You Talking To Me?
This column originally was published Feb. 8, 2012.
Probably one of the best things I did in 2011 was to get a family dog. I’ve always loved animals, but there’s something about a dog that is so endearing. Maybe the fact that my wife, my mom and I were all born in the Year of the Dog has something to do with it. Then again, maybe it’s just that our dog Buddy has captured our hearts.
Of course, dog ownership comes with a lot of responsibility. I never thought I would so willingly pick up dog poop or laugh off chewed-up furniture in our house. If you own a dog, you know what I mean. My entire family is smitten by him, which is great, except it wreaks havoc on my interspousal communication.
Last week it was time for us to have Buddy neutered. I was hesitant at first, but after all the benefits were explained to me, I willingly took him in myself. When he came home it felt as though we were caring for a sick child. Buddy was getting the maximum level of pampering. That night I was sitting within earshot of my wife.
In a melodic voice I heard her say, “Sweetheart, would you like something to eat?” I immediately answered, “Sure, what did you have in mind?”
My “high” was interrupted by a bite of the reality sandwich. Her voice changed, “I wasn’t talking to you, I was talking to Buddy!” The same thing happened several times over the course of two days, where she would say something and I thought she was talking to me, but Buddy was the target of her immediate affection.
By day three I was already trained not to respond to her as I assumed she was talking to Buddy. That morning, as I headed off for work, I heard her say, “Aren’t you going to give me a kiss?” When I didn’t respond, she raised her voice and said, “Honey, I’m talking to you. Aren’t you going to kiss me goodbye?” I did and headed out the door, and then heard her say, “Later tonight I’m going to give you a treat.” Unsure whom she was talking to, I did an about-face and handed her my pen and a piece of paper.
Like a puppy dog, I begged, “Can I get that in writing?”