Chapter 2: The American Dog Epidemic

Look, I love dogs as much as the next person, but I have never been crazy about indoor dogs, mostly because they leave constant reminders of their presence. Oh look! Dog hair all over the couch! And hey, this food would smell really good if you weren’t breathing in my face Fido. Yes go ahead and bark your brains out at the small child next door, he terrifies me as well. The list goes on. I already knew all this when I crammed into the back seat of that Buick, but as I sat there amidst a flurry of shedding dog hair I knew that the condition of dog and human relations was at an all-time low point.

But before I get to that story, let me explain how I missed the clear and obvious warning of STAY AWAY FROM OLIVE. I first met Leah’s parents when we drove up to northern Oklahoma for a long weekend at the Bunkers’ time share. It was a fun trip filled with good food, horseback rides and golf (which I don’t play). But most importantly I got to meet Leah’s wonderful family.

When Leah’s mom told me, “We’ll have to get Olive used to you,” I should have known that I was in trouble. “We’ll let you give her some treats so that she’ll get used to you,” she said. I should have known that this was code for, “Our dog is extremely spoiled and she’ll probably hate you if you don’t talk to her in a baby voice and give her beggin’ strips.” You see, there’s an animal epidemic that has taken hold of America. I first began to see the results of this change in animal culture several years ago. Maybe I’m just a country boy who has never known much besides guard dogs, stray dogs and hound dogs, but I sure had never seen people treat their dogs like children. And I’m here to tell you, it is INSANE.

Young couples have made it a trend to buy or adopt a cute little puppy so that they can practice for raising children. You know, practice cleaning their crap, rocking them to keep them from crying and buying different colored bandanas to match every season. I mean, you have to raise little Fido right. Spend the extra $30 on that upgraded Puppy Chow and you’re puppy will always smile and never cause any trouble. Despite all the fancy dog toys, trips to puppy park and grade-A dog food, most of these young couples end up with a spoiled little dog who for all practical purposes wears that pants of the family. I’ve seen it time and time again.

See my point?

See my point?

Now I blame two things for this about face in America. The first is that little puppy from all those K9 Advantix ads. Yeah you know the yellow lab pup who wears bandanas and makes grown men with full-time jobs say “Awe!” These iconic commercials gave the little lab the voice of a young kid bringing the canine one step closer to the elevated status that dogs enjoy today.

(In case you forgot the commercial)

Yeah thanks again K9 Advantix. How can’t you fall in love with that little guy? He makes me want to spoil my puppy. Olive could’ve been just like that little fella when she was a youngster but I’m here to tell you that when they grow up and aren’t so cute anymore and they haven’t been trained properly they can be a pain in your backside. That’s exactly what Olive has been to me the second she laid eyes on me. I could tell she had that wild look in her eyes that said, “I hate you and will make your time in Iowa a living hell.”

The second reason is that people have forgotten where dogs belong… in the backyard sleeping in the doghouse, just like Snoopy. Instead, young couples convince themselves that they can rear a young pup in a small one bedroom apartment in a big city like Dallas. Of course the dog will have plenty of room to exercise in your I-just-got-married-and-have-no-money starter apartment. Despite what you may think, a morning and evening walk will not expend all the energy that man’s best friend has. Not a chance, unless your dog is fat and lazy, in which case you have a bigger problem… haha.

Dogs used to be considered man’s best friend. We have turned them into man’s most spoiled and misunderstood child. A dog should be a constantly loyal companion who will wag his tail when you get home at the end of each day whether you just got fired or just got a promotion and we should love them for that. But the minute you stop treating Buddy like a dog, the minute he’ll stop being your best friend. He’ll turn selfish, spoiled and unpredictable. If you don’t believe me, take a look around and I’ll bet my boots that you will meet a crazy dog like Olive who will be sure to become, your worst enemy.

From the get go she wouldn’t let me pet her, but still she didn’t really bother me. So my first trip to Iowa to visit my girlfriend and her parents was going well until one night when Olive stole my seat on the couch. And that night, the number two hit the fan.

My Girlfriend’s Parents and their Crazy Dog: Chapter 1

How did I end up in the second row middle seat of a Buick SUV while a crazy bitch dog is riding shotgun? How did I end up here with the smell of dog pasted to my nose and worse than that dog hair in my mouth? Because people love dogs more than they do other people. How did I get here? Well first let me tell you why I ended up in the Buick. The answer is of course, a girl.

There comes a point in every relationship where you will be required to put up with the unbelievable, nonsensical idiosyncrasies of your girlfriend’s family. You will pull hairs from your head while scratching at your eyeballs and ears; just want to completely lose it. Or you will bend but not break, you will put up with the endless trials, and that is when you may know for a certainty, that you are a man completely in love with a woman.

Leah is the girl that I fell for. I first met Leah when I was a junior in college at a newspaper meeting. These weekly wastes of time suddenly became interesting when a beautiful blonde-haired young lady with a smile that would make Clint Eastwood grin was sitting in my chair one day. We met, and I left the meeting without really thinking a thing about it. I guess I didn’t put much thought into it until my boss, who was Leah’s roommate, mentioned that she was single. Didn’t see that one coming!

My first chance to really get to know her didn’t come until The Bells (the newspaper) went to a conference in New Orleans. I purposed going into this trip to play it cool, you know, dropping in for casual conversations here and there and cracking some good one-liners when I got the chance. Well I soon lost my will-power and was trying to talk to her at every junction of the trip. And let’s just say it wasn’t going great. Heck, who am I kidding, I was making a fool out of myself.

But I was mesmerized by her. It wasn’t just the fact that she was stunningly gorgeous. She was smart. She was mature. She was friendly. She laughed, and it was music. She was modest. And oh she was beautiful. She had those cheeks that you just wanted to pinch because when she smiled she had these cute dimples that make cheeks so pinchable. That made me realize I wouldn’t be happy in this life if Leah Bunkers wasn’t in it.

Still, as much as a liked this girl, I wasn’t doing a good job getting her to seem interested in me. One night when I stole a seat next to her at dinner, I at least got to chat with her some. But she seemed distracted. The week wore on and she’d given me no hope that there was any mutual attraction and so in a moment of weakness and self-exposure I opened up to the other guys on the trip and said, “That girl Leah, is a one-of-a-kind gem. Whoever ends up marrying her, will be one lucky cowboy.”

The trip came to an end and I knew that I had no hope winning her attention. In fact, I didn’t think I could do anything more to make her LESS attracted to me. That was until we stopped a convenient store on the way home to Texas. I climbed out of the van and headed for the bathroom to take a leak. I did my business and as I was washing my hands I saw a cologne dispenser on the wall behind me. If you’re not familiar with one of these contraptions it works like this: you put in three quarters and select the scent you want and then push the knob in for a squirt of gas station cologne. Classy huh? Well, being smart as I was, I dropped in 75 cents and pushed the knob. It sprayed right toward my crotch. Awkward. So I added another 75 cents and squatted down so it got on my neck. When I returned to the van I’m pretty sure I smelled like a truck driver heading to the local Daisy Duke’s bar and club. It was awful. Everyone could smell me and I soon had to fess up, with the girl I have a crush on sitting right behind me. It was then I knew without a doubt, that my chances were done.

But that night around 9 p.m., we had just gotten back to Belton when I got a text that said, “Hey we should play guitar sometime.” Oh if you could’ve seen the victory jig I did in my living room when I read those sweet words you would know how much I liked Leah Bunkers and how bad of a dancer I am. Later that week we played guitar together. At the end of the night, my face hurt from smiling so much. But she just has that effect on people. She makes you want to smile. She made me believe that you can be the best version of yourself, if only for a brief moment, when she smiled at something I said. I wanted to be the best I could possibly be for her without changing who I was. And really, that’s what love is all about.

Long story short, I revamped my efforts to impress her, and eventually after a little resistance and a brief heartbroken Thanksgiving, she finally agreed to be my girlfriend. That was on December 15, 2013. We’re still going strong. You’re probably wondering what this has to do with the dog. Well that dog belongs to my girlfriend’s parents. This is how I met Olive. And let me tell you something, that dog, is one crazy bitch.

Introduction to: My Girlfriend’s Parents and their Crazy Dog

Hey folks,

Over the next few weeks I’ll be blogging a story about my girlfriend (Leah), her parents and their crazy dog, who by the way, hates me. Each week I’ll post one chapter of a story that I guarantee will be side-busting, tear-jerking and laugh-so-hard-you-can’t-breathe comedy.

DISCLAIMER: Let’s get one thing straight, I love my girlfriend and her family. I am in no way trying to diss them. This is simply meant to be entertaining.

I hope you’ll check out this blog weekly and I look forward to hearing your feedback. The first chapter will be posted NEXT TUESDAY! Tuesdays will be the days I post each new hilarious part of my crazy story. Here’s a short preview from Chapter One. Enjoy!

“How did I end up in the second row, middle seat of a Buick SUV while a crazy bitch dog is riding shotgun? How did I end up here with the smell of dog pasted to my nose and worse than that dog hair in my mouth? Because people love dogs more than they do other people. How did I get here? Well first let me tell you why I ended up in the Buick.”