“You’re killin’ me!”

I know they look sweet in this picture. It’s probably what brought you here. And believe me, they are. They are adorable and cuddly and funny and affectionate and entertaining and great company. They are so excited to see me any time I enter a room and they almost always get up to greet me!

However, at least 3 times a week I find myself saying, “You’re killin’ me.” It might be the bedroom garbage they’ve plundered, leaving shredded tissues all over the floor. It might be the potted plant that is now unpotted with dirt turning my wood floor to earth. It might be the beautiful hosta in my backyard oasis that came in bigger than ever this year and has been reduced to the size of a window plant, and one that does not look like it’ll survive the week. The puppy leads the brigade in most of this, but the big brother does not alert me in any way to the mischief and mayhem. Henry can’t make eye contact with me when I discover the mess, but Spencer always looks quite pleased with himself and seems unable to comprehend why our moods don’t match, why we’re not vibing!

Well, last night was a new one in Dog Mamahood! We nearly had a homicide/double suicide on our hands. The dogs were wrestling in the kitchen while I sat on a Zoom call on the other side of the counter, tutoring a 7th grader on dominant and recessive alleles using Punnett Squares. I thoroughly enjoyed the walk down memory lane of my sophomore year of high school in Mr. Marionni’s biology class, where this was about the only thing I clearly understood and enjoyed. Here was this kid rocking it 3 years earlier than I did. But I digress…

I finished and came around the counter to find that a pot of soil from outside was now unpotted all over my back porch, entry rug and kitchen floor. There sat filthy Spencer in the middle of it, chewing a weirdly large piece of mulch and something plastic (still as yet unidentified). Also, it smelled. Really bad. I cleaned it up and then had to take out the garbage because that now smelled, too. (This is foreshadowing.) I needed to get out the door, so I let the dastardly duo out one more time, crated the little guy, rolled my eyes at the big guy, muttered, “You’re killin’ me!” and headed out.

I returned two hours later, unlocked and opened my door and was hit with a wall of gas fumes. Frantically, I ran to open the crate and get the pups outside. I ran back in for my phone to report an apparent gas leak and noticed that the knob on my stove was turned sideways. Enough to release gas, but not pushed in so as to ignite the flame. My panic turned to frustration with my two unruly boys. Whether it was the WWE going on earlier or perhaps a desperate attempt at counter surfing (neither come close to reaching), they must have hit the knob and turned it…and nearly killed us all. Literally.

I love my dogs so much. I truly do. Despite them inviting the Grim Reaper into our home last night, I took them to the dog park to play tonight. They met Piper and a black lab that reminded me of my Raven and ran in circles, made a Butt Sniff Conga Line and played a strange tag where I was never sure who was It. I forgave them. And even showed my trust by leaving the little one uncrated while I ran to the gym for 40 minutes. As I came upstairs to write this tale, guess what I said when I entered the room and saw my carefully folded laundry strewn across the floor? “You’re killin’ me!”

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