Tube City Almanac

November 20, 2007

And 'Arf' Goes Sandy

Category: General Nonsense || By

The mother of me has adopted a dog. Apparently raising my brother and I wasn't enough aggravation.

"She's from the Pet Adoption League in Yukon," mom told me the other night over the phone.

"You mean you got a sled dog?" I asked.

"Ha, ha," she said. "From Yukon out in Westmoreland County. Her name is Journey."

"Don't stop believin'," I said.

"Are you done now?" she said.

"I guess."

"She's about six months old," mom said. "They found her out along the side of the road when she was a puppy. No one ever owned her, so she's never been out of the kennel. She's not even housebroken yet."

"How do you know if she needs to go outside?" I asked.

"I ask her, 'You need to go potty? Do you? Do you need to go potty?'"

"Does she understand English?"

"Well, no," mom said.

"Then why are you talking to her in baby talk?" I asked. (Mom never even talked to us in baby talk.)

There was a long pause on the other end. "When she starts to walk around, looking at the floor, then I know she needs to go out. She'll learn."

"Is that how you trained me?"

"No, but you were no picnic, either," she said. "Can you do me a favor? Can you come over tomorrow night and feed her and let her out?"

"You know, young lady, taking care of a dog is a big responsibility," I said in my best Mike Brady voice. "Are you sure you're ready for this?"

"I know, but I have to work late, and it's her first time alone," she said.

"Take her to work with you. Tell your boss you've gone blind."

"I don't think that's a good idea. Journey will be in the kitchen. Her food will be in a dish in the fridge."

On the way to mom's house, I stopped at my supermarket (the House of Rancid Lunchmeat) and bought a box of cookies, a box of dog biscuits, and a pint of milk.

The cashier gave me a funny look. "I'm hungry, but I can't decide what I want," I told her.

Later that night, I called mom at work. "You have a very smart doggie," I said.

"Isn't she smart?" she gushed, just like a proud mom.

"She sure is," I said. "She figured out how to get out of the kitchen in no time flat."

"Oh, no," she said.

"Oh, yes," I said, "and she knows how to chew up the bills, and knock over the chairs, and do you remember the Venetian blinds in your living room?"

"Oh, no," she said.

Guess who now has a crate to stay in when she's home by herself? (Hint: Not mom.)

By the way, feeding and walkies went well, for both me and Journey, though at some point on our little jaunt through Dead Man's Hollow it dawned on me that (like mom) I was talking to her in baby talk.

It's like having the little sister I always wanted. Except I won't have to beat up any of her boyfriends when she gets older. She's been spayed.

Good thing, too, because I was lousy in schoolyard fights, even when the other guy wasn't biting.

. . .

P.S.: And "arf" goes Sandy. (Sometimes they said, "And 'arf' says Sandy," according to Wikipedia.) Come to think of it, Journey looks a little like Sandy, too.

Your Comments are Welcome!

Cute dog, but I thought you were allergic to your sister…
Eric - November 20, 2007

Yes, and now you know why she never had a dog when I lived at home.

After about two hours, I had to say goodbye to sis, because I couldn’t breathe.

But I’ll see her at Thanksgiving. It’s easy to tell us apart; I’m the one with bad table manners.
Webmaster - November 20, 2007

Post Gazette: “County ends name search on property site”
Allegheny County Council members said that safety trumps
transparency when it comes to searching the county’s real
estate Web site by owners’ names.

Nothing transparent about their efforts to withhold public information.
judy caputti - November 21, 2007

To comment on any story at Tube City Almanac, email, send a tweet to, visit our Facebook page, or write to Tube City Almanac, P.O. Box 94, McKeesport, PA 15134.