“Hi, I’d like to make an appointment to get my dog groomed.”
“I’m sorry, what?” The voice on the other end sounded annoyed.
I repeated myself. This time she heard me.
“Please hold,” the woman said tersely.
“I don’t think I like this broad’s attitude,” I mumbled to Betty. As I sat on hold I wondered what other people said when they called there. Even if she didn’t hear me, there’s probably a 90% chance that most of the people that call are asking to get their dog cleaned.
It is after all…a dog grooming place. Linda’s Classy Canines or something. The name of the establishment isn’t the slightest bit misleading. I didn’t call there under the assumption that they were going prepare my taxes or refinish my kitchen cabinets. “If they’re gonna be rude we can take our business elsewhere,” Betty didn’t seem to care.
It’s not like there are a lot of words in the English language that sound like “appointment”. Sure, maybe “anointment”…but Linda isn’t the high priestess of clean dog butts. I was really reading too far into what the tone of her voice meant.
Maybe I’m doing it wrong? Maybe there’s some kind of lingo I’m supposed to be using? I’m not so good at industry inspeak. Should I have asked her to pimp my puppy? Did I just expose myself as some kind of fledgling nuevo-yuppie? I’m not used to paying for services I should do myself.
I realized I had been on hold for a very long time after that last thought barreled through my brain. My phone tallied my call time as 5:15. But, I call bullshit. It was way longer.
I ended the call, thoroughly convinced that Linda has abandoned us and I have issues with asking for help. Betty was asleep on the pile of dirty clothes in the living room, blissfully unaware that the state of her fur is causing me such inner-turmoil.
I come from a long line of dog lovers. It pains me to see her go from Betty White to Betty Bathwater Grey with Black Spots. I know I must stop the metamorphosis before she goes full on Barry White.
I come from a long line of Do-it-yourself-ers. It pains me to know I am paying someone to do something I can do myself. I’m the same way when it comes to oil changes, lawn maintenance, and cleaning people. If I can do it myself, I should. My brain can’t grab hold of the concept.
I come from a long line of people that do not like to be bitten by little, fluffy dogs. It pains me…to uh, be in pain. Therein lies the problem. She never breaks the skin, but she makes it clear that she is displeased. No one likes to be growled at through the whole lathering process or given the silent treatment.
I may not have said this in so many words before, but Betty isn’t exactly a Rhodes Scholar and she’s…an asshole. She’s the only dog I’ve ever owned that has her own slogan, “She is little. She is mighty. She is stupid.” What she lacks in brains, she makes up for in cute. She’s very, very cute. Like, seriously…she might be the cutest dog on the planet.
It’s taken me a while to come to terms with this. I used to defend her zest for life, now I find myself apologizing for it. She’s not extra zesty, she’s a jerk. Our last walk confirms this. First, on the way downstairs she walked into the neighbors apartment and barked at her. After that she picked a fight with a dog twice her size. When I’d finally had enough of her crap, we came back upstairs and she proceeded to shit on the floor while making eye contact with me. Who does that? The size of the chip she’s got on her shoulder should crush her tiny frame. Kanye West probably would have been a much better name for her.
You really don’t have to do anything to become the target of her ire, you basically just have to be a creature that doesn’t reside with her and be within barking distance. Dogs, cats, ducks, squirrels, alligators…they all trigger an eruption of aggression. She snorts and paws at the ground, raucous yipping quickly follows. Whatever she’s barking at is initially stunned, but that doesn’t last long…I imagine it’s a lot like being yelled at by disgruntled, tumbling bag of cotton balls.
Since she is such a problem child, I was apprehensive about taking her to the groomers. But, we took her anyway. Surprisingly when we picked her up, she was very clean…and also not dead. Why is that surprising? Well, she’s my dog…and there are times when I’ve wanted to strangle her during a bath. They didn’t utter the words, “Don’t come back.” In fact, they said she was “Hilarious”. I’ve never found having something angrily gnaw on my pinky to be the least bit humorous, but to each their own.
“Let’s face it Betty, Linda…or whatever her name is…is our only hope! Everyone else thinks you’re obnoxious,” I said as she provided a chorus of sleepy puppy sounds. I put my tail between my legs and called back. This time Linda wasn’t such a bitch, so I didn’t say anything about being left on hold long enough to question my ability to be an effective human being. It’s a small price to pay for a fabulous looking and undead dog.