A REAL CRAPPY
RELATIONSHIP

   Our two little pugs, Lucy and Rocko, hate me. There is no other explanation.
   Of course, the feeling is mutual. We are obviously in dire need of some human/dog relationship counseling, but a quick check of the Yellow Pages offered no help.
   If there was any doubt that there was a problem between the three of us, it was erased in the last 10 days. Thatís when my wife went on a trip out of town, leaving the dogs and me alone for a little bonding.
   No such luck. In fact, itís a miracle all three of us were still alive by the time she returned.
  Our problem is pretty darn simple. About once every week, just about the time Iím starting to feel good about the little rascals, one of them either pees or poops right in the middle of my house.
   I donít know about you, but that really gets on my nerves. Truth be told, I can throw a pretty good tizzy fit when I see a tidy little deposit smack dab in front of the television set. And our relationship naturally suffers as a result.
   These dogs arenít puppies, nor are they senile. Theyíre 8 years old, in the prime of their life. Itís fairly clear that the only reason they have an "accident" once a week is to torment me.
   The worst part is that I donít know which one is responsible. I always assumed it was Rocko, who has faithfully earned the title of "Stupidest Dog in the World." But recent events have led me to believe it might be Lucy, "The Smartest Dog in the World," who may have come up with a devious plan to frame Rocko.
   The saddest part of all is watching me inspect a poop to see if there are any clues as to who is the perpetrator. Iíve thought about installing cameras, or sending it out for a DNA test. But instead I just plod along, looking at size and content, hoping for a definitive answer and finding none.
   Anyway, it had been about a week since their last accident, and I was feeling optimistic about bonding with them while my wife was away. I got up on the first morning and looked around and saw nothing but clean floors and carpets. I petted them both, gave them a treat, and sat down to eat breakfast.
   I think it was Lucy who disappeared for a few moments, but Iím not entirely certain. But when I walked to another area of my lovely houseómy wonderful home---there it was. It was still steaming, and to add a little insult, it was only steps away from the doggie door that led to the doggie bathroom, meaning the outside world.
   This was pure in-your-face war. I completely lost it. Since no one was home and the doors and windows were closed, I went berserk, screaming obscenities and pretty much trying to scare to death any living organisms unlucky enough to be in the house. That would be the dogs.
   They were in another room, probably high-fiving each other for finally pushing me over the edge. But when I turned the corner and came face to face with them, they werenít looking all that smug anymore. Terrified might be a better word.
   It was not a good start to our bonding experience. Some dog lovers might suggest that pooping in the house was their way of showing they were upset about my wife leaving them alone with me. I respectfully disagree.
   I think they like to play with my head, and they were looking for 10 days of pure entertainment. When I completely went over the edge, and I looked at them like Jack Nicholson in "The Shining," they realized they might have gone a little too far.
   Sure enough, they were perfect angels for the next week. No poops, no pees---everything outside, like normal dogs. We were getting along great, bonding in just the way my wife had hoped. I was showering them with treats and really beginning to like them.
   As always, that treatment gets a little old for them. Itís not nearly as exciting as watching me go bonkers. Because there it was, last Sunday, right in the middle of the kitchen.
   I looked at it and shrugged. There was a cherry pit in it, and I think I saw Rocko eating cherries out on the driveway, but I wasnít certain. It could have been Lucy.
   I didnít care anymore. They eagerly looked at me for a reaction, but it didnít come. I cleaned it up, threw it in the garbage, and ignored them.
   No more entertainment for them. After eight years, maybe Iíve got it figured out.
 

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