Thursday, November 8, 2012

Battle Of The McSmalls

Last night I had dinner with some friends.  They asked about my trip to Texas.  After telling them about how Madonna showed us her ass and how my 8-year-old nephew is writing a screenplay called "Death at Chuck E. Cheese," I launched into a ten minute description of how much I love my sister's dog, Mollie McSmalls.  I was animated and excited and I ended my soliloquy with a demonstration of how Mollie will climb on your lap, put a paw on each shoulder like a hug and then nuzzle your neck.

Mollie and I bonded.  She cuddles, she fetches, she'll sit in your lap and stare at you with big Beagle eyes (She's a long hair Beagle.  I know, right?!) and cock her head when you talk to her.  There is minimal whining or complaining.  She is not a licker.  She's not spazzy like most puppies.  She's ridiculously awesome.  I seriously considered stealing her.  (She's small enough to easily fit under the airplane seat.)

The problem is that I feel guilty.  I feel like I'm cheating on her cousin, Hogan McSmalls.  Not like I don't love Hogie anymore.  I love Hogie!  But, they're so different.  It's like if you're married to a really cute cop who plays basketball every weekend with his buddies but the tattooed musician barista at your local coffee shop keeps flirting with you.  I mean, you're gonna enjoy the flirtation, especially because the barista is sooo not a sporty cop.  You know?

But, I feel bad about it.  Like, really bad.  Aside from the fact that they both love to play fetch and I love them both, they have literally nothing in common.  Mollie is excited and lovey, Hogie is bored and aloof.  Mollie is trusting, Hogie is suspicious.  Mollie is happy-go-lucky, Hogie is neurotic.  Mollie yips because she's happy to see you, Hogie groans and complains all day long about nothing.  Hogie will moan, howl and grumble at you for ten minutes because he feels that you should've thrown more popcorn his way while you were watching Sons Of Anarchy.  Mollie takes the one piece of popcorn you give her and wags her tail for an hour.  They don't even seem like the same species.

But, Mollie was adopted as a small puppy.  All she's ever known is that everyone loves her.  She's never been hurt or hungry or cold.  She's never had to scrounge for her dinner in an alley.  So, she's happy and well-adjusted.  She's that normal, nice kid you knew in high school who truly loved spending time with his parents and just adored life so gosh-darn much!  She's earnest.

Hogie is complicated.  He's a mutt from the pound.  He came to us when he was already two or three years old.  We don't know how much time he spent on the streets but we know he has major issues like separation anxiety and the fear of not having enough food.  (This well-fed dude once scaled the drawers, got up on the counter and ate an entire bag of Splenda.  He also once ate an iPod.)  Hogie is easily upset by old guys with canes or young men wearing white shirts.  He hates coughing.  He starts shaking if he thinks you're going to leave him.  We've had him for 6 years and while I think he's a pretty happy guy most of the time, he's always gonna be a bit emo.  When I have to leave him home alone, I'm positive he puts on The Smiths and lies on his back chain-smoking cloves and blowing his long hair out of his eyes.

So, my sister's dog Mollie is a sweet uncomplicated pooch and Hogie is a mess.  It's true what they say about dogs and their owners, right?  This is the part where I'm supposed to say that when it comes right down to it, I would never trade my dog for a dog like Mollie.  And that's true.  I dig my crazy grumbly dog.  He's got a distinct personality and he's a lovable goofball.  I love him.  I'm in it forever.  But, Mollie seems easy.  I'm grateful for Hogie every day but he's a lot to handle emotionally.  I have to admit that next timeI get a dog, I'll seriously consider a puppy.

They have loads of long-hair Beagle puppies at the pound, right?

*Mollie's on the left, Hogie's on the right.