PUPPY PORN

As I find my way through social media, I am learning that certain words in a title attract more attention from potential viewers of a blog than others.   Words that start with “P” seem to draw a lot of eyes. President, Penis, Prostitute, and PeePee for instance—those words earn your notice.    So hopefully the title of this week’s blog will do the trick.

When I was single, the go-to conversation with my other single friends was how awful dating was and how many cads were in the dating pool.  Now that I am married, the go-to conversation with other married friends is how crazy it can be to live with another human being when your lives are so meshed together.   Bills, money, TV shows that you binge on–all start being tossed into one bucket.  And if you are gay and roughly the same height and weight, even your clothes and underwear start getting mixed together.   It’s hard to tell where one starts and the other one ends—you become tangled up like when you have stuffed two sets of earphones in your pocket.  (I realize in about a year this reference will probably be as relevant as saying tangled up like a phone cord would be now).

My husband Saul says that we are all just monkeys trying to figure out how to live with other monkeys.

There is usually one spouse who is neater and more organized and another spouse who is me.

For instance, Saul seems to love to load the dishwasher.  He may complain about always having to do it, but if I try to load it myself, he stands over me and gives notes.

I’ve stopped trying to load the dishwasher.

Saul likes to file important papers in a neat accordion file folder.   I like to put important papers in one of five piles scattered throughout my home, backpack and office.  This makes Saul crazy.  He gets back at me by trying to explain how his filing system works which is of no interest to me and which I therefore pay no attention to. I usually start daydreaming about Angela Lansbury instead.   Let’s just say if either of us dies, the other one will have a difficult time finding the other’s important paperwork.  (Sorry Amy).

Making decisions together is challenging.  I tend to be the “let’s go for it!” guy, and Saul likes to think through things thoroughly and rationally.   I feel sad for Saul and his weird way of making decisions.

The latest decision involves a puppy.   Some of my more devoted readers of this blog may recall that Saul and I were going to adopt a Great Dane puppy last year but our landlord said we couldn’t have pets.

We promptly started looking to buy a house so we could have all the animals we wanted.   Saul constantly is finding cute, weird animal videos on the internet and asking me if we can have one.  I’ve been asked about bats, hippos, porcupines carrot-eating pandas and bears.  I have theoretically said yes to them all.  Now that I’ve built up all that goodwill, I am non-theoretically asking Saul for a puppy.

I work for Animal Planet and work on many shows that involve animals.   Funny how that works.   I am currently working on a rescue show where a stray, pregnant Chihuahua mutt named Eggo was saved from the fires of Northern California.  She had several puppies including one named Moons Over My Hammy.

Saul and I had been thinking we were going to get an older dog because of our cats, Luke and Finn.   They are two orange tabby brothers and only know Saul and I as their dads (yes, they got a hard time from some of the neighborhood squirrels about their homo fathers but our cats just judge them back for being so unenlightened).   Stupid, uneducated squirrels.

The woman we may adopt from said it is better to bring a puppy into the family who will grow up with the cats and be part of the pack and who the cats can show who is boss while he is young.   (Plus, an unimaginable number of puppies get euthanized each year even before they are six weeks old.    It’s horrifying.  Please spay and neuter your pets.)

Before the Luke and Finn, Saul never had an animal that was all his own.   He only had pets with his mom and dad and roommates. He was nervous about getting the kittens, but once we got them he has been more devoted   than anyone I’ve ever met except my ex Steve (Hi Steve!).  Steve also never had animals and when I foisted two cats and two dogs on him (I once brought home a stray dog and pretended nothing was different or unusual in the house when Steve got home from work.  He noticed right away).  At first, Steve was overwhelmed with the two dogs and told me I was a horrible person for convincing him to keep them, but then he fell madly in love with them.   When I announced I was leaving him a few years later but he could keep the dogs, I would characterize his reaction as more excited than heartbroken.

When Moons Over My Hammy (Ham) was offered to us, I immediately thought yes, of course.   Animals seem to come to me at the right time.   My dog Sasha had literally shown up on my doorstep.   I didn’t think I could handle a dog on my own but she made me happy and I said yes to her.   I never regretted it.

Sasha was a pit-bull and people tend to not like pit bulls.  I have adopted four in my life because I feel sorry for them.  Still I would often hesitate when people asked what type of dog I owned.  I hated always being told I would be eaten alive one day.

 

CASHIER:  So much dog food!  What kind of dog do you have?

ME:   A pit…oodle?

 

APARTMENT INSURANCE MAN:    You have any pets?

ME:  Yes, a cat and a dog. Will that raise my insurance?

APARTMENT INSURANCE MAN:  As long as the dog’s not a pit bull.

ME:  HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

(Notice I didn’t lie there.)

Saul met Sasha in the last year of her life and the two fell hopelessly in love.  I think if I would have left him while she was still alive, he would have sued for custody.

Saul is not sure now is the right time to bring a puppy into the family.  We have been through a lot of changes in a short time.  We moved to a rental 72 miles from our place in Brooklyn then bought a home in the same town and then Saul opened an art gallery.  This has all happened since last April.   Do we let ourselves get more settled now or do we have one more change in us?   Oh, and our back fence needs to be finished and Ham will definitely be adopted by someone if we don’t.  There is a long line of people waiting for our decision.

I want to force Saul to say yes but I can’t.  One reason I can’t is because I think I read somewhere that forcing a partner into making a decision is unhealthy.  The other reason is that I can’t deny having a puppy is amazing but stressful.   There will be some point when Saul looks at me and says, “I can’t believe you pushed us to get this puppy.  Now my expensive shoes have been eaten!”   I need to be able to say, “But it was a decision made by both of us,  dear.”

I’m an Aries.  I make my decisions by asking myself, “Will I remember getting a puppy or not getting a puppy on my deathbed?”   And I read somewhere that Aries are always right.  Or maybe I read that Aries always think they are right.   I can’t recall.

To be fair to Saul (and I have to be fair to Saul because he will be reading this), we moved into the house a month ago and his gallery is just starting to happen and he will be the one primarily caring for and training the puppy.  I will primarily be the recipient of cute Facetimes from home during the week.

`Here are my plus and minus columns I have written for Saul and me to go over.

Minuses

  • Caring for puppies cost money
  • Puppies have to be tended to more than cats (although Saul tends to our cats an awful lot)
  • Cats think puppies are stupid.
  • We just moved and are still settling in
  • Expensive shoes will be eaten.

Pluses

  • Puppy Breath
  • You got a of of positive feedback and unconditional love from the world when you walk a puppy.
  • You get a lifelong companion who is devoted to you and your wonderfulness 24/7
  • Caring for something more innocent and vulnerable than you is good healing for your soul in this current self-centered America First culture
  • You realize you have room in your heart to love your husband, 2 cats and a puppy.
  • Cat’s destroy expensive furniture but you love them anyway just like you will love the shoe-eating puppy.
  • Cats and a puppy will make our Facebook Lives beyond awesome
  • It’s a puppy.

Whatever happens, we will push and pull and we will come to the right decision.  And we will survive and thrive though that and the next decision we have to make as a couple in our messy, enmeshed lives.   We always do.

As Stephen Sondheim wrote in Sunday in the Park with George:

The choice may have been mistaken.  The choosing was not.  

ABOUT THE AUTHOR-Keith Hoffman tried to make this a fair and balanced piece.  It wasn’t easy.

moons

 

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s