Confessions of a Beverly Hills (adjacent) Dog Owner

I kind of wanted a baby.  I just wasn’t ready to break my vagina and gain 30 pounds.  Also, I enjoyed sleeping, and being the center of the universe.  So I adopted a little dog instead. Specifically, I ordered him before he was born and spent the next six weeks wringing my hands.

I badgered the breeder weekly, sometimes daily, like she was a surrogate who may change her mind the minute the (fur) baby was born.

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She hated me.

I hated her for hating me.

Then Rigby was born.

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I became “that” dog owner.  I didn’t let him out of my sight for longer than seven minutes, and I took him to work with me every day.  When he was a year old I was satisfied he was a “big boy” and could go to doggie daycare.  I dropped him off every morning on my way to work.  With his lunch.  And a snack.  The daycare providers knew both of us by name.  They loved Rigby.  Me not so much…I was the doggie mom who wanted detailed information about his day including his bowel movements, manners, and whether or not any other fur children hurt his feelings.

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Vacation destinations were chosen based on whether or not our only son would be welcome.105-0540_IMG

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All furniture was his furniture.IMG_5631_1

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Even Christmas revolved around him.IMG_5501

When I later became a consultant and only worked 9am-1pm, it was still too long to leave my fur child home alone.  Obviously half-days at doggie daycare didn’t make sense, so I hired a dog nanny.  She took him to the dog park, the beach, and drove him around with the windows down because it made him happy.

Then the unspeakable happened:  Rigby developed a small lump on his hip.

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Naturally this required my undivided attention.

I took him to every veterinarian in the county trying to determine the cause of the lump, and how to cure it.  I was convinced it was “altering his personality and making him fearful and aggressive.”

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Every one of them noted the lump was in the EXACT location of his recent vaccination shot and said it would subside without treatment.  I shook my head and gave them stacks of helpful information I had printed from Google…

Having exhausted all western medicine options (because we were politely asked to have our veterinary needs met elsewhere), I turned to a more Eastern philosophy.  Yes, a homeopathic canine expert who specialized in herbs and emotional remedies.  She came to our home to perform her miracle work once a week.  For $100 per visit.  Not including the supplements.

Each session lasted about 15 minutes.  She rubbed flower essences on Rigby’s hip and gingerly dropped special tinctures onto his tongue while I looked on with great concern.

The lump eventually subsided and I counted it among one of my greatest victories.

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Fact #1:  the lump would have eventually disappeared on its own, without investing thousands of dollars in dandelion oil.

Fact #2:  Rigby was still fearful and aggressive – probably because I was the most neurotic dog owner in the history of California.

Fact #3:  As I look back on all this I’m rolling my eyes so hard I can see my own hypothalamus…

But here’s the part that really makes no sense:  

All of this doggie drama is a radical departure from how animals were treated when I was growing up.  Vets were for rich people, and dog food was for stupid people.  That’s what table scraps are for.  Neutering and spaying were considered “cruel” and “unnatural,” and we’d sooner cut off a dog’s legs than put a leash on it.  “They’re animals goddammit!”

Our pets disappeared for days or weeks at a time without warning.  IF they returned, they were bloody, emaciated, and sometimes pregnant.  Heartworms were an inevitable tragedy, ringworms were standard for pets and children, and a dog with no fleas was as ridiculous a notion as a dog with no asshole.

Yet somehow I ended up being the obsessive jackass who spent $400 trying to keep a $4 Betta fish alive and collapsed in on myself when our hamsters died.

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This is why I don’t judge the fur mommies and daddies of the world.  We might seem a little wacky, but we’ll go to the ends of the earth for anything we love.  How can that be bad?

Friday was Rigby’s birthday.

I miss that little guy.

I hope he had a birthday cake and ice cream.  And a piñata.

Comments

  1. Our Bichon has been a moneypit. She has the most bizarre ailments. Bladder stones, she blew one of her thingamajiggy glands, and most recently, got stung by a bee and would not stop chewing it. Another $100 bucks. GAH!

    • Oh no!! A bee???? What in the world? Poor thing. And your poor wallet! My human child got stung by a bee on Friday. Cost me nothing haha! The world is a crazy place : )

  2. So you were 30 when your dog came into your life, and not a mother yet. Your daughter is already over ten – hey Molly, you are really THAT old??

  3. 400 dollars on the betta fish may have a been a little excessive, but completely understand on the dog.

  4. We got our dog from a breeder as well and we’d have done better to get a shelter dog. She’s got had a nasty disposition and would frequently growl at and bite me. I felt no love at all but my daughters would rather get rid of me than the dog. First we tried behavior classes. Then one-on-one training at the local PetMart. THEN having someone come to our house and observe. Can you imagine what all that COST? Finally, we turned to drugs. She is now on doggie Prozac. 1x per day and she’s is a different animal entirely. I haven’t been bit since spring. Best $8/month I’ve ever spent. But I still hate her.

    I’m sorry. What was the question?

    • Hahaha omg doggie Prozac! I totally forgot about that – Rigby had that also of course. When he was nervous it just made him vibrate a little more slowly, but it didn’t resolve his stress. It just added to mine, because he looked like a broken sex toy. Anyway, I’m glad your silly dog stopped biting you – hooray! And yes, I can imagine how much all that cost. You were really dedicated! Your daughters have a really good dad : )

  5. Rigby seemed to have mastered that debonair, madcap, terrier-about-town posing style.
    Especially that shot by the window.
    Hilarious…

  6. Based on my dog ownership (she was a crazed animal who would break into dorm rooms and eat chocolate covered coffee beans, whole chocolate cakes, chocolate chip muffins by the dozen- and that was just one excursion!) I thought I’d never be a good and patient kid mother. Actually, come to think of it, I’m not all that patient and good with my kids for the most part. But I’m a hell of a lot better at kids than dogs.
    Loved this post! Brilliantly funny, as usual.

    • Omg I can’t believe that dog didn’t die after eating all that chocolate!!!! If you’re patient AT ALL with four kids under your roof, you get a medal in my book : )

  7. Happy Belated Birthday, Rigby.

    And man, do I get it.

  8. I love my dog to pieces. We adopted him and he is the cutest, most handsome cocker spaniel in the world! The vet believes he is approximately six years old. He came to live with us about three years ago and we were told he was a “stud” who was rescued from a puppy mill. When we first got him he was in bad shape and was still recovering from the welts on his neck where his collar had become embedded due to neglect. We were told he was “house-broken” but despite our efforts we have not been successful with our training efforts. He now wears washable dog diapers whenever he is in the house. I am convinced we were “told” he was “housebroken” so we would adopt him. That’s OK. I love my boy and will never give him up. My boyfriend used to joke and say if I had to make a choice, I would choose the dog over him…I never answered him because he was right. I would never give up my dog. I love him way too much!

    • Sweet love. Doggie diapers are true commitment. Maybe the Dog Whisperer can help? Is that show still on? I’ll help you do an amazing video that features your dog peeing everywhere, and us getting drunk in the background. Total winner!

  9. Creepy.

  10. It makes some sense. Caring a lot

  11. SGWoodward says:

    Jack Russell or Brazilian Terrier? He was a handsome fella, for sure. It’s crazy how much we owner/mommies fall in love with these precious nuggets of canine sweetness. We have a Boston Terrier, Jackie Blue, and she is the sweetest dog ever! She’s my #1 girl.

  12. I doubt I will ever read/hear a more hilarious, brutally honest account from a neurotic dog owner.

    Dogs are members of the family, even when there are kids. Happy birthday Rigby!

  13. Oh! I had a chronically ill beta fish… It’s pretty stressful!

  14. Raven Alixis says:

    I feel the same way about my dog it’s ridiculous!!! But here is the thing I’m only 15 meaning I don’t control the money meaning every week when I find something possibly wrong with my dog I have to whine and cry to get a chance to take her to the vet because she walked funny and she sneezed

    https://stylishranter.wordpress.com/

  15. Raven Alixis says:

    But then again I would rather care too much then not at all 👏💁

  16. Our dog is much like one of our children, only better behaved. I totally get it.

  17. Glad I found your blog. I am a Mom to two fur babies and 1 human baby. I didn’t have pets growing up. We bought our first dog as a gift for my daughter and our second dog was a gift to me by my husband. Loki and Thor are their names. They’re very much a part of the family.

  18. My husband used to call our dog my “furry son.” I have two human sons, so that is how we could tell them apart. I also translated what I was sure my labrador retriever was saying for the benefit of the rest of the family. Like, when my hubby would call him a knucklehead, I would say, “He doesn’t think you’re funny.”

    Love your writing style; will be following. 🙂

    Melissa
    http://www.itsa50thing.com

    • Hahaha – love it! I totally believe you can speak for your animals. I mean that’s why you have a mouth – for words! It doesn’t matter who they belong to right??? Thanks for following, Melissa – nice to meet you!

    • pointlessboob says:

      I do the same thing! Why is it some men can’t speak fluent dog?

      Also … I love your writing MollyTopia! 🙂 subscribing.

  19. How did I miss this? Oh man, the things we do for our pets. We are heading out on vacation to Newfoundland in a week. My wife feels our grown children (staying behind for jobs) will not give the dog the care she deserves. So we’re driving her 14 hours down to Nova Scotia with us and dropping her off at my 85-year-old parents before catching the ferry. Because kennels: no.

    • Hahaha! Bless. That’s going to be a long ride for everyone involved. I totally get it – I have so many of these absurd tales it’s ridiculous. Hamsters, turtles, fish, squirrels. You name it. If I don’t retire on time it will be because of pets : )

  20. I lost it at the first paragraph hahaha! Thanks for making my day and for sharing how far you’d go for your son 🙂

  21. Rigby so cute ❤

  22. My husband and I have four pets! Our house is a never ending sea of fur, farts, and random sounds. I search hard for ways to post pictures of my animals on my blog and I am so proud of each and every one!
    And I wouldn’t have it any other way! Crazy pet owner forever!! 🙂

  23. pointlessboob says:

    Rigby looks like a rat terrier… is that right? I think my furdaughter may be part rat terrier. Well, three quarters rat terrier, one quarter chow hound. (Don’t anyone say the C-O-O-K-I-E word out loud.) She didn’t earn the nickname Piglet for nothin’.

  24. I am quite a bit like this with my cat ( whom you may notice is my avatar, and whom I bring up in conversations in which she is definitely not relevant )

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