Get a dog, they said. It will be fun, they said. Actually, I don’t remember having that conversation with anyone. In retrospect, I probably should have. But, honestly, I didn’t need to. I know what having a dog entails. It’s a shit show. Literally. And I use that word in the most incorrect sense, despite Merriam Webster having redefined it’s meaning. I literally found feces on my uncovered sham today. Yup. Hudson did a swipe on the day my laundry was out and now I have to burn it with fire. No biggie, obviously it’s an effing pillow, but welcome to my life. Ever been questioned by the police about your dog paralyzing wildlife in central park in front of a family of French tourists? Well, you’re missing out.
Here we are. Me and Hudson. As I write this, he’s squeaking his toy within a toy that we received from Barkbox. Don’t know what that is? Well, it’s an absurdly priced dog toy delivery subscription service. Barkbox figured out that some dogs can tear through their bizarrely themed accoutrement (each month the recipients get a box with toys, terrible treats, and a theme so outrageous only drugs could be the culprit) in all of 0.5 seconds. I’m guessing via a barrage of complaints from insane dog owners like me. To remedy the problem, the geniuses at Barkbox didn’t try to assemble an assortment of more durable toys, they simply had toys inserted into other toys piñata-style. So, while I’m vacuuming debris from the Egyptian prom king Hudson has syphoned all the stuffing out of, he’s in the kitchen with toy King Tut and is squeaking the shit out of it. Tuesdays are wild around here.
I recently attended a wonderful Labor Day party where I was able to catch up with friends I have been neglecting for months. I am a single dog mom, didn’t you know? I discovered that an old friend purchased a house (impressive) and is hoping to add a dog to the mix (idiotic). Having had the apropos five glasses of rose at this point, I was to be the voice of reason. I assured her, as I showed her picture after video after picture of Hudson, that it would be a mistake. She wasn’t swayed, and honestly, kudos to her. It’s a whole new world with an 80 lb shit swiper on your hands, one you can’t explore because you’re at home scream-pleading with his bowels to shut off.
I love my dog. I have a necklace engraved (the hand-stamping was $2 extra on Amazon, #treatyoself) with his name on it that I wear every day. I worry about him constantly and love him like Captain Von Trapp loved his kids, red-faced with a whistle clenched between his teeth. Truth be told, if things had turned out differently in other parts of my life, raising Hudson wouldn’t have been so hard. But here we are, and things are looking up. He may have ransacked my laundry today, but instead of chewing the crotch out of every Hanky Panky thong I own ($20 each—he’s $300 in the hole already this year), he simply scattered them about the apartment like one might do with Easter eggs for children under the age of 4. Unfortunately, there weren’t any real eggs involved. On second thought, Hudson would never eat a hardboiled egg, as he prefers his slowly scrambled with salt and dill. Facts.
Anywho, like I said, things are looking up for H and me. Anna, my angel-voiced roommate and now by proxy dog co-parent, loves Hudson. She grew up with shepherds. I know everyone says their dog is different, but truly sheps are a different breed and a different bear. Kick a lab in the head and they’ll assume you’re showing affection. Kick Hudson in the head and he’ll assume it’s showtime and your ass is grass Sea Bass. He accidentally bit through my fingernail one night during a game of tug last year. His teeth cut so close to the bone I almost had to bribe my best friend’s husband (a surgeon, at least) to do back alley surgery so I didn’t get necrotizing fasciitis.
We’re figuring it out, though. We run every day together now, or at least when it’s not as hot as hellfire. I wake up in the morning to his face—more accurately, his eyeballs staring straight into mine hoping to defibrillator-style electrocute me into action. Hudson has some chill, thank god, which makes apartment living somewhat okay for a big dog like him. He loves a nap. All of the naps. In fact, I think his fondest memories of the past year were when I was sick and he could laze about and join me for pretzel goldfish and BBC Pride and Prejudice marathons. He loves a good period piece.
So, to everyone who wants a doggo in the big bad city: Proceed with caution (don’t do it). Make sure you know that it’s like having an eighth of a child (everyone with an actual child will scoff at that remark—scoff on, moms). You will not even leave your room without thinking about it’s needs. Certainly not when they’re throwing up blood in two-hour increments all night and day for three days. Side note, I did teach Hudson how to vomit into a turkey pan, given we’re in a fifth floor walkup, and it’s probably the best trick he knows. And for those that know Hudson, that’s saying something. He was recruited at Staples to be on the show Seal Team, after all. Seriously.
Get the dog. Have a plan. Take good care. We aren’t worthy of their love and life, which in the end is so fleeting. The bedspins Hudson does when I get home (if he hasn’t chewed yet another pair of my Oncloud running shoes) are what dreams are made of. Scraping his dumps off of Columbus Avenue whilst being heckled by half nude homeless men isn’t. But life isn’t always rainbows and sunshine. Gag. In reality, dogs truly are one of the greatest lights of my life—just make sure you’re ready for the work.
So, don’t get a dog. Got it. You’re getting one anyways. Fine. Promise me you won’t get a doodle of any genre. Perfect. Godspeed and may the power of every vacuum and shout stain remover be with you. I’ll send you a candle to congratulate you—you’ll need it.
P.S. Get a crate. It will save you.