I know that I've been writing about my family lately. I even agree that it's been cathartic, but this week something happened that brings the past to the present, and I feel the need to share it.
Last night, I fell off my treadmill.
No, you didn't read that wrong. I fell OFF my treadmill. My bat-shit crazy dog was playing in the basement, and she chased her ball across my treadmill... as I was using it. To quote the great Muhammad Ali, "It was a two hit fight." She hit me, and I hit the floor.
This is why I miss my goldfish, Mr. Carp E. Diem (may he rest in peace). Not just because his name was clever (given that goldfish ARE members of the Carp family), and not just because he was so easy to take care of (which he was), or even because he was the Chuck Norris of fish who killed each and every thing I put into his tank (seriously, he was the reason that fish sleep with their eyes open), but because in the ten years that I owned him - he never, ever gave me a bloody lip.
Don't get me wrong, I love my dog, but last night, I was at my wit's end. And, as I was getting ice from the refrigerator to control the swelling, I played a sick fantasy in my head about slipping the groomer an extra twenty dollars to shave a bulls-eye into her pelt. I had the same fantasies about my neighbor, and that’s when I knew that DB and I needed to move. But... unlike my neighbor (who I have seen in his underwear), she wouldn’t notice or even care about what I shave into her back hair. This is an animal who eye-balls you while she masturbates on her dog bed. However, I have a theory about why she’s so bat-shit crazy and destructive.
She was a heroin addict in a previous life.
She was, and while that may make you feel sad for her, DON’T BE! She hasn’t learned a damn thing though reincarnation. If it were up to her, she would live this life like she lived the last one… in a spiked dog collar… with all eight nipples pierced… and track marks up all four of her legs. I swear, one day I expect to walk into my house and find her wrapping the leash around her doggy arm and tightening it with her teeth. The only thing that might be missing when she dies this time is cheap beer and a pimp. So don’t feel bad for her AT ALL. Instead, feel bad for ME.
Adding to my current misery, in the two years that I've owned her, she's eaten numerous pairs of shoes, $150 worth of underwear, a $75 bottle of perfume, and a $250 pair of glasses all for the low-low cost of several trips to the vet at $100 a pop (not to mention the thousands of dollars I've paid in carpet cleaning expenses). I’m not sure what I was mumbling under my breath as I was telling my sister about my treadmill trauma, but it couldn’t have been good, because - after she laughed she said, "Are you going to kill her like you did the lizards?” OK, yes… many years ago, we had pet lizards, and I killed them, but it was honestly an accident.
However, before I can tell you that part of the story, I have to tell you this part first.
You see, growing up in the Appalachian Mountains with two brothers, it is a given that - at some point in your life - you and/or your siblings will own box turtles, lizards, dogs, cats, and fish. And, much to my mother's chagrin, we were no different. We owned everything we ever saved, found, or caught. A fact which may have contributed to me being a vegetarian who minored in Peace Studies (yes, really). I can’t even eat an animal much less kill one. So while it’s true that I killed our lizards, their death was never premeditated. In fact, I LIKED the Anoles. They were wickedly fast and incredibly cool to watch. They ate live crickets, and I felt bad about that… UNTIL ONE OF THOSE DAMN INSECTS ESCAPED AND LIVED IN OUR HEATING DUCTS FOR A WEEK.
Do you know what it’s like to be laying in bed… trying to fall asleep… and suddenly hear bug chirping… that ECHOES… through your WHOLE HOUSE? Do you? It’s like living in a Kafka novel: Metamorphosis, the home edition. For the record, Eric Carle was wrong. Crickets aren’t quiet unless you crank your heat to 90 degrees and let karma handle the details, which is exactly what happened.
I don’t like playing God, but I’m not opposed to it when my sleep is on the line… Regardless of how old I am.
So, while I may have deliberately killed that cricket (who TOTALLY had it coming), I swear I didn’t intentionally kill the lizards. In fact, I was trying to be helpful. I was cleaning their tank, and I put them on our patio in their carrying crate. When I came back twenty minutes later, they were more dehydrated than the apricots in your trail mix. The spare tank had reached 120 degrees… So I stood there… tapping the glass… hoping beyond hope that I was wrong… trying to figure out what to tell my family, and the only message I could craft was, “Well, at least you can catch them now.” They didn’t find it comforting, and clearly my sister is concerned history could repeat itself with my current pet. Like a good little-sister, I told her, “Not to worry! I can’t fit the puppy into a lizard-sized carrying crate.” That said, if that damn dog does disappear one day, follow the money…
Talk to you next week!