Dear Newly-Adopted Pet Dog:
So it’s happened. You’ve found your “forever home.” Congratulations to you. It all starts off so well. Some nice human couple, feeling nurturing but still too cowardly for actual offspring, peers at you and smiles. You make you-eyes at them. They coo. You think you have them in the palm of your paw. They murmur nonsense at you and stuff you full of treats. There are toys. There are long walks. There are playdates with other dogs. There are extensive snuggles. There are sweaters and matching booties on cold days. There are beach days and water hoses on hot days. You sleep in their bed, between their big warm bodies. Your tricks are beloved. Your talents are revered. Your misdeeds — a chomped spectacle here, a pee-marked carpet there — readily forgiven. You think you’ve got it made.
And for a while, things are good.
But watch them. You must watch the lady one especially. Is she sleeping more? Is she getting big and soft? Is there a vague smell of milk in the air? Watch her disappear for a few days. Watch her come back. Sniff the squalling thing she’s brought with her.
Now you are fucked.
Listen, I know what you’re thinking. Not my people! They kiss me on the lips! They will never toss me aside! Friend, how I wish this were true. But inevitably, incredibly, it happens. The people forget about you. They can’t help it. They have large, dopey brains, and only a few of their hairless little puppies to go around, and they just don’t know any better. They will compliment you if you do not eat their new baby. Not eating the new baby is highly recommended. Eating the new baby will only feel good for a second, and then you will be out in the cold on your own. Don’t eat the new baby and you will still get your spot on the couch, at least.
Now you bide your time. I’m sorry to tell you this, but no one will play with you again until the child is large enough to run after you and tug your tail. This is what playing is now. Try to enjoy it. In the meantime, you wait. You sleep more. Your walks are shorter. You are occasionally tripped over. “Jesus! Forgot you were there!” they will mutter, annoyed. You might as well get used to this idea. It could be worse. You could be a cat.
But here is a happy thought for you to savor while your people are mooning over their useless little bundle of blankets. Eventually the baby learns to eat food. These are halcyon days. The baby sits in a high chair and is given delicious bits of things: halved berries, crumbs of cheese, shreds of chicken. And the baby takes these foods into his fat little hand, and he hurls them onto the floor. This, friend, is the moment you’ve been waiting for. For the next year or so you will eat like you’ve never eaten before. All the scrumptious people food you’ve ever wanted, flung right into your mouth. I recommend parking your tail beneath this high chair and not moving until the kid’s motor skills improve. After this, the main thing you have to look forward to is being dressed in dolly clothes and having your ears mercilessly tugged.
My fellow pets, good luck to you.
And now, I shall resume licking my own behind for the next several hours.
-Quimby T. Mouse, Dog.