There are no bad owners, only bad dogs


I'll see your pie and raise you a yam.

I am living with a locust this week.

It's bigger than the one in the picture, and a good deal more difficult to talk to.

That's right! It's a teen-aged boy! I can't keep enough food in stock to satisfy this person whom I used to have to chase around the house with food, begging him to eat so I didn't get another "bad mom" sticker stuck onto his medical records. Well, that didn't really happen as far as I know, but the pediatrician did once write "Malnourished" on his records. This child weighed less than the cat when he was 2 years old. Granted, the cat was a magnificent beast, thick and stocky with tree-sapling legs and a 17-inch waist, but still, you'd expect a 2-year-old to weigh over 20 pounds. The kid just was always too busy to eat.

Now I have to hide food for myself or only eat crap he won't eat. And there's very little he won't eat lately.

The child still has a set of scars deeply embedded into his forehead from that cat. Buddy was very patient with the monkey, but only up to a point. The monkey liked Buddy better than anyone else on the planet. He would follow Buddy around chanting a mantra of "Buddy Bee, Buddy Bee..." and when Buddy stopped, monkey would hug him. Tight. Buddy would squeak in protest, then struggle free of the embrace. Buddy would tolerate about 3 hugs a day, then after that, it was time to bite the damn monkey. One day, monkey was on about his fifth cat hug and Buddy was at about the end of his rope, so when that hug came, Buddy just clamped onto the boy's forehead with all four canine teeth. And he didn't let go until that hug was done. To this day, when monkey raises his eyebrows skeptically (which he does constantly), I can see three deep divots where Bud's canine teeth went in. Did he stop hugging Buddy? Good gravy, no. Buddy was like pet crack to that child. It didn't matter how bad life got, he had to hear that squeak.

Buddy was acquired a lot like Buster was -- outside Garcia's Irish Pub on a freezing cold night in Buffalo. He was cold, so he rubbed up against the first sucker he saw (me) and I put him into the car and took him home. Then went back to the bar. Duh. Buddy was one of six pets that accompanied me on the two-day drive from Buffalo to Del Rio, Texas. Four cats, two dogs, two days in the car... It's funny how things just find their natural balance. All this time later I have two dogs and five cats. It's just my setpoint.

So anyway, the locust and I will be making chicken tomorrow in lieu of turkey because I refuse to cart a whole turkey home on the bus. I don't know if any pie will be involved or not -- I like pie, but I'm also quite lazy... Who am I trying to fool? Pie trumps lazy every time.

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