Mutt has settled in pretty well in the week and a half since we brought him home. He’s conquered his initial shyness and now darts around the house like a weasel on meth, leaping onto furniture and assaulting our faces with his tiny mutt tongue. He largely ignores his chew toys and rawhide bones, opting instead to steal from his human companions and stash his treasures in the back of his little red hut. Among other things, he’s absconded with a cardboard box half as big as he is, a highlighter, one of the cat’s plastic bell-in-a-ball toys, and an issue of National Geographic. He has a mohawk and no legs and acts every bit as strange as he looks.
He’s a pretty good fit for our household full of odd things like writers and musicians and children.
Mutt does have one habit that’s rather disturbing, though.
Mutt likes my underwear.
It started with my bras. My favorite bra, to be specific. Granted, it is pretty cute-sparkly straps and printed with peace signs-so I can’t really blame him for coveting it, but he’s a dog, and besides that he’s a boy dog. He has even less boobage than I do. Still, he comes trotting through the living room with my bra, one cup in his mouth, the other trailing behind him, and he’s looking as dignified as possible when you have a sparkly bra hanging from your underbite.
“What the fuck, dog.” I say.
Mutt smiles around my bra.
“Dude, seriously. Drop it.”
There is dog spit on my bra. Gross.
“Dog. Give me the bra.”
More smiles. I end up having to pry his jaws open and remove the bra from his grasp.
Did I mention gross?
The next day I’m chilling in the kitchen when beloved calls from the living room, “Sweetie, the dog has your bra again.”
Repeat above what the fuck, dog scenario.
I’m starting to think there’s something weird about this creature.
I finally got the bright idea to start putting my bras up instead of just flinging them haphazardly around the room when I take them off. (Plus it greatly reduces the number of times beloved gets to sign off chats with his friends by saying, “Just got hit in the back of the head by a bra, gotta go,” which is a definite plus for me, even if does knock a few Awesome Dude Points off his score.)
Problem solved, right?
Not even close.
The next day: “Sweetie? I think the dog is eating your underwear.”
I go to investigate and sure enough, one of the pairs I just took off the line and tossed on the chair is being devoured by this creepy little demon dog. Upon closer inspection, I discover that it’s not just any old pair, but one of my favorite pairs. They’re teeny and striped and pretty much guaranteed to-well, never mind, but there goes that part of date night. Thank you very much, dog.
Two hours later he’s snacking on another favorite pair. These had a cute little silver camper trailer printed on the front-they were my Camper Van Beethoven undies, and mutt was acting like they were prime rib.
He’s going to start thinking his name is What The Fuck Dog.
Fortunately, my secret upskirt tribute to David Lowery and Co. were only a little dog spit-soaked, so they were salvageable.
Not so the next pair, my last surviving pair from a certain well-known lingerie shop’s free panty promotion. Mutt had those things reduced to tatters. Do you know what it’s like to pick bits of your underwear from between the teeth of a shih tzu?*
“Give me my underwear, dog.”
Nibble nibble nibble, says dog.
“For real, dog. Give ’em up. Open your mouth.”
No, says dog, and adds an underbite smirk just to be sure I’m paying attention. Chew chew chew.
“I bet I could trade you for a Victoria’s Secret gift card, mutt. I’m not even kidding. Open your mouth. What the fuck, dog, it’s underwear.”
You get the idea.
I’m beginning to think beloved is spraying my underwear with bacon grease or something as I take them off the line, using our sweet, innocent dog in his plot to turn me into a nudist, one article of clothing at a time. And after more than 30 years of being a proud slacker, this tiny little half-legged leg-humper (oh, the underwear thing so isn’t his only deviant habit) has forced me to do the unthinkable.
I took the clothes off the line this morning. I put them on my bed. I folded them and put them away. All of them, right then. And when I got dressed, my discarded unmentionables went straight to the washer.
Sorry, dog. The snack bar is closed.
*This sentence originally appeared in a text message to my older daughter.