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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Charles Barkely and Why I'm Crazy (Reason #257)

If you're a faithful follower (Thanks, Mom!), you are not surprised at my admission of insanity.  I mean, I thought it was a great idea to bake cupcakes while hanging out with three toddlers.  From scratch.  I had a brief love/hate affair with a raccoon from Phi Kappa Alpha (Okay, so there was no love.  It was just hate.  I admit it).  And, I have all kinds of delusions about my son being the next winning goal-scorer for the U.S. World Cup team.  Just to name a few.

Well, today, I'm adding to the seemingly endless list of evidence confirming my craziness.  The other day, I was sitting there thinking to myself, "Wow, life is pretty nuts right now.  I have a lot going on and a lot coming up."  Let's see, I have a month left of summer vacation; I have approximately 2.6 million adventures I still want to take Gavin on; I'm finishing up teaching three online classes; My creative writing class ends this week, and I only have to add about 8 pages to my short story.  I have a really big meeting coming up next week that I need to prepare for (and probably should be doing that right about now).  And on, and on, and on.

So, what did I decide to do??  Get a new planner?  Nope.  Lock myself in a cave and get a bunch of work done?  Wrong!  Take Gavin to daycare for a few hours so I could get some house work done?  No way!  I decided to . . .


Of course!  That's the perfect solution to my "Holy crap, I've got a lot going on right now" problem.  I'll get a puppy!  Now why is this the perfect solution?  Because nothing says stress-reduction like a tiny, adorable, shoe-chewing, carpet-pissing, toe-biting, underwear-destroying black lab pup!

On top of that, I thought it would do Arnie (and his doggy insanity) a little good.   Why wouldn't he feel better with a feisty pup jumping on his head, biting his ears, and following him everywhere he goes?  You're welcome, Arnie!

How did I possibly come up with this super-amazing-brilliant idea?  It started awhile back when Gavin tried (rather unsuccessfully) to play with his dogs.  Oh, he tried to chase them, throw them a tennis ball, entice them with dog toys, etc. but, they're getting up there in age and really have no desire to do much more than lay around and pester people for food.

As I'm known to do, I decided to make a pros and cons list to help me decide.  My lists looked something like this:

1.  Gavin would like a puppy to play with.
2.  Puppies are cute.

1.  Puppies require a lot of training and attention.
2.  House-breaking a puppy is an enormous task.
3.  Puppies chew on shoes, socks, and underwear.
4.  Puppies bite (especially your feet).
5.  Arnie would be pissed.
6.  Gavin just started sleeping past 6 a.m.  I don't want to have to get up at 5 a.m. with a puppy.
7.  I already spend half my life picking up Gavin's toys, do I really want to pick up after a puppy, too?
8.  Puppies (especially labs) are hyper and destructive.
9.  I don't feel like whipping out my Bissel Clean Machine every 30 minutes.
10.  Did I mention I don't have time for a puppy?

I had a lot more things to put on the "Cons" list but I kept going back to "Puppies are cute," and then these people walked by our house with a boxer puppy.  Gavin was all like, "Oh look, Mom, a puppy," and the puppy was all in love with Gavin.  Later that day Gavin said, "Mommy how about we get five puppies?" Then, he proceeded to sing me a song that went like this: We are going to get five puppies.  They're going to lick our faces.  (He also said, "Mommy, can we get a new puppy instead of Arnie," but shhh! don't tell Arnie!)  So, I was like, "Sold!  We're getting a puppy!" And I guess we'll keep Arnie...

Now, before I even got the puppy, I knew I would let Gavin name him.  In my mind (scary place), I started thinking of ways to talk him out of names I thought he would choose:

- Buzz
- Woody (I could just imagine myself standing outside yelling, "Come on Woody!")
- Lightning McQueen (I'd have to avoid yelling at the dog because it would be too much effort to get that name out every time)
- Finn McMissile (What is with these Cars names?)
- Slinky dog  (Any name with the type of animal in it just makes you look like an idiot.  Like you only included the "dog" part in case you forgot you had a dog instead of a cat.)
- Buster (I might have mildly considered this)

In the car on the way home, I asked Gavin what he thought we should call the puppy.  In all seriousness he says, "I think his name is Charlie."  What?  Really?  Where the hell did that come from?  I was totally braced to talk him out of any of the names above, and he pulls 'Charlie' out of nowhere.  It wasn't a bad name, and I love giving my dogs people names.  It always makes for interesting conversation.  "Oh, hey, Dan.  This is my dog, Dan."  (Really, I have a dog named Dan.)  Also, it confuses people as to who I'm talking about.  "Wait, who's Charlie?  Is that your brother?  Boyfriend?  Husband?  Kid?  Brother-in-law?  Dad?"  Nope, it's my dog.  So, Charlie it was.  It wasn't the greatest name, but it wasn't the worst . . . until I got a text from my mom.

I had sent her 4.6 billion pictures of Charlie via text, and to one of them she replied, "Hi Charles."  Immediately, what popped in my head?  Charles Barkley.   Do you get the humor here?  Charles Barkley.  That totally sealed it for me.  I can just imagine how people everywhere are going to read this, share it with everyone they know, and somehow it will get back to Charles Barkley (the former NBA player and basketball analyst.  Oh, and I think he ran for mayor or governor or something.), and he'll be like, "Seriously?  Someone named their dog after me?  Not cool."  Then, he will wage a media war against me (think Al Gore v. Murphy Brown), and people will flock to support me.  I will then become famous, which will eventually lead to my being independently wealthy, and all will be well.  Or, I will just secretly chuckle every time I see Charles Barkley on television.  Whatever.

Image c/o

So far, Gavin and Charlie are BFFs (except when Gavin's tired and laying on the couch and Charlie decides to pounce on his head), Arnie doesn't seem to mind him too much, and we haven't had any accidents. (Okay, so we've spent 99.9% of our time outside.  I consider that 0.1% a victory.)  By tomorrow, I'm totally going to regret the thing about the accidents because I'm certain it will come back to haunt my carpet.  All is well, and you get the pleasure of looking forward to 1.8 million posts about all the shit Charlie does (and by "does" I mean "destroys") and how I'm going to kick myself (at some point) for getting a puppy!  I'll keep you updated on the Charles Barkley thing, too!


  1. Hey, I think it's great. When you are totally over the top trying to make time for everything, that's the perfect time to throw in a puppy. I know I sent my sanity packing. Charlie is a good name. Over the years we ended up with four--Rupert Murdog (still with us), Scoto, Oscar de la doggie, and the Doggie Lama. Yesterday I heard a woman call her dog Irving. For some reason that absolutely cracked me up. Let us know how your carpets fair...and of course, your thongs.

  2. Oh my Lord, you ARE crazy! What's with those names you anticipated Gavin coming up with? Avery would totally have suggested Lightning McQueen, Tow-Mater (not on your list, but still a Cars character), or Buster (which is the name of his stuffed animal). Must be a 3 yo thing. I like the name, and I got it right away! Are you proud of me? I'm proud of me. God help you.