Accept my Dog

I felt bad for my dog being alone in the yard every day, so I bought him his own dog—to keep him company. Both these dogs are young and rambunctious. They tore a portion of the front lawn up, churning the earth into a lunar landscape. One plant they’ve ripped out by the roots, and I’ve replanted it six times. Another shrub they’ve stripped to a mere stalk, major pruning.

Abbie, the dog I bought for my dog Gabe, grins when I try to scold her.

These dogs occasionally bark.

My neighbor, a yuppie, leaves handwritten notes in my mailbox.

“Your dog has been doing extensive barking. Cease! Cease!”

Another time I came home to find a note that read, “Your dog barks all day and all night. Just ask all your neighbors.”

The notes, terrible, almost illiterate handwriting because the guy never writes on anything but a computer, are never signed.

I’m not going to take a poll of my neighbors. He’s the only one who’s ever complained. I know who the guy is. He’s the joker who stands out in front of his house with a cell  phone up to his ear, a contractor yuppie stressing out over money to be made and material possessions to be acquired, who drives a truck and has an expensive car on which he makes payments to a bank—–in order to convince himself he’s a big shot.

“Don’t give me a jaundiced eye pal. Come on over if you’re man enough. I see you standing there with your cell phone. Do I complain when your wife yells ‘Nicholas (their six-year-old kid), get out of the street?’”

 My dog is never out at night. If he starts barking I bring him in. He’s unsupervised in the yard for maybe two hours a day from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. He probably barks for five minutes. Big deal.

You’re making my dog a scapegoat for your maladjusted corporate life. You’re one of those politically conservative middle class guys a recent government-funded psychological study said is driven by fear and workaholic aggression, accumulating money and possessions to counter feelings of inadequacy and penis envy (he also probably drives way too fast on the freeway trying to screw other drivers out of a spot in the passing lane).

The same study found that liberals are more easy-going, but slobbish, seldom loyal to a cause.

You fixate on my dog because it’s a sound you can’t control or buy. So you leave me these crazy notes. I tear them up. Even if I hate my dog for what he’s done to my yard, I’ll defend him. I’m not taking him back to the pound to be gassed to fulfill your sick suburban lifestyle.

My dog has a right to be a dog. What’s more, he resents you personally for blaming him for your troubles.

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