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Home is where the pets stay

“Look at all these TOYS!” I said excitedly to husband-head as we walked around the store. “I wish the boys were here – they would have so much fun!”Husband-head emphatically shook his head. “Are you friggin’ nuts? ” he said with disbelief. “They would be little monsters and completely terrorize the place. We’d be asked to leave for sure.”We were checking out a new pet store in town – you know, the kind that allow you to bring your animals in and walk around.It’s a neat concept if you’re an animal lover, but I’ve always wondered if the company officials actually had pets themselves. If they did, they would know that everything in the store is fair game to sniff and relieve yourself on. For the pets, that is.However, I’ve never seen any kind of sign that says, “If you PEE on it, you BOUGHT it” anywhere in the store …Husband-head and I have two 4-year-old male yellow Labs, Weber and Wyatt. They’re beautiful and loving and the most completely misbehaved animals on the planet. Not that they mean to be, mind you. Let’s just say they don’t have much in the way of social graces.”They take after you,” husband-head says whenever one of them acts up. “They certainly didn’t get that from ME.”I’m not the one who claps and cheers them on every time they pass wind …Oh, we’ve tried obedience classes and bought those little “training collars” with the muzzles that cost $20 a pop. But they chewed ’em up as soon as we got home.Our dogs rule the house – including the couch and the bed. In fact, we have to plan our home decor around the guys.”Nope, that couch won’t fit all four of us,” I told husband-head while we were furniture shopping recently. “And the recliner has to be large enough for them to curl into.”I’m sure the salesman shadowing us around the store thought we were nuts.We’ve thought of trying pet beds so that husband-head and I don’t have to sleep on the floor any more, but we haven’t found any in our size.But being at the pet store really drove it home that our little half-human, half-animal family was a bit on the dysfunctional side.”Look at how well all those dogs sit and behave,” I pointed out with disbelief to husband-head.There was a line of canines sitting patiently in line with their owners as they waited to get their photos taken.”Ours would be mounting one of the other dogs,” husband-head said dryly. “It would be completely embarrassing and certainly not the photo these people are here for.”Yes, and I’m sure doggie porn is not what this big chain pet store was promoting …Clearly, our dogs do not play well with others.”And I’m sure Weber would take a great big grumpy right in the middle of one of the aisles,” husband-head added. “I would just leave and make you deal with it.”I couldn’t stand it anymore and finally found a salesperson.”Don’t you people, like, get MAD when a dog pees or poops in your store?” I wanted to know. “How do you handle that?”The nice salesgirl just smiled.”Oh no,” she said. “We LOVE pets. That’s what these clean-up bags are for on each aisle.”I noticed she didn’t say exactly who was responsible for cleaning up.Just then, a man walked by with his cat on a leash.”If our dogs were here, that cat would be toast,” husband-head whispered as he sidled up next to me.I was more interested in the fact that the guy was even able to get his cat to WALK on a leash. We’re lucky if our cat doesn’t bite us when we try to pet her.”Maybe we’re not such good pet owners,” I admitted to husband-head. “Maybe we’re doing something wrong.””Nah, ours are just spoiled,” husband-head reassured me. “Just be glad we don’t have kids.”We both looked at each other in absolute horror at the thought.Then we picked up $50 worth of pet treats and toys that would last us a week.Some pets are just better off staying at home.Heidi Rice is a Rifle correspondent for the Post Independent. Her column runs every Friday. Visit her Web site at http://www.heidirice.com.


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