Smile Politely

Meet Bruce Coulter

I sort of hate to begin another column by talking about yet another recent injury to my body, but it sort of ties in to what will come next, so um, whatever, I guess. Anyway, the dog comes running in with a lid in its mouth and I just had it in my head that it’s a plastic lid and I grab it sort of aggressively. Well, while it was, in fact, a lid, it was a metal lid instead of plastic and it cut a hole right into my finger. Fortunately, I quickly found a Band-Aid. Unfortunately, the only Band-Aid I could find had a picture of Hello Kitty on it. Anyway, the finger makes it sort of painful to type and the bandage makes me feels pretty. Let’s get it on.


NOTE: Let me begin by saying that even though I often act as if I have no sense, I sometimes like to step away and actually prove it every once in awhile.

The Monday before last started like any other Monday, which essentially means that it sucked and I was still probably a little groggy from the previous weekend’s festivities. The wife sends me an email with several pictures of a little puppy and only the words “This is Bruce” to help decipher the meaning of her correspondence. The puppy was a very cute chocolate lab that looked to be about five months old. Being a moron, I assumed that she simply found some pictures of a dog she thought was cute and sent them to me.

A few minutes later I got a phone call from her that explained that this dog, which I am now apparently supposed to address as Bruce, was going to the pound the next day if he didn’t find a new owner. That sucks, I thought, as the gravity of the situation slowly began to sink in. She said I could meet Bruce after work that day if I wanted to. Well, of course I wanted to meet Bruce. He seemed awesome. It was at this juncture that it occurred to me that we were getting a new puppy to go with the other two we already have.

I mean, c’mon. “Oh, just meet him and see what you think.” Who the piss meets a five-month-old puppy that’s completely awesome and about to go to the animal shelter and doesn’t think it’s best just to keep him? Seriously, look at his little face. I may be a complete rat bastard but I’m not heartless. So, this is Bruce and he’s now a Coulter.

As you can see he’s quite a looker. I have also called him several other things besides “a looker” in the past 10 days.

So, just so no one freaks out, this is the last dog we are getting, as three seems like plenty and there is no more room for any dog crates in our house. We promise we are getting our emotional tubes tied before friends or family have an intervention about hoarding. I know three dogs may seem like a lot, but it’s really working out great. Yes, we are now forced to play a zone instead of man-to-man, and yes, they now outnumber us, which usually doesn’t make a person feel totally secure, but Bruce is now a part of the family and I’m totally juiced about it.


The other two dogs have been very sweet and mothering to Bruce, even though they are both boys and Bruce is a pain in the ass a large part of the time. Louis and Lucky especially enjoy pinning Bruce to the ground while Bruce enjoys trying to sever their arteries with his little razor-like puppy teeth. It’s a match made in heaven so long as you keep you hands away when the shit is going down. Fine, maybe it’s a match made in the third circle of hell, but it’s still working just fine either way.

So far, Bruce has had many bouts of genuine sweetness, but he likes to temper these moments with several episodes of bat shit crazy yelping and running. His voice seems extremely high pitched, even for a puppy, and he sort of sounds like that James Blunt dude, except you know, not as terrible. It has so far been impossible to figure out exactly why he is yelping. Sometimes it seems like it’s because he’s getting too much attention while other times it seems like it’s because he’s not getting enough. I stopped looking for a reason once it occurred to me that he’s a puppy and a whole lot of things don’t make sense just yet, to him or to us.

As he is a puppy, we are still in training mode. He has progressed quite a lot so far. He no longer dives in his food bowl before we can place it on the ground. He is now aware that he shouldn’t chew just anything he finds on the floor. Actually, the only reason he stopped this is because we are now smart enough to not leave anything on the floor. He has also learned that it’s not all that cool to bring daddy the top of a tuna can.

He’s surprisingly house broken, but that shit is not 100% yet. He knows to poop outside, which is just super handy, but he has a bit of trouble on the pee front. It’s usually not a complete emptying of the bladder; so much as a few dribbles here and there. It’s not his fault really, since he often gets scared of things and it makes him pee just a little. As far as I can tell, a few of the things that can scare urine out of him are rugs, oxygen, a car horn, and his reflection.

It’s also quite an adventure going on our nightly walks. I take the two big dogs, one on each arm and my lady takes Bruce. Yes, it’s sort of hard having a pit bull on each arm, but it sort of makes me look tough and totally blasts my core so I’m not complaining. It also means that I no longer have a free hand available to pick up poop and that is just fine with me. At this juncture, we have switched from picking it up with grocery store bags to picking it up with those big lawn and garden bags. We are not sure what we will do when those are no longer big enough.

So, we love Bruce. Yes, it seems sort of weird but it also seems completely right.

Buona sera, senorina, kiss me goodnight.

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