It seems like only yesterday that the Boxhound was cuddling on the sofa with her favorite toy, Hedgie Tres*, content to curl up beside us as we mainlined reruns of 30 Rock or Futurama via Netflix after a long, long day at work.
That’s because it WAS only yesterday. As an adolescent mutt, she’s on something of a compressed timeline. Or maybe I should say “pendulum,” because she swings back and forth between toddler and teenager with alarming frequency. Or maybe it’s just that toddlers and teenagers, regardless of species, have a great deal in common: stubbornness, poor hygiene, questionable decision-making, and the unlimited capacity for destruction.
What happened was that the Boxhound fell in love.
It started when I took her outside. As she dawdled, sniffing every blade of grass, a dog came lumbering up the street. But it wasn’t just any dog, it was BOY dog.
I…suppose he was a handsome fellow? Honestly, I have no idea what girl dogs look for in boy dogs; I’m really just guessing when I suggest that perhaps it was his bad@$$ training collar, or his tongue-lolling grin, or the dangle of his enormous doggy junk.
At any rate, as soon as she saw him, Our Girl dropped into a flat-out army crawl and proceeded to wiggle her way across the front yard, her tail wagging the way I wish our windshield wipers would during a thunderstorm.** They met at the corner and greeted each other with much muzzle-nuzzling and hindquarter-sniffing. There was also a bit of romping and leash-entanglement. The owner and I shrugged at each other’s “so what kind of dog is that?” inquiries, because it turns out that both the Boxhound and her Gentleman Caller are rescues.
At last, Gentleman Caller took his leave — though not before leaving his calling card on the grass in the form of pee, delivered at fire hose velocity and pressure — at which point the Boxhound let out an unearthly howl of anguish and nearly yanked my arm out of its socket in her attempt to drag me across the yard.
“Oh, hell no!” I cried, “B!tch, you are NOT going to Iditarod me!” as I tightened my grip on the leash.
Her reaction? A puppy tantrum that, in a human, would be sufficient incentive to call an ambulance and/or the cops. Her eyes just about rolled back in her head, seizure-style, as the dog of her dreams trotted off down the sidewalk. Although I tried to explain that this is not a dignified way to behave, our lovelorn pup clearly didn’t care what the rest of the neighborhood thought. So I stood for a few minutes as she thrashed and flopped around on the grass like a landed fish. When she’d stopped yelping and twitching and howling, I gently, but firmly picked her up — all 50 pounds of her — and carried her back into the house; she whined the entire way, but eventually went limp in my arms with what I assume was despair, given my refusal to let her go bounding off into the night with some stranger.
Seriously, it was like one of those f*cking YA novels where the protagonists fall in eternal, soul-searing insta-love (just add hormones) because they’re both of the same age and race, live in the same town, and attend the same school.
Anyway, we went inside, where the Boxhound took the opportunity to sulk at me a bit. When I informed her that I don’t care if it is true love, we are SO not following some strange dog across the city, she gave a little huff, squatted, and peed on the floor to express her displeasure. I cleaned it up, thinking, Whatever. She’ll get over it.
Well, she hasn’t.
About 45 minutes later, she glimpsed him again from the window, this time heading in the other direction — and once again: pandemonium. “What the hell, dog?” I said, as her wails ascended to the upper-range of human hearing and continued in that vein for what felt like 2 years but was probably only about 10 minutes. Then she skulked over to her bed to //DIE OF A BROKEN HEART, AND WON’T WE ALL BE SORRY WHEN THAT HAPPENS?// and started chewing on something she’d plucked out of the recycling bin. This went on for a long time. A long, long time. And it’s still going on, these shenanigans of hers: as in, waking me up at three in the morning, acting as if her bladder is about to explode, all so that she can sit at the corner of the yard and gaze longingly into the distance for her Gentleman Caller. Y’know, in case he strolls past at 3 O’CLOCK IN THE F*CKING MORNING.
However, I think her Rage Against the Adoptive Parent has subsided somewhat into the (much less nerve-wracking) silent martyrdom.
So yes, when she’s not subtly punishing me for //TOTALLY RUINING HER LIFE, OMG//, she’s moping around — hiding herself in
our her room, sprawling out on our her bed and lamenting the utter unfairness of life.
And whenever I take her out, she immediately runs right to the place where he pissed on our lawn and sniffs it and sighs some more. Yes, this urine-soaked patch of grass is apparently sacred ground and I’m starting to suspect that mowing it would be like desecrating an ancient burial site or burning down a church with an orphanage attached.
My sympathy was limited — until My Fella (the other love of her life, and the only one of mine) went to the Windy City to attend
Nerd Camp Code4Lib, probably forgetting our names and what we look like in the process.