I convinced my husband we needed a dog.
“Not one of those little yappy ones,” he said, frowning.
“No, Dear. No little, noisy ones.”
“And not one of those shedding rat types either. They leave messy hair all over the furniture and clothes. And they make me sneeze,” he added.
“Yes, Dear. I’ll find a large breed, non-allergic and intelligent.”
“Well, OK, I guess. At least we can walk it for exercise.”
OK, so no furry cuddly dogs, I thought. But I was thrilled he had agreed!
After careful study, I chose an apricot-colored, Standard Poodle. My dreams of dog ownership should have been great. However, I jinxed myself by calling her Thalia—a name denoting the Greek Goddess of Comedy.
We breezed through two back-to-back sessions of training classes. Thalia passed both, but missed our expectations of obeying the rules at home. Her hyperactive nature just accelerated with age. She leapt and jumped through the air with joy and greeted our visitors by trying to knock them down to her level, dribbling on the floor in her exuberance. Time out in the cage met with noisy resistance. Emitting high-pitched crescendos of howling intensity, she demanded release from such unthinkable imprisonment. I’m certain her howling meant, “How could you do this to me?”
Thalia was a habitual toilet drinker. Since we couldn’t get her to change, I trained my husband to put both toilet lids down. One night, I got up, half-asleep with a full bladder and plopped down on the cold, closed toilet seat. Not fun.
Next, we tried installing baby gates to bar Thalia from selected rooms like the bathroom. When I saw her sail straight over the gate from a standing position, we switched to closing doors.
When my sisters visited, Thalia displayed my ineptitude with dog training by going into her frenzy mode. She bounced through the living room, barely touching down as she flew from couch to couch, greeting our new company with slobbers, dribbles and barks. When I waved goodbye to my visitors at the door, I heard Thalia slurping away in the bathroom. All that activity made her thirsty and my guests didn’t shut the bathroom door. Sure hope they flushed, I secretly mused.
Thalia loved underwear. Laundry days became tug-of-wars with many torn results. On non-laundry days, she would fish the undies out of the hamper and dropped them like gifts at anyone’s feet. These presents often greeted visitors after she peed near or even, occasionally, on them. During enthusiastic episodes of hers, I became the daily mop woman.
One morning, my husband, sporting a wicked grin, asked me if he’d gotten lucky during the night and just couldn’t remember.
“Huh?” I asked, startled.
He held up a pair of my panties that he had found rolled up in the sheets as he got out of bed.
I shook my head. “That darn dog again.”
“Well, you know she shouldn’t be on our bed.”
“Yes, Dear. I’ll try to remember to shut our door.”
I shook my head again and left the bedroom. I thought better about not telling him that yesterday I had caught Thalia lying on his side of the bed, chewing up the bristled, toilet bowl brush. Yes, our Greek Goddess of Comedy had had the last laugh.