I think this whole situation has been the hardest on my husband. It’s not that he isn’t open-minded about such things. It’s just hard to have certain expectations and suddenly be faced with the fact that a member of your family has unusual interests that don’t line up with societal norms.
I remember vividly the day that Wonderbutt first came out of the closet. In the middle of the night, I heard something stirring outside the bedroom door. I opened it to find Wonderbutt, who usually sleeps in the living room. He immediately rushed into the bedroom, looking fearfully behind him. Either he’d had a nightmare that a giant Spot Bot was about to consume him, or his rear end was bothering him. Either way, I was too tired to shoo him back out of the room. So, I closed the door, whispered for him to go lay down on the floor, and went back to sleep.
My husband didn’t witness any of this. When he got up the next morning to go to work, I just folded a pillow over my head as usual and resumed sleeping.
Suddenly, “What the f—?!!!!”
I leapt up, just in time to see Wonderbutt making a beeline out of the closet as my husband tried to regain his balance after being rammed by the dog who had, unbeknownst to him, decided to nap behind the hanging clothes.
It appears that Wonderbutt enjoyed this unexpected reaction to his closet exodus – as he continues to repeat the performance on a regular basis. It’s gotten to the point where my husband and I both enter the closet with extreme caution, never certain if we will be able to complete the mundane task of grabbing a shirt off a hanger or forced to leap into the air to avoid a missile hurtling out from its hiding place under one of my lacy negligees.
I suppose we shouldn’t find Wonderbutt’s affinity for the closet to be all that startling, considering his nightly routine of draping himself with the dining room curtains every time we eat dinner. We also often find him half-buried underneath the dust ruffles of our beds – the less attractive end that earned him his nickname always sticking out.
We’ll always love Wonderbutt – no matter what unconventional activities he pursues.
It would be nice, though, to not have to worry about being confronted by a capricious canine every time we change our clothes.
I am sure that it is not just chance that the only toy that has ever stood up to the jaws of our bulldog, Wonderbutt, also happens to be the most annoying toy on the face of this planet.
My daughter and husband have plotted to make Squeaky Toy disappear. Permanently. So far, I’ve held them back. Wonderbutt is just so darn happy when he plays with it, and it’s not very often we get to see the pudgy little guy actually smile. (I told my husband the other day that we should have named him Bob Newhart.) See, look how gleeful he is when he plays with it?
Oh, right. I forgot. I have no pictures of him playing with it. As soon as I pull the camera out, Wonderbutt, races to me so he can shove Squeaky Toy in my face. There is nothing quite as enjoyable as having a stinky plush toy smashed into your nose.
The main problem with Squeaky Toy is that Wonderbutt refuses to allow me to schedule the playdates. Instead, Wonderbutt chooses the time and place that Squeaky Toy is invited to make an appearance – and those times are not what the rest of us would call ideal.
Yesterday, our elderly friend, MILlie, came for dinner. To keep Wonderbutt from leaping on her, I tried to distract him with Squeaky Toy. Wonderbutt sat next to MILlie, and stared at me like I was insane as I danced around squeezing Squeaky Toy enticingly. He finally sighed, and returned to the more pressing job of figuring out how to hump our guest.
An hour later, we sat down to dinner. Five minutes after we started to eat our spaghetti, Wonderbutt came racing into the room, merrily chomping down on Squeaky Toy. He pranced around the dining room table, and dashed through the curtains behind us, back and forth, now completely devoted to playing with Squeaky Toy, his long lost friend who had been annoyingly silent for entirely too long.
Short squeaky bursts, and long high-pitched wails emitted from the toy as Wonderbutt eyed us peripherally for our reactions. Then, he walked too close to my husband’s chair. Squeaky Toy hit a leg of the chair, and popped out of Wonderbutt’s mouth. With quick reflexes, Cap’n Firepants kicked Squeaky Toy under a low side table.
Wonderbutt realized that his attempts to remove Squeaky Toy from the table dungeon were only making things worse. So, Wonderbutt began to whine.
Which is worse – the joyous, ear-splitting shrieks of a Squeaky Toy being chomped on by a happy bulldog, or the less-deafening but amazingly depressing sound of a canine parted from his very best friend in the whole wide world?
We pulled out Squeaky Toy.
Wonderbutt the War-Waging Bulldog has been on a literal tear lately. Markers, socks, Rainbow Loom rubber bands – nothing is safe from him. I would threaten him with coal in his stocking, but he would just eat that, too. The coal and the stocking.
We came home the other day to find that the kitchen was Ground Zero. Placemats, kitchen towels, newspapers, and Dimples’ book were all victims of Wonderbutt’s fury. And just when we thought we had it all cleaned up, we found one of Dimples’ birthday cards right outside the dog door, like a welcome mat for the Poop Pen.
Does Homeowner’s Insurance cover this? Or is it considered an “Act of God”? Maybe an “Act of Dog”?
(Click on the thumbnails to see a larger view of mass destruction.)
It turns out my anti-depressant only works when there is nothing to be depressed about. Which seems kind of ineffective. I mean, if your medication isn’t going to help you look on the bright side of things when you find out that your dog probably needs $1500 surgery – TWICE – then, really, what’s the point of taking it?
As I mentioned in the last post, Wonderbutt has been limping. Cap’n Firepants and I could not agree on which leg was hurt, which was embarrassing to admit to the vet. We were pretty sure it was a back leg, but the darn dog has two of those. I was certain he was favoring the left one, and the Cap’n was equally sure it was the right one. It turned out that I was right. And I’ve never been so depressed about being correct. Because the Cap’n was right, too, apparently. According to the vet, it appears that Wonderbutt tore the ligaments in both of his rear knees.
So, first of all, I didn’t even know that Wonderbutt has knees. I still can’t find them. Who’s the stupid idiot who decided to give dogs knees? Next, you’re going to tell me they have elbows, too.
Secondly, the vet does not know this for sure. So we must pay $500 to be certain with X-rays that must be done while Wonderbutt is anesthetized. (Apparently, the vet is doubtful that Wonderbutt will be relaxed enough to get good X-rays done while he is awake.) Then, we get to fork out the $3000. Which should be very interesting since we don’t happen to have that in our Swiss bank account right now.
I came home from the vet, and decided that the best way to deal with this information would be to take a nap.
Another astounding revelation – naps at 10:30 in the morning really don’t help to combat the threat of oppressive veterinary bills and a hobbled bulldog.
In the meantime, our daughter, Dimples (who has a “touch” of scoliosis, and needs to go to a specialist so we can get more specific bad news) is alive with the Christmas spirit. She is cheerfully dancing around the house, decorating, and delighting at placing ornaments in unusual spots for me to find. Her birthday happens to be in a few days, so nothing is going to dampen her good cheer.
And my mother-in-law called this morning to see when we were going to pick her up for Thanksgiving. Which we did. Yesterday.
We all find our own ways of avoiding reality, I suppose.
Friends and family might tell you that I am a fairly ethical person. (If the topic came up. But, really, why would it? I mean, are you going to be standing around together at some bar talking about how the Cowboys lost again, and then say, “Hey, you know that Mrs. Cap’n Firepants? Would you say that she is ethical?”) The truth, though, whether you choose to discuss it or not, is that I am less ethical than I am scared of being caught doing something wrong. Which really stems from my caring way too much about what other people think about me. And that pretty much explains everything about me in a nutshell, according to my psychiatrist anyway.
The reason this makes me a horrible dog mom is that our dog, Wonderbutt, has been limping for a week and a half. He has done this before, and recovered in about 5 or 6 days. But he does not seem to be recovering this time. So, I’m thinking he needs to be taken to the vet. But I don’t want to take him. Because I know that they are going to say the only way they can help him is going to cost me a million dollars and 95 cents. And then I’m going to have to sell a lung or something. Which leads me back to the problem of worrying about getting caught, because I think that’s kind of illegal.
The thing is, I have had a brochure on Pet Insurance on my desk for the last year, and I keep putting off purchasing it because I’m too lazy to do the research on the 65 different pet insurance companies and Consumer Reports says that I would do just as well to open a savings account for my pet (which I haven’t done, either). Considering that I only have $2 in my daughter’s savings account, I figure the dog probably should not take precedence. Of course, the daughter does have health insurance – just maybe not a future college education. But, does my dog need a future college education?
Now I’m confused.
I realize, now, that if I had the Pet Insurance it might offset some of the million dollars. But I don’t. But I could get it, and then I could hang out for the waiting period, and then take Wonderbutt in to the vet.
But I can’t do that.
Besides the fact that I’ve just advertised that I even entertained the thought of trying to take advantage of that little loophole, there is the small matter of the fact that I always get caught when I do something wrong. Always.
Plus, there is the possibility that Wonderbutt is in pain. Though it’s hard to tell because he always looks unhappy, and he is snoring and farting just as much as usual.
To compound my guilt, I ran across this product, and immediately thought, “What idiot would buy this? IF MY HOUSE IS ON FIRE I AM NOT GOING TO TAKE THE TIME TO STRAP A FIREPROOF COAT ONTO MY DOG!” And then I felt bad. Especially when I read the part about protecting my dog from falling objects when we walk through construction areas. I can’t believe that I am so selfish that I haven’t already bought this for Wonderbutt just in case Wile E. Coyote tries to drop an anvil on him the next time we go for a walk.
Which we can’t even do because the poor dog is limping.
UPDATE: I just realized that I should not advertise this coat as being Anvil Proof. I don’t really think it can keep you from getting smushed by an anvil. So, if this is a real concern of yours, please don’t buy this coat based on my advice. Truth be told, I am not really advising that you buy this product at all. (I’m covered, legally, now. Right?)
Our bulldog, Wonderbutt, has been growing increasingly disenchanted with his own bottom lately. To be honest, I know how he feels. But I think his unhappiness might not be for cosmetic reasons.
We took him to the vet yesterday, and she postulated that the poor guy might need a tail amputation.
Have you seen Wonderbutt’s butt? He has no tail.
I pointed this out to the vet, and she kindly explained that, despite the fact that he appears to be lacking in this region, he actually has a very deep “pocket” where the tail was supposed to be. And this pocket seems to be the source of our the poor guy’s discomfort. She showed me what they would amputate, and it looked to be about 1/3 of his butt. “And then it would just be one smooth region,” she said. I almost asked if they offered any two for one deals. But this vet is new to us and, so far, thinks that I am a somewhat sane pet owner. I’d like to keep it that way for at least a few more visits.
Of course, when I explained all of this to my husband, Cap’n Firepants, and showed him the bill for this consultation, he looked at me as though I had just grown a butt on my head and stuck a yellow tulip in the crack.
I am torn between being jealous of Wonderbutt for having a valid medical excuse for surgically shaping his butt and being sorry for him because we have no money in the household budget for a bulldog butt-sculpting operation. The less expensive alternative, which is for me to regularly clean the pocket and try to squeeze some poofs of some kind of magical powder into it, is sure to make both of us miserable.
So, for now, the daily scene in our household will be Wonderbutt running away from his butt and the woman who is trying to catch his butt so she can make it less threatening.
Perhaps the exercise will do both our butts some good.
In honor of See What Dangerous Items Your Dog Can Eat Without Needing to Be Taken to the Emergency Vet Clinic Month*, Wonderbutt has been making great strides in his clinical research.
The other night we discovered his “pad” looking like it had been invaded by a homeless (note the newspaper section) junkie afflicted with the munchies.
No one could attest to how many oreos had been in the package when it was left on the counter, and no one could figure out how Wonderbutt could get to the package on the counter, which is ten feet higher than the top of his head.
Dimples and I had noticed that evening that Wonderbutt seemed gassier than usual. He was kind enough to emphasize this by sitting between us with his bottom aimed at our faces and releasing a not-so-silent-but-just-as-deadly sample for us to sniff.
By the time we discovered the probable cause for his unstable stomach, it seemed ridiculous to call the vet to inquire about possible chocolate poisoning when we would be forced to declare excessive stinkiness as his only symptom.
In a related story, I was informed by my sister, Crash, that her dog had chosen the same day to ingest a Harry Potter DVD and portions of some scrapbooks. It’s obvious Wonderbutt texted orders to his cousin to get cracking on her contribution to this month’s research project or else be in danger of losing all funding.
I can’t wait until this month is over.
* October is National Bullying Prevention Month, National Breast Cancer Awareness Month (We don’t want to prevent Breast Cancer – just be aware of it this month, I guess), Clergy Appreciation Month, and Sarcastic Month. That’s just a sampling. Here’s more if you are really curious. There is apparently no one in charge of Month Declaring, so people can just willy nilly announce that any month is special for whatever reason. I officially declare November to be Worldwide Cut-Out-Trying-to-Monopolize-the-Calendar Month.
“XYZ Pest Control. How may I direct your call?”
“Direct me to the person who just made me leave work and haul a$$ over to my house for no good reason.”
“Sure. Just one moment.”
5 seconds later.
“XYZ Pest Control. I’m the person who just made you leave work and haul a$$ over to your house for no good reason.”
“You said my dog was running around the backyard chasing you.”
“Yes, that’s what I said.”
“I am standing in my house right now. With my dog. In the kitchen. He has a dog door that leads to a pen that is surrounded by chicken wire. The chicken wire is 4 feet tall. Are you saying that my 70 pound bulldog leapt over the chicken wire, chased you around the yard, then leapt back over the chicken wire, and raced back into the kitchen just in time for me to arrive home?”
“That seems unlikely.”
“You’re darn right that’s unlikely. Unless you were carrying around a shoulder of beef. Were you carrying around a shoulder of beef?”
“Because that would be stupid, you know. Since your job is to get rid of pests, not attract them.”
“Yes, that would be stupid, ma’am.”
“Okay. Now that we agree that you’re not stupid, the only logical conclusion is that you made this story up just so you wouldn’t have to spray our backyard. And you are going to come back here, do your job, and not charge us anything at all, right?”
“Good. Oh, and by the way, watch out for the snake back there.”
That’s exactly how this whole thing went down.
Except for the part after “How may I direct your call?”