Thursday, May 30, 2013

A Letter to My Dog

Dear Neurotic Canine,

First things first. I know that it was your owners who made the decision not to have you neutered. It was your owners that thought, "We have a great idea! Let's breed this furball and make him earn his keep." It is now your owners who feel like, at almost ten years old, the neuter ship has sailed. You might keel over and die next week for all we know so paying for you to lose a couple parts seems cruel.

I also realize that we aren't really the dog park kind of people. Trail people. Lake people. Camping people. Sure. So maybe if we'd taken you to a dog park before you were nine years old (and had you neutered) this conversation wouldn't be happening. When you were a little guy we had no other little guys to love and raise. So you were our only baby and we took you everywhere--just not to dog parks. Then the kids came and we realized that, "Whoa, this furry thing is just a dog and we have tiny humans to raise." So, sorry, but you took your rightful place as family dog and lost your status as golden boy. But you are, literally, a golden boy and, figuratively, my most well behaved child by far. Except that neither of the kids try to hump schnauzers.

Which brings me back to the point of this letter.

BECK! Seriously. Yes. It's our fault for not neutering you and it's my fault for taking you to a dog park for the very first time when you are old and set in your ways but OH MY GOODNESS AND GOLLY. You're humiliating. Why? Why can't you just run and skip and jump with the rest of the dogs? Why must you chase a poor, unsuspecting schnauzer mercilessly, repeatedly sniff her girly bits, and get "that look" that you get when you're about to mount? Why must I sound like a broken record howling for you to knock it off?

I know that you only want to sniff and mount for five minutes and then you're done but, dude, the other dog owners (not to mention the schnauzer) don't know this. When I could get you away from her you were so sweet and adorable running and frolicking and sniffing and playing with dogs that, for some reason, you had no interest in climbing atop. But, pal, your one track mind is exhausting. For me. I can only imagine how tiresome it is for you.

So there you'd sit, giant retriever tongue hanging out of your mouth while I quietly chastised you. Panting. Your eyes searching mine as if to say, "I don't know. I don't know why I do it. It's no fun being on the leash. Let me off. I promise not to get in that stance that suggests I'm about to try my paw at defiling this much smaller animal."

So I'd let you off.

And you'd play for ten minutes, completely ignoring the tiny, gray dog that was running alongside her owner (somewhat antisocially). You'd play with other dogs and you'd wear that big, stupid grin that we all love so much. And you'd say with your eyes, "Thank you. All my nine years I never knew of dog parks but boy oh boy oh boy is this ever fun!"

Then that little schnauzer, with all her feminine wiles, would inevitably come running by. So, after an hour, I decided it was time to go. The boys were devastated because they were busy throwing the tennis ball for a champion fetcher who defied the very law of gravity. But, Beck, I really can only take so much of your libido.

And, also, a schnauzer? Really? I don't think goldenauzers would be an attractive breed. At least stick to your own kind.

So I love and adore you. That's not in question. You are such a good dog and I couldn't have asked for a better canine to call mine. You've raised two babies who learned to stand by crawling over to you, clutching fists of fur, and pushing up on unsteady legs all while covering you in sticky baby drool. You've let them pull your tail. You've played so gently with them. You're worth it all, is what I'm saying.

But I am begging you to stop the incessant mounting.


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