On weekends I put my mind on hold and write things that have nothing to do with business. If it gets either of us to smile it was a good use of my time.
A few years ago when I returned home from a 10k race in DC I discovered my wife had purchased a dog, a Bichon. That may have been its scientific classification, but it looked a lot more like a feather duster. She named it Lorenzo, after the name of the dog in the Wizard of Oz—I know that dog was named Toto, but telling her that was not going to correct the situation. I learned she spent twice as much on the dog as I had on my first car.
I did not object—at least verbally—that her dog was about the size of an underfed gerbil. We had a family of large turkey vultures living in the woods behind our house, so I often encouraged the dog to play outside and get some exercise. My thought process was simple; perhaps one of the vultures would mistake the dog for a petit four.
Man-dogs should be big. Big enough to go on runs, large enough to take up most of the bed, and require the use of a drool cup. They ought not to be the size where one day you may find them inside the bag of your vacuum cleaner. To be man’s best friend, they need to be friend-sized. I do not have any friends the size of a throw-toy. Lorenzo is sized more like something you would expect to find as the prize that comes with a Happy Meal.
What I did object to was taking the gerbil to Pets Mart for a haircut. After all, the store was only a few miles from our house, and chances were I might run into someone I knew. It was not healthy putting Lorenzo on a leash, as the weight of even the smallest leash could dislocate his shoulder. It would have looked like I was walking a Q-tip, so I carried him into the store.
Face it, I was embarrassed, and concerned someone would see through the disguise I was wearing. The store was full of manly dogs, most of whom were making fun of me. A stunning blonde was being led down the dog toy aisle by a Great Dane. I hid inside an eighty pound bag of puppy chow until she disappeared around a corner.
The dog stylist delivered the newly coiffed Lorenzo to me, pink ribbons affixed to his ears–the dog’s ears, not the stylist’s. I told the dog “either take off the ribbons or walk home.”
Turned out Lorenzo was a pretty good dog. He died at the age of five. Whoever created dog-year math was wrong on this one. My first car, a Corvair, lived longer than that. It’s not like we found him doing the back-stroke in the fish tank, but he was equally as dead. It was not easy explain that to three children under the age of ten. There were plenty of tears to go around, and photos of Lorenzo were taped as a eulogy around our house. I mounted his collar in a small diorama box and placed it on my wife’s desk.
Well, taking on the role of Super-dad, I went out and adopted what appeared to be Lorenzo’s stem-cell clone. I let everyone know that this time the dog would get haircuts at home, thereby eliminating the need for me to go skulking around Pets Mart.
The status of my lifetime membership in the He-Men’s club is being reconsidered by the membership committee of the Philadelphia Chapter. To make matters worse, yesterday my client walked into my office and caught me listening to James Blunt. I think it is time for me to quash the idea of going out to select new drapes.