Is He Cute? Or Is He Not?

In my house, he lives. By and large people love him, he’s just so cute they’re helpless not to, they say. I’d say they ought to spend a night with him, just an hour or so late in the night when the world’s asleep and they’d realize, I should think, the error of their thoughts pretty much instantly. If they don’t, well then, all I’ve got to say to them is ‘seriously?’

Cute he is not. I refuse to acknowledge the intelligence of anyone who’d think—much less call—him cute. How can he be cute when all he does is make weird noises and not let you sleep?

And before you run your horses amuck, I’ll clarify that he is a dog.

Those of you who’ve had, or have pets, will know what I am talking about. When you get a pup into your family, that first day, what’s it like? I’d figure you’d be excited, just a little nervous, lots of happy. In the first few hours, or if you’re lucky enough, for a few days, you’d feel so.

A pup, for all his little size, doesn’t make little noises. In day time the noise isn’t much of a bother. It’s at night that the pups usually go crazy. They’re smart. They don’t start at random. No my friend, these icky rascals wait until you sleep. Then they start yapping, loud enough to disturb your sleep but soft enough that it doesn’t wake you up. In time, the yapping increases in frequency and pitch. Obviously, sleep for you is now a distant dream. But he stops just as you wake up. You sigh in relief and fall back into sleep. He starts again. You wake up. He stops and the cycle continues.

You can probably try picking him up and letting him sleep on the bed. Though I’ve no personal experience at that—mom would have lynched me otherwise—it worked in the movie Marley and Me. Not that a movie is a reliable source. What I did the first time when my sleep was harassed was try and talk it out. Stupid, I agree. In any case, it backfired. If I talked, the puppy was quiet. If I didn’t, he wasn’t. As luck would have it, mom got mad at me, not him. Poor me!

At dawn, it won’t be an alarm clock that wakes you, but his slobbery kisses. Did I mention doggy breath isn’t the nicest thing to smell first thing in the morning?

Some puppies don’t like water. Mine hated it. So you had to hold him down to give him a bath and he never went down without a fight. Then there’s the chewing. Dogs chew, happy, sad or bored, doesn’t matter.

They love to chase. Mine makes a sport out of chasing cows, and even after getting kicked a dozen times by them, he doesn’t stop. He likes rolling in cow-dung, too. My sister, when she was kid, used him for a pillow and he wouldn’t move a muscle. With me, though, he couldn’t stay still. He likes to guard, so much so that if he isn’t tied inside the house he’d race after us wherever we went. Once he followed my dad to office and my dad was driving. Thank heavens he never got a chance to follow me to school. Now that I think of it, I realize it would have been interesting to have him show up in my class.

Those were the days. It’s a hard and fast slide into love with these mischief-makers. Dogs are sneaky, I tell you. They just creep right into your heart and you won’t realize until you’re a goner.

I’d say a dog makes a wonderful friend and as a side benefit he feels good when you cuddle or nuzzle.

Today when absolute loyalty is in fact somewhat of a novelty, these amazing creatures have it in stacks. Experts can talk about pack dynamics and the why’s. I just don’t care for the reason behind it. They’re loyal and loving and that’s that.

They’re in our lives for such short albeit fantastic time, it’s probably childish to grumble but nature has been unfair. I can’t help but wish they’d stay with us forever.

I don’t understand people who are cruel to pets. I am not a violent person, for most part, but if I could I’d roast such people in oil, one body part at a time or slice them into pieces, a piece a day and leave the leftovers to rot or lock them up in an isolated, snowed room and let them drown in their own fluids (HAPE effect! You know that movie vertical limit, where the old heartbroken and vindictive man talks about how water fills in your lungs and kills you bit by bit when he comes across his wife’s corpse). I can come up with a number of grisly scenarios for such people. You should, too. It’ll give you sadistic pleasure thinking about it. And guess what, it’s criminal to miss out on pleasures!

So is he cute? It pains me to say this, but Hell yes! Even when he’s being a general pain, victimizing your sleep, destroying furniture and what not, he never ceases to be cute. I guess I should say ‘seriously’ to me now.

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