Recently, my roommate Jefe’s mother needed to get rid of her dog, Indy, for a variety of reasons, one of which involved Indy biting one of her horses and just completely fucking its shit up. Jefe volunteered to take care of Indy, but not before checking with each of his roommates to see if a new addition to the family would be okay with them.
My other two roommates had no problem with the idea, because dogs, by and large, are awesome. They basically eat and lie around thinking about eating, which is pretty close to my roommates’ day to day lives as is, and, as it’s been pointed out to me by several guys in varying states of drunkenness, ‘Guys with dogs get chicks, man.’
Jefe came to me last, because I’m the roommate who, thanks to being raised by a pair of insurance industry professionals, has learned to see the downsides and negatives of every conceivable situation, making me more prone to saying ‘no’ than the others. This quality makes me a lot like a Mom, although when push comes to shove I prefer the term ‘Lawgiver.’
I ultimately said yes when Jefe asked me if he could bring a dog home, although it was not without a bit of trepidation. I’ve got no problem with dogs conceptually. I enjoy loyalty and silly pet tricks, and in those Wrangler commercials Brett Favre always seems to be having fun playing with that Golden Retriever in slow motion.
I do, however, have a problem with things going to the bathroom in my house. That’s the scene that never made it into the Wrangler commercial – the Golden Retriever squatting in the living room in slow motion, Brett Favre noticing too late to stop it, just clutching his hair and screaming, still in slow motion, Bachman Turner Overdrive playing in the background…
We don’t need that here. I mean, the house smells bad enough as it is, and that’s with my roommates going to the bathroom in our toilet.
But I put this aside and said yes, because even the Lawgiver gets sick of crushing dreams on a daily basis, and a few days later, Indy arrived.
What you see there is Indy’s favorite trick – looking at you. In the week or so that he’s been living with us, Indy has proven to be pretty obedient and otherwise friendly, but far quieter than I’m used to.
I grew up with a black Labradoodle named Sophie whose enthusiasm and happiness was matched only by her truly mind boggling stupidity. When I’d walk past the back fence on my way home from school every day, Sophie would be there, jumping up and down in elation that I was home, her ears and snout just visible above the top of the fence at the apex of each leap.
When I get home from school now, Indy just looks at me as if to say, “Oh. You again. Make yourself at home. I’ll be right over here.”
My Dad pointed out that Indy may be trying to assert his dominance over me by engaging in staring contests, which sounds like the sort of thing stupid kids in 5th grade did, only now the stupid kid has sharp teeth which he’s already used on at least one horse, presumably after a staring contest gone bad.
I was concerned about this until two nights ago, when I came home to find Indy with his head in the kitchen garbage can, munching on as much of our trash as he could find. In retrospect, I should’ve let him keep going – I feel like we’re getting overcharged on garbage pickup, anyway – but instead I yelled something to the tune of, “Ah, fuck it, man, don’t do THAT!”
Indy promptly withdrew from the garbage can and scampered into the kitchen, where I followed him and proceeded to commence with the punishment, Lawgiver style.
“No! Bad dog!” I shouted as he cowered by the oven, head bowed. “Why the hell would you do something like that? That’s our garbage can! Garbage! Anything you smell in there is food so disgustingly bad that three fat men won’t eat it!”
Midway through my rant, Indy opened the floodgates and peed all over the kitchen floor.
Ten minutes later, I was in pretty high spirits for someone who was on his hands and knees mopping up dog piss. I had intimidated another living thing so badly that it had essentially wet its pants. When you’re me, you take your self esteem boosts wherever you can find them.
In retrospect, I realize that Indy’s Big Lebowski treatment of our kitchen may not have been a submissive act of fear but rather the only retort he was capable of.
As soon as I saw Indy peeing, I quit yelling at him, and Indy sure as hell didn’t have to do any of the hard work cleaning the mess up. Urination, as it turns out, is quite an effective tool for stopping an argument. If I’d found this out sooner, I could’ve really cleaned up in the speech and debate circuit, or at least won a few more fights with The Ex Girlfriend.
Things were pretty awkward between Indy and I for the next couple of days. Humans can go to a bar and buy each other alcohol to mend the fence, but getting drunk with a dog won’t convey to it that everything is alright and you can still be friends.
For the record, I’d like to point out that getting drunk with animals is a delightful pastime that I support wholeheartedly.
Today, though, when I came home Indy actually got up and came over to say hi instead of just staring at me. He bumped his nose ever so gently against my crotch and looked up at me, his nubbin of a tail twitching back and forth.
Time heals all wounds, I guess.
Truman Capps would like to point out that Indy is the same breed of dog as the dog from The Road Warrior. Not to brag or anything, but… Yeah.