Thursday, October 23, 2008

Why I Don't Date Dogs

My cat will eat and eat until he vomits or dies. My dog, on the other hand, has become so codependent and neurotic that he won't eat unless circumstances are exactly to his specifications. If he suspects that I'll be leaving the house he won't eat. If I'm not sitting near him in the kitchen he won't eat. If his bowl isn't clean he won't eat. If he doesn't have enough water he won't eat. On occasion his food will sit in the bowl so long the cat will end up attempting to eat it. On occasion his food will sit until the middle of the night, when I'm sound asleep and there's no chance that I'll decide to leave the house.

My dog is skinny and I don't think it's possible for him to ever get up to his recommended weight. Even when he does eat, he lies around all day fretting. Will I put on my shoes? If my shoes are on does that mean I'm leaving the house? If I leave the house, will I ever return? What happens if I don't return? Even if I'm in the house, I'll be leaving sometime. When will that be? Is the economic crisis his fault? Was it his decision to invade Iraq? Was he somehow responsible for both Kennedy assassinations? What about the Holocaust? Surely he has some culpability for that as well. Unless he's on my lap, playing tug of war, or out somewhere with me, the poor dog is burdened.

Which leaves me burdened. Did I make him this way? I love my dog, and I wanted him to love me, but I certainly didn't want him to need therapy. He makes me feel like Woody Allen's mother. I keep telling him to go make friends, to get a life, but he just looks longingly at me, retreats to my bed, and curls up on my pillow. This morning he even went so far as to attempt to climb into the shower with me, so bothered was he by the five minutes we were spending apart.

Let me point out that all this separation anxiety is only manifest when I am in fact present. Once I do leave the house he just lies on my bed and sleeps or pines. He doesn't cry, he doesn't destroy anything. All of his worry revolves around the inevitability that I will leave his side. Once I in fact leave it, he's fine. In short, he's nuts.

"Dogs are so wonderful!" everyone says. "They give you such unconditional love! They're so much better than people!" OK, true. But I spend each and every day thankful that my dog is not a human. Can you imagine being involved with someone who thought and behaved this way? You would not be able to take it. You would break up. I would also immediately break it off with any human who took a dump on my basement floor, but that's another story.


Diane said...

Dogs mirror our own emotions. Maybe the question should not be, "What's making Brody anxious?", as much as it should be, "What's making El anxious?"

Of course, if YOU'RE the one eating deer poop, and dumping on the basement floor - I can't help you.

tunsie said...

you become a more discerning EATER when u have a good cook in the family.brody must have a good cook in the family.I went 2 see my friend play jazz in another venue,a poor one 2 say the least,and he was being served dinner which he invited me 2 partake in.all I could think of was they want your money 2 eat this shit,they should pay me and my hospital bills 2 eat that garbage.tunsie.tunsie.tunsie