I have been in the editing business a long time, and just the other day, I came across my letter from the editor article from two years ago, when I decided to do something that ended up turning my whole life upside down.

"Mom, guess what," I said excitedly into the phone.

"What?" Mom sighed, sounding distant.

"I'M GETTING A DOG!" I squealed. "Eek, isn't it exciting?"

Mom paused. "Honey, doesn't your apartment building have a no-dog policy?"

I laughed. Obviously, Mom wasn't as excited as I was. "Mom, please, it's just for big dogs. All I've got to do is pick out a little dog. That shouldn't be too hard, right?"

Yeah, no, famous last words. Two weeks after my phone call and an extensive search for the perfect one, I was bringing the little bugger home. Emmie was a small mixed breed mutt, and I was assured that she wouldn't grow any bigger than what she was now, which was about housecat sized.

"Emmie, we're going to have so much fun together!" I told her as we drove along Main Street. "Your new home is somewhat small, and there are only three rules! One, no messes anywhere. I might lay out some puppy pads for you in the kitchen but I'm still deciding. Two, no chewing on anything. Nothing in the apartment is mine, except for my clothes and my coffee maker. Three, no bothering me while I'm working. I'm a newspaper editor, and I need complete silence to think so I can get everything just right."

I glanced in the rearview mirror back at her. "Got i-No! Bad dog!" My foot found the brake pedal and I impulsively stepped on it. My head snapped forward and I eased the car over to the side of the road.

"Ugh!" I sighed, unbuckling myself from the seat and opening the back car door. Emmie had reattached her mouth to the seat of my car.

She seemed to grin at me and I glared at her. Oh, I'm not supposed to chew on this? Whoopsies.

"And evidently the home rules apply for the car as well," I snapped, removing her jaws from the cushion. "And we'll be getting you a crate, as it's obvious you're not trained enough to handle the car freestyle yet."

I drove the rest of the way home with Emmie in my lap, which I know isn't a good idea, but there was no other way to save my car. As soon as we reached home I pointed to her doggie crate, her food and water dishes, and her toy box.

"You need to put your toys away when you're done playing with them," I told her. "I won't have time to, and I don't want to be tripping over them all the time."

Emmie panted up at me. I assumed this was an 'I understand' pant, and grabbed my phone.

"Mom? Guess what? I got the dog!"

"Call your landlord to let them know," she advised. "I'll try to stop by after work to see it. Did you get puppy pads yet?"

"I didn't think we'd need them," I answered. "She seems mostly-stop chewing on that!-like I said, she seems mostly well-behaved."

"You'll need them, trust me," Mom snorted. "Good luck."

"Alright," I told Emmie. "I'm going to start my letter from the editor, so behave yourself. Grandma will be over soon."

I had just sat down at my desk and began writing an exciting, upbeat story about my new baby for you, when a bad smell overtook the house. I got up from the computer and ran into the living room, where, sure enough, Emmie had laid a nice stink in the middle of the floor for me.

"Emmie!" I yelled. "Bad dog. No messes!"

She just smirked up at me. Uh-huh, suuuure.

After cleaning up the mess and gagging at least a million times, I made it back to my desk and restarted my letter to you. I began it with 'I wanted to try something new', but then I started hearing strange noises from the living room and I ran back out to see what was happening.

Emmie was running around the living room, growling and biting at random furniture whenever she got close enough to it. When she happened to Tokyo drift my way, she grabbed onto my pantleg and crawled halfway up my leg until I started screaming, and she dropped to the floor.

After that experience, my letter started out as 'My new dog might be a demon', but I found that too dark and I tried a different tactic, which was titling my letter first thing. But Never Adopt a Dog Again, Trust Me, seemed way too influential.

Half an hour later with no work done and still no phone call to my landlord, Mom arrived, well-armed with puppy pads and Febreze. She crinkled her nose.

"Either you've been eating Mexican food lately, or your toilet is stopped up, but I'm guessing it bombed your house." Yes, these were her first words to me the second she was in the doorway.

"Well, maybe I could use one puppy pad," I admitted.

Mom rolled her eyes and laid them out systematically through the house. "I remember when your father decided he wanted a dog. That thing used everywhere for it's bathroom. Your best bet is to train it to use the toilet."

I gasped and ran to my desk. "When adding a dog to your environment and living in small areas, try training your dog to use the toilet."

Trust me, that letter from the editor draft went down the toilet. After a few days of setting Emmie on the toilet, dropping her in the toilet, and randomly finding her in the toilet, I gave up. There were still messes on the puppy pads, which I had doubled, and I was almost out of Febreze. I gave up my Wednesday night dates with my geeky guy friends that didn't understand the difference between serious dating and going out to be nice (refer to So, I Was Just Proposed to on the First Date?! article), just so that I wouldn't get a 'she smells bad' reputation.

By this time, my landlord was aware that I had a medium sized dog in the apartment (hmm, she was supposed to stay miniature sized...) and was asking me to move out.

Well, I have to say that, despite all that Emmie has tried to do in the past two years to prove that she is not a dog and I am not supposed to have her, she and I love each other very much, and right now, I am ignoring the pile of poop she just planted on my couch in my actual home with a non-geeky Wednesday night date man, who I married this spring, and in return, she is ignoring that fact that I have neglected her food dish in order to finish this letter on time. Again, thanks to all my fans, and no messes, Emmie!!

May 26, 2021 17:07

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RBE | Illustration — We made a writing app for you | 2023-02

We made a writing app for you

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