I hate dogs.
We’ve already established that.
No, it’s not politically correct, but I am not an animal lover. Never have been.
Here’s the deal: I like to be clean and have a clean house. Pets of all kinds prevent me from both. Dogs, specifically, shed, slobber and smell. Those are my three biggies.
About 15 months ago, we moved from a small apartment into our current, 4-bedroom home, and that’s when the saga of Laila-Dog began. Big Daddy (mi esposo), the Diva (mi hija), and Jason (el hijo de mi esposo who was living with us at the time…this house is like a revolving door where kids are concerned) started on me about wanting a dog. Let me just say that, before we got married, I was clear with Big Daddy about my dog aversion (he campaigned for a Neopolitan Mastiff). The Diva has known since she was in utero.
They ganged up on me. Sure my evidence is circumstantial, but I’m relatively certain they had a master plan.
“Let’s get a dog,” they said. “We have a house and a nice, big backyard. We can get an outside dog.”
The Diva said, “I’ll feed it.”
Jason said, “I’ll walk it and pick up the poop.”
Big Daddy said, “I’ll make sure it gets played with and trained.”
“No!” I said.
“But, why not?” they asked, eyes large and innocent. Like el Diablo.
“Here’s why not,” I said. “We’ll get the dog and, after the ‘new’ wears off, the one person in this house who doesn’t want the dog will be left taking care of it. You’ll (I pointed at Jason, age 16) go off to college, you (I turned the finger on the Diva) will get tired of messing with it, and you (it was Big Daddy’s turn) will get deployed, and guess who’ll be left with a dog she didn’t even want? Oh, and there’s this little matter of affording her.”
“Noooooooo,” they assured me. “That wiill never happen. Plus, we can get a dog at the pound for only $35.”
Then they proceeded to wear me down. They used a variety of tactics, most involving some form of guilt.
The next thing I knew, Big Daddy and I were bringing home a 75-pound beast from the animal shelter. She’s half black lab, half pit bull and, if I had to admit it, she’s a great dog.
That I didn’t and still don’t want.
She is, after all, a dog.
We brought her home, and the plan was going great. She was 5 years old, so she had basic training (sit, stay, shake, poop outside, and slept at night.
On my furniture.
Down to Target we went to get 2, $65 baby gates to keep her off the furniture.
But we were able to put her in the backyard while we worked, so, except for the nighttime, she was an outside dog.
Until we got a friendly letter from the homeowners’ association letting us know that she was barking incessantly all day while we were at work and, if we couldn’t get her to stop, we would incur a $1500 fine.
Let’s just take a moment and track with the costs here:
$35 for dog
$150 for bowls, collar, leash, bed, food
$65 for baby gates, times 2
$1500 fine we’ll have to pay if she doesn’t shut up
And this is only so far. The good news is that I work for a private school, I have loads of money.
Now, because of her big mouth, our outside dog just became an inside dog.
Fast forward to our current adventure.
Big Daddy and Jason are in Tennessee, and the Diva’s not so motivated to keep her end of the bargain. Guess who’s picking up poop these days?
In the past week, we have decided to have movers move our stuff for us, as opposed to us moving it ourselves. It’s cheaper, actually, and takes alot of pressure off of me, since I’m doing this by myself. We’ll also sell both our cars here (they needed to go), and we’ll fly to Tennessee and pick up there.
Here’s the question: how do I get Laila-dog to Tennessee?
At this point, I have four, basic options:
1. Leave her here. Surrender her back to the (very nice) animal shelter from which I got her. This one makes the Diva break out in uncontrollable sobs and convulsions immediately. It’s a no-go.
2. Check her as baggage when we go visit Big Daddy in Tennessee for Easter Break next week. Cost: $150 for kennel, $150 for flight. That means that, in addition to getting myself and three children ready for travel, I’ll have to crate and transport a (large) dog and her water to the airport. Keep in mind that the kennel and (fat) Laila-dog must not weigh over a certain amount, and the kennel must be a particular size, be labeled “Live Animal” on 4 sides, have ventilation on at least 2 sides, and be zip-tied shut. Oh, and the temperature at any point in our trip from San Diego through Chicago to Chattanooga cannot be below 45 or above 85. Basically, all the stars have to align just right in order for this to work. If, for some reason, it doesn’t work, I won’t know that until 4:30 next Saturday morning when I’m checking in for my flight which means I’ll be sitting at the airport with a dog I can’t transport who is keeping me from using the 4 plane tickets we’ve purchased. One more thing: none of our cars is big enough to accommodate the crate, so I’ll have to beg help.
3. Ship her as cargo. Cost: $150 for kennel, $750 for flight. I have to drive her to LAX (4 hours round-trip), and Big Daddy will have to drive to NashVegas to pick her up (4 hours round-trip). Insert cost of gas and time here.
4. Drive her in my car from San Diego to Chattanooga. Just me and her. Cost: 4 days, $1000 dollars, and my sanity.
You’ll remember that I said this would happen. At this point, you may call me Daniel, Jeremiah, Isaiah or any of the major prophets.
Pray for me. I’m thinking about shooting off my own pinky toes.
Better yet, pray for Laila-dog. She needs it much more than I do at this point.
Oh, and if you’re not busy next Saturday morning at 4:30 Pacific Time and you have a giant car, call me. The collective “we” need a ride to the airport.
P.S. Click here to see a picture of the sloth that is a boil on the butt of dog-manity.
Update 3-29-10: Big Daddy says I just lied to the whole world about how this really went down. He says that, although he admits to wanting a dog, I came to him and asked him to help me formulate a plan for us getting a dog for the Diva. I think this might be what lawyers call one of those irreconcilable differences. I say, if he has a different version of the story, he’s welcome to post it on his own blog. He can call it Adventures in Big Daddy Land.
Has anybody seen Christmas Vacation?
Where’s the Tylenol?