It is 4 in the afternoon and hot as hell in my bedroom. I am 27 and asleep. I work nights, so this is the middle of my sleepy time.
I am having a bad dream about the end of the world.
It starts simple enough: I wake up and look out the window and everything is gone. It is a nuclear wasteland outside. It is just flat grey land for as far as I can see. I go back to bed to think about what I have seen and fall back asleep (I am asleep in my dream! ( very rare!)). I wake up and look out the window again. There are tumble weeds blowing by and the sky is an odd yellow. Again I lay back down and go back to sleep. This happens several more times and each time there is just a vast apocalyptic landscape outside the window.
The next time I wake up in the dream I am looking around my bedroom. My dogs are there but they don’t look right. They have been shrunken and stretched so that they look like a mutant border collie weener dog and a Britney spaniel weener dog. Again I go back to sleep and wake up. This time the vent covers up by the ceiling are hanging by one screw and it looks like some creature has made a nest in one. There are weird noises and growling coming from the vent.
Back to bed I go. I wake up and this time I see the creature that has made the nest. It is a weener dog! I don’t like weener dogs. It is angry and snarling and tearing something apart in the vent. Back to sleep! I wake up and my dogs are up in the vent with the evil weener. They are all snarling. Back to sleep one more time and this time I wake up for real.
I am exhausted and disturbed to say the least.
I walk around in a daze the rest of the day and night telling anyone who will listen about my dream.
Cut to January, 2011.
I have become obsessed with getting a little dog. Never been a big fan but my sister has one and I can see they have a lot of good points. Plus I think my big dog would like a friend. I begin compulsively combing petfinder.com looking for the perfect tiny dog. I spend weeks comparing dogs, looking for one that wont pee everywhere or try to eat small children. After reading 100′s of doggie profiles it seems a lot of little dogs are rabid beasts in cute baby animal clothing. I find 3 that seem non threatening. I email the shelters of all 3 and wait to hear all about my new dog. And I wait. I email again.
“Oh there are so many animals that need a good home.” “1 bazillion dogs are put to sleep every year because no one adopts them.” Well maybe it’s partly because none of you jacknifes can be bothered to return an email. No one brings up that point when they talk about animal over population.
But maybe they should.
Anyway I go back to my search. I see a picture of a little brown dog with long floppy ears. A girl. 1-year-old. House-broken. Non-aggressive. Cute as hell. I send an email. And I get one back! Her name is Mitzi (total old lady name!). Her and her brother were taken to a shelter when they were a few months old. At the last minute the lady dropping them off changed her mind, took them back and then after she walked out of the shelter changed her mind again and let them go on a busy street.
I arrange to meet Mitzi at a shelter event at a pet store the next day. Long story short, I go, I meet, I decide I must have her. She is quiet and well-behaved. Cuddles in my lap, wants her belly rubbed…
Just like she and the shelter lady rehearsed.
2 days later she comes to my house. The shelter wants to do a home inspection before I can adopt her. Fair enough. Shelter lady pulls up and out of the car jumps a miniature Sherlock Holmes on a leash. The dog is wearing a red cape! Just horrible. She is frantically trying to escape the shelter lady which makes her look like a Sherlock Holmes kite floating around my front yard. They come in the house and she proceeds to take a huge dump in my living room. Sherlock Holmes has just crapped on my carpet. Perfect. The Fiance is there. Did I mention he is less than thrilled with my little dog plan? Anyway, as I clean up poop, shelter lady goes on and on about how that never happened before (LIAR) and it is probably because Sherlock is nervous. She leaves me with a cage, a couple of sparkly leashes and a dog that proceeds to bark and run around the yard non stop for at least 15 minutes straight. Perhaps I have not thought this whole thing through.
So begins the 6 months of despair.
She barks. Constantly. At NOTHING. She wakes me up every couple of hours to go out and then pees when she comes back in. She likes to sleep under the covers on the bed and growls at me when I make her come out. We put the bed on stilts so she can’t get up on it.
Take that little dog!
She distrusts everyone and turns into a snarling, biting beast every time anyone tries to pet her. When I call her she runs and hides. She is mean to the big dog and the cat.
I only feel bad about the big dog.
Shelter lady said I could return Mitzi any time I need to. Even 10 years from now if her constant barking wears thin, I just make a call and the shelter will take her back no questions asked. No judging judgments spoken out loud until after I am out of earshot. Great return policy really. Problem is I’m no quitter. I have had a cat for the last 7 or 8 years who is a terrorist, I can certainly withstand a little non stop barking.
One day, after another sleep depriving night, she runs up to my special breakfast of eggs and toast just as I am plopping my tired ass onto the couch with it and steals my toast. Before she can take one step of retreat I bop her on the head and steal the toast back.
AND I EAT IT.
She learns to sit. And lay down and sort of stay. She stops barking at the Fiance every time he comes out of the bathroom. One day I find them sitting together on the couch.
Still the barking, the poop by the kitchen sink and the sleep deprivation continue. I AM TIRED. She goes out in the middle of the night and then won’t come back in. I go out in my sleepy time clothes and corral her and bring her back in so she can pee in the living room.
We change her name to Brixie. She never answered to Mitzi anyway. Besides Mitzi is an old lady name and Brixie(s) is a cool bar that the fiance used to hang out in back in the day.
She continues on being who she is, but at the same time listening to me just enough so as to give me hope. And then she takes that hope, crushes it, chews it, pees on it and runs under the bed to hide with my hope when I demand it back.
One day after I don’t know how many months of this torture, she is in the living room eating rawhide. The big dog gets a little too close and Brixie stretches herself all the way out and begins to growl and then I see her for who she really is: She is the weener dog that lived in the vent in my nightmare 20 years ago.
REPENT ALL YE SINNERS THE END IS NEAR