Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Puppy Loathe

About three weeks ago, my younger sister did something incredibly foolish and impulsive: she bought a puppy. Considering that she has little money, growing credit card debt, and one semi-tangible job lead, my parents and I looked at my sister like she'd lost her mind. On top of that, our house is cluttered with old family photos, courtesy of the pending estate sale. Bridget's justification was that this was a college graduation present for herself. This is her $900 investment, a full-blooded dachshund that she named Henry Blue.

I've been writing this blog for about 6 1/2 years and I don't think I've ever discussed my younger sister at length until now. Physically, we have similar facial features but personality-wise we're almost opposites: where I tend to be fastidious and pragmatic, Bridget is laid-back and soft-hearted. She's an artist, I'm a writer. She scrapbooks as a hobby, I still collect baseball cards. She loves animals, though my interest in them is merely passing. Growing up, Bridget was the tomboy and the troublemaker; I was the quiet, pensive bookworm that avoided conflict at all costs. Obviously, not much has changed.

Arguably the puppy's greatest obstacle is the dog we already have. Back in 2004, for Bridget's Sweet 16 she received a maltipoo puppy that we named Duke. Though the little fella was intended to be my sister's pet first and a family mascot second, Duke slowly graviated towards my mother. That wasn't because the dog disliked my sister or anything, she was too busy with school and work to take care of him. As you can imagine, Duke is not giving the new guy an inch and in turn Henry has been hostile towards the old-timer.

My parents, slowly defeating themselves to the prospect of living with two small dogs, noted that Duke is stating his dominance after so many years of being the undisputed alpha dog (pun intended) in the household. When five-pound Henry sniffs him, 7 1/2 pound Duke growls at him. A short round of "bite tag" ensues before one of us has to seperate the dogs. It's like white lightning versus the black weasel. I can't blame the guy; it's an unfair situation for Duke but something he'll eventually get used to. Any canine harmony will be hard-fought.

Other notes:

+ Jon Huntsman is out of the race? Which means regardless of who wins, the GOP presidential nominee will be white, male, and crazy? And right now said to-be-determined crazy white guy has a 50/50 shot of beating Obama? Yikes.

+ Surprisingly, this is a concise and well-written article. Not surprisingly, the title doesn't do it justice, and the editors of Newsweek look like boneheads in their own right.

+ Finally, on a sad note I would like to acknowledge the passing of Mike Enriquez, a teacher and performer at iO Chicago that died late last week. Though I was only acquainted with Mike he was a local legend of sorts, a marvelous improviser and a genuinely nice guy. Vanessa Bayer, a former teammate of his at iO, paid tribute to him at the tail end of last weekend's SNL. Click here for more on a comedian's life cut too short.

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