The Unbearable Banishment: A souring relationship

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A souring relationship

My assumption was that getting a puppy was going to open my eyes to the heretofore unknown pleasures of canine companionship. Dogs are awfully popular. People form emotional bonds to them. There must be something magical about having a dog in your life, or so I assumed. Sadly, what has come to pass is that all of my preconceived notions and prejudices about dogs (which I made a valiant and largely successful effort to tamp down) are being confirmed. It would seem that dogs really are dumb, needy, dirty beasts. They're ambitious. I'll give them that.

I was standing in my driveway with the puppy looking up at the night sky. I have this great app called SkyView. You point your phone up to the heavens and it identifies stars, planets and satellites, and draws the constellations for you. When I was a kid you had to imagine what all those animals and Gods looked like but thanks to technology you no longer have to develop an imagination. It's all done for you. Anyway, I was getting my celestial bearings and I heard a crunching sound. I looked down and the dog was eating pieces of asphalt. Asphalt! Apparently, $850 doesn't buy you a smart dog. If you gave an asphalt pebble to a cat expecting him to eat it, he'd look at you with the contempt you'd deserve.

I'm going to assume that having a puppy is not that far removed from having children. Taking care of a baby is negative fun but the satisfaction of having children increases exponentially as they grow older until they reach their teen years, when it once again dissolves back into negative fun. I'm going to soldier on in the hopes that once this puppy becomes a dog, it won't be so irritating to have around.

* * *

One-man shows are dicey affairs. You might end up watching somebody die on stage all alone. Last season I saw Hugh Jackman's one man show and it was a pretty entertaining, despite the fact that it was a musical, which I normally shun. I've seen a few of John Leguizamo's shows and they're always satisfying. He works hard. Tomorrow night I'm seeing The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs, Mike Daisey's monologue about the slave conditions under which Apple products are made in China.

This mess is about to open on Broadway:

William Shatner, standing center stage alone. Can this POSSIBLY be any good? Shatner has the ability to laugh at himself and has a campy appeal, but do I really want to pay Broadway prices (albeit at a discount—I never pay retail) to sit through film clips from T.J. Hooker and chart the evolution of his toupee? And what if he sings Rocket Man or Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds? How would you survive something like that without permanent brain damage?


Anonymous Sid said...

Yes. I've heard of this thing called "apps". Right now all my phone can do is send text messages, take photos and make calls.

Also, not sure that puppies get better with age. I mean, the only reason I want a dog IS because they're SO adorable when they're younger.

January 31, 2012 at 2:20 PM  
Anonymous dinahmow said...

I'm certainly not in the frame of mind to offer doggie consolation.Next door's yapster is getting closer and closer to having its jaws duct-taped.
And 5.30am is not the best time to imagine Mr. Shatner "singing" Rocket Man.No, not at all.

January 31, 2012 at 2:41 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Sid: I would recommend holding off for as long as possible on the smart phone. Most apps are just major time wasters. Actually, I'd hold off on puppies, as well.

dinah: One most excellent aspect of our dog is that it's not a barker. Thank God almighty for small favors.

January 31, 2012 at 2:57 PM  
Blogger Pueblo girl said...

Puppies learn about the world with their mouths. Coco just learnt that asphalt isn't interesting. They do get better. You'll see.

January 31, 2012 at 3:37 PM  
Blogger Cat said...

When I was a little kid, no one else in my family of 7 wanted a dog except me, but my parents always let me have one. I didn't appreciate their sacrifice until I became an adult, and found out how difficult taking care of a dog is.

January 31, 2012 at 3:50 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

PG: My life would be so much easier if Coco learned about the world the same way we all do; by watching TV.

Cat: Can I archive your comment to show my daughters at a later date? I don't think they have the proper depth of appreciation for the sacrifice I, and ESPECIALLY Mrs. Wife, am making right now.

January 31, 2012 at 3:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is why I'm a cat person

January 31, 2012 at 4:01 PM  
Blogger the fly in the web said...

Poor bloody puppy.

January 31, 2012 at 5:11 PM  
Blogger Ponita in Real Life said...

Just as your kids learned about their world by grabbing things, Coco learns by chewing. And I have a cat that would gladly eat that pebble of asphalt alongside your dog. And she's not a kitten... she's five. ;-)

Coco's a baby. Give her a good nurturing environment with firm and consistent training and she'll be lovely when she's grown up (in about 2 years). The key? Exercise, discipline, affection... in that order.

No way would I pay to sit through Shatner rambling on. Wait for it to come on tv and then you can change channels if you don't like what you see/hear. (Does he even know he can't sing???)

January 31, 2012 at 5:35 PM  
Blogger Pueblo girl said...

Oh, and I should have mentioned that I have a six month old kitten at the moment. Like all the other cats I've ever had, she learns about the world by gently patting treasured possessions off surfaces onto the floor, where they all (what a surprise!) break.

AND, dog owner novices need a smart dog like they need a hole in the head. I know. My first dog was smart. It was a humiliating and frustrating experience.

January 31, 2012 at 6:02 PM  
Anonymous daisyfae said...

cats only provide the pretense of cleanliness. they stand in their shitbox then walk across your kitchen counters when you're not around. don't be fooled...

and i'd rather put cigarettes out in my eyes than watch shatner. let alone PAY for it.

January 31, 2012 at 6:19 PM  
Blogger savannah said...

you KNOW where i stand re dogs these days, so i'll say no more, sugar. but, the plays? sweet mary sunshine all i can say is: YES!YES!YES! (oh yeah, i am THAT excited!) except for shatner...resounding NO. :~)

January 31, 2012 at 6:54 PM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

nurse: Me, too. But I have to have an open mind and heart for the sake of the family.

the fly: Not bloody. Not yet.

Ponita: Two years seems like an eternity but we're in it for the long haul. I'm happy to report that obedience class starts this Sunday. Not a moment too soon!

PG: Funny, but I don't feel smarter than the dog. I often find myself going off in the direction SHE chooses. I'm supposed to be the pack leader, right?

daisy: Have you ever watched a cat cough up a big hairball. Nothing clean about that! And don't hate me but if I get a cheap enough ticket, I might go.

Sav: Aren't you even a little curious as to what Shatner can do for :90 minutes on a stage? He's done Shakespeare before! Really!

January 31, 2012 at 8:17 PM  
Blogger Here In Franklin said...

My cat is 10 times smarter than I am and 20 times cleaner. All she does is lay around the house all day and wait for me to fill her bowl. In my next life, I want to be my cat.

January 31, 2012 at 8:28 PM  
Anonymous dinahmow said...

OK...I'll sneak back in again and fess up...I shouldn't knock Shatner because good people paid to hear me "sing."
But I've only ever seen him on TV in crappy, campy roles so maybe I should shut up.
Please, get a cheap ticket and go on our behalf!

February 1, 2012 at 4:54 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

HIF: My cats were the same way. A beam of sun on the wooden floor and they were happy. I think they figured it all out.

dinah: Don't back down from your statement! You're right! It's crap. But Shatner seems like the kind of guy who would agree with you.

February 1, 2012 at 7:02 AM  
Blogger Pat said...

Tee hee! I love the picture of you and the puppy with puppy love just hiding in the wings - waiting to engulf you.
I'll draw a veil over the Shatner thing.

February 1, 2012 at 7:15 AM  
Blogger JZ said...

they're all dirty and dumb. But that's why we keep them can't feel like a lord over something that is equally smart as you, right? That's why the teenage years with kids becomes negative fun: they're getting SMARTER THAN YOU.

p.s. You are the only one that has acknowledged that child rearing is an investment with long-term gains. I've been saying this for well over a year (remember, my son is creeping up on 3) and everybody looks at me like I have 3 heads. And if we based our child-rearing strategies on the Quarterly Reports from our Stocks, I would have dumped this investment before the end of the first year....

February 3, 2012 at 7:18 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Pat: I am hoping almost beyond hope that the puppy-love-thing occurs. Clearly, she's here for the long haul and I'd rather it be a pleasurable experience.

JZ: Someone has to say it: babies are a lot of work with not much in the way of return. Kids a lot easier to relate to when they get older. I find myself having quasi-adult-like conversations with my 10-year old. It's very satisfying.

February 3, 2012 at 9:20 AM  
Blogger Ellie said...

I am a dog nutjob. They are dirty. But, the can be smart. And so dumb at the same time.

February 4, 2012 at 9:18 PM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home