What the hell is the matter with me? What I mean to say, is why have I been a blubbering fool for the past two days? Wanna know why? I’ll tell you why.
Meet Monster Mash.
Monster Mash is a ten-week-old pit bull puppy who belongs to a pal of mine named Shawna. Shawna and her fellah, Dave, had to head out of town this past weekend, so she asked Jake and me to babysit her puppy. Now, when Jake made the announcement that YES, we would babysit a puppy, I was slightly horrified. I’d never taken care of a dog before.
About a month ago, we took a huge step when we bought Hector, the hibiscus. As a young woman with nary a maternal bone, I’m telling you—the plant was a huge step. I’ve learned to care for Hector. I put him outside on sunny days. I water him when he’s thirsty. When he had his first bloom, I hopped around, saying “Good Hector!!! You’re such a good little plant ooogabooogabooooga …”
If Hector was a huge step, then taking Monster Mash under our wing was like saying, “Dubai? Sure, we’ll balance their government deficit. Would be happy to.”
Mash arrived Thursday evening. The little guy was adorable and excited about everything. That’s the thing about dogs: they’re always happy about something. Whether it’s a water dish, Jake’s flip-flop, or even a pine cone, the little guy went ape s@#%. That first evening, Mash refused to sleep. He barked, yelped, and cried all night long. I’m telling you, it was like stories you hear from couples who’ve brought home their first newborn … only worse, because Mash wasn’t wearing a diaper.
Jake had to work on Friday, so I had to take care of Mash BY MYSELF all day long. Did I mention I don’t know the first thing about taking care of a dog? My worries were immediately subdued, however, when I woke up with this tiny puppy wrapped around my head—asleep and making adorable squeaky snores. With a gulp, I realized … I was in love.
And they call it puppy love.
By the time Sunday rolled around, I was obsessed. I had scrapes all over my shins from Mash chasing me around the house. He’d peed inside twice. I had probably ignored poor Jake the whole weekend, but all I could think about was how cute Mash was when he slept, the cute noises he would make, the way he just wanted me to hold him all the time.
Then, Shawna and Dave got back Sunday night and <gulp> the puppy had to go home.
I had to HIDE IN MY OWN BATHROOM so that Jake wouldn’t see me cry. I was so embarrassed. I didn’t know what my problem was, and it hasn’t stopped! I cried when I walked past the dog food aisle yesterday in Walmart, and I can’t watch pet commercials on TV without reaching for a tissue. So what the hell is the matter with me?
Is this what the beginning of a maternal instinct feels like? I’ve certainly never had the inkling before, but is this it? Don’t get me wrong—children still terrify me. I don’t want one of THEM running around, but maybe … do I want a dog of my own?
The babysitting of Monster Mash has had unexpected repercussions. The terror of taking care of a dog is now nonexistent. The dreaded responsibility is muted by the idea of having something cute running around the house—something (other than poor, neglected Jake) that will love me unconditionally and behave like a happy freakin’ idiot whenever I get home. This past weekend, I was enveloped in an unfamiliar kind of joy. It was the joy of puppy love, and well, maybe it’s time Jake and I started thinking about a pet.
Now, if only I could stop crying every time I see the water mark on our couch from where Monster Mash left a poop stain Saturday morning … <sob, sob, sob> Gosh, I’m a freakin’ mess.