I’m Pretty Sure My Dog Tried to Drown Me and Other Reasons I Probably Should Never Be a Parent
While my sister was here for an impromptu visit last week, we quite frequently took our 4 — count ’em, four — combined mutts down to the lake near our house for some much-needed energy expenditure. On their part, not ours. Kelly and I were too busy downing Cazadores tequila and Squirts to expend any energy on much else.
(Oh, and I didn’t take any pictures while my sister was here because I’m a bad blogger. Bad.)
Now, my dogs love the water. They jump right in, splash around, dunk their heads beneath the surface to cool off, lap some up, etc. But Kelly’s dogs? Kelly’s dogs loooove the water. The chocolate lab swims around in circles while the little dopey (but I still love him) rescue mutt swims along the shoreline like a damn little beaver, and I’m pretty sure he’s taunting my dogs about the fact that they don’t go past the spot where they can reach the lake bottom.
Finally, I’d decided I’d witnessed enough mediocrity from my
children dogs. I waded in to just below the hemline of my shorts (didn’t want any of that pesky capillary action to take hold if the bottom of my shorts got wet), and used my sweetest, most enticing voice to call Capone, who looked more intrigued than Mara about the idea of possibly leaving the safety of the shoreline.
This is Capone.
He came as far as his legs would reach the bottom and let out a small whimper. So I extended my arms, smiled in encouragement, and said, “Swim, buddy! You can do it! Come to mama!”
And then he jumped.
Not a slight push off of the drop-off edge so he could paddle his way to me, but a flat-out LEAP from the water and straight into my waiting embrace. The problem is that my embrace wasn’t expecting to have over 50 pounds of muscular, soaking wet canine come barreling into it, and I was knocked flat backwards into the water as said canine continued to panic and use my body as a gripping post to claw his way to the surface.
I only bled a little.
Kelly laughed a lot.
After that I decided that maybe it wasn’t worth it to try to teach Capone to swim. Clearly, he wasn’t grasping the concept. What I didn’t realize is that Capone isn’t a take-this-in-baby-steps type of dog. If he’s going to do something, then he’s damn-well going to do it.
Fast-forward to yesterday’s walk. I try to take each dog on a 2-mile loop every morning. I don’t dare try to walk them both at once, and I let each of them off the leash for a bit at the lake so they can cool down. When I let Capone off his leash yesterday, he chased a couple of ducks into the water. Of course, he only pursued them as far as his legs would reach. They taunted him just a few feet beyond the drop-off, quack-laughing and probably saying, “Whew! Good thing that dog can’t swim!”
I watched him.
He watched the ducks.
Then he did something strange. He looked at me and let out a frustrated whine. And I’m not sure now, but I think I might’ve said something like, “Yeah… too bad you’re too much of a pussy to go after ’em.”
And that’s when he jumped. Except this time, there was no one there to catch him. Instinct immediately kicked in, and he paddled his little heart out after those ducks. He wanted those ducks. Surprised, the ducks kept swimming and flitting just feet outside his reach. Further and further from the shore.
My pride was quickly replaced by panic as I realized my dog, who’d never swum before, was now about 50 yards off the shoreline. I kicked off my shoes and socks and frantically waved and yelled from the water’s edge, yet I still didn’t go in after him. Finally — finally — the ducks flew off, and suddenly Capone realized he was in the middle of the lake. So he turned around and swam back.
I guess my point in telling you all this is to explain why I’d be an entirely inadequate mother. Aside from the reasons I wrote about here. I love my dogs. And you can bet I would’ve gone in after Capone if I’d sensed he was in trouble. But 50 yards is kind of a long way. Not to mention calling him a pussy. What kind of caretaker does that?
I’m also not very good at other mom stuff — especially the gross stuff. Especially the gross stuff that involves bugs.
Like today, Mara had a tick.
This is Mara.
The tick was on her ear. Now. I don’t know anyone who particularly likes ticks, but they rank pretty high on my list of the most repulsive things I’ve ever seen in this world. And I’ve seen quite a few things.
Unfortunately, I knew this probably couldn’t wait until Justin gets home from work. So I gathered the necessary supplies and called my sweet, trusting pup over to me, tweezers in hand.
I’m pretty sure I heard it let out a faint bug scream as its body burst between my tweezers when I yanked it from my poor mutt’s ear and dropped it into a vat — okay it was a cup — of frigid vodka I’d poured from the bottle in the freezer. (Okay, I poured it from one of 3 bottles in the freezer, but that’s not the point.) The point is, I’m not 100% positive I got the entire head out, but I’m willing to let closer inspection wait until Justin gets home because right now I’m still trying to shake the feeling that I have ticks crawling up and down my back and maybe I should check in the mirror one more time and I’m not sure if I can ever drink out of that cup again and why the hell do they have to look like such scary little aliens???
Also, I’m not sure I should waste any more money on flea and tick medication, because if I still have to go through trauma like this, what is the point?
So. Considering the fact that I’m lucky my dogs are even still alive at this point, I think actual motherhood might be out of the question. Unless they start making kennels I can just put my baby in when I leave the house…
Wait, that’s not cool. Not cool at all.