I never wanted a dog, but now I have one. This is how it happened: at the same time that my youngest daughter was campaigning for a dog because her sisters were away at college and she was lonely and she NEEDED a dog, a friend found herself in possession of a spare dog.
So we agreed to care for the dog.
His name is Taggart. His park name is Tiger. I gave him the park name because I was tired of trying to explain the genesis of his actual name. The dog’s previous owner has a favorite book, Atlas Shrugged, and a favorite character, Dagney Taggart. But this dog is a boy, so she named him Taggart, because Dagney seemed too feminine?
It is impossible to explain this quickly to other dog walkers in the park, so I just introduce him as Tiger.
Before this dog entered our lives, I always wondered why anyone would want a dog. The mystery has only deepened for me.
People say to me “It’s so cute how you say you don’t like the dog, but I can tell that you actually love him, because you fill his water dish when it’s empty.”
Hello? I’m not here to practice animal cruelty. The dog seems to bring happiness to the rest of the family, and it is a living creature, so yes, I fill the water dish. But mostly the dog just annoys me.
The one good aspect of the dog is that he forces me to take walks in the neighborhood.
We live in a small town that has aspirations to be in the country, which means there aren’t many sidewalks. The muddy paths around my house are pleasant for walking and also enable me to play the game of “Pretend You Can’t Find It”.
This game is played by looking earnestly into the leaf mold as if you can’t locate the poop your dog just deposited. You must play this game because of all the video cameras hiding everywhere. You can’t be seen just ignoring the poop, you have to pretend that you really looked for it but just couldn’t locate it.
This way if I’m ever at a cocktail party with Sergey Brin’s ex-wife who lives up the street I won’t have to hang my head in shame over all the turds I’ve left in her shrubbery. I tried to find them…