Brat? Not Me!

By Bonnie Wonders–Trent

We all know that we love our dogs. I’m sure you wouldn’t be reading this magazine or this story for that matter if you didn’t love dogs. We also know that we’ll put up with one heck of a lot for the sake of our furry friends. Some of us will forego that extra dinner out or that really nice pair of jeans so that our buddies will be able to have that new bed or hot new toy. I see it almost every day and still can’t believe it: customers who put up with a dog that bites them and their family, can never REALLY be potty trained, or brainwashes their owners into spending a fortune on rotating dog food choices. Spoiled brats in short.

This past summer, I was running ahead of schedule and looked out to see one of my favorite customers pull into the parking lot for her dog’s appointment. Since I’d been stuck inside all day, I thought I’d go out and chat with Lulu’s owner for a couple minutes before I brought the dog in for grooming. As I opened the front door and stepped outside, another very good customer, Janice, was just getting out of her vehicle to go in for her own hairdresser’s appointment next door to my place.

“Hey!” I called out to Janice as I waved at her on my way to Barb’s car.

“Are you trying to sneak away from work?” Janice asked as she headed my way.

“It’s a thought, but look who came to see me,” I said, jerking my thumb over Barb’s way. Janice and Barb are extremely good friends, and I knew that. Barb is like the Mother/Sister/Aunt/Cousin that everyone would love to have. She’s funny as all get out and is just a super person to know.

Janice and I made our way over to Barb’s car, and she started to get out. “Just stay there. I’ll get Lulu out,” I said.

“Oh, thanks,” Barb said. “She’s in the back seat,” she added. At that point, Janice and I looked into the back of the car, and Lulu looked up at us.

“Hi, Lu,” Janice and I said almost simultaneously to the dog. Lulu immediately squatted down and began to pee. Not just a couple drops, mind you. It was definitely serious business she was down to as the pee went rolling over the seat and down into the crease. She quite obviously had no intention of stopping. Janice and I immediately looked at each other, eyes probably bugging out like a pair of Shih Tzus. We both gasped at the same time as we both did about-faces and took a couple steps away from the car. As if we had rehearsed it, we both pointed at each other and covered our mouths.

“What? What happened?” Barb asked, looking up at us as we turned back around. She was holding her head cockeyed, as if she had a stiff neck. There was no way she could have seen what had just happened from where she was sitting. And the dog was STILL peeing. Janice and I looked at Barb, and before either of us could utter a word, Barb started shaking her head. “She’s peeing, isn’t she?” she asked in a totally unsurprised tone.

I took a sideways peek into the back seat once again. “Uh, no. I think she’s pretty much gotten it out of her system,” I said as I took note of the completely drenched towel that Lulu was sitting on top of.

“Oh, she does that all the time when she’s nervous… or mad… or just when she’s having a bad day in general,” Barb explained without much emotion. “That’s why I keep a towel with plastic under it in the back seat. I just throw it in the wash,” she added.

“Uh-huh,” I responded while Janice was making her way back from her car with a roll of paper towels in hand.

“A gift for you. You may need it,” she threw in as she handed them to Barb.

This is precisely the thing I don’t understand. How can people put up with this stuff? It made me think of our own dog, Jake. When my husband retired last year, he started taking Jake pretty much everywhere with him. The dog has gotten so spoiled that when Dave goes somewhere and can’t take the dog with him, he retaliates a bit. If there is a newspaper, book, receipt, or ANY piece of paper left within his reach in the car, he shreds it while Dave is out of the vehicle. I do mean shred. I can’t tell you how many times Dave has had to repurchase the Trader’s Guide because of that dog. Dave never says a word.

Then there are the two doorjambs that the dog had eaten through when he was left alone in the house. It wasn’t his fault that Dave was cruel enough not to take him outside with him as he was talking to the neighbor.

I’ll also mention the day we came home from having dinner out, and our extremely large set of three windows in the living room was devoid of curtains. Jake pulled all six sets of them down and ate through half of one of the sheers… just to prove a point that he was a bit miffed that he was left home alone.

I recall sitting on the couch one afternoon as Dave looked over at the leather chair near the door. “What’s that white stuff all over the chair?” he asked me. It looked like baby powder had been dumped all over the seat cushion. In case you’re wondering what it looks like when a resentful dog digs into the leather hide of a chair, that’s it: remarkably like baby powder as the hide starts to show when the dye of the leather is scratched off.

Yes, I don’t understand what makes people like Barb put up with those bratty dogs…

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