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What does he see in her?

The seasonal time change is still killing me.

I used to wake up at 4 a.m., but now I’m looking at the clock at 3.

Woke up with Jake on my mind.

No, Al’s still the one, but it might not be for long, if he doesn’t start training his dog. His dog, Whiskey, is getting away with murder.

We had dinner with Jake’s owners, Sam and Judy. Remember Jake, the dog who wears pajamas to bed? He’s the one who can’t go out without wearing his little booties and a coat over his sweater.

Can you imagine taking the time to dress a dog so he can go out and do his business?

I can’t comprehend this love for a dog.

His owner said last night he could have bought a new car for the money he’s spent on Jake’s doctor bills. They have probably spent $1,000 on his teeth and thousands of dollars on other body parts. He’s got problems with his stomach and he is on a special diet. Then, there is his liver and blood tests, and it goes on and on.

I asked Sam how many pills Jake takes every day.

He said, “Jake is taking only three capsules a day now, but they are very expensive.”

“Only three?” I said. “Jake is a doctor bill.” Jake and I would split the sheets. I advised them that they should get insurance on that dog, since he spends so much time at the doctor’s office.

Sam said, “Jake can’t get insurance, he has too many preexisting illnesses. But, he could qualify under Obamacare.”

“Oh, great. There goes our insurance rate! Something else for My Sweet Al to worry about.”

Now, I find out that Jake is also having trouble with the time change.

Him, too? What’s his problem?

Sam said, “Well, Jake used to go to bed at nine p.m., but with the time change, he has to go to bed at eight. He won’t go until we do. He sits and looks at us until we all go to bed together.”

“So does that mean you and Judy have to go to bed at eight because of Jake?”

“Well, yes.” Sam hemmed and hawed around. “But, he doesn’t wake up until we wake up. Even when we sleep to seven, he won’t move. Then, I get up and give him a pill, I put on his booties and coat over his pajamas and take him outside.”

“That dog is running your life.”

“But, we love him.”

I said, “I’d get rid of him.”

Then, I remembered Whiskey. Just this morning, after I thought we had her trained from jumping and eating everything on the cabinet, she grabbed the loaf of bread and ate it.

Whiskey is a “grocery bill.” She helps herself to the snack cart and to everything else within her reach.

She still jumps up on me. I yell all the way out the door to the car, “Down, down, down. Get down.”

When I come home, I look around to see where Whiskey is. I open the car door, get out before she jumps in my car, then I yell all the way back into the house, “Down, down, down, get down.”

I told Al he’s got to train Whiskey or get rid of her. He went into shock. Al says he loves her. And he confesses that he’s a little lenient with her, but the reason she jumps up on me is because she is excited to see me when I come home.

I’m not buying it.

What about these dogs?

Jake wants to go to bed at eight so his master obeys. Al loves Whiskey and is determined he can’t live without her.

Now, I’m waking up at three, thinking of Jake. I jumped out of bed and had to write an article about him. I’m losing sleep over these dogs.

Whiskey is an ugly dog by all standards. She has beady eyes, a crop of wiry hair between her eyes, going down her nose. Al says she is beautiful and is loyal to him. She wants to be wherever he is, and he can’t live without her.

Pagosa is a dog town. I see you driving around with your dogs on the front seat. They used to ride in the back of the truck. I’m perplexed with all of this dog love.

I guess, though, when someone falls in love, they can’t help it.

Remember the days in high school when a good-looking guy was going with some ugly girl? She was latched on to his arm at the football games. Of course, we were jealous, because she got the cute one.

Remember what we’d say? “She’s a dog. What does he see in her?”

I think I just answered the question.

Final brushstroke: Dogs are loyal and some of us are fickle. I’m sleeping with my Sweet Al and thinking about Jake.

Artist’s quote

“Life becomes harder for us when we live for others, but it also becomes richer and happier.” — Albert Schweitzer

This story was posted on December 19, 2013.