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.
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?