Petey looks like he’s been washing his hands with that new product sold at only the most exclusive retailers, ‘Broken Glass’. He’s got more nicks and cuts than a near-sighted barber student.
I, on the other hand, have hands that would make Scarlett O’Hara jealous. But much of my clothing is so perforated with pulls and tiny holes I look like a demented marksman used me for BB gun target practice.
What, you ask, is capable of making us look like the swankiest meth makers on the block?
We got ourselves a puppy, y’all.
Last fall we lost our beloved pony-sized puppy, Riker. There was never a question of if we’d get another dog, it was only when. The Matthews family does best when there is a four-legged member.
Besides, dogs are generally easier and more reliable than people. They’re honest. They’ve no agenda save food and affection. And dogs reward kindness with kindness. Frankly, pooches are too good for us flawed humans; we’re just lucky they put up with us.
Our last dog was 200 hundred pounds. We aren’t getting any younger, so we felt that we should downsize in the doggy department. I started looking around at Akitas. We’ve had one before and love the breed. And they usually weigh in at only 100 pounds. Practically a lap dog.
I’m no fan of Craigslist. The Kid found an apartment for an internship in upstate New York on the site. The landlady was so batty she made Caligula look like the poster boy for mental health. And then there was that “Craigslist Killer” guy.
But for some reason, one Sunday night, I found myself looking at dogs on the Greensboro Craigslist. One seller had two male Akita puppies. In the photos, they were watched over by their father, who coincidentally looked just like our earlier Akita, Steve, who we’d gotten the year The Kid started kindergarten. That dog and that child were closer than siblings.
We arranged for a visit to meet the pooches. I asked The Kid to come along, to be a voice of reason in case Petey I fell in love and lost our cotton pickin’ minds.
We met the owner Chad, and his family, both the two and four-legged members. The humans were nice, and the dogs were sweet and beautiful
We were goners. I held our new puppy on my lap for the ride home.
We named him Crowley, after a character in a book that’s a favorite of both The Kid and me; Good Omens, by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. Our Crowley’s a funny little guy who’s convinced, like Will Rogers, that a stranger is a friend you haven’t met yet; or possibly just a chew toy.
A few times a day the puppy goes on a tear and employing many tiny needle-like teeth, perforates Petey from fingers to elbows.
His signature torture for me though, is sneakier. I have become his prey.
While walking through the house, minding my own business, Crowley will fling himself at the back of my legs, seemingly to hamstring me. I feel like the kind of slow, asthmatic gazelle that always gets picked last for kickball, but first for dinner.
So far though, my tendons are intact. And we’ve known enough dogs to understand that the bite-y behavior is a passing phase (Oh please let it pass).
After we got home with Crowley, The Kid ‘fessed up. Once the father dog was glimpsed in the ad photo, all bets were off.
My child, the voice of reason, had fallen head over heels in love and all objectivity had vanished like Krispy Kremes at a Weight Watcher’s meeting. We’d been on our own the whole time.
Thanks for your time.