Buddy the Wonder Dog is so smart that we taught him to ring a bell near the door when he wants to go out. GENIUS!
But now it’s the holiday season, and every time Buddy hears a Christmas bell, he pees. For real. You can stop laughing now. Seriously. Stop laughing.
So the housetraining has taken a setback. Actually, all the training has been in temporary remission because the child for whom we acquired the dog won’t do a fucking thing for the dog.
“Buddy thinks you’re his person,” the dog trainer said to me last week. And I’m all, DUH! I’m totally his person! I walk him. I pick up his enormous pony-sized poops. I give him treats. I
yell at him correct him.
The Pterodactyl is supposed to be his person, of course. The plan is for Buddy to eventually be the Pterodactyl’s service dog and help prevent his head from exploding. But perhaps Buddy in the end will be my service dog, which will be okay, because pretty soon I’m going to need one due to Domestic Psychological Impairment, a PTSD-like condition associated with housewifery and raising too many children. To qualify, Buddy will have to perform one task to assist me, so I’m going to teach him how to guard my personal space so I can take naps whenever I want.
My son does adore his new dog, and spends lots of time lounging around with him. But he’s only 8 years old, and not prone to chores, prolonged communication or regular hygiene. I would cut off my left hand to understand what he’s thinking at any given time – particularly when he’s gearing up for a incident. He starts stomping his feet, flapping his arms – I can see the panic in his eyes. As a service dog, Buddy’s role would be to help stave off that tantrum – to insert his soft furry head into my son’s hands, to apply pressure against his body in an effort to reassure him in a way I can’t seem to do.
Recently, the boy had a baby tooth extracted because the cavity was so deep it had caused an abscess. He’s not a big toothbrusher, that boy. The dentist gave him some laughing gas and a shot of novocaine, and this child who can’t stand to have a mosquito bite lay quietly in the chair for over an hour while big grownup fingers wreaked havoc in his mouth.
He came home slightly proud and confused, with an enormous tooth to put under his pillow that night.
The tooth is so big, with giant pointed roots that had barely begun to dissolve. I think it freaked the Pterodactyl out to look at it, and he was glad the Tooth Fairy hauled it away.
But the Tooth Fairy kept it. It’s right here in front of me, and I can’t stop touching it. I think I might keep it forever. You know, I spend so much time trying to figure out what’s in his head, and this bean-sized piece of enamel is the one thing I know for sure was there.