Monday, December 04, 2006

Dog Fan

I asked my wife to help me revise a novel. I’m trying to up the conflict between the two main characters, hoping to add more drama to the love story. Our conversation went something like this:

“There needs to be a dog in this book.”
“I didn’t ask you to make it a dog story, I asked you to suggest how to beef up the conflict.”
“I know, they have an argument because he doesn’t want the dog to sleep on the bed.”
“Honey, it’s a novel, not an autobiography.”

Herein lies the only reason we are not a perfect match for each other. I think dogs are animals; my wife thinks they are darling children that just happen to have an overabundance of body hair.

On her desk she keeps several photographs. There is a black and white one of the girls in a plain brown frame, a black and white one of me in an even more boring black frame, and then a life-size color portrait of Princess in a large pink frame adorned with a silver crown on top. My wife is what I call an extreme dog fan.

The other day, after returning home from a difficult workout at the gym, I decided to soak in the tub. I had almost fallen asleep when I heard something bumping across the tile bathroom floor. I looked over and saw Princess dragging a hair dryer toward me. When I told my wife her dog tried to kill me, her first concern was whether the pup had strained herself pulling the hairdryer.

Once when watching a Dog Whisperer episode about a pooch named Prada whose owner was convinced the dog was depressed so she sent it to a pet therapist and a pet acupuncturist, my wife exclaimed “Do you see how much she loves her dog?” I wonder what the woman’s husband thought when he saw that episode.

To be fair, the extreme dog fan phenomenon is not limited to women. I know a guy with a Saint Bernard the size of a horse that rides in the front seat of his Lexus, and then there is a friend who takes his pet to a special school. One that gives dogs swimming lessons.

As you might guess, I am not an extreme dog fan. Please tell me I am not the only one. Does your dog eat Kibbles or foie gras? Sleep on the floor or on your finest sheets?

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