For a time when I was a teenager I lived with my grandmother, who was a cat lady. She had a boatload of cats, and many had the unfortunate habit of spraying in the house to mark territory. She was always yelling at them, but it was hopeless.
One day I had a first date planned with a really hot guy, and I was so excited. The young man arrived to pick me up, stepped into the house, and my dear grandmother picked that exact moment to yell at one of the cats, “Don’t pee on the furniture!”
My date didn’t bat an eye and shouted back, “Okay, I won’t!”
He was a keeper.
I was thinking about how many of us are occasionally embarrassed by the behavior of our furbabies. So, I asked my trusty Facebook friends to share with me things their animals did to cause them embarrassment. These were some of the replies:
Kate Phillips Ellis said, “Several years ago I picked up a bitch at the airport. I cut the ties and let her out of the crate. She promptly leaped up on me. As I pushed her back, her front feet caught the waistband of my shorts (I was planning to go to the gym) and she yanked them right down to my ankles. UGH. There was an elderly man standing there. As I struggled to regain my shorts (and composure) he offered to buy me a Coke.”
Along the same lines, Loretta Vojtech said, “Our dog, Bud, ripped my mother’s shorts off at the end of an agility run. ‘Twas a bit breezy!”
(As an aside, my own Australian Shepherd puppy pulled down my sweat pants while trying to herd me. This happened in the back yard in front of my neighbors. No one offered to buy me a Coke, though.)
Marie Mitchell’s dog peed on the head of a smaller dog at the dog park.
Danielle Gergely’s dog, Jess, at her first puppy class, did the following: “All the other puppies were nice little puppies and sitting with their owners quietly and behaving. Jess was running around like she was on speed and couldn’t be calmed down. Once the class actually started and all the other ‘good’ pups were doing their sits, she walked to the middle of the room and peed in the water bowl. From then on, we didn’t see the point in being embarrassed by anything she did.”
Fran Martinez said, “My most embarrassing time was when I took my cattle dog to school to visit with the other moms and their dogs, and my dog peed on my brand new shoes…true! I was speechless.”
Hmmm. I sense a pattern here.
In my novels I have included scenes about the colorful canine characters both peeing inappropriately and pulling down pants. In my comic chick-lit novel, RED HOT PROPERTY, Talisman the Australian Shepherd lifts her leg like a boy dog and pees inappropriately to make personal statements. In my young adult vampire novel, GLORY, Hallelujah the Australian Shepherd pulls down Glory’s sweat pants in front of a young man, thus revealing a leopard-skin thong. He doesn’t bat an eye and is very gentlemanly about the whole affair. Later someone asks Glory if Hallelujah did anything to redeem herself for the incident. Glory replies, “Well, she did end up eating that dreadful thong.”
Amazing how they can endear themselves to us by doing something else naughty, isn’t it?
I remember when I wrote those scenes, I wondered if they were over-the-top. Apparently not! The beauty of our special bond with our pets is that, despite it all, we still love them passionately. Truth is often stranger than fiction.
Copyright © 2011 by Devin O’Branagan
Thanks to all my fabulous Facebook friends who provide me so much inspiration. Please join me on Facebook so I can pick your brain for my blogs, too! Here is the link to my page: http://www.facebook.com/devin.obranagan
Devin O’Branagan is the author of the RED HOT novels, a hilarious chick-lit series, and the legend of GLORY, a young adult vampire series. Devin is crazy passionate about animals and her books abound with marvelous four-legged characters. Devin is a member of the Dog Writers Association of America, and lives in Colorado.