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STORIES FROM THE 44TH PARALLEL

Freelance Writer & Photographer in Michigan

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  • Marianne Kuzimski

11 Mind Numbing Facts About Living With Pets


I had been on the road for an hour an a half. Not wanting to stop to use a public restroom, my bladder felt as if it were about to burst by the time I wheeled up to the front door.


Bolting out of the truck, the blast of cold air made the goose-bumps rise up on my arms and the urge to pee even more desperate. Slamming through the front door to the welcome home brigade, I danced around prancing dog paws yelling, “Watch out, Mom has to pee!”


Throwing my purse on the island and cornering hard left like a Nascar driver, I kicked it in high gear and sprinted to the bathroom, already working the button loose on my jeans.


Flipping on the bathroom light with my pants half down, I see a cat butt sticking out of the toilet.


“What the…” I gasp, squeezing my knees together. “Get out of the way, Dex! I have to pee!”


Instead of scramming away quick like I know he can, he lifts his head out of the toilet and gives me one of those annoyed cat glares, then goes back to drinking out of the toilet.


Giving him a quick shove, he finally got the message to move his furry ass out of my way, allowing clearance just in the knick of time!


“Damn cat…” I grumbled, as he sauntered away, swishing his tail from side to side.


Fact number 1: They hog the bathroom.


Pets are wonderful for so many reasons. Someone to snuggle with, someone to comfort you, someone to play with, and they are always happy to see you.


Then comes the point in your relationship when you wonder how much you’ve let them rule over your life. Like the toilet incident, there are all kinds of little annoyances throughout pet-ownership that start grating on you as you live your lives together.


For example, I can’t understand why it is that they always steal your spot on the couch. You get up for a glass of water, you’re gone for less than a minute, and there’s a furry brown donut rolled up in your spot when you get back.


“Move it!” you say.

At first, they ignore you. Like a child, they’re probably thinking, “If I just pretend to be sleeping then they will let me stay here.”


Then the sad eyes pop open to the sound of your impatience tapping a tune on the floor. “Do I really have to move? I’m so comfy here.”


The question is, will you let them stay in your spot, or will you be the pack leader and make them move?


Fact number 2: They steal your spot.


I had to make a quick stop at the bank on the way home the other day. Launching the canister off to the bank teller, when she confirmed what I needed, two dog heads appeared in the live camera feed on either side of mine as if to say, “Don’t forget the dog treats!”


Patiently waiting for the transaction to complete, my big guy let out a whimper right next to my ear and licks his chops. I look just in time to see two twin drool strings hanging over my shoulder.


Gross!


And I swear the dog has ESP. How else did he know that the canister was seconds away from being shot back over?


As soon as the magic door opened to allow access to the canister, two impatient dogs jumped up on either side of my seat to watch for their treats.


I cracked open the canister, retrieved my receipts... and there was nothing else in there but of couple of pens.


“Sorry guys,” I said, reaching out the window to put the canister back.


It wasn’t until I set back in my seat and started putting the window up that I noticed the front half of Dozer standing over the mesh blockade between the front and back seat.


He licked his chops again and sniffed my empty hand.


“Sorry, but she didn’t send any,” I said.


Fact number 3: They think all drive-throughs serve free dog treats.


My dogs are fearless! They march out in their yard like soldiers, protecting their territory from the neighbor’s dogs, the squirrels, the birds, the bunnies, and the occasional duck. Never the geese because they like the snacks the geese deposit in our yard for them. Otherwise, they seem unafraid of most anything.


One summer day, I decided to run the truck through the car wash. This would be the dogs’ first experience in a car wash. Since they didn’t seem scared of anything else, I felt confident they could handle this.


Unfortunately, my confidence in them was a bit misplaced.


As the carwash monster attacked every corner of the truck, Tank ran like a chicken as far away from the monster that he could. At the point the monster was at the back of the vehicle, both Tank and Dozer dove over the mesh barrier blocking them from the front seat… Tank in my lap trembling like a scared child, and Dozer in the front seat watching for the evil carwash monster that was creeping up the side of the truck to get us all.


Trying to calm the two down so they didn’t destroy me, or the interior of the truck, the carwash monster got back to the front windshield and Tank bolted off my lap diving, into the back seat leaving toenail gouges in my thighs that instantly welled up with blood.


As the monster continued to attack, I blocked Tank from jumping into my lap again counting down the minutes the carwash would finish.


That was the longest carwash I have ever experienced, and the bruises on my legs hung there for a month.


Fact number 4: Sometimes they aren’t as brave as they appear.


It’s so nice to feel love and affection from your pets. My cats both meow so sweetly for attention, and a little scratch around the ears is instantly rewarded with purring. But if you try to walk away, cat claws reach out and stop you as if to say, “I’m not done with you yet.”


Giving a cat more attention swiftly turns the tide from loving contentment to evil possession. Suddenly, cat claws are sinking into your hand followed by a toothy, love bite. And when you try to walk away from their supremacy, a cat ambush ensues.


The dogs, on the other hand, are a different animal altogether. We call Doze, Clubber Lang (like in the Rocky movie) because of the way he stomps around when he gets excited. If you don’t have steel-toed boots on, he WILL draw blood. And the sting of his whipping tail will have you crying out in pain and wishing he would go wag somewhere else.


Both dogs can take you off your feet when they are running at you. They seem to get a thrill out of that body-slamming bit to make you feel the love and camaraderie of the pack.


Besides being a bit like bulls in a china shop, both dogs are on the carnivorous side when you offer them a treat.


To be certain your fingers aren’t bleeding after treating them to ANYTHING, it is best to whip the tidbit far away. Otherwise you will find a dog jumping at you as they snap at flying morsels. Indeed, keep arms, hands, and other appendages clear of large canines at all times.


Fact number 6: They cause you pain.


One of the most disgusting habits you could ever witness in your dog, is poop eating.


If you’re not watchful, the act will completely take you by surprise when the dog comes over to lick you in the face and then breath their poop breath on you.


DISGUSTING!!!


When you find that you have a dog that likes to eat poop, there isn’t a whole lot you can do other than keep it cleaned up out of the yard. I have tried bitter apple, bitter cherry, crushed red pepper, and all kinds of online poop powders and potions. Nothing I‘ve tried ever stopped my past poop eaters from enjoying turd tidbits.


As my veterinarian said, it’s not always something you can teach them not to do. In her experience, they either ate poop, or they didn’t.


The habit is often learned, but female dogs that have puppies do this regularly to clean up after their little ones. Unfortunately, the act continues after the pups are grown and out of the house.


Fact number 7: Once a poop eater, always a poop eater.


The first dog we owned that experienced separation anxiety almost found himself out in a doghouse for the remainder of his life.


A full bred German Shepherd, he was gorgeous, smart, and a lot of fun to watch grow up with the kids.


At nearly a year old, and having kenneled him through his puppy months, I decided one day that I didn’t want to leave him cramped up in his kennel all day. My husband would be getting home from work by 1:00pm that day, so it would only be 4 hours.


I got the call not long after 1:00pm.


“You won’t believe what this dog has done!” My husband roared. “I can’t even believe it!”


“What did he do?” I asked, thinking he probably got into the trash. He loved getting into the trash.


“You know what?” My husband said, “I’m not going to tell you because you’re going to have to see it to believe it!”


I came through the door to see bits and pieces of the couch strung from one end of the house to the other!


Did you know that couches were made with two-by-fours?


I didn’t until I saw a couple two-foot sections that were gnawed off, laying on the living room floor.


It was a hide-abed couch that was extremely heavy to move. This dog not only drug it out into the middle of the room, he tore the whole end off of it, and shredded it to pieces… stuffing, splinters, wood, staples, material and all.


Fact number 8: they wreck stuff!


Have you ever read the children’s book, The Digging-est Dog? If not, it tells the story about a dog that didn’t know how to dig, but after he learned, he dug up the whole town.


My kids loved this story. They couldn’t imagine that poor dog not knowing how to do something that all dogs knew how to do, and they were so happy when he learned.


Cute story, right? Ha! Cute until you get a dog that learns to dig like that…


I’ve twisted more ankles and replanted more grass in dog digging areas than I ever want to in a lifetime. And even though there is a big pile of dirt next to the hole, it’s never enough to fill the hole back up. Buying more dirt to fill the hole is like putting a big, red X on the spot. Digging type dogs love new dirt to dig in, and it’s almost impossible to keep them out of it!


Before you go on thinking that your cat is innocent of all digging expeditions, you should know that this isn’t just a dog’s sport. If you have houseplants, then I wouldn’t be surprised if your cat loves to dig like mine did.


Not only do cats love to dig in your houseplants, they also prefer potted plants to their litter boxes. It’s not noticeable until you poke your finger into the dirt to see if the plant needs water… Or if the plants are near your dining room table and you are smelling something awful during dinnertime.


Fact number 9: They dig.


I cannot count how many times my dogs have swiped food right out of my hand, but it seems the two shelter dogs we have are the biggest food thieves imaginable. I often wonder if it was their shelter experience, or if they had been starving at any point during their straying days that caused them to be this way.


Tank is notorious for swiping food. He has stolen pizza and hamburgers off of random paper plates. He has even taken food out of my mouth as I was eating!


It’s shocking, really, as he comes out of nowhere and steals your food. And if you happen to be walking with food, you’re playing to his strengths.


Like sacking the quarterback, Tank comes out of left field, jumps, steals your food, and takes off for a touchdown. And if you happen to be drinking a beer, he’ll be on you like hair on a gorilla. Before you know what happened, he’s got his face in your beer drinking it as fast as he can… The little booze-hound!


Dozer also steals food, but he fakes you out by acting happy to see you at first. With tail wagging while maintaining eye contact so you don’t know what he’s up to, he snags the food out of your hand as soon as he’s within striking distance, then chokes it down quick before you have a chance to get it back.


Being the larger of the two, Dozer has an advantage Tank does not. He can reach places like countertops and stovetop with ease


I had just finished warming a pot of chili on the stove, and went out to the garage to see who wanted some. When I came back in, Dozer had his whole face in that simmering pot, gobbling it up as fast as he could.


After scolding him about the chili, I pulled a leftover cheesecake out of the fridge and set it on the island to cut a few slices. Turning my back for just a second to get a knife and plates, I turned back around to catch Dozer standing at the counter chowing down that cheesecake.


I guess he was hungry that day. Since then, we always are mindful about guarding the food.


Fact number 10: They steal your food.


As mentioned above, pets like to take your spot, and that is best demonstrated at bedtime.


Every single night, I have to move Tank out of my spot in the bed. But alas, my poor husband receives the raw end of the deal as Tank readjusts himself at least a half dozen times throughout the night by body-slamming into his back. Ouch!


Don't worry... I have received my fair share of pain! I mean, it's pretty rude being woke up by Dexter biting me so I will pet him in the middle of the night.


I pet him... he drools all over me... I stop petting him... he bites... over and over it goes until I kick him out of the bed. Then he marches around the house yowling as loud as he can.


Why is it that cats seem to require the most attention in the middle of the night?


Around the same time Dexter is yowling, Miss Chloe decides to try and rip the bottom of the closet door off so she can get inside. If I can silence her after throwing 1 pillow, it's a miracle. It's when I have to get out of bed and chase her out of the room that I get a little perturbed.


Besides the annoying sounds of a yowling cat, a door being destroyed, a body-slamming dog, and my poor husband groaning in pain every night... if there happens to be any strange noises, we're in big trouble.


One night, the wind blew a lawn chair across the deck and the next thing you know, a barking Clubber Lang jumps into bed, trampling us like a whole herd of elephants just ran through. It took us 20 minutes to convince Doze that everything was okay, and another 20 minutes to get back to sleep!


Fact number 11: They keep you up at night.


Even with all of this craziness happening in my house day after day, and night after night, I still have a hard time imagining life without pets. We keep saying, “That’s it! No more!” But I guess time will tell if we will actually be able to live without them.


Everyone has a story…


So what are YOUR mind numbing experiences living with pets?





#pets #facts #funny #cats #dogs


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