The Canine Atonement

First good picture of ChaussetteI have to admit it: I was a bad wife. Paul, my husband, made it clear that although he would grudgingly support getting a new dog, he A) wanted to wait until spring, B) wanted a relatively small dog, C) wanted a short-haired dog, and D) wanted a male. So of course I fell in love with a long-haired female poofball who will grow to be at least 40 pounds and was for immediate sale even as the beginning of March, true to its “lion” nature, dumped snow upon us. Logic was of no use in persuading him that I should get a puppy, so I went for the feminine nuclear option: tears, and the inescapable knowledge that life with me would be intolerable if I didn’t get my way on this issue. I felt horrible about backing him into a marriage corner, but I felt I had no choice: a girl does crazy things for love.
“I have no choice in this, do I?” he asked rhetorically, with resignation rather than bitterness, which I felt was quite noble of him.
Of course he was right—he did not indeed have a choice, and I did indeed get my puppy—but I felt it was gracious of him to accept his fate so stoically. I resolved to atone for my marital misdeed, so when my friend Angie mentioned that she had a quarter of beef to sell from a steer that her family had just slaughtered, I told her I’d take it.
Bear in mind that I was a quasi-vegetarian. I didn’t count as a full one because I would eat chicken, fish, and occasional red meat if I was convinced that the animals involved had been humanely and ecologically raised and/or it was being served to me and refusing it would have been rude. Even so, I wasn’t comfortable actually cooking meat myself—I was convinced I’d poison my family with salmonella or something equally sinister in my attempts. (When my husband wanted meat, he was almost always solely responsible for the purchase and preparation.) Also, the $512.37 tab for the meat was a pretty penny given my family’s modest hourly wages and lack of all job-related benefits.
But I was resolved to prove my love for my husband, and if doing so meant splurging on a year’s supply of meat, by jingo I was going to do it. Plus this meat was locally raised by a dear friend, so I wasn’t compromising my meaty ethics. I should note that at no point had my husband said anything to make me feel guilty or indebted to him; he simply accepted that we were getting a puppy and moved on quietly. His absence of protest for something that he didn’t want but that he knew would make me happy was such a great proof of HIS love that I was desperate to make a parallel gesture to prove mine. Hence the meat.
Angie and her family showed up last Sunday with a car full of frozen meat, and our downstairs freezer is now fully stocked. I’m pleased to report that I made my first meatloaf with a decent level of success, and there’s a pot roast in the crockpot even as I type. Unfortunately, it seems like it won’t be done by suppertime even though I put it in this morning, but I still have high hopes for using it tomorrow. In the meantime, there are enough fleshy leftovers to get us through the next meal.
As for Chaussette, the puppy, I’m also pleased to report that she still has given me no reason to regret my rash acquisition. In the space of a week and two days, she’s adapted to life in the house, stopped crying when put in her pen, learned “Come” and “Sit,” gotten used to wearing a collar and walking on a leash, and is almost fully housetrained. She gets the occasional bout of puppy energy and gets nippy, much to the chagrin of my son, but in general she’s docile, affectionate, and fully capable of charming everyone who meets her. Her chinchilla-softness and cat-like ability to cuddle only add to her appeal. Because of Chaussette’s numerous good qualities, Paul’s even relented enough to play with her a few times.
Of course, the new Droid he just bought in the wake of my boatload of guilt is also helping his opinion about the situation.

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One comment

  1. Yep, she’s gorgeous!

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