? No dogs. I pined for a dog. I missed my dogs. I romanticized my parents' dogs. I conveniently forgot the pooping, peeing, vomiting, snoring, shedding, and veterinary care in my fantasy of dog ownership.

Don't get me wrong, I knew about all this stuff - first hand. I just chose not to remember it.

I wanted a Golden Retriever so badly I could smell it's chicken soupy head. Mark wanted a Pug. A Pug. Big man, little dog. Ohhhkaaaaay...

Mark and I bought the house, got married, honeymooned in Hawaii, and spent our first summer up to our necks in renovations. Come fall, I decided it was time for the dog. I went big, I arranged for our puppy to come home the day after Christmas, allowing me to hand paint a ceramic dog dish with the name he'd dreamed up for his eventual dog, and wrap it to put under the tree. I also wrapped the leash and the Monogrammed LLBean dog bed. I was AWESOME! I kept it a secret. I got my Mom and his Grandma to partially fund the pricey pup. On the SLY. Oh yes.

He opened his present with glee. We drove twelve hours round trip to Bar Harbor, Maine, on Boxing Day, in a sleet storm to bring home our bundle of canine joy. It didn't matter; we had our darling little dog.

Darling, except that he kept peeing on his bed. Long after he was housebroken, he would pee on the bed. He would also attempt to shake it to death with his tiny jaws. Eventually, he turned on it, ate the zipper, and eviscerated it. I sewed it back together once. I had a seamstress do it again, when he chewed through my stitching. Are you looking up the definition of insanity yet? After a year, however, he calmed down. I can only assume the bed conceded defeat in a private conversation with the dog.

In 2007, I decided to get my Golden. Right about the same time, I also decided to get pregnant, though the precise timing was a little more out of my control in that case. This time I arranged for my puppy to arrive in Boston via commercial airline (a mistake I will never repeat, but that's a story for another time). I brought her home, and set about establishing her in the household.

She promptly took over the dog bed, then started... wait for it... peeing on it. The bed finally met its end while the dogs were staying with my parents. The bed started out about six feet away from the puppy's crate, with our Pug sleeping on it. In the morning, it was halfway inside the crate, with its innards spewed all over the inside of the crate.

They worked together. To destroy the bed. The soft, monogrammed LLBean dog nest that I so lovingly bought for our dog baby. I could have cried. I could have throttled them.

Some months later, Mark bought a dog bed for them from Orvis, which purported to be indestructible. When the Orvis catalog arrives now, we still laugh at this adjective, since Orvis sent us two replacements, when our dogs chewed through the covers, the liners, and eventually eviscerated them, too. Indestructible, my eye. Eventually, Orvis gave up on us, and just offered us a refund. Surprisingly, they have not asked us to provide a testimonial for their excellent customer service.

"Our dogs just loved the Indestructible Bed. It tastes like chicken! But they really do stand by their product! We got three beds and a refund!"

Or not. At least that's what I'm guessing PR said.

For some months the dogs were better behaved. They seemed to grasp the basic tenets of life with humans, and since they slept on the couch (oh, god, how I hate this, but when one dog is a lap dog, it's hard to enforce no dogs on the couch), we had no need for a bed.

Until we discovered that the Golden was secretly eating the straps for Felix's high chair. You see, at two, he's just using it as a booster, so we hadn't actually buckled the straps for months. And why, pray tell, would I specifically check to see if the dog had been nibbling them?

Of course, I only discovered this when, to the tune of two thousand dollars, our vets surgically removed said buckle from her stomach and small intestine.

So, it was time to put the Golden back in her pen when we weren't watching her. Le sigh. In a rare streak of optimism I bought a dog blanket at BJ's, so she wouldn't have to sleep on bare floor in the pen. Miracle of miracles, she actually left it alone for a whole week. Then, she started fraying the edges.

Not to be outdone, our Pug, who must have been lonely in his freedom, in the span of a week, ate 9 Crayolas, and raided the pantry; he ate two thirds of a bag of dry egg noodles and about a half a cup of brown sugar out of a sealed container in the pantry.

Off with his head! Into the pen!

One night. That's all the bed lasted. Our two dogs ate their way into the bed, and reveled in the polyfil batting inside. In my head, they dance to "Celebration" by Kool & the Gang, while tossing bundles of batting by their snouts. I obviously spend too much time thinking about this.

I would have let them live with his half eaten monstrosity for an indefinite period, had it not been for waking up Thursday to the wafting scent of poo on the air.

There is no. better. way. to wake up on a Saturday morning. None.

They had hidden the pile of poo under the bed. Oh, yes, soaked and saturated and ground in to what was left of it's cloth cover. Oh, the smell! I bagged the whole mess and marched it right outside to the trash barrels.

And went to BJ's to buy another bed.

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Blogger Mrs. G. said...

Those dogs, those pictures...melting.

4/25/10, 9:44 PM  
Blogger CDG said...

Thanks, Mrs. G! I can ship the retriever and her eating disorder to you as soon as you like.

The pug, my husband insists, we're keeping.

4/25/10, 10:23 PM  
Blogger Alta Marie said...

this cracks me up :)

5/2/10, 4:34 PM  
Anonymous Loser Inc said...

I'm a little behind on my blog reading. It's good to be back! This post was hysterical, and your writing is wonderful!

5/11/10, 11:13 AM  

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