Inappropriate sharing, incomprehensible ramblings, uncalled-for hostility: yup, it's a blog.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Waffles; or, ardor
First off, we've had the dog for a few days and so far those few days have centered on the dog's bathroom habits. I understand this is normal--new parents of humans and dogs spend most of their waking moments contemplating poop, pee, and the strange unexpected discharges coming out of mouths.
It's common, if Google isn't lying, for new parents to blog at length about these things. There is a reason for these compulsive bathroom bloggings: new parents simply cannot write sensibly about any other subject. More elevated matters are buried beneath a layer of less savory matter, right, because it's impossible to discuss, say, Miro or Congress without the knowledge that somewhere in the home there is a small helpless creature constantly digesting, constantly breaking down the solid from the liquid, constantly and forever working towards an uncontrolled evacuation.
"I adore the colors of this piece," a new parent might say about some piece of art purchased by a friend, knowing such adoration is expected. What the new parent is thinking, however, is: These colors are similar to the new crap stain on my $500 white shag rug in the living room.
"Do you really think the Senate is capable of passing that bill?" a new parent might say, thinking instead: If they could only pass that bill the way my new baby passed that swallowed dime the other day... Man, I didn't realize it'd pop out like that.
Waffles is a great dog but he does not like pooping outside. He's house-broken, yes, but he was house-broken in a quieter neighborhood, and apparently the loud traffic zooming past as Greg and I walk him around his newer, noisier neighborhood has... scared his bowels. His bowels have retreated more deeply into his ass. Plus he has the attention span of lobotomized goldfish; he might leave the house with the intention of taking a dump, but as soon as we hit the sidewalk he becomes distracted with the cars and the people and the music, and forgets about his bowels.
Greg and I don't forget about his bowels. But he does.
The second morning, for instance. I came into the living room to find Waffles in mid-squat, his hindquarters dangling like Damocles' sword centimeters away from the carpet. I jerked him up (causing him to make a too-cute grunt sound not unlike Carol Channing being hit in the stomach with a pillow), grabbed his leash, and ran down the three flights of stairs to the street. Clearly, he needed to go. He was in the process of going. He was less than a second away from going, then of having gone, then of not needing to go again until mid-afternoon.
But he forgot. I walked him around the neighborhood for over an hour, stopping at trees, prowling the park across the street, weeping, pleading, pushing his ass to the grass, offering a helpful demonstration by squatting beside him. Nothing. Except once, when he did do that doggie squat thing in full view of six 10 year old girls, all of whom immediately swarmed around him, seizing up his bowels as they petted and cooed and made chaste hot dog jokes.
To be fair to Waffles, my bowels would seize on me too if I were about to let go and was suddenly surrounded by a pack of cute-crazed 10 year old girls.
After nearly 90 minutes of leading Waffles around Inwood, I surrendered. I brought him home and kept an eye on him. No more attempts at bowel-evacuation were made until Greg arrived home from work a few hours later. Greg and I returned to the park, and Waffles, amazingly, let it all out. No shag carpeting, no tile floors. Just good, natural grass and good, natural fertilizer.
Sunday morning around 2:30 AM, Waffles woke Greg up. Whining. Sniffing. Scratching discreetly at our bedroom door.
Outside our window, a pack of wild thugs were taunting and talking shit at one another. I assumed it was a gang initiation--it sounded violent and, if not deadly, then at least a recipe for possible humiliation (the kids in our neighborhood love to humiliate anyone over 25). But without pausing, Greg popped out of bed, threw on the basics of clothing, slid into shoes, and carried Waffles outside. I stayed behind to field phone calls and contact the authorities should Greg not return. Knowing Greg, I assumed that if the kids didn't use his dead body to earn their bones, he'd accidentally stab himself trying to act tough.
Greg returned a half-hour later, grumpy and groggy. Waffles was jaunty and inappropriately playful. "Little bastard just wanted to go for a walk," Greg said. "Didn't even sniff at a goddamn tree."
It's amazing. If there's a poop from this dog, I know about it. If there's pee, I sense it. There is nothing that goes into or out of this animal I fail to notice. Greg's the same way. We've lived together for nearly a decade, and know less about each other's private habits than we do about this dog's, which has only been with us for a few days. At work, I swear I can sense when Waffles, home, secure in an enormous metal crate the size of a Rottweiler, is sniffing in the corners and digging into his blanket. When reading, his head resting on my thigh, I feel his guts churning. It's nonstop. And it's not like he'll ever run into the bathroom and flip the toilet up--it's a perpetual thing, this dependent shitting and pissing. He'll never outgrow it, never bang on the bathroom door and say, "Dad, c'mon, it's my turn!"
But I do love him more than the rug, at least.
Now if we can just keep him from staring at us when we make out. That's creepy.
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