A short, humorous, essay about bringing a baby home when you already have fur children.
| Before AJ was born, I swore that I loved my dogs just as much as any mother loved her children. I sat and rocked them and rubbed their soft little ears. They cuddled with me on the couch, on top of me, behind me, on the sides. I knew that when my first child was born, I would still love my dogs just as much- there would just be one extra person to love them too! I'm not sure what fairyland I was living in, because that definitely is not how it works. I think any mother can testify to this. Especially any mother that works a lot and is tired. So . . . any mother.
After the baby, it's a whole different story. For example, one day when AJ was just a few weeks old, AJ finally fell asleep after a LONG night. I slipped to the bathroom for a shower. Suddenly, the car across the street honked it's horn. All the dogs went NUTS, slamming themselves into the front door, scratching, shrieking, clawing at each other. I flew out of the bathroom, eyes searching for the loudest dog so I could be sure to snap his head off first. "POUND!! You like to bark?? You can bark and jump on your chain link kennel!" I whisper-screamed at them. Then AJ started crying. Screw the whisper! "MORONS! Get away from me! I hate you all!"
We tried to give the dogs plenty of attention, but they just couldn't get enough with AJ around. That's when my house became a Piss Palace. We have a dog door that we could use as a back door, it's so large. Okay, not quite, but it is big enough for Maggie- the 150 pound pig. They can come and go anytime. They aren't locked up all day; Aaron works at home. Toby pees specifically ON AJ's toys, blankets, pillows, shoes and ironically, his potty. He has it out for him. Charlotte just pees on rugs and bathmats- especially clean fresh ones. Rocky pees on my pillow- my favorite- towels (don't put one on the floor outside of the shower!), and corners. Sparky, the BLIND, DEAF, SENILE, dog, pees outside on the turf. Yeah, occasionally he thinks the bookshelf is a tree, or he pees on another dog because he doesn't know that they are there. But not half as often as the other three. My house brings a whole new meaning to the Princess and the PEE.
Technically, I'm breaking the law having 4 dogs- but I'm mostly just waiting for Sparky, Mr. Bark-for-45 Minutes-in the -Wrong -Direction, to kick the bucket. The hilarious thing is that he's had his blood taken and NOTHING is wrong with him. Well, besides the occasional running into a wall, getting tangled in a race car track that he just walked right through, or the barking in the wrong direction. This dog is all mutt and is probably 20 years old. He's been hit by cars, attacked by coyotes, gotten lost for days, and yet he always gets back. He's the frickin' Terminator of dogs- only he lives in a retirement home and wanders the halls now, sniffing people's ankles to see whether to bite, bark, pee, or lick.
Charlotte is the mental case. She's healthy too, but that girl is a wreck. Never have you seen a dog with panic attacks like Charlotte. We had to get her on some downers. She is scared of wind noise, the tick the oven makes, the smell of the oven, alarms, fireworks, vacuums, blow dryers, being alone (even if you are 2 feet away), and crates. I think if she could talk, she'd really talk my ear off. She has the tongue of a frog- it's l o n g. It's used to eat and DESTROY Legos, shoes, wires, toy cars and trucks, controllers, remotes, plastic figures, plates and bowls, pillows, zippers, clothes and watches, and basically anything within a 6 ft. jumping distance. She was supposed to be my little, sweet purse puppy. But she could never be contained or be quiet for even 5 minutes. She'd start screeching and clawing/digging at the bag as fast as she possibly could. Ribbons and bows got eaten. She'd eat her collars and harnesses and get her teeth stuck in her tags. Once we came home and found she'd had her jaw stuck in her collar, by pulling down on her tags, for what must have been a few hours. Yet, as crazy as she is, she is BOSSY. She tells all the other dogs what to do and when. But, somehow, she's Aaron's favorite. Maybe Charlotte reminds him of me. Because we both certainly have some things in common- we both prefer the flavor of cotton with a hint of zipper to polyester with a hint of button. Come on, that's a hands down easy choice!
Rocky is slightly less mental, but he's also slightly less smart. He's a Chihuahua; and they don't come brilliant. He is still nuts. He also freaks out and gets scared easily. He doesn't like to be left at home, and he cries if I leave without him. He's the most well behaved off a leash, and he's a great car dog because he doesn't want to sit in your lap. I take him to work a lot, and he snacks on crayons. He likes to tear down the hallways on his 3.5 legs. It's the highlight of his week! He can also be a little trouble maker, though. Underwear that is freshly worn, piled on the floor waiting to be taken to the laundry? Now has no crotch. Pants? Hole in the butt- and probably not in the best area. AJ's food. It's there, then it's not. He's a sneaky sucker- if he didn't lick his lips for so long, he'd probably get away with it. But usually, that is what clues me in.
"Bug, what happened to your pizza!? I went in for 2 minutes!!"
"OH MAN! Pizza!" AJ looked sadly at his plate. His truck needed a push; he couldn't sit and watch his pizza.
"Rocky! Why are you licking your lips?? Come! Sit!" He rolled over on his back and waged his tail. I picked him up. "Let me smell your breath! Open up." I pried his tiny little mouth open and sniffed. Yep. Pepperoni, sausage, and butt. Little thief!
But of all thieves, Toby is the biggest. He steals everything because he's on a never ending diet, or so it seems. He can't exercise too much because of his knees, so we lose weight with diet. He will sneak and eat trash, cereal from the pantry, candy from Aaron's office, ANYTHING! He will also eat crayons. What up with crayons? Are they THAT good? Toby will steal food out of AJ's hand, out of another dog's mouth, or straight off of Maggie's plate. Toby even tries to take bites of Maggie's ears, just lil nibbles, every time we feed her. Just to annoy her. Finally, Maggie got sick of him and picked him up in her mouth like a baby piglet and shook him. I had to kick her to get her to let him go. He got his ego crushed, but that was it. She hadn't even broken the skin. Toby used to be a lot worse before his surgeries. Now he's slowed down, so he's not so bad. He's a smiler:) He shows his teeth and grins when I come home after work. He burps out loud after he eats- EVERY time. But if I'm playing with AJ, and Toby gets jealous, he'll jump on AJ and wrap his front paws around AJ's middle. He'll start his "wrestling" as we call it, often in front of company- and sometimes with the company children themselves- as AJ giggles and try to push his death gripped paws off.
"Toby! Heeheeheeheeeee! Momma! Yook!" AJ called to me when he was playing in the living room and I was making his breakfast. I peeked around the counter and saw Toby on AJ's back, paws gripped around his diapered behind. AJ had been laying on the floor playing with his Little People.
"I see! I'll help you! TOBY. NO!" I pounced on Toby, smacked his bouncing butt to get his attention, and when that didn't work, peeled him off my poor innocent boy. "You little perv!" I whispered and shut him in his crate to cool off. "I better not have to get that sugar out- ew or that doggie lube from your surgery- your gonna suffer before that!"
Toby starred, with his big brown eyes, and a look, with a small fuzzy smirk, that seemed to say, "Get rid of that time hogging, screaming freak, and all this peeing? All this lipstick you see here? It'll aaaaaaaaaalllllll go away. If not? I'm going to start on other stuff too. That's right. I've got Charlotte working the floors, Rocky working the beds and furniture, and Gramps does his best. But Mom, there are so many other things I can do. I'll bring on the poop. I'll barf. I'll EAT poop IN your bed until I barf. I've got plans, big plans. You've got to make a choice. It's us, or that animal!"