When you have a child, an unintentional hierarchy gets created and it goes: baby, you and your spouse, and then dogs. Macie, our cocker spaniel, decided recently that she needed to be more creative in getting my attention. I was washing the dishes with Charlotte in tow and Macie comes through the doggie door with a mouthful of animal and proceeded to proudly plop it on her bed. I like to think that I am a pretty rough and tumble girl; I have never worn makeup while camping and I would bait my own hook, if I ever went fishing. That being said I don’t do blood and guts in my kitchen. In one gagging motion, I picked up Charlotte and shooed Lola, our beagle, and Macie in the front room. I quickly went over to our neighbor’s house, because in my book, borrowing a cup of sugar and asking for help removing a dead animal carcass from your house is roughly the same thing. They didn’t answer. Back at home, hiding behind the couch made it unclear whether or not the animal had moved. I started panicking that it was injured, justifiably pissed and loose in the house. I opened the door to let Macie back in the kitchen. She ran in and picked it up. I told her to go outside, a command that I didn’t realize she even knew, since she is the pretty but dumb blonde in our family. She dropped the animal on the tile and ran directly outside. Good dog.
I called my pregnant sister in-law to ask for some advice. She said she would be right over with a shovel. I should mention that at one of our family functions we all took turns bench pressing her. Since I was already feeling like a helpless weenie, I called my vet because I wondering if there was some sort of home remedy I could spray in Macie’s mouth in case she licked Charlotte later that day or anytime in the next 18 years. My vet seemed confused that I was concerned for my daughter’s health and well-being and told me that for $1200 we could bring Macie in for a full sedated dental exam. I laughed into Charlotte’s belly, which made her laugh. I’m sorry did you say $1200? But what about Macie’s college fund? My sister in-law arrived and managed to dispose of the dead bird, while I wrangled the dogs and the baby, or rather, I pretended to look busy.
The next best thing to hosing Macie down and having her lap up Listerine was taking her to the groomers. While walking back to the car, we were at a stoplight and gentlemen leaned out of his car window and proceeded to leer in our direction. Oh brother, here we go.
“You have a beautiful cocker spaniel!”
I didn't really know what to say when of the three of us, he complemented my dog. If he’d hollered at me, I would have made a secret documentary while walking down a crowded city street just to see how many people I could outrage by the objectification of women (too soon?). If it were directed at my baby, I would have blushed and said thank you because after all, I created that life form and when someone calls her adorable what they are really saying is, you have great genetics and are a fantastic mom! Thank you for choosing to reproduce! But it was said to Macie. I guess I feel proud because as her owner I have succeeded in not allowing my dogs to look homeless and so I decided to put that in the win column. Thanks for the cat-call.