What do you do when someone gives you a present that you don't actually want? I am such a bad liar, so I can't fake enthusiasm over things (or people for that fact) that I don't like. It is especially bad when it is a thoughtful (at least from the giver's view point) and expensive present to your kids and THEY like it...
"A" came and took my boys out to the pet store - the idea being to buy fish to replace the ones they had before that were electrocuted when the pump short circuited... I didn't even know such a thing could happen, but apparently it can. They came home with a dog - a puppy.
I am not a dog person, which I feel sort of bad about because in general they are pleasant animals that like anyone who is nice to them and they can be quite useful and helpful for people with certain disabilities. When you get a puppy, usually it is a given that if you treat it right, feed it, play with it, etc, it will love you - unlike a cat where even if you raise it from a kitten and pamper it, it might just not be that nice to you or anyone else - and will probably hate your kids - especially the small ones who pull their tails and try to ride them (of course some cats are very sweet, but you never know what you are going to get until they are all grown up when it is too late to give them back). But my problems with dogs are - 1) they stink - they have bad breath, they eat anything and everything (and their breath smells like it) and they do not clean themselves, so unless you do it on a fairly regular basis they will smell like everything they sniffed, rolled in, and stepped on; 2) puppies - unlike kittens do not come with an inborn only- poop-in-the-sand-and-bury-it-instinct, so until you "train" them, they will poop and pee anywhere they feel like; they lick you - I do not enjoy saliva baths; they jump all over you so you have to go change your clothes - or at least I feel I have to as I feel instantly dirty (same goes for when they lick me or I pet one- I must then go and immediately clean the area of my hand or body that touched or was licked by the dog). I have a cousin who loves her dogs like they are her children - they sleep in her bed; she thinks it is cute when they lick the lotion off of her legs... I can't relate to that at all.
Anyway, the boys were ecstatic and "A" was quite pleased with himself for giving them something that they had never had. "Where I am supposed to put this?" was my first question. He informed me that my spare room would be a great idea - I informed him that it would not be staying anywhere in the house. He told me I was being negative. I told him that I am not keeping some puppy which I have no idea if it has been potty trained or how it will behave in my house in a room with my art supplies and other stuff that I not yet unpacked from the move.
As we "discussed" this, the dog - that they named "Billy" because they thought she was a boy was sitting shyly by the door giving all the appearance of being a meek, mild mannered, quiet little thing so "A" thought I was being unnecessarily mean in banishing her to sleep in the courtyard, but that is where she slept - or rather moaned - all night. In the morning when I went out, she was sitting on the front steps - where apparently she had been all night - teething on the front door.
I was secretly glad to find out when I came home from work that day that when "A" had come and left his sandals on the front stoop before entering the house, that she had eaten them. I was less glad to learn the next day, when I came home from work, that she had also eaten my maid's slippers and my son's track shoes and had bitten through 2 leashes. When "A" was informed about this, he had to admit that perhaps my refusal to keep her in the house had a been justified given her destructive nature, and that maybe she was a bit of a handful.
She also turned out to be something of an escape artist. Every night, no matter what she was constrained with (so that she would not roam the court yard wreaking havoc on whatever she could find), she either bit through it or found a way to get out of it. So I got a chain - no way she could get out of a metal chain right? Wrong. The chain was fastened to the top of the wall with a leather strap. She climbed on chair and managed to reach the leather strap and bite clean through that. After that her chain was attached the big chain of an old metal anchor that I have in the courtyard (don't ask why I have it) she COULD NOT bite through that - which made her furious so she screamed half the night and ran in circles around the anchor trying to find a way out of the situation. When I came out in the morning, she was glaring at me sullenly from where she was wedged between the anchor and the wall with no room to move because she had got her chain all tangled up. So we have decided to have a dog house built for her...... let's see how that goes...