Wednesday, January 25, 2012

An Unexpected Shopping Spree

I am a dog lover.  Actually, I am a worse than that, because my dogs run my life the way some people's spoiled toddlers run theirs.  My children were subjected to strict, consistent upbringing with rare rewards (at least they rarely got what they wanted for rewards).  As a result, I have two lovely, well-behaved daughters who wouldn't dream of acting unpleasantly in front of visitors or deliberately making extra work for me.

The same cannot be said of my dogs.  They have too much freedom and make too many demands.  I didn't employ the same skills and expectations to rearing them as I did to my children, and my laziness shows in their behavior and unpredictability.

I could say much more on the subject, and probably will in another entry.  But right now I can see you furrowing your brow and scratching your head and asking, "What does this have to do with shopping?  Get to the good part, already!"

Well, dogs like mine, with bad manners, have been known to act like animals on occasion.  The most recent example of this tendency was demonstrated by Grant, the 3 year-old puppy.  Actually, we call all of the dogs "puppies," because it gives the hopeful (but false) impression that they may grow out of their annoying habits.  Grant, the bird dog, is 3; Gus, my mother's sweet Maltese, is 4-ish; Joey is a 6 year-old Shih-tzu who makes you want to pronounce his breed with an emphasis on the "t."

Grant had the good fortune to catch a rabbit inside our fenced yard one day recently.  I didn't see him do it.  I don't know exactly how he accomplished the feat.  All I know is that the other two dogs were barking their brains out for no apparent reason, while Grant sat on the sofa, licking his stuffed animal.  Since I'd just cleaned house and put away their toys, I reached to take the toy when I realized it wasn't a toy.  It had been treated like a toy for the last little while, but now Grant was letting it rest.  On the couch.

Now this couch isn't just any couch.  It was part of a hand-me-down set from a neighbor.  Good pieces, well worn but still sturdy.  Unfortunately, since my living room/family room area has few long walls, we've never been able to fit both matching pieces in one room, so the couch went in the living room and the dogs took it over as one of their many napping areas.  We eventually took to referring to it as the "dog couch," because if anyone tried to sit on it, there would instantly be 3 dogs up there with you, jockeying for your lap, your scratching hand, your snack or the warm air blowing out of the back of the laptop.  Consequently, Eric and the girls only ever sat in chairs.

I liked the loveseat, in the other room, because it had room for one person and 2 dogs or 2 people, and it was in front of the tv.  If I'm going to bother to stop and watch tv, I need at least one dog to warm my feet.  But I digress.

Grant had the dead rabbit on the dog couch.  As unconcerned as I generally am about cleanliness, tidiness and overall upkeep, this was even beyond my ability to tolerate.  I could get the rabbit off the couch.  I could wash the covers, steam-clean the cushions and shampoo the carpets.  I could Febreze everything in the room.  But I'd always know there was a dead rabbit on the couch, once.  Since I never saw Grant bring his prize in the open back door, I had no idea how long it spent on the couch - only seconds or minutes, because I'd just gotten home.  But it didn't matter.  I knew in that instant I was getting new furniture.

Like so many other gross, disgusting household emergencies, Eric was out of town for this one.  The upside was that I could describe it any way I wanted or needed to, in order to make him understand that this furniture had to vacate the house post haste. (I don't want to advocate lying, but necessity is the mother of exaggeration...)  The downside was that I had to dispose of the mangled creature...alone.

Since there was no way I was touching it - I'd almost touched it when I thought it was a toy, and I was still having flashbacks and jerky hand spasms about that close call - I called a neighbor.  Not just any neighbor, but my neighbor with the husband who unclogged the 8 quarts of pasta primavera from the garbage disposal not so long ago.  I figured if he could deal with that mess, he'd could manage the poor wittle bunny.  Plus, these neighbors have a dog who has his own comedy/drama shtick, so I figured they wouldn't judge poor Grant too harshly.

The rabbit was removed from the premises, so there was just the small matter of the sofa.  It couldn't just sit in my house.  I called Eric, but he just had lots of useful advice about washing and sterilizing the cushions.  (That's what necessitated the exaggeration - there was very little blood on the couch, but that wasn't really the point, was it?)

Fortunately, I got my way and the sofa is history.  But even after I rearranged, repositioned and redistributed the excess furniture from all over the house, the sad fact couldn't be ignored.  I had to buy a new couch.

The space created by all this shifting around is actually not so big, so I was shopping for a small  loveseat.  I found something that fit the space and the budget, and is impervious to dog slobber.

As the saying goes, "When life hands you lemons, send them back and ask for a pitcher of margaritas."

And the rearranging project led to some nice developments elsewhere in the house.  When the spirit moves me, I'll have to post some pictures of the Cluttered Unmatched Florals Room, the Desk Underneath the Recliner arrangement, and (cue the choir of angels) the Cozy Keurig Reading Nook in the master bedroom.  But those will have to wait for another burst of blogging fever.

And I'm happy to report that all the dogs, even my step-dog McDuff, like the new furniture.  Occasionally they even let us humans sit a spell.


  1. I could have read all night. Please save these files and lets assemble them into a book one day.

  2. Grant looks like he knows he's in trouble.