Fly Be Free (But your dog isn’t going with you)

Our daughter moved out the house but now she has to move back home because of her dog. Specifically her stalker-dog Yorkie who simply needs to be with the owner who, ahem, raised him. I thought it would be okay. I mean, both my husband and I take our pet rearing responsibilities very seriously. So when Christina decided to go to Las Vegas to try to live as an adult, we were both okay with the “fly be free” part of being a 19-year-old. Never mind that she was moving to the state with the highest unemployment and worst higher education system in the nation; what do we know? But this also meant we would have parental transfer rights to her dog, Casey. Taking him with her was not an option. Especially since both daughter and dog are pretty high maintenance.

Christina and I had a good discussion about the whole Casey thing. She said she was going to sue us for ownership on Judge Judy. And I do wonder how Judge Judy would have decided should we have ended up on her show:

Judge Judy Show Synopsis: A daughter moves to Vegas and wants to take her 8-year-old pure bred Yorkshire terrier dog with her. Her parents forbid it stating she isn’t responsible enough to properly care for her dog and besides, she doesn’t have a job or a secure residence. But daughter insists that her dog belongs to her since she has raised it from a puppy and she wants her dog to go to Vegas with her. How would Judge Judy decide?

And my husband loves Casey, too, but the whole stalker-dog thing just wasn’t going to work for him. This means as the second mommy, I got the dog. And I tried to be the good parent. I really did. I made Casey watch Christina pack her suitcases and then her car and then I held him as she got in and proceeded to sit in the driveway for over 20 minutes trying to get the GPS to work. Eventually I poked my husband in the side and said, “Go find out what is taking so long and ask her to leave.” For the record, I will never be accused of suffering from empty nest syndrome. Besides, it was cold and Casey was shivering. (Note to self: Remember to ask Christina where all his cute little winter outfits were stored).

So, off she went. And it was fine for a couple of weeks. Honestly, Casey seemed to get it. He didn’t mope around the house waiting for her to come home. He didn’t spend any time upstairs in the “Christina Cave” where he used to spend 80% of his time with her. And both my husband and I languished extra special attention on the poor thing seeing as he was now an orphan. Again, probably not so much a good idea in hindsight. And all his stalker tendencies were quickly transposed to Mommy #2.

But there were other issues. Like the whole cat in the bed thing. Casey was used to sharing a bed with Christina in their cave. And it wasn’t that big of a deal for Casey to now sleep with my husband and me in our bed. But sometimes Boca, our cat, sleeps with us too. Evidently Casey wasn’t aware of this and the first time Boca slinked into the bed, Casey woke up, obviously not a happy camper about this whole bed sharing thing and proceeded to do his “inside voice” growl. Which my husband promptly responded with his usual, “Casey, shut up.” Which, as usual, Casey didn’t listen because two seconds later, there was this major dog/cat confrontation. And there are simply no words to describe being woken up at 3:35 am to an animal fight in your bed. Typical parental response: both critters were promptly tossed to the floor; we were so done with that.

And Casey was also used to sleeping in until around noon. Having the alarm going off at 6:30 am was another cause for the inside growl voice. I really think he was pissed that we had to get up so early. It was so inconvenient for him. And I’ll admit I totally agreed with that thought but someone has to buy all the expensive dog food. Casey was very clear that he simply was not hungry before noon and didn’t appreciate his food sitting out for hours. Unlike the cat that is extremely verbal that he is STARVING and almost crawls up your leg trying to hurry you along in getting his food. And Boca would start that very verbal process at 5 am if he didn’t know we’d shut him up in the laundry room and go back to sleep. Besides I also think it pisses Casey off that Boca will sometimes eat his food – I swear he does it out of spite. Then again, Casey stole Boca’s Christmas rat on a string toy so I guess it’s just another example of pet sibling rivalry.

So we have a dog that dry humps my $145 comforter (I make sure he does it on my husband’s half), insists on sitting on top of the floor heater vent while giving us this very pissy look that we simply do not have the thermostat turned up high enough and also expects us to shovel the back yard as soon as it quits snowing to avoid shit-sickles. I will give him that: it’s not his fault he is 4 inches off the ground and any dusting of snow results in severe dog poop issues. But all in all we recognize that we have a very spoiled, albeit very cute dog. And after 8 years, we think that Christina has to accept total responsibility and move back home to take care of the monster that she created. After all, I am sure Judge Judy would concur.

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