I've been watching my sister's dog, Capone, for nearly two weeks while she's off meeting celebrities on a blitzkrieg honeymoon across Europe. This is him:
Isn't he adorable? He's sweet and well behaved, and he celebrates my return from work every day as if I were the second coming of Jesus or Michael Jackson (too soon?). I appreciate his gushing affection because I like dogs, but the only thing dogs tend to like about me is the chewability of my delicious skin. Anyway, Capone's an indoor dog. He never craps in the house and he only barks when he want to come back inside after powdering his nose in the backyard. Even then, the bark is a single, notifying "Ready!" and he'll even allow you a few minutes to open the door before shouting, "Ready!" again.
The other night, I invited Capone to sleep on Gilda's side of the bed while she's in Mexico, and he gladly curled up next to me and stayed until morning. I thought we were advancing our relationship to the next level, but the following night, he chose to sleep in his favorite closet instead of with me. I took his absence as a sign of rejection and eventually convinced myself that I really didn't want a mangy beast soiling the sheets with its filth anyway. All through the night, I heard what sounded like someone shouting, "Ready!" from somewhere outside the walls of my sister's home, and though it was a familiar voice, I assured myself it was someone I didn't know. In the morning, I bumbled around the dark living room until I found a lamp. The turn of the switch brought illumination, realization, and Capone's single outside bark (whose meaning had changed from "Ready!" to "What the @#$%?!"). He ignored my apologies when I let him back in the house and immediately trotted to his "Best Dog in the World" water bowl and lapped it clean. I believe it was in the 80s that night.
The next day, I arrived home, emptied the contents of my pockets, stripped off my shirt, kicked off my shoes, and sighed contently for the end of another long day. Capone and I wrestled for a few minutes before I carried a garbage bag outside and locked myself out of the house. I stood staring at the front door like a shirtless moron in disbelief. How dare Capone and the house conspire revenge! In the backyard, I eased into a patio chair and rested my chin on my fist to reflect on the condition of my condition. Capone appeared at the back door and perched like a tail-wagging sphinx from inside the house, turning his head questioningly each time I slapped mosquitos from my sweaty face. Holy, holy hallelujah for the phone call I was expecting from Gilda. I had grabbed my cell phone before I'd left the house and used its remaining minutes of life to hear my other sister's sneering laughter. She came with a spare key, and I cooled down with a large glass of water.
Karma? I'd say so, sir.