Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Happiness Is Pets

The other night Chris and I were looking for something to do.

I suggested the puppy store.

Before you write me off, please, hear me out. I just wanted to look at the puppies. Touch the puppies, smell the puppies, play with the puppies, pick up the puppies and maybe – just maybe – consider that a puppy might be something I want to buy.

I wasn’t sure how Chris would respond. His relationship with Boss is hot and cold. Depends on whether or not Boss makes his poopies outdoors. But lately Boss’ accidental poopy quotient has been pretty low. So his relationship with Chris has been pretty hot. And since I like to strike when the irons are hot, I suggested the puppy store.

I knew exactly which one. Happiness is Pets. That’s where Hero is from. Hero is the miniature pinscher that hangs out at the dog park. He was there last week with his owner, a young girl in her 20’s that shows up sipping an iced latte from Caribou wearing an orange t-shirt with a picture of a recliner that said Laid Back. And she was. She didn’t say much, watched Hero and Boss play. Of all the dogs that frequent the park, Boss plays with Hero very well. They are the perfect size together and seem to know how to roughhouse without aggravating the other one.

Laid back or not, I stared asking her about Hero. You see, he’s quite the little dog. My mom was there one day with Hero and said he looked like an oversized ant. But I disagree. He’s very cute – small, black and shouts a lot of spunk. He is the perfect companion for Boss and if he was mine I would name him…


I’ll forget that I’m already in too far because I’ve already named my second dog. But I really liked Hero and liked the way he looked. So I asked the young girl where he was from and she said:

Happiness is Pets

Is it really? And how would I know? I mean, I love little Boss and his companionship throughout the day. Is that happiness? And is it because he’s my pet? Or is it his fur or ears or the fact that he is best friend a girl can have in the entire world? He’ll never gossip behind my back. Or talk too much. Or tell me I ate too much ice cream. He just licks me and begs to be next to me no matter what. Some days as I work at the kitchen table he insists I pull up a chair next to me, put his little padded bed up there so he can be at my level and help with my work. Together we make a very good team. He writes some really tough swim workouts and I pass all of my athlete e-mail replies through him first:

Boss, Alicia wants to move her run to tomorrow, what do you think? Paws up.

I ask you - would I be this happy without a pet?

I don’t know but I’m willing to go to the store to see if there is more happiness to be bought. Chris is terribly agreeable tonight and drives me to the store. Puppies for sale. Puppies on sale. You can finance your puppy for $298 for the first 3 months. In that case, sign me up.

In front of us is a smorgasboard of puppies. Furry puppies, small puppies and then I see a puppy that catches my eye. It is a little junior Boss. I ask to look at him. They bring him out and I realize right away he sort of smells. And his nails are black. He has poopy on his rear leg. And he is far too stout. This is an ugly puppy. I’m sorry for saying that. This is not my Champ.

We head over to the other pet store – actually the one where we got Boss. As usual, the store is packed. It’s 8:45 pm and everyone needs a puppy tonight. Or a ferret. Or a bird. We walk in and I see something immediately that I want – it’s a dog stroller. I need this. I start wheeling it around to give it a test run. This is just what I need to keep Boss from escaping his harness and breaking out the crazy laps.

A voice in my head - or maybe it's Chris - says Liz, put the stroller down. Unless you are willing to shell out hundreds of bucks for the dog stroller back that thing on up.

On to the puppies. There! There they are! The miniature pinschers. Two of them. I find the clerk and ask to see one. The black one first. She brings him out and asks for my drivers license.

My what?

Your license because apparently people are stealing puppies from the store. I look at myself. I am wearing shorts, a sleeveless shirt and not carrying a purse. Where in the sam hill would I put a puppy? And why would I steal something that is microchipped? Chris admits he also doesn’t have his license. We were out of luck.

We look at the other puppies – the beagles, bichons, yorkies and then I want to see the Toy Fox Terrier. It looks just like Boss! They would make a great pair. And for $1195 he would make…a great buy. I asked to see him, the clerk brings him out.

If you sanitize your hands, I’ll let you touch him.

I look a bit puzzled. If I sanitize my hands you’ll let me touch the dog? The dog that has been rolling in its shit all day in a crate and you’re worried about my hands? Ok. I’m sanitized. I touch the dog. He’s cute but still…no champ.

So I move on to the Yorkies, bulldogs, a miniature daschund. Oh she is very cute. She has a whole lobbying group in the puppy corral with her trying to talk me into why I need to be the next owner of an adorable puppy daschund. Because they have one. And the one they are holding is very cute. They are right. She is cute. Floppy ears. Little paws. I need that puppy. I want that puppy. I am going to put that puppy under my shirt and walk right out of this store.

Anyways, we leave the puppy store and drive home. We talk about Boss and how he will stay our number one. And at home we take Boss for a walk. Once inside again, Chris invites Boss to sit on his lap while they watch tv. But then… Chris notices something by the fireplace. Boss has taken a small dump. The relationship quickly turns cold.

Well, Boss, thanks for that, champ. I was this close to getting you a playmate so you would quit begging to sit by me all day. And to think that I was also going to ask about the SRM. And to start looking for a new house in Elburn. What can I say - I know agreeability is a slippery slope. I guess next time I’ll put the puppy lower on the priorities, strike when the iron is hot and ask for something different instead.

So for now scratch that second puppy thought. I look at Boss. I could never make him number two. He is just too darn cute. He drags red blanket from the kitchen. He steals corn chips with lightning speed from the kitchen floor. He chases cabbage moths in the field like they are out there just to play with him. He tears apart his toys with such intent that it seems like his work. He makes me happy. He is my pet. He is Boss!

I guess happiness really is pets. Ain't that right Boss?


BreeWee said...

ha ha ha ha ha! LOVE it... between you and Boss and Rachel and 3 kids I get all the kicks I need!

Muppetdog said...

Oooooo, nooooooo, noooooo pet stores! Their animals come from backyard breeders and puppy mills - a very inhumane industry that should not be supported.

Responsible breeders do not let middlemen select homes for their puppies, no matter what pet stores say about where their dogs come from.

rr said...

Let me tell you from my experience with kids, two is easier than one. Someone else to bug (or poop on.)

Boss posts need Boss photos, please. I met a chihuahua named Kitty the other day.. she would make a good holiday fling for Boss if you ever take him on vacation.

Cindy Jo said...

Between my parents & I, we've bought four dogs from Happiness Is Pets in Naperville over the years! They have ALL been wonderful dogs, but I've learned NOT to go there when I'm in town. Otherwise I'll end up with a fourth animal in the house (2 dogs & a cat).

I wouldn't ever buy a dog at any other pet store - HIP is one of a kind!

Alili said...

I am so glad Boss let me move my run;) And I completely agree, happiness is pets.

alison said...

but why not adopt a puppy from the pound that really needs a home? they are free and as most are mutts, don't have the genetic diseases and problems of inbred dogs.

personally i can't go anymore, because i want to take them all, and then cry when i realize that i can't and that many will be put to sleep.

Flatman said...

You definitely need another puppy. We went back and forth on getting a buddy for our Yorkie for a year. When we finally got our baby chihuahua, it was like the world was right. They are best friends now and are inseparable. They play together, sleep together, eat and drink together... I wouldn't go back for the world.

Ditto on the need for Boss photos.

Stef said...

Yeah, it's an adjustment at first, but now I can't imagine NOT having two dogs . . . and one cat . . . and three bunnies.

All of our pets are rescues except the dogs. We researched and interviewed breeders to get Brinley. It took awhile to find one with available puppies who was willing to talk to us but so worth it.

And Gaele is pure Gordon Setter, adopted from friends who had to leave her behind when they moved.

Paul T said...

Hilarious! Glad to hear that Boss will remain #1.

Cathlin has already named her next dog too. Tank. Tank the rottweiler, to go with Sadie the pit bull. Yeah, I guess we're that kind of family. Our poor neighbors...

Wes said...

Wo, wo, wo!! You get input from Boss on my workouts? No wonder I have a run focus this week. I'm going to have to draw the line at crazy laps though. Much too hard core for me... (I only have two legs ;-)

E.L.F. said...

Ok! Ok! I will look into dog adoption. I really do love animals!

TrainingtoTri said...

Please I beg of you check out rescue first. No good breeder puts their puppies in a store. Also, over 3 million dogs get euthanizd a year. There are lots of great puppies at pound and if you really need a pure breed, there are rescues for those. I myself work for a shar pei rescue. I also fully agree that 2 dogs are better than one. They keep each other happy and busy and I feel so much better knowing they are home together during the day.

jessica said...

Yay! If you do decide to get another pooch, everyone is right that rescue is definitely the way to go. I don't doubt that people have gotten lovely pooches from Happiness is Pets, just that if you knew what conditions they came from and how their poor moms live, you'd never walk in again.

Check out and just enter the breed you're hoping to find, or try

Betcha had no idea you'd be bombarded just for mentioning puppies!

E.L.F. said...

I looked into A.D.O.P.T.! And I found a CHAMP! But I have to look at him first and take Boss to meet him. And convince husband we need two little squirls running around our house :)

Alicia Parr said...

Lots of good information here in the post and comments, but my main take-away is that apparently, Liz does not need to actually DO Ironman Hawaii anymore to initiate a dog purchase. These days, all it takes is mere mention of trip to the islands. Very interesting...