In a recent O Magazine I read that women surveyed prefer their dogs to their husbands and would marry their dogs if they could only be people. Forget the fact that the dog/person relationship is closer to parent/child, which makes this survey slightly indicative of Oedipal issues.
I mean Hopper’s handsome, don’t get me wrong. But he’s got this smallish (compared to a friend’s spaniel, I like to point out, much to Cowboy’s chagrin) slightly leaky penis (for which I’ve named him “Mr. Leaky Penis”), he’s definitely suffering from ADHD, and cat poop is one of his favorite snacks (when I turn my back).
I bet I could get used to all that — I’ve accepted worse in men.
But Hopper is not in love with me. In fact, Hopper is in love with Cowboy. It makes me want to kill them both.
What Hopper hasn’t processed correctly is that if I weren’t here, our little red state of a dog (he came from a shelter in Ohio where he was on his way to being euthanized until someone over at the Animal Refuge League saw him on the Internet and yanked him halfway across the country) would not be here, at least with us. On the very morning Hopper came up for adoption (thanks to my ceaselessly thorough Internet searching) I called up Cowboy, yanked him out of work, and we jumped in the car. Alas, in the time it took us to drive to Westbrook, someone had already put their bid in for him.
The truth is that there were two brown-and-black dogs I was interested in from their Internet profiles, where I was trawling for the perfect husband: one was named Buddy and the other GB, named for crate number GB 11 at the pound in Knox County. I was immediately pissed when a Refuge League worker told me there was an application on GB and that Buddy was going home with “this couple,” and she pointed to a husband and wife signing papers. I looked at them with hatred and marched into the back with Cowboy trailing behind me to see the dogs I’d been Internet dating.
We wanted Hopper immediately. He came to the cage with his sweet vulnerable face, his nose sensitive and wet, but, from what I understood, this was the dog who was getting signed away to those hateful people in the front office. I was confused about which dog was which, and feared the dog I had chosen on the Internet was being adopted out from under me. I marched back to the front office.
“Are you sure you want that dog? That’s the dog we want.”
“We came yesterday with our daughter. She picked him out.”
Cowboy is cowering somewhere over by the cat cages at this point.
“Yesterday? They weren’t even available yesterday,” I say, outrage mounting. “You can’t let people adopt dogs the day before the rest of us see them,” I say to the woman behind the counter.
“Lady, we’re trying to find these dogs homes.”
Cowboy pipes up behind me, “Uh, honey . . . I think the dog we want only has an application on him.”