A dog's life is not carefree

April 12, 1994|By Kevin Cowherd

Does your dog hate to see you leave? Does your dog cry, urinate, defecate, destroy the house when home alone? If so, s/he may be suffering from separation anxiety and be eligible to participate in a major pharmaceutical company sponsored study.

-- classified ad in New York newspaper.

Don't go, Phil, is what I said. He was in the foyer reaching for his briefcase and that goofy hat he wears when it's raining. Phil, I said, every time you leave it just tears me up and I . . . I worry about you so much.

This is what I told him, only it came out "Woof, woof, woof" like it always does and Phil just stared at me with that clue-less look on his face. He might be the dumbest human being I've ever seen.

"Coco, get out of the way," he said. "I'm late for work."

Which is when I caused that big scene. I started jumping up on him and scratching at his raincoat and yelling: Phil, please, take me with you. I'll be good, I swear. You won't hear a peep out of me at the office. Please, Phil, please! I'm begging you!

I don't know . . . I try to speak slowly and articulately, but it always comes out: "Woof, woof, woof," which they don't get and which annoys them after a while. Sometimes, they even tell you to shut up.

This time Phil pushed me aside with his leg and squeezed out the door. Then he slammed the door in my face, and I was left with that awful silence.

Apparently, at that point, I just went berserk.

All I remember is scratching frantically at the door and yelling: Phil, Phil, come back!

Then I jumped on the couch by the window and watched him climb into the Buick, and then I ran back to the door and began scratching, scratching, scratching again.

I thought I was going crazy. I was barking and barking and pretty soon there was this loud ringing in my ears, which, thank God, turned out to be the phone.

Then I started running around in circles. I thought I was losing it. I really did.

Anyway, all that happened this morning.

Now I'm just sitting here on the couch, staring out the window and waiting for Phil to come home.

The boredom is what kills you. You get up in the morning and he walks you and feeds you. Then he leaves for work and you think: Now what?

Sleep a little, stare out the window, chew the hell out of the rattan chair downstairs -- that's basically all I do all day. It's not much of a life.

Every once in a while, the UPS guy pulls up in his truck to drop off a package and I'll start barking like a nut and hurling myself at the door.

But it's all an act. Tell you the truth, I wish the guy would come in. I could use the company.

That reminds me of the time I was about a year old and Phil was leaving and he said: "Take care of the house, Coco, and don't let any strangers in."

And I'm like: What? You gotta be kidding me, Phil. I'm a cocker spaniel, for crying out loud! I see some guy climbing through the window with a ski mask and a gun, I'm heading the other way, pronto.

Hey, I'm not about to take a bullet for anyone in this house, Jack.

In fact, as he was leaving that day, I said: Phil, you're so worried about security, get yourself a Rottweiler or a German shepherd, one of those big, aggressive mutts.

But for the 400th time it came out "Woof, woof, woof" and Phil just gave me a pat on the head and walked out the door.

The thing is, I don't know which is worse sometimes, being alone or having Phil around the house.

The other day, he says: "C'mon, Coco. Let's go out in the back yard."

Right away I'm thinking: Phil, are we gonna play that stupid game where you throw the tennis ball and I gotta run after it and bring it back?

In the first place, God knows where that tennis ball has been. Plus I end up getting all that fuzz from the ball in my mouth. It tastes awful. Makes you gag, is what it does.

But for some reason, Phil gets a big kick out of seeing me run around like a lunatic after this ball and then collapse from exhaustion.

What was that?! Was that a car door? Is Phil home? Boy, he's really gonna be steamed when he sees that rattan chair.

I can see the look on his . . . aw, it's not him. It's the next-door neighbor.

Where is Phil, anyway? He said he'd be home by 6.

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