In April 4 IssueRussell County NewsBy Wade Daffron, Columnist
There are mornings I wake up, and her breath is unbearable.
But her hot tongue in my ear jolts me from my slumber.
I reach down and stroke her fur…
Wondering why I ever agreed to get a dog.
It wasn’t that long ago the subject of having a pet came up, and I steadfastly declared there would be no animals in this house, no, uh-uh, absolutely not, forget it, ain’t gonna’ happen.
So, when I was driving home the other day with a puppy in the passenger seat, I felt…defeated.
I’d gotten by just fine without finding chewed-up pieces of people, places and things scattered all over the house, and sure didn’t miss crawling out of bed in the middle of the night and stepping in a puddle or pile of yuck.
But when a friend came by the library the other day and needed a “favor,” I had to stare at two sets of sad, pleading eyes -one set from the friend, and the other set from the tiny puppy she was holding.
Alright, a puppy wouldn‘t be bad at all-especially with the kids. I thought.
And a Great Pyrenees, they’re good dogs, right? Yeah, you see them in those dog shows they have on TV.
I didn’t want to seem totally stupid, and acted like I knew all about that breed.
“They get pretty big, you know,” my friend said.
“Oh yeah, sure, I know that,” I told her-as my nose began to grow.
I pictured a mature, Great Pyrenees topping out at a height just below my knees (and I’m pretty short).
Of course later I learned the dog would eventually be taller than me and would reach such monstrous proportions that it could be featured in a poorly-dubbed Japanese horror film-attacking cities, crushing buildings under it’s meaty paws and swatting fighter jets out of the skies with its fluffy tail.
My friend seemed skeptical about turning over this “wittle, sweet-sweetums, kitchy-koo baby dog” to me.
“Do you have a pen?” she asked.
“No, not on me,” I said. “Why? Do you need to write some info down about the dog?”
“NO!” she said, “I mean a ‘pen’ like a dog pen! You have to keep her in something!”
“Oh, yeah, sure, I knew that,” I said. “Just jokin’!”
Being the thoughtful and considerate husband I am, I called my wife, Renee’, and asked her what she thought about getting a puppy.
She thought it was a great idea-which was good-being that I already had taken the puppy home..
Her reasoning was it’s “meant to be” for us to have a Great Pyrenees because if you take the “P,“ “y,” and “s” out of Pyrenees, it leaves “renee,” which is my wife’s name.
Um…yeah. Good enough for me.
She instantly took to the dog…and even took it to work with her a couple of days.
The kids seemed to like the newest addition to the family, too.
She was named “Polly.”
I dunno’, every time I hear someone call for the dog, it makes me think of that Nirvana song (there’s two versions, of it, actually).
And every time I see the dog, I am compelled to ask her if she wants a cracker.
(Wait…………..HA! OK, now you get it!)
Our domestic bliss is often disturbed by one of the kids yelling, “Paw-wee, NO!” as she squats on the carpet, or sinks her teeth into a beloved baby doll, stuffed animal, or (GASP!) Webkinz.
Of course, I yell at the kids when they squat on the carpet, or sink their teeth into something they shouldn’t (like each other), so they come by it honestly.
I have not yet learned the intricacies of Polly’s “schedule,” so it’s not unusual to see me standing on the front porch at all hours, screaming into the abyss as she putters around in the yard.
Don’t know what the deal is, but the dog just won’t “go” when I’m around. It’s like she’s embarrassed or something.
(Is it a “female” thing? Is that what it is? My wife won‘t use the bathroom unless I‘m at least 200 yards-roughly the length of two football fields-away. I have actually left the house before-then doubled back to charge in and say, “Aha! You‘re in the bathroom, aren’t you?!”)
Polly really is becoming like one of the family. When the kids go to visit grandparents, Polly goes, too.
When someone takes a bath (which we do around here every couple of weeks or so), she puts her front paws up on the edge of the tub and watches.
I just hope things don’t get out of hand. Surely I won’t start taking her everywhere I go, like, oh, let’s say the junk store.
(And you’re thinking, “He did not just go there, did he ?)
Yes, I did…and stepped right in it.