Norma & Me

You have my absolute word that I’m not gonna go all Marley & Me with this blog. But give me a minute to whine, please …

We’ve had our new dog Norma for five days—and she’s driving me f-ing crazy. Very nice personality, very cute, eats moderately OK … but absolutely, positively refuses to poop/pee with any sense of predictability. I follow all of the dog trainer’s instructions—take her out of the cage X hours after she eats; walk her in the same spot; wait five minutes; if she doesn’t go, bring her back in and return in another 20 minutes. Then—nothing. No poop. No pee. I repeat this time and time and time again—nothing.

Inevitably, when Norma is damn well ready, she shits/pisses in the house.

When I was a kid, my mom wouldn’t allow my brother David and I to have dogs. Instead, we had guinea pigs. Seriously, guinea pigs. There were four of them. Waldorf, Sparky, Spunk, Sedric (after former Knick guard Sedric Toney). Hmm—maybe five. They would live for, oh, 1 1/2 years, develop some ailment and croak. We’d hold a mini-guinea pig funeral in the backyard, then go to the pet store, fork over $14.99 and grab a new one. There was a familiarity my mother liked—they smelled like poop, but they never bit, never ran away, never had to be walked. And when they died, well, they died.

For a long time I resented my mom’s dog stance. Now, however, I sort of get it. They say a dog is like a member of the family, and I agree—it’s the fucking drunk uncle who shits himself at the BBQ but refuses to clean himself up.

I am s-l-o-w-l-y losing my mind.

And yet, against all logic, I love the damn thing.

Shoot me.

PS: Any dog advice hugely appreciated.