A week ago, I was walking to my gym, not that I own a gym, which you'd think I'd have brought up before now. I walked past Peg's, past the snake-infested field, and I was just getting onto the first corporate parking lot, when I saw a groundhog.
I love me a groundhog. Perhaps all the world loves a stage--let's face it, I certainly do. But I also like a groundhog. At work, we used to see these two groundhogs every day, across the parking lot, and we named them Bill and Murray because we're in love with ourselves. Then they revamped the land at work and we stopped seeing those groundhogs. However, every day on our walks we take at 3:00, we see these same two old men, who we call Walkdorf and Statler (see above ref to loving ourselves)
and then one day it hit me. "The old men ARE the groundhogs!"
Everyone at work agreed that had to be the case.
But I digress. Because a week ago, when I was walking to the gym and saw a groundhog in the parking lot, my first thought was, "It's kind of small." My second thought was, "Oh, come fucking on."
I sat right down in the parking lot in m'yoga pants. I think I even whispered it out loud. "Come fucking ON." Because it wasn't a groundhog. It was a puppy.
It wasn't a rock. It was a rock lobster.
She was tiny, but sturdy, and yellow, with a black muzzle. There was no earthly reason for her to be alone in an empty parking lot. She seemed a little scared, but she came to me with a little whine. "Hi, honey," I whispered, feeling miserable.
There was no way this could be a puppy. There was no way. Why was this happening? If I brought home ANOTHER puppy, the whole world would think I was batshit. Why, of all the things to run across in a stupid office parking lot, WHY, did I have to run across a puppy?
Not one person was going to believe me.
I mean, what the hell was I gonna do? Leave her in some empty parking lot at 7 at night? Good luck! Drive to the closed shelter? Or even wait till morning and drive her there? Okay, bye, puppy. I'll just drive off and leave you to your fate. Just the idea of that makes me kind of cry.
Maybe I could roam the neighborhood again, hoping for a miracle.
My yoga pants and I took her home.
And then I kept her a secret for a week. She was totally Anne Frank back there in my room.
Oh my god, it's been stressful. I didn't tell a soul. Well. Pretty much. I told my mother and she didn't believe me. "Is this like the time you just happened to find a kitten in your locker in 11th grade?" she asked. As god is my witness, in 11th grade, a gray fuzzy BEAUTIFUL kitten followed Mike Clark and Chris Czada to school, so they put her in my locker, knowing I'd take her. AS GOD IS MY WITNESS.
So then I really clamped down, like I had state secrets, over here. Somehow not being able to tell made it way harder.
I had East and West Germany, over here, with the dogs. When Edsel went in the back yard, I'd take her to the front yard. He knew something was up, but I pretended it wasn't. I'd take him on walks, acting like that squeaking from the bedroom was nothing. I'd return, be all casual. "I'll just, um, be back in awhile, Edsel. I gotta take this, um, human device that looks like a Kong to this room. Why don't you watch TV?"
During the day, since no one knew about her and therefore no one could help me get the crate down, I'd put one of the big dog beds in the bathroom. It took up the whole floor. Since she looked like maybe there could be Mastiff in her, I considered just waiting till she was 200 pounds and opening the door to reveal her to Edsel then. "Oh, look what's back here!"
In the meantime, I was getting migraines and not sleeping and having to turn down plans after work. "Oh! I can't! I have to...go home!" People must have thought I had some sort of randy 19-year-old boy there. Would that I were.
I guess "randy" 19-year-old boy is redundant.
Finally, I took her to the vet. My vet, of course, was the vet who'd put Tallulah to sleep, and she came around the corner, saw me holding a puppy, and burst into tears and hugged me.
It was the first moment I felt joy, and not shame, about this whole thing. I let her name my pup--I had a few ideas rolling around. I deeply wanted to name her Mrs. Wiggins, the secretary Carol Burnett played, because office parking lot. I liked Loretta, just because Loretta. It's a good name. You know I like vaguely slutty diner waitress names, such as, oh, Tallulah.
Meet Lottie. My vet thought that was the cutest name, so Lottie it is. Get it? Cause, parking lot? Yeah. Up there is after I said her name. She already knows it.
The vet and I had a long talk about Edsel. She said not to hover over them like a crazy person, to let them work their shit out. That sometimes Edsel will correct her for being an asshole, and that that's okay. I'm to let him growl and show his teeth if she's harassing him, and I'm to take her away if she's relentlessly bothering him, too.
"Do you think maybe there's Mastiff in her?" my vet asked.
Mother of god.
So, I introduced them. "Edsel, I don't know how to tell you this. She was in a parking lot and..." I said to Eds. He seemed to kind of know the score already. I mean, you can't really effectively hide a puppy in a small house. News flash.
And you know what? He's been good. He HAS shown his teeth to her, when she tries to take a toy from him, or when she bites his tail, and I sit there TRYING TO ACT CASUAL about it, which hasn't been easy. But I haven't chastised him, and OH MY GOD does she think Edsel's cool. He's like The Fonz of this house. Edsel is. I know, man. The other day he was barking at passersby, and she can't even SEE out the window yet, but she watched him, and then she threw back her head.
"BARK!" she squeaked.
Oh, good. Learn from Edsel. This is perfect.
Lottie has clearly lived with someone, and someone who had cats, because, man, does she love cats. Last night Lily was on my lap, and Lottie climbed up and lick lick licked her cat fur, a thing that appalled her at first but that eventually made her purr, as Lily is a slut.
Iris is not charmed. But she tolerates.
She never sits still. It's hard to capture her on film. And yes, of course I've sent in a DNA test already. What are you, new? Can't wait to hear that she's a Mastiff.
So, I'm feeling less anxious about the whole thing, but I have to say, this whole experience, and these past few weeks have made me rethink my blogging. I'm still ruminating for now, but I'm starting to wonder about how fun this is anymore. It feels less fun and more like hanging myself on a meat hook for Rocky to punch. When you tell the world about your world, the world feels entitled to comment on it. And judge it. And start vicious threads about you on social media. And you start to wonder, why am I doing this, exactly?
But that's something I can't decide today. Today, I have to teach an eight-week-old puppy to stop biting my feet when I walk.
Out and proud,