Living La Vida Doggie

I have always wondered about those people... you know, the ones with 87 cats, 12 dogs and a tanks of salamanders, who are discovered by the authorities. Chopper 12 and Live at 5-News 4 shows up at the house taking pictures of Animal Control personnel in Tyvek bunny suits carrying out animals in cages. They always find the one animal with the weeping eye and the mangy fur to do a tight shot of. (Sort of like that one picture that all of the animal rights people show of that chicken with the deformed face, looking like Bill the Cat. You know the picture, don't you?)

Most people love animals. It starts innocently enough. You have a dog or a cat. A stray shows up and you feed it on the back porch. It becomes friendly with your pet. Sooner or later it ends up inside. Then another shows up because you left the bowl on the back porch. Lather-rinse-repeat. Next thing you know, film of you with your pixelated face being escorted from your home is the tease for News Team 8 at 6. How did it happen?

Animals can drive you crazy.

We have two Golden Retrievers. They are good dogs, though they do have their moments. But now, we are keeping my mother-in-law's two and a half year old Golden for a week or so while she is vacationing. Now we have three dogs. Big dogs. Now we are tripping over dogs. Toys all over the place. Dogs wrestling on the floor. Barking because one dog won't move out of the way. Kitchen floor soaking wet because one dog drools after drinking from the water bowl. Dogs under foot in the kitchen while making dinner. One dog wanting to go out every 10 minutes. Sleeping arrangements out of kilter. Tripping over dogs in the dark at night because no one is in the 'right' place.

Animals can drive you crazy.

I hear those reports of the lady with the cats. Four inch thick layer of feces on the floor. Empty food cans piled to the ceiling. Cats meandering around the house like cockroaches. She didn't start out that way. In fact, if you look at her high school yearbook, there probably wasn't a caption "Most likely to turn into the Crazy Cat-Lady" under her picture. No, her caption was probably "Environmentalist, Earth Day supporter, Nice Girl."

No one saw it coming. She was just being nice. But there was some gene that put a soft spot in her heart for animals. Just one more cat couldn't hurt. They are so small and besides, they do clean up after themselves. But how do you find a litter box big enough for 20 cats? Next thing you know you have 85 cats and you don't need a litter box anymore.

We are not there yet. Don't think we ever will be. But having three big dogs in the house makes me realize that...

Animals can drive you crazy.


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