So, a few weeks ago, when I was in Virginia I left my dog Gio at home and my boyfriend Dragon was taking care of him for the weekend.
I’ll admit that I was nervous. It’s not that Dragon isn’t capable of taking care of my dog – quite the opposite actually. I was nervous because Gio has a tendency to panic when I’m gone at unusual times. He’s fine with my normal work schedule, but if I leave at some random point during the day that he’s not used to, he will freak the heck out. When this happens, it usually means that he channels all of this panic into eating something that he isn’t supposed to.
When I first adopted him, his separation anxiety was much worse – and understandably so, the pup was in a new home with a new mom and had no idea what was going on. So one night, Dragon and I decided to try going to see a movie. We came home to find the rubber nails of Dragon’s panda teddy bear* neatly clipped off of one of its feet and laying in a pile next to the bear, while Gio just stared at us with a mixture of embarrassment and relief.
*He’s had it since he was a baby and it sits next to my stuffed animal moose on the dresser, while a cardboard cut-out of Stephen Colbert has his arm around them. They’re friends. It’s awesome.
Things like this would keep happening (you all remember the candle incident, right?) and I had to keep getting more careful about what was within reach for my dog to get to in the event that he would have a panic attack.
So you can imagine my nervousness as I decided to leave town for the weekend.
I would text Dragon while John Hamm and I were on the road to see how Gio was doing and Dragon would say things like “He’s fine, but he definitely misses you.” (His logic behind this was that Gio just kept staring at him like he was mad that Dragon wasn’t me.)
So things were seeming like they were going fine.
And then I woke up at 5AM to a message from Dragon. (Real quick: Dragon works at night and doesn’t get home until at least 2AM most nights, which is fine, because Gio doesn’t really freak out when he’s alone at night since that’s when I’m either working or out with friends or whatnot – in other words, this should not have been a freak-out time).
Anyway, I woke up at 5AM to this message:
Dragon: He pooped everywhere and ate your smoke detector.
Me: Are you fracking kidding me? Why the heck was my smoke detector down?
Dragon: It went off for no reason.
Me: Please tell me this is a joke. He ate the fracking smoke detector?!?
Dragon: Yeah, he ate it.
Me: This is ridiculous.
Dragon: I spent all day with him and then came home to that.
Me: :( this is so sad.
Needless to say, I am buying a new smoke detector today, but more importantly, Gio stayed with my parents and their two dogs this past weekend while Dragon and I were visiting my sister and her family in Alabama, and I’m happy to report that the only thing he ate was an english muffin off of the counter (and dog food, of course), and that’s way better than a smoke detector. I also purposely never told my mother about the smoke detector before I left town. I felt it didn’t need bringing up. Either way, that’s where he’s going when I leave town from now on.
I also need to say that I absolutely love my boyfriend. I don’t know how many of you remember the story of the first time we said we loved each other but it also involved my dog pooping everywhere. Later on the same day of the smoke detector ingestion, I got this message:
Dragon: I love you.
Me: I love you too. Thank you for dealing with Gio. …and his anxiety poops.
That’s how I know that man really loves me – he has dealt with more poop for my sake than he ever should have had to, and he hasn’t ever come back to me with anything other than an “I love you.”
You better all be saying “awww” and grabbing some tissues right now, because that is weirdly freaking adorable and you know it.