We live in a neighborhood with lots of pets, complete with a neighborhood Lemon Face, who doesn’t want the dogs to poop in her yard, because “it’s gross.” It doesn’t matter whether we pick up after them or not. I guess she’s worried we’ll get her yard dirty? (I haven’t yet pointed out to her that the squirrels, raccoons, and stray cats don’t come with rope-attached pooper-scoopers.)
But I digress. Lots of pets– lots of dogs, in particular. I know, because Meetu likes to greet (read: snarl and lunge) at each and every one of them. Keep in mind, he’s ten pounds at his heaviest. Most of our neighbors have dogs that range from 30-100 pounds, so he’s kind of a Scrappy Doo. If Meetu could speak English, I’m fairly certain his line would be, “Let me at ’em! I can take ’em!” Gazellik likes to get in on the action, too;
he barks once, and then continues walking, as best he can with an insane tornado of fur and teeth next to him.
Most of the time, we run into neighbor dogs while they, too, are out walking their hoomans, but there are also the Yard Dogs. These lucky puppies have hoomans who own or rent houses with gated yards. Well, there is one Chihuahua who doesn’t have a yard; he just has a window, the screen of which he has chewed through in his ferocious attempts to protect his sidewalk from getting desecrated by Gazellik and Meetu. (Meetu snarls back. Gazellik just lifts his leg and then keeps walking.) And one of the neighbors in our complex has a… Something that growls at the threshold every time we pass its door, but I’ve never seen it. (I guess they know better than to bring out their Something when Meetu is on watch!)
Then there’s the 30 pound walking mop, the next block down, Bubbles. We know his name is Bubbles, because while constitutionalizing with the boys one night, Honey heard Bubbles’s hoomans calling to him. (I have decided Bubbles is a boy. Honey thinks he’s a girl, but neither of us wants to ask Bubbles personally, because really, it’s none of our business.) Bubbles lives in the second house on the block with a gated yard. (The first house has a pretty, white picket fence, and no animals, more’s the pity.) Because the white picket fence backs up to Bubbles’s yard, you can never tell if Bubbles is outside or not, until you’ve gotten to his fence, at which point he is lunging for Meetu, who is lunging back. Good times, as long as you don’t mind the occasional heart attack. Or getting your shoulder wrenched.
Now, I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned that Honey and I both have terrible memories. TERRIBLE memories. We also have terrible memories. Sometimes we can fill in the blanks for each other, and sometimes, oh well! Recently, we were passing the door with the Something behind it, and I told it, “Hush, Bubbles.” Honey pointed out that this one isn’t Bubbles. It’s Peaches, or Princess (Do princesses usually growl like that? For that matter, do peaches?) or something equally noxious. We couldn’t remember the Something’s name. So I decided it was a Bubbles, too.
It makes sense, right? I tell Honey we can just name them all Bubbles, and then we don’t have to think about it. There’s Bubbles behind the fence, Bubbles behind the door, Bubbles that eats windows.
Just as I’m winding down from my brilliant speech, our neighbor’s cat ran past us, stirring up both Meetu and Gazellik. Honey waves his hand, “And there is Bubbles The Cat.”
And THAT is why I love my husband.