Doggin’ around with my old man
Most people know about the wildly popular “Marley and Me” book and movie. They made canine shenanigans and tear-jerking trials and tribulations of dog ownership more famous than “Turner & Hooch.”But I may have the topper.My old man and I live together. By “old man” I don’t mean my dad, boyfriend or husband. He’s my 12-and-a-half-year-old dog, Elwood.I can’t believe I’m old enough to have an 87-and-a-half-year old.Sometimes I think the situation calls for a novel, with subsequent film adaptation, that would be nothing like “Marley and Me.” Mostly because Elwood is hardly purebred. And I’m hardly Jennifer Aniston. Although we both seem to be very single lately.That’s probably the only comparison.I’m thinking maybe a low-budget cinematic Sundance Film Festival-caliber documentary is in order. I’d be the single dog lady, played by Jennifer Aniston. Elwood, well, he’ll play himself as the dog. Because I really don’t think an actor dog could do the role justice. The heart-wrenching story begins with Elwood and his brother Jake (may he rest in doggie heaven peace). There are many shenanigans to tell in the life of Elwood, because dog stories always need shenanigans. Best of all, there would be a surprise ending involving Elwood’s male dog love interest, Kirby. Maybe they run away together. Or maybe they get caught in Kansas wearing Bonnie and Clyde disguises.Even M. Night Shyamalan couldn’t write this twist.I’ve been feeling the need to document Elwood’s golden years because I’ve been catching myself referring to Elwood’s age in half years. Like a 6-year-old does when she talks about herself.When talking old dog-versus-young kid years, six months really makes a difference.For example with kiddos, six months can mean the difference between two missing front teeth and four. In dog years, six months can signal successfully chasing down a squirrel with intent to maim or barking at the front door for no apparent reason.The same could be said about me when I’m 87-and-a-half.I’ve been having a hard time lately watching my dog grow old. His brother died a little over a year ago, so Elwood and I are tight. But he has always been my buddy. When he was a little guy he would cry himself to sleep at night. He still cries, it’s just much more high-pitched and 20 times as annoying. I’m going to try and avoid at all costs to refer to myself as Elwood’s mommy. Mostly because I’m human and he’s canine so that’s biologically impossible. And there’s nothing worse than being a crazy dog lady, except maybe being a crazy cat lady, which I feel like sometimes because for some reason I have a cat carrier in the back of my Jeep.And I don’t even have a cat.But as my friend Sam recently pointed out after riding in my car, one never knows when a feral cat might need saving. That statement alone crushes my chances of ever getting a date. Unless the guy is into feral cats.Then we have a winner.Luckily, the chances of me becoming a crazy cat lady are minimal. As long as Elwood continues his long run of being Elwood, I’m safe. He’s a chow/shepherd mix, so hating cats is as much a given as a creepy twist to an M. Night Shyamalan movie. Actually, Elwood isn’t hateful to just cats. He really dislikes all small animals.Probably even gerbils.Once, during a walk, Jake and Elwood went after a skunk. I’m pretty sure they thought they were chasing a cat. If they had just watched some Pep Le Pew they would know how easily the two can be confused, and the inevitable may not have happened. After the three of us were sprayed, the night that followed was probably one of the worst I’ve ever experienced. I tried to go into work soon after with so much perfume to cover my stench a colleague likened me to a French prostitute. Hey, that beats crazy cat lady.At least there’s a date in it.April E. Clark is gearing up for holiday parties galore. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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