Monday, August 08, 2005

Adventures in Dog-Sitting

I spent most of last week dog-sitting for Caliban, that dear, old beast. In general, Caliban and I feel rather ambivalent towards each other, I scratch behind his ears, he licks my toes and then we go our seperate ways. After all, when I'm over the house I'm usually there to see MostFavoritePerson and once he catches on that I'm not there to take him for a walk and that I haven't smeared my pants in bacon fat before arriving, he loses interest in me as well. But the time we spend co-habitating in the summer fosters a mutual fondness between us, that is intense if not short lived.

My personal life is short on responsibility right now. That's how I like it. I'm responsible for one creature and one creature only and that creature is Cupcake. Days I manage to get quasi-nutritious regular feedings in, pay my bills and blow-dry my hair are successful days in my book. Then, for several days in the summer I move into Chez MommyCakes and committ to walking Cal three times a day including his long evening romp in the dog run, fixing his special yum-yum dinner, and generally caring to see that he doesn't overheat, choke, soil the rugs or otherwise expire on my watch. All of a sudden going from practically no responsibility to low responsibility is jarring for Cupcake. Somehow Cal and I muddle through it. Still, I am pretty sure these are exact thoughts the dog had at one point or another while looking at me during this experience:

"You're not my real Mom."

"You can't make me."

"How about if I yank on your neck while you're taking a whiz and you can see how fun it is for you?"

"Dude, you are totally cramping my style. I could have totally scored with that bitch if you're weren't off in the corner all huffing and rolling your eyes."

"Stay at least five steps behind me. I don't want my friends to know we're together."

"You said you'd be ready in 'just a minute' five minutes ago!"

"I can't believe you think those shoes go with your blouse. I'm color-blind and even I can smell the faux-pas stink waves coming off of that outfit."

"Really? You're giving me the two Cheese Nips that fell on the floor? Well aren't I just the luckiest son-of-a-bitch that ever roamed the earth. I supposed I should roll over and expose my belly in gratitude."

As I said, it can be a bit rocky, but we make it work. Then one night I was fast asleep on the pull-out bed. For reasons on the dog could illuminate he decided to enter the bedroom and begin licking my elbow. Hey now!! Fortunately, I did not startle awake and see his dark furry face looming above me, because I surely would have screamed and hit the wall. I slowly woke, remembered where I was, looked at my alarm clock (2am) and looked at the dog. "Oh, I see, you're giving me kisses. That's very nice, but it's awfully late, boy. Why don't you go to sleep?" I said, rolling over, and hoping this was not Lassie's way of telling me there was in intruder in the house or a big steaming pile of crap on the carpet.

I checked the whole apartment the next morning and there was no sign or intrusion or crap. I don't know what was going on in his head when he decided to wake me with kisses at 2am. Perhaps that was his appology for an earlier look. "I'm sorry about taking off at the dog run, like a guy who abandons his date the moment they arrive at the party. Actually, you're not so bad to go home with." We may never know.

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