My mom often talks about how Tobey gives her a guilt trip when she’s trying to leave the house without him and I often think she’s projecting/imagining because how can a dog give you a guilt trip? Then I take it one step further and think about how I grew up hearing that as an infant I demanded to be included in everything and had my parents wrapped around my little finger, which was exceedingly little as you can imagine. My parents were big on reading all those Dr. Spock child psych/behavior books, since this was the seventies (which is funny since I’m only 21) and so the way I’d spin my baby web was when they went to sleep I’d use my inexplicable baby strength to fashion a kind of hoist with my blanket and then I’d use a pop up toy to launch myself over the crib wall. Then I’d land safely, magically, and log roll into the family room where the books were kept. Sometimes I’d skateboard. Then I just shimmied up the wall like a mouse or spider or go-go dancer, grabbed the books and opened them up to “Ages 0 to 6 mos.” and changed all the prose to, “Do whatever your baby wants.” It was pretty easy, or, as my sister and I used to say in third grade, cinchy.
So I guess what I’m trying to say is when I hear volition being attributed to creatures who haven’t yet mastered walking upright (speaking of, when is Tobey going to do that? He’s already 3!), I’m skeptical.
But then yesterday I tried to leave the house without him and he really did look up at me as if to say, “We’re pals, we go everywhere together, you’re taking me with you, right?” I explained that this wasn’t the case at which point he sighed heavily, slammed the door and dyed his fur hot pink. Then he tied up the phone for what had to be hours. I’m trying my damnedest not to give into it but it’s difficult since he hid my keys and is now sleeping in my bed. (He’s letting me use his furry dog bed. He’s not heartless.) I’ve adjusted to the collar pretty well but the food is killing me. Hard, dry, pellet-type things which reek of some unidentifiable meat smell for breakfast, lunch and dinner. If I’m lucky someone will throw me a scrap of something that isn’t kibble. When it gets too much I sneak into the bathroom and pull Kleenexes from the trash. I can’t help it, they’re delicious.