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Snow on his dupa (12/12/2010)
By Frances Edstrom

The dog-who-must-not-be-written-about-The-Second wants to be adopted by another family. I returned home from work the other day to find that he had broken out of the pantry, where he is sequestered (we removed the door after he ate the veneer from it, and put up a gate) and was sitting in the den, staring intently at the computer.

“I’m thinking San Diego, Albuquerque, Key West or Las Vegas,” he said.

I decided to skip the lecture about being in the den when we aren’t home. “Planning a vacation?” I asked.

“No, I need to leave Minnesota. I can’t stand all this snow. Nobody told me about snow. I can’t believe it. Even my mother! How can a mother not tell her only son about snow?” I did feel sorry for him. He seems to be approaching puberty (in dog-years), and as a pre-teen has discovered certain deficiencies in his birth family (he already threw a fit about never having met his father).

“I want you to put me up for adoption,” he said. “Here, I wrote an ad for the newspapers in those cities.”

He pushed the computer towards me, and there on the screen was the ad. I read aloud, “’Delightful black Standard Poodle for sale to good home.’ Oh, so you aren’t giving yourself away free?”

“Oh heavens no!” he said. “I think you should at least get enough for first class airfare for me!”

“Hmm. ‘Perfect health, elegant lines, good pedigree, housebroken, no destructive impulses…’ That’s a lie!,” I said. “You just tried to eat ornaments from the Christmas tree! You ate a door. You steal toilet paper!” I reminded him.

“That was yesterday!” he said. “I’m turning over a new leaf. I’ll do anything to get away from this brutal climate!”

“Why don’t you turn over a new leaf and get used to snow? I’m not prepared to let you go after I’ve spent so much money on you…”

“Oh?” he said, jumping up onto the couch, which is strictly forbidden, so I shooed him down. “You mean all that money you spent making sure I’ll never be able to father a child? Thanks a lot!”

“Well, yes,” I said. “That, and the time I’ve put into training you, which, by the way, doesn’t seem to have worked very well. You think another family will want a dog that eats trash out of the wastebasket and tracks big chunks of snow all over the kitchen? By the way, a friend told me she knows a dog who cleans his own feet when he comes in from the yard!”

“Why do you think I’m looking for a place without snow?” he pointed out. “The bathroom facilities in this place are so Third World! Third World with snow is a bad combination.”

“Learn to use the toilet, and you wouldn’t have to go out into the snow,” I said. “Besides, have you thought about rats, scorpions, fleas, Black Widow spiders, centipedes and alligators? They all migrated to warmer climates well before you were born! They’ll be waiting for you, in fact salivating over the thought of you!”

“Hmm,” he said and was silent for a while. “Do you think you could buy toilets that are a little closer to the floor?”

“Man up! Get outside!” I said, shooing him out the door.

“Can I at least have a magazine to read?” I thought I heard him say as I shut the door against the chill of the wind. 


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