Fun Time: It’s Good to be in the Doghouse
The other day, during a party at our house, I had a disagreement with my wife, Malathi. She didn’t look happy at all, causing one of the guests to remark: “Uhoh! Melvin is in the doghouse.”
“If only that were true,” I said. “I’d love to be in the doghouse! The dog is a VIP.”
It’s true: our dog, Lulu, is a VIP (very indulged pet).
My wife has always loved animals. It’s the reason she became a vet—and now works at a veterinary school. Having me as a husband is only an extension of her interest in animal husbandry.
When Malathi returns home from work each day, she smiles and says, “Hi, my sweetie. How was your day?”
I begin to respond, but then realize that she’s not talking to me.
All she gets in response is a wag of the tail. If Lulu could talk, she would say, “Not too bad. Got a lot of sleep done. How about you?”
Lulu is a Siberian husky with a greyish cream coat. She looks like a wolf and even howls occasionally, especially when she hears the siren of an emergency vehicle. We adopted her from an animal shelter. She was initially just a foster dog, but we couldn’t give her back. She won our hearts almost instantly.
As soon as she came into our home, Lulu decided that while a dog’s place might be on the floor, she was not a dog. She belonged on the couch. She occupied half of the couch in the living room and wouldn’t budge, partly because the House Leadership Committee voted in favor of the Canine Access to Furniture Act. I was the sole dissenter.
“It’s okay,” Malathi said. “Look how comfortable she looks on the couch.”
Malathi never runs out of sweet words for Lulu. I can’t recall her ever raising her voice at Lulu, not even when Lulu had an “accident” in the house, whether she accidently left a stain on the carpet or accidentally mistook my toothbrush for a bone.
When Malathi takes Lulu for walks, she is extremely patient, allowing Lulu to lead the way and not caring if Lulu makes more stops than the mail carrier.
Lulu can do no wrong. On a few occasions, we’ve returned home to discover that Lulu has raided the trash can, leaving the trash strewn across the kitchen floor. Upon our arrival, Lulu immediately lies on her back, wagging her tail, as if to say, “I’m so glad you’re back. Please rub my tummy and comfort me. Something terrible happened while you were gone. The trash can threw up all over the kitchen floor. It was so scary. For your sake, I tried to clean up a little, but there’s only so much a dog can put away.”
While my first instinct is to berate Lulu—to pull her near the trash can and shout, “No!” several times— Malathi’s first instinct is to look for another culprit: ME.
“You didn’t put the rubber band on the cupboard, did you?”
“I did. I mean, I think I did.”
We keep our trash can in the cupboard under the kitchen sink, using a rubber band to secure it. But every now and then, I forget to stretch the rubber band over the handles, which inevitably causes the trash can to throw up.
After determining that Lulu was not at fault, Malathi proceeds to comfort the dog. “Oh, you poor baby. You must have been hungry. We must not have fed you enough. Come, let’s see what I can give you from the refrigerator.”
Yes, Lulu gets rewarded for making a mess in the kitchen. And I just shake my head, wishing I were a VIP.
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Compiled and partly written by Indian humorist MELVIN DURAI, author of the novel Bala Takes the Plunge.
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