(Or “No Good Deed Goes Unpunished.”)
So, beloved old friend and former roommate, you got a dog! Congratulations! Oh, wait: You work out of town four to five days per week, so that means I get to puppysit your Amazing Destruct-O-Matic! Well, okay, since you’re gonna be training him during your days off. Except that you don’t! I understand the importance of having a social life on your days off – that’s much more important than ensuring that the four-month-old, 45-pound German shepherd learns not to jump on, scratch, bite, and pin down the children who share this house! Nor should you sacrifice your expensive drinking and shopping habits to pay for food or vet care for the Amazing Destruct-O-Matic, since you have a roommate who won’t, in good conscience, let him go without! And hey! When the logical decision is made for Yours Truly to buy a smaller house for herself and the kids while you buy a place of your own in the city where you work, it’s okay to assume that I’ll keep the goddamned puppy while you put up a fence for him. And that I’ll buy his food, and give up the use of my own back yard to the Hyper Puppy from Hell. And just how long does it take to fence your 20x40 foot backyard? Well, so far, it’s seven weeks and counting… apparently because you spend your evenings and three-day weekends drinking and shopping (for something besides fence wire, obviously!) You have visited the dog exactly once, for two freaking hours, in the seven weeks since abandoning him! (And I can’t figure out why I still have your fish. He’s pretty big, too, but I don’t recall needing a fenced yard for goldfish?!)
Meanwhile, the Amazing Destruct-O-Matic has eaten a hole in my back door, pulled the insulation off the back of my refrigerator, chewed my waterhoses to shreds, chewed through several of the deck and stair banisters, and pulled a couple of feet of plumbing pipes out from under the house! He has bitten visitors to my home in his manic enthusiasm, and he’s now bigger than both of the kids, so I can’t safely bring him inside. I can only spend limited time with him outdoors, because he has hurt me repeatedly (sprained wrist while trying to control him, innumerable scratches - several infected, and a ruptured tendon in my forearm while trying to get him off the four-year-old. And I’m a photographer: If I can’t use both of my arms, I can’t work. If I can’t work, I can’t feed my kids, my dog, or your hellhound!) It’s not the damned dog’s fault, dear friend: This entire situation is YOUR FAULT. I love you quite a lot, but I can say one thing with no fear of being contradicted by reasonable people: You should not own a dog.
And getting back to that social life thing: Since moving, I’ve been forced to give up two weekend trips, since I can’t find anyone willing to puppysit your cur(sed) dog. I haven’t been able to use my back yard barbecue, I can’t put up the kids’ swingset or jungle gym, and the children can’t enjoy their own fenced, safe acre of back yard. (Instead, their outdoor play must be carefully supervised in the front yard, since the family business next door services semis and heavy equipment, and their is some amount of traffic to worry about.) I sleep at odd stretches, since the puppy (naturally) gets lonely and starts barking every couple of hours. Even my own 12-year-old (well-behaved) dog is limping around, since his poor old arthritic legs get chewed by the puppy.
I’d really, really hate to end a 20-year friendship over something so stupid, but, Dear Friend, if you don’t get your dog soon, there’s gonna be hell to pay!