My family dog, Jade, stalks the kitchen and pounces on any dropped crumb or left-behind scraps from the kitchen table. She even raids the pantry when she thinks she can get away with it. And why does she do this? I seriously believe that she thinks all she has to do is eat enough “people” food and she will turn into a people.
So, last night, it happened. I was eating leftovers for a bedtime snack. Believe me, there aren’t many leftovers in a house with two teenage children living in it. I found some cheddar cheese chunks and a few stale potato chips. You know, the perfect snack for a diabetic whose blood sugar sometimes crashes in the middle of the night with a balanced snack of protein and carbohydrates. I stretch the definitions constantly. And Jade, the family dog, was watching intently with really large puppy eyes… every… single… bite… I… took. And when I got down to potato chip crumbs, about all number two son and the Princess had left me, I couldn’t help but let some slip through my fingers. Guess whose tongue washed the floor all around my feet. And, apparently, after chewing a hole in a bag of bread last week, the potato-chip crumbs put her over the magic number of people food calories.
“So, Dad, when are you going to teach me how to drive?”
I did a double-take. “I can’t teach you how to drive. You’re a dog. They don’t give any licenses to dogs other than dog licenses. Besides, you are only 4 years old!”
“You are going to teach Henry how to drive after his 16th birthday. And I’m 28 in dog years.”
“I am not letting the family dog drive my car. The insurance company wouldn’t like it.”
“But how am I going to go to the store and buy my own kibble?”
“You don’t have any money. You are a dog. How will you pay for the dog food?”
“Well, I could use Mom’s credit cards, right? That’s free money, isn’t it?”
“I already had to sell my soul to the Devil to keep up with Mom’s credit cards. Or was that Bank of America? I forget which evil corporation now completely owns my soul.”
“Well, I could get job.”
“What can you do? You don’t even have a pre-school education. Who will hire you for anything?”
“I’ll work cheap.”
“Every bag of dog food costs twice what you can make an hour at minimum wage. That means you have to work two hours to afford one bag. And what are your work skills?”
“I’m good at sleeping. I’m cute and cuddly. And I’m very good at pooping in the park.”
“There are no mattress-tester jobs that I know of. You don’t even want to know what kind of job that second thing would get you into. And if you are a people, no more pooping in the park.”
“No more pooping in the park? Those walks on the leash every day are what I live for.”
“And you will have to wear clothes from now on. We can’t have you going around everywhere naked, can we?”
“Dogs are meant by God to be naked all the time. Wearing people clothes is embarrassing.”
“Okay! Okay! I get it! My life as a dog is pretty sweet the way it is. But now that I am at least a part-time people… can you teach me how to open the refrigerator and work the can opener?”
I put my palm to my forehead. There’s not going to be much left to eat in the house from now on.