Dog Man: November 2022

The other evening while having drinks, my friend casually mentioned, “I was cooking Fidel lunch as he’s been finicky about what he’ll put in his mouth…” I could only look on incredulously and remark, “You were doing what?”

“Well, cooking is cheaper than buying those little gourmet cans,” he retorted. “Those cases are expensive and he eats like 4 cans a meal.”

Yes, the canine cuisine gourmet wet food is expensive, but, apparently nothing is too good for Fidel… WHO IS A DOG and apparently has his own personal chef.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I love animals – dogs in particular. I consider Chester, my terrier chihuahua mix, to be my dog-mate as I have never had a more loyal companion (and trust me, I’ve had a few companions).

Chester knows all my queues without so much of a word being uttered. When to follow, when to stay, when to shower me with kisses (licks) and when to stay on his side of the bed. Queue the groans of, Ewe, gross, you sleep with your dog?

I do, er I mean, he does sprawl at the foot of the bed, but do I cook Chester meals? No. I can barely cook my own, let alone worry about him deciding if he likes his hamburgers extra rare.

My friend’s comments reminded me of my childhood. When we were kids and we’d stay at my grandmother’s, I remember her chihuahua, Mickey, had filet mignon for lunch, while we kids got hot dogs. I wanted to be Mickey, and more than once, my grandma warned, “Stay away from Mickey’s food.”

Owners and dogs like Fidel and Mickey remind me of the flip side of the coin for those caretakers we deem “cat ladies.” Indeed, we also have “dog men” and I believe they’re every bit as crazy as those sometimes neurotic, perhaps bat crazy femmes who center their lives around their pusses.  

When my friend was potty training his dog, I recall him saying, “Can’t stay out too late, I got to get home to make sure the dog is using his pee pads.”

Pee pads? Really, ever hear of newspaper? Of putting the dog outside until the mission is accomplished? Of walking the dog and proffering praise when the pee is provided?

It would be a cold day in you-know-where before I let my dog dictate my social schedule.

I liken these scenarios to what I call, “first world problems.” We have far too many resources and way too much time on our hands, so much so that we needlessly project our energy, etc. on our animals.

Pawdicures, pet parties, doggie day care, ruffly couture outfits, sleepovers, it’s all gotten a bit insane if you ask me.

Yes, pets are an important part of our families and my spouse’s friends refer to Chester as “my son,” but I know he’s a dog and although I wish him to remain forever, I know one day our time will come to part. I call that the “dog contract,” and it helps keep our relationship within healthy boundaries.

The other evening, I was dining outside of Blackbook along Arenas. I counted, not one, but two doggy strollers being pushed by grown men. Without hesitation, folks stopped and looked in the carriages, cooing “Soooo cute.” Really? So was Rosemary’s baby.

One of the stroller pushers was a leather daddy who I believe was using his puppy to procure. Perhaps the “soooo cutes” were meant for him and not the nuzzly one. I mean, we all know the best way to get a date is to get a dog.

(BTW, would I walk my dog down a street full of gay bars? I think not. Too much trauma with all the screaming and what not.)

We’ve all seen the men (and women) who carry chic bags in clothing stores with tea cup size (fill in the blank) dogs, talking to the animal like it’s gonna bark back, “That shirt makes you look fat.” I just laugh and ponder, “I wonder how many dates you go on a year?”

Scratching aside, we pet owners have all had those instances where our dogs remind us to be our better selves. That perhaps is one of the best reasons to become a dog man. To have someone who encourages you to be better, gives you a life to care for, and something that makes you responsible for someone other than yourself.

If that’s what makes someone a dog man, than count me in – I’ve gone to the dogs.

And with that, I end this as “Poolside from PS.”

Published by Manny P

Having written professionally for 35 years, I am working on fulfilling a life-long dream of publishing whatever I want -- novels, blogs, you name it.

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