Saturday, March 10, 2012

Barking Mad

I love dogs. They're funny, loyal, generally sweet. I grew up with dogs of all shapes and sizes, so it's not that I don't like dogs.

I just don't like taking care of them.

Dogs are needy. They need to be walked to go to the bathroom, or else they make a mess in your house. They need to not only be fed and watered, but it needs to be controlled because they will stuff themselves. They require training. They are not independent. This is why I have always preferred cats.

Until I was robbed.

I came home from a late night at work the day before New Year's Eve 2011 to find my front door easy to unlock. I walked in and noticed some things on the floor that shouldn't be there... and my cat, Galadriel, was particularly loud. Something was wrong.

Someone had cut the patio screen open, broke open a living room window, RANSACKED my apartment, stole several important things (my grandma's ring, my beloved Canon Rebel G camera, my new laptop and new Nintendo Wii) and walked out the front door.

I was invaded. I was violated. And I didn't even know who they were.

The police were no help. In talking to neighbors, no one heard anything. My poor cat was traumatized. All of a sudden she hid from people coming to the place.

So I called my parents and asked for Lulu.

Now -- who is Lulu?

Lulu is the beagle my parents got at the Orange County SPCA when she was six months old.

From the minute I saw Lulu, I was in love. I always figured that if I got a dog, it would be a beagle.  My parents had decided, after their black lab died a year ago, to get a dog who could tell them if something was wrong in the house. My mom is not fond of the beagle howl, but Lulu was a generally quiet puppy at the shelter, and she was sooooooo cute!

As far as alerting my parents to problems in the house, Lulu fulfilled her primary role to a tee. Maybe too well.

Cat on the table? Howl!

My niece doesn't want to play anymore? Howl!

Squirrel in the yard? Howl!

Kids riding their bikes in the neighborhood? Howl!

See, the problem is, beagles are notorious for being tough to train. And Lulu is especially stubborn, and obnoxious.

That's in a house. Imagine Lulu in an apartment.

Can I survive this? Will my cat survive this? I'm determined to turn Lulu from an undisciplined beast, to a somewhat disciplined noble friend. She's halfway there. So far it's been quite a comedy. Won't you join me?

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