Thursday, June 24, 2010

Why My Mommy is a Big Doo Doo Head

As (FINALLY) I sit down to write this post, I am reminded of a universal truth: kids pester the shit out of their parents, particularly when said child is told they can't do something. I've certainly been guilty of such behavior. Such as the near decade of Christmases when I asked my parents for ANY game system. Or the time we went to Florida and I somehow whined enough to convince the family to not eat seafood one night and have pizza instead. Or the dozen times I've literally packed a suitcase full of dirty clothes, flown home, and begged them let me do them.

Really though, at the end of the day, I was a fairly non-picky kid. Always ate my non-pea veggies, was usually respectful to my elders, blah de blah de blah.

But there was one thing that I wanted and desired more than anything in the world: a puppy.

I had always enjoyed a good dog, the more and more friends that I met who had them, the more and more I wanted one. An always happy, loyal companion who wanted nothing more than to play with and unconditionally love a certain overweight, underappreciated, and often pre-teen angsty child.

My dad grew up on a farm, and had owned somewhere upward of 1200 dogs in his life, so he was silently behind me and my siblings' desire for a quadrapedal, drooling companion. My mother, however, was a different story. I don't know what it was about the idea of injecting animal love into my family (likely a recognition of our general lack of responsibility. But wouldn't have a pet have taught us that?!). So all I ever got was a goldfish that lived for, I shit you not, seven years, despite my horrid, horrid care of it (think weekly feedings, a life mostly in the dark, etc. BUT THAT WOULDN'T HAVE HAPPENED WITH A PUPPY! They have built-in alarms to be fed.)

But I nearly got my wish one day thanks to a bit of adorableness from South Dakota. This is that story.


A few years back, my church youth group chose to go to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation for our semi-yearly mission trip. For those of you who don't know, reservations for Native Americans are some of the most impoverished places in the country, and Pine Ridge is one of the worst. Despite it being the eighth largest reservation in America, eighth largest reservation in the United States, it is also the poorest. Unemployment on the reservation hovers between 80% and 85%, and 49% live below the Federal poverty level (according to the ultimate source of knowledge and bringer of many sleepless nights, Wikipedia).

After a fun ride there, we saw huge amounts of poverty: everywhere we looked there were stray dogs, dilapidated houses, some houses with no running water or electricity, everything you can imagine and more. Even the mission we were staying at was run down. But it was held together by a lovely, admittedly Yoda-esque old lady named Arvella:

This is literally the only picture I have of her. She, like so many other do-gooders out there, hate getting their picture taken. I call it the Jesus effect. Don't see many photos of that guy outside of a piece of burnt toast, do you? Didn't think so.

In her care, along with a few Native American families or individuals who had nowhere else to turn, were two of the friendliest and sweetest dogs in the history of ever.

THIS IS HOW THEY FUCKING SLEPT. My heart exploded out of sheer "aww"ness, then was magically put together again by their enduring love.

As previously mentioned, I had always, always, always wanted a dog. My best friend had always had dogs, and so I was reminded of my familial inadequacy whenever I went over to his house, which was pretty much all the time.

And so, when I found out that Arvella had a third dog that she couldn't care for after her two dogs had *tear* found it, sick and alone running around, I was intrigued. Then I saw it:

And my forbidden (non-bestiality) love for Feather began.

We bonded like a grilled cheese sandwich and peanut butter.* He loved me and I loved him back. Picture Old Yeller, without the whole "shoot the dog" vibe. My dad, who was on the trip, was quietly very much the idea, but knew better than to say anything without consulting the Pukka Mahib back at home.

*A real thing, don't knock it 'till you try it.

So, one night, emboldened by Father's subtle hints that he wanted a dog hella bad as well, I called put on the pleading voice that anyone who has ever talked to, been, or raised a child knows well and tried to make a little magic happen.

SN: Moooommmm...?

SNM: I don't think so.

And that's pretty much how the conversation went. So when the time came for me to leave early (for football), I gave Feather a last loving embrace and pet, and went back to KC. And that, I thought, was that.

...Until, a couple days later, I went to meet the rest of the group when they arrived back at the church from the trip. Apparently, my friends had decided to take the dog in a cardboard box, stopped roughly a million times so that it wouldn't pee/poop in the car (it was mostly successful), all to bring me the dog.

After jumping up and down in excitement for a good 5-10 minutes, I traveled home with what I was sure to be my new puppy in my lap. I went up to my front door, held Feather up to my face and cuddled him, put on my best pout face:

and rang the doorbell.

(And yes, that is a chalkboard. In my apartment. Story for another time.)

My mom answered the door. She slowly smiled at me, taking in all of my sad, sad existence. Looked me straight in the eye, deep into my tortured, dogless soul, saw her bouncing baby boy, who had asked of her so little in his life aside from a few thousand dollars in private school tuition etc etc, and said those words that every child wants to hear:

"Sorry, but I don't think so."

*NOT. Yet likely the ones they hear the most.


And so there you have it. Why my mommy is a big doo doo head. And yes, she knows I use such language. I've even called her that to her face, and would do it a thousand times over again if it meant having a dog. No worries my lovely readers, the dog eventually found a home.

Just not my home....

*le sigh*

And this is the post I come back to. Now I need a furry hug. No creepy cavemen (or women) allowed. Or caveshemen. I really need to go to bed.


The Shanner of Attention said...

oh my - that's awfully sad. your mommy is a big doo doo head. (at least in this scenario).

now write something lighter. my heart hurts now. thanks.

Eleni said...

Aw, Feather is soo cute! I guess I was lucky that everyone in my family (my mom probably most of all) wanted a dog.

I can't have a dog now because my landlady doesn't allow pets. Not even fish. But some day I'll get my own puppy. And some day, you will too.

soft nonsense said...

@Shanner - I'll do my best. It's just that, sometimes, my heart aches for a puppy...

@Eleni - So unbelievably cute. And I've already told myself, Girlfriend, my family, and God Almighty that I am getting a dog the second I can (or a badass kitten, but no bitchy high maintenance ones).

Hey! Look Behind You! said...

That hurts my heart. Even I was able to trick my parents into getting me a dog. :(

Amber said...

I would've let you have the dog (obviously) but I admire how consistent your mother was.

Pat Tillett said...

A cute pup! Sorry about that.

soft nonsense said...

@HLBY - Yup. Although my generally happy-go-lucky posts don't usually belie it, I'm obviously the product of canine neglecting parents. Not to say that they neglected canines (BACK OF PETA), know.

@Amber - And that's why we would be total real-life biffles (the out-loud pronunciation of bfl's, obvs).

Wow, I really need to go to bed.

Pat Tillett said...

Sorry to send this here, but I don't have your email address.

As you already know, I've been posting stories (later to be chapters, I hope), relating to my experiences in boot camp. Due to some gremlins in blogger, most of them didn't show up on anyone's dashboard. (including mine). So I posted links to them on a page called "USMC Boot Camp," it's right under the header. They all posted this morning in one big batch. I'm not sending you this as "pressure" to read them, but rather to let you know they are there, if you want to.

Hope you are hanging in..I'll be back later!


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