Christmas Dogs

0
490

By Sean Dietrich

You are a writer. You open your laptop. You’re inspired today.
This means you might write something profound that will change the way you see the world, life, and the nature of love. But then you suddenly realize that this can never happen.
Because you have dogs.
You can’t write today because you can’t concentrate. The dogs are making too much noise, scratching at the back door.
So you let them outside.
When you get back to your keyboard, you sit to write something.
This is going to be glorious. You can feel it. You might write your best stuff ever today.
You’ve already got the story. You’re going to write about an elderly veteran you interviewed in Georgia, who has dozens of miniature American flags in his front yard. Now that’s a good story, and in it you’ll include—
Scratching.
Just forget about the noise and keep writing.
Scratching.
Pay no attention to them. Focus, Grasshopper.
Scratching.
You let the dogs inside.
They bound indoors and begin to play so hard they knock over a coffee table. Then, even though your Labrador is fully neutered, he becomes so overcome with romantic feelings he attempts a marital act upon your bloodhound.
Your bloodhound sprints to the back door with a love-crazed miniature Lab riding piggyback on her hindparts. A brawl ensues.
So you let them outside.
Finally. Peace and quiet.
You place your fingers onto the keyboard, but you can’t remember what you were going to write about.
Think, man.
“Hey, I’ve got it,” you say. “I’ll write about the leather chair in the corner.”
Granted, it’s not the most inspired idea you’ve ever had, but maybe it will work.
After all, that chair has memories. It was your mother’s. You remember when she used to sit and read her Bible in it when you were a boy. You remember how you’d find her in the chair, late at night, asleep, waiting for you to get home from a date. You’d cover her with a quilt before going to bed and you’d—
Scratch, scratch, scratch.
You ignore the sound.
Let’s see where were we? Ah, yes. Late at night, you’d cover her with a—
Scratch, scratch, scratch.
You let the heathens inside.
They wrestle so hard they knock over the Christmas tree and set fire to the living room rug. You clean up their mess. You duct tape your wife’s damaged throw pillows.
You sit down to write again.
Now. What were we writing about again? A chair.
Really? Why would anyone write about a dumb chair? Nevermind, let’s start over.
Let’s write about when you discovered Santa Claus wasn’t real.
It was a black day when that happened. True, you were in seventh grade when you had this shocking realization about Saint Nick. But to be fair, your parents were very good liars.
After all, Santa came to your house on multiple occasions. In fact, you had your picture taken with him in your OWN KITCHEN. Sure, Santa smelled like beer and talked a lot like your father’s best friend, Ben. But the fact is, Santa will remain forever dear to the rapturous spirit of—
Scratch, scratch, scratch, scratch, scratch, scratch, scratch, scratch, scratch, scratch, scratch, scratch, scratch, scratch, scratch, scratch, scratch, scratch.
“SHUT UP!” you yell.
Scratch, scratch, scratch, scratch, scratch, scratch, scratch, scratch, scratch, scratch, scratch, scratch, scratch, scratch, scratch, scratch, scratch, scratch.
You let them inside.
They wrestle. They are chasing one another through the house. Your Labrador tries to run between your legs but rams into you so hard that you hear something in your knee crack. You fall face forward into your wife’s nativity scene, spilling scented candle wax on yourself.
You send them outside.
You sit down with an ice pack on your knee.
Scratch, scratch, scratch.
“GO AWAY!” you yell.
Scratch, scratch, scratch.
“YOU’RE NOT MY REAL DOGS, YOU’RE ADOPTED!”
Scratch, scratch, scratch.
You let them inside.
They play so hard they knock over your laptop, puncture a hole in your couch, then steal your wallet and max out your credit cards. Soon, they are behind the Christmas tree. The Labrador is once again overcome with sudden urges of romance.
You throw them outside.
Your home is wrecked, there is tinsel everywhere, a puddle of vomit is on the carpet, eight miles of toilet paper unfurled in your living room, and someone pooped in the kitchen.
Scratch, scratch.
You let them in. You are about to scold them but you don’t have the heart.
And in a few moments they are asleep on your lap. Their faces are angelic, they are breathing heavy. They are the most beautiful things you’ve ever seen.
So, you QUIETLY open your laptop. Maybe now you can get some writing done. You stare at a blank screen for ten minutes.
Before you can type a word, a sleeping dog places his rear on your laptop keyboard and writes: 4IIIIIIEE@@@@ 0eirja osdkjf owiejrmoiwe jrcwyr9n2cu oisjflksd ofnuiw&W#YRI UWCHFKJSHFiu @I$hwe98ry9 48ry!
So you shut your laptop.
You fall asleep while petting them. You decide to write another day.
Because you have dogs.
Sean Dietrich is a columnist, and novelist, known for his commentary on life in the American South. His work has appeared in Southern Living, the Tallahassee Democrat, Southern Magazine, Yellowhammer News, the Bitter Southerner, the Mobile Press Register and he has authored seven books.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here