It was snowing, no surprise for this winter. I was nobly ensconced in my comfy chair reading the latest Jo Nesbo thriller when Freeta Goodhome, our basset hound tugged at my pants leg. “What?” I said.
She had a catalog clenched in her slimy jowls. She jumped up and dropped it in my lap and used her formidable front paw to flip through the pages of the Hammacher-Schlemmer Early Spring Supplement catalog, stopping at page 66. She looked up at me and growled, “Look at this, spring is less than a week away and I need a new raincoat. Here’s the one I want.”
I picked up the catalog and sure enough, they were offering a raincoat for dogs that had a clear bubble hood over the head that ran to the tip of the dog’s nose. In the picture the clear bubble made the dog look lunar-ready, maybe capable of safely handling Level III toxins.
I looked down at her beady eyes, “So, what’s the problem? Do like you always do, drag the kitchen trash throughout the house, scratch on the doors, beg, threaten the carpet, and in the end you know we’ll do anything you want.”
“The problem is that the stupid sizes stop at 23 pounds.”
“So?” I said.
“One of my thighs weighs more than 23 pounds,” she said, “why don’t they make fashionable outfits like that for big-boned gals?”
“So when you say big-boned, you actually mean “eats anything that doesn’t run away from her.”
“Save the insults, Buster. What I’ve really got my eye on is the automatic pet feeder on page 22. You add a tiny microchip to my collar then every time I walk by my food dish; the lid pops open and offers me a little snack.”
“Your waistline tells me that purchase should not be a big priority.”
“Don’t get all catty on me,” she said, “speaking of catty, look at this on page 68. It’s a warming cat bed for cats up to 30 pounds. That’s stupid; a 30 pound cat sleeps wherever it wants. Once again though, there’s nothing sized for a 60-pound basset. I’d love a heated bed.”
“So the king-size Select Comfort bed that you hog every day doesn’t do it for you?”
“It’s cold when I climb into it and I have to share it with that other dog and then at night you come in acting like it’s all yours. But what I really want to know is why just cats? Why no heated beds for dogs? This is a clear case of species discrimination.”
“No, look,” I said, “page 33 has a night-stand doghouse and it says nothing about cats. It’s a good-looking piece of furniture and it could sit right next to the bed. Then at night you could relax safe and sound in your own space instead of draping your chubby butt across my space.” I spun the catalog around so she could see it.
She read the text and said, “You’d just love to stuff me in a wooden crate at night, wouldn’t you?”
“Yep, I’d do it quick as a bunny.”
“Speaking of bunnies, isn’t it about dinner time? See, if I already had my automatic pet feeder, you wouldn’t have to disturb your book or get out of your recliner.”
I looked at her, already heading for her non-automatic dish. It’s a tough life.