So I still have Pigpen the Boxerbeast. He's currently eight months old and I've managed to keep him alive since December, a miracle considering that my previous record for sustaining life is a tie between a packet of sea monkeys* and a now-withered tangle of brown tendrils that may have once been a geranium.**
Before The Pig, my only previous animal-ish experience was in the 8th grade with a trio of goldfish that were an impulse buy at Wal-Mart. Read that sentence again. I purchased pets at a store that also sells belt sanders and beefaroni. They'd been in my care less than a week before they offed themselves, leaping out of the bowl to their deep-pile carpeted demise. I got home from school, walked into my room and found them on the floor, all three staring at me with the kind of vacant, unblinking expression I wouldn't see again until I started watching The Hills. My mother, ever resourceful, wrapped them in aluminum foil and placed them in the freezer until she could take them back to the Wal.
Two days later, she marched to the customer service counter with the still-frozen goldies and demanded a refund, deeming the fish defective. I can't imagine that there's any sort of quality control for creatures that cost less than a Big Mac, but she un-foiled the fish, flashed her receipt, and got three bills back.
The transaction finished, she wrapped them back up and handed the mentally unstable fish to the mentally unstable Customer Service rep who placed the foil-wrapped bundle in the pocket of her blue vest like they were loose change or starlight mints.
We did not replace them.
Anyway, I still have this dog and he's still determined to systematically destroy everything I own. I used to have a very nice leather sofa whereas now I have an incredibly shitty leather sofa. He's unintentionally shredded the cushions with his claws, so it looks like I spend my weekends getting freaknasty with Freddy Krueger. I read online that I could repair all of the scratches with olive oil so the sofa got EVOO'ed last night***. It looks marginally better but my entire living room now smells like Olive Garden. When you're here, you're family! Which means I'll probably ask you for money.
ANYWAY, yesterday morning my eyes snapped open at 4:45 when he planted a paw in my earhole. We took a long pre-dawn walk, I cooked him breakfast with no hog, then I went for my run. I came home to this bit of performance art:
He managed to rip his bed into a worthless cumulonimbus of cotton and corduroy. Then he peed on it, as if to say "Don't even try duct taping this back together, bitch".
This is not the first bed he's ruined--not even the first one this week****--but it was the last one I had. Several hours later when it was worky work time, I robbed a mat from the guest bathroom and placed it in his crate, thinking "surely he can't wreck this". I was wrong.
R.I.P. Bath Mat. You were absorbent but not immortal. And I'm sorry that you, too, were peed on.
What can I do? I feel horrid leaving him locked up all Gimp-like, but the one time I experimented with unsupervised playtime, I learned that he can't be trusted. He chewed a chunk out of the door, shat on the ottoman, and shredded the latest issue of Men's Health, literally licking Mark Wahlberg's face off...although I can't fault him for that last one. I was going to do the same thing.
But, for reals, what am I doing wrong?? We walk at least 90 minutes a day spread over a couple of outings and a couple of nabes, so people don't assume we're homeless. He has plenty of toys that I rotate so he doesn't get bored, although he currently digs dryer sheets and my bras, probably because they're both the same size.
I remain hopeful that Cesar "D-Whisp" Millan will read this and if he's not shopping for pleated khakis or, uh, whispering, he'll swing by and solve things.
Until then, maybe I'll try again with the fish.
* At least I think they were sea monkeys. It could've just been a dirty glass.
** Or it may be Joan Rivers. I'm not sure.
*** I mistakenly told someone that I'd spent my Saturday night "rubbing some extra-virgin on the furniture" and they gave me a look that straddled confusion and pity.
**** He ripped up his bed when he was at the kennel last weekend. They pretended that they didn't notice, shoving the bed into a bag and--I assume--just hoping that I'd think that somehow it had been attacked by weevils between their driveway and my door.