Mrs. Key was sore because she's been reading the blog (hiya, sweetie!) and she noticed that I may have been a wee bit critical about our big giant puppy, Tralfaz. And I have to admit I may have complained just a teeny tiny amount over having to search for his missing poops, watching him chew his way through hundreds of dollars' worth of toys, watching him chew his poops, being obsessed with things that stink bad enough to kill some life forms, being really bitey, getting pouty over not being allowed to chew his poops, knocking over the neighbor's kid, being not too brave, going after dead stuff, being not too brilliant, developing selective hearing, going full-on spaz in response to routine medication, and generally being unhelpful.
Sooooo... have I been a leeeettle too hard on the guy?
Like an oyster, I am usually inspired to produce by the things that irritate me. A new dog---to me, who never had a dog---would thus inspire all kinds of things. The learning curve was vertical. Add the fact that he is a gigantic dog and you have a recipe for inspirationpalooza.
Like the tongue twister I wrote today: If puppy papa picked a peck of putrid poopies, how many putrid poopies did puppy papa pick? See? Genius!
And the fact is, when you're trying to be funny, it's a lot easier to write or talk about the things that make you crazy rather than the things that make you happy. I know some gifted writers who do items about their children, and while their articles will often end with an "Awww, how darling!" moment, they usually center on those "What the HELL is the kid DOING?" moments.
All this to say, I love my dog. Tralfaz is a big, fuzzy, affectionate fellow who just loves everybody and every dog he meets. His enthusiasm is endearing, but combined with his size and childlike lack of coordination, it can be a little scary. And yet, most of the problems I have with him today are caused by my not having or making the time to work on his training, preferring instead to goof around with him. (Not that I have a whole lot of spare time; it takes a lot to be a dazzling suburbanite and glamorous novelist, you know.)
He makes me laugh every day. He is always doing something goofy. He is chatty, and can do uncanny imitations of Chewbacca, R2D2, and when he's been running around a lot, Darth Vader. He has more facial expressions at the ready than Channing Tatum will ever have. He constantly amazes me. He defends my wife and my home. He is a good dog.
So yes, I love Tralfaz, and I can hardly remember what it was like before we had him. I would not trade him for a sack of gold.
One groomer told us that he "is his own party." Luckily for me, I get invited to the party every single day.