Being from Cincinnati, when I get to come home for the weekend and visit from Cleveland, I usually love the first 3 steps I take into my childhood house. Those first three steps are the best. You get to relive all the countless times you have walked through that door before, and all the things associated with it. The familiar smells; the native appearance and structure of the house, adjusted ever so slightly to accommodate the decorations of the season. Those first steps are likes steps into a time capsule that has preserved everything from your childhood.
How, this weekend, when I went home for Easter, in those first few steps I was greeted by something I did not expect. That thing was called “Chewy”.
Named (not so cleverly) for its resemblance to a certain George Lucas character who hails from the planet Kashyyyk, Chewy is the latest of my parents LONG list of four-legged house guests. And as I took those oh-so-sacred first few steps into my home Friday evening, I found myself face to face with the beast which would become - over the next 48 hours - the bane of my existence.
To be completely honest, it wasn’t that bad. Chewy was relatively well behaved, and with the exception of its constant need to be petted, and the obnoxious habit of sticking its wet-mop of a face on every inch of exposed skin my body had to offer (Hands, neck, legs, face, feet. Let’s keep our minds out of the gutter on this one), he really wasn’t even that annoying. However, it brought back some Vietnam-type flashbacks of some of the horrifying dogs my parents have agreed to let into our home in the past.
Like I said, there have been some really bad dogs that our family has had the pleasure of house sitting, but let me just give you the two Hall of Famers.
My grandparents, bless their hearts, got a dog about 5 years ago. Since then, Missy has spent probably a total of 3 to 4 months at my parents’ house. There are two things that some dogs do which infuriate me more than any other annoying habit dogs might have. Those two things are when a dog A) barks at EVERYTHING that moves, and B) begs at the table to the point where if you don’t give it food it will start barking. Missy does both of these things. Nothings make me want to pull an American History X (Warning: Terrifying Imagery) style curb stomp more than a dog that does these two things.
The first annoying thing about Buffy is that my great grandmother (may she rest in peace) insisted that this is how you spelled the dog’s name, even though it was pronounced Boofie (boo-FEE). This dog had the most horrifying breath of any dog to ever walk the planet. This wouldn’t have been a huge problem if Buffy didn’t spend every second of the day trying to give you CPR. Not sure if it was the food she was eating, or if she just needed a good brushing, but this dog had a breath that would make Pepe Le Pew gag. Additionally, this dog would just run rampant across the entire neighborhood. We would put Buffy in the back yard (fenced in) with our dog, and 30 minutes later there would be a knock on the door. Buffy. Every time. This dog was like a love child between Steve McQueeen and Sean Connery. My mother came to call him (I think it was a him. Just another puzzling piece to the name?) Monsieur Boufant: The Great Escape Artist.
Look, I am not against helping a neighbor or friend. I love dogs, and I love going over to people’s homes and spending time with their dogs. I don’t even have a real problem watching someone’s dog for an afternoon or an evening. But straight-up dog sitting is the pits. Plain and simple. That crap is for the Birds. How many times has this phrase been uttered: “Your dog was a complete joy. Please leave him with us every time you go out of town!” I’ll give you a clue; it starts and ends in the same place. (That would be Zero)