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Santa Maria Sun / Humor

The following article was posted on April 24th, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 14, Issue 7 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 7

The dog sitter

Krider doesn't wants pets--does he?

BY ROB KRIDER

There aren’t a lot of animals or pets at our house. To get a bit more specific, there are zero pets. Looking at things scientifically, as in cause-and-effect, you would think if we didn’t have any pets, then we wouldn’t have any pet doo-doo in our yard. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. Our neighbors are kind enough to walk their dogs by the front yard of our house on a daily basis and share with us the scents, smells, and all of the wonders and joys of dog poop.


In our backyard, since we don’t have our own dog or cat laying claim to the area, our yard is more of a communal cat toilet. I could get a dog to keep the cats away, but then I would have to pick up my own dog’s poop. It is a vicious cycle, and it all seems to revolve around animal fecal matter, which is something I am looking to have less of in my life. There has to be more in life than poop.

Since I am trying to avoid picking up animal poop, I have shied away from having pets. We haven’t gone completely pet-less all these years; we did our time with a few versions. We have killed our fair share of goldfish and hamsters. Goldfish flush down the toilet no problem, but the hamster was stubborn. After our sixth toilet funeral, nobody at my house has felt the need to kill any more animals, therefore, we haven’t had any.

Even though our house is a pet-free zone, the other day I found myself staring through my sliding glass door, and I saw a dog in my backyard. I asked my wife as nicely as I could, “When did we get an f-ing dog?” My wife, whom I love, reminded me that we were “watching” the dog for her brother. “Oh, OK, that makes sense. My brother-in-law dumped the f-ing dog on us. Now I understand why I have a dog now.”

By nature, brothers-in-law always ask you do to stuff you never really want to do. A brother-in-law isn’t a friend you met in college or a guy you like from a beer league softball team. He is just some dude who comes with the package when a man marries a woman who happens to have a male sibling. He’s technically family, but in the end he’s just a stranger who wants to borrow tools and never give them back. He doesn’t feel the need to return anything to his “stupid older sister” and he certainly doesn’t respect the man who chose to marry and spend the rest of his life with his “lame old sister.” Thus brothers-in-law are a pain in the ass, and this particular one gave me a dog to watch.

At first I treated the dog as, “not my problem.” I essentially told my wife: “He’s your brother. You watch the f-ing dog.” Then as I sat on the couch and looked in the backyard, the dog looked me in the eyes. The dog’s eyes said, “Hey man, you should come outside and play with me. I’m sort of bored out here. C’mon, I’m just a dog. I can’t help it if my owner is your brother-in-law. That has nothing to do with me. Just come in the backyard and let’s throw around this ball I got. You throw it and I will bring it back. I promise.”

When my wife wasn’t watching, I snuck out in the backyard for a little game of fetch. It went very well. There was a dog leash on the ground, so I picked it up. The dog was ecstatic. I put the dog on the leash and we headed out on our first walk together. It was awesome. We walked through the neighborhood, sniffed around, found all of the houses that had dogs and made sure we left them a present in their front yards. Fair is fair, after all.

After the dog and I had one game of fetch and our first walk, we were connected. No matter where I went, the dog followed me. At night, the dog slept at the foot of my bed. When I came home from work, the dog was happy to see me. My wife and kids, they couldn’t care less if I was home or not. But the dog? That dog was devoted and faithful. It was just like the old joke goes: Put your wife and your dog in the trunk of a car. Two hours later, open the trunk and see which one of them is actually happy to see you. The dog didn’t judge me. It just wanted to hang out, lick my face, and crap on my neighbors’ lawn. Win-win!

The f-ing dog, which was from then on known as my dog, and I were a team. We went on a walk every night. I learned the move where I carried around a plastic grocery bag hanging out of my pocket as if I were really going to pick up the dog’s poop as we walked (never happened). My dog and I played fetch, threw Frisbees, even watched TV together (the dog preferred Top Gear). I was totally into my new best friend. My wife and kids thought the whole thing was a bit annoying since I had been such an anti-pet guy for so many years, then suddenly I was a crazy dog lover. I didn’t care what they thought. My dog loved me unconditionally. We had a thing going on that they couldn’t understand: I was a boy and his dog.

I came home from work last night super excited to take my dog on a walk. But my brother-in-law came back from his trip and stole my dog. I was heartbroken. I didn’t even get to say goodbye. Nobody was there to greet me at the door. Nobody slept at the foot of my bed that night. The house seemed quiet. It was over. My dog was gone. Chalk up one more disappointment from my brother-in-law.

“Thanks, Buddy. Now that you took my dog, couldn’t you at least bring back my 3/8-inch drive Craftsman ratchet you borrowed?”

Rob is at the pound right now staring into cages with his big puppy eyes. His wife said if he wants a dog so bad, he can go live with her bother.