After having her little operation on Monday, our new Corgi puppy has been recovering at the puppy shop in Chelsea (yes, you are welcome to judge me for getting a dog at a puppy shop). In the mean time, R and I have been visiting her every afternoon and indulging her passions for fashion and anatomy as she chews on his arm, my hands, his pants, my bag, his shoes, my socks, his nose, my ears, an Australian exchange student’s brunette ponytail. (She really is very well-rounded.)
Smitten as I am with my own puppy, I admit I find it hard to focus on one dog at a time in the shop. On the one hand, the barking, the crowded cages and the constant smell of cleaning products makes me uneasy, but also after a few days, I’ve started to recognize some of the other dogs’ odder traits and habits. There’s the escape artist Husky who jumps out of the playpen at every opportunity in order to greet the entire store; the indignant Pug and her dozy French Bulldog companion who both gaze upon you expectantly from the display window; a Pomeranian that literally pees everywhere, without fail, whenever it sees a human (while the shopkeeper isn’t supposed to assign names, he nicknamed this one Geyser); a stalkery Shiba Inu who tends to stand up and stare at the nearest human from within his cage, while he prarie-dogs a turd in and out of his anal sphincter. My dog may be gnawing on my big toe, but I can’t help but continually lock eyes with this hypnotic Shiba with poor bowel control, who somehow looks into my soul, sensing my discomfort, doing his very best to make it worse with every clench and release of his anus. I’m transfixed.
Of course, my own dog doesn’t notice. She’s attending to important matters (at this point, I think it’s my left shoe). I can’t help but see irony in the fact that that despite being two months old, she has the ability to focus on chewing intently without being watched or judged by the other dogs, while I, a 25-year-old human, really just want to get away from the Shiba-shitter at all costs. The initial idea is that we’d name her Brünnhilde, only natural for a strong, persistent female Corgi (R rejected the idea of naming her after Elizabeth Warren). However, we realized over the course of a few days what it took most people about 5 seconds to figure out: a Corgi named after a Wagnerian opera heroine is a tad pretentious. Coupled with the fact that she is in fact two months old, has two dads and lives near Lincoln Center, it would just be downright precious. (Also, to my slight disappointment, when she barks, it in fact does sound like “bark, bark” and less like “ho-yo-toh-hoe.”)
So, what to name her? Let’s talk aesthetics. Corgis are adorable, right? Their feet are too short, their bodies are too long, they can’t really run all that fast, they can’t really climb up on to the couch before pre-adulthood or post-arthritis, etc. Their utility is rather, um, stunted. Usefulness aside though, they are really only recognized as being cute because Corgis are some of the stupidest looking dogs on earth. Some think they look like loaves of bread (thanks to the square, tailless, wiggle-butt), but ours is a bit more tubular in appearance. Some say they look like bats, but they’re a tad too long for that. Really, ours just looks like a bat-eared salami.
Readers, allow me to introduce the latest addition to our household. Her name is Lunchmeat.