TexasEscapes.com HOME Welcome to Texas Escapes
A magazine written by Texas
Custom Search
New   |   Texas Towns   |   Ghost Towns   |   Counties   |   Trips   |   Features   |   Columns   |   Architecture   |   Images   |   Archives   |   Site Map

Counties
Texas Counties

Towns a-Z
Texas Towns
A - Z



Columns

Texas | Columns | "Quips and Salsa"

Dogs vs. daughters

by Jase Graves
Jase Graves

My adult life has been full of transitions—from single to married, from childlessness to fatherhood, and from virile coolness to cringey blobfish. I now find myself in the midst of a change from occupying a nest literally bursting with hatchlings frantically pecking at my wallet to now watching one last teenage fledgling perched on the edge of a limb and hoping I don't do anything embarrassing.

Since two of my daughters are off at college and my youngest daughter would rather watch a video on YouTube about vegetables that resemble Harry Potter than hang out with me, I recently became aware that I have been unconsciously satisfying my need to be needed by devoting an unhealthy amount of time and attention to my daughters' pet dogs, who might be mistaken for two large tufts of mutant fuzz from under our couch cushions.

Yes, I fear that I'm turning into the "crazy cat lady" of the household, or, in my case, the "annoying doglet dude in his 50s who bears a passing resemblance to Herman Munster."

(We do also have a cat, by the way, which is a lot like having another aloof teenager—only less messy.)

One result of this closer relationship I've developed with our grandmongrels is that I speak to them more. I've always communicated with our dogs in a sort of Scooby-Doo baby-talk, usually asking them if they would prefer to go outside and kill our grass or stay inside and stain the carpet. But now I find myself carrying on extended conversations with them, asking them about their day, if they've sniffed anything (or anyone) interesting lately, and why they still haven't eaten the expensive veterinarian-approved dry kibble from Petco and are, instead, begging at the table for a bite of my taco. They don't ever reply, but at least they maintain eye contact, look interested, and sometimes drool, which is more response than I usually get from our daughters.

I've also taken a much greater interest in their grooming—the dogs, I mean. In the past, maintaining our dogs' hygiene primarily involved tossing them into the bathtub once I could smell them without seeing them. Nowadays, though, I not only brush their coats daily (usually not with my wife's hairbrush), but I've also started brushing their teeth (usually not with my wife's toothbrush).

I don't know if you've ever brushed your dogs' teeth against their will, but imagine trying to wipe pizza sauce off of an impatient toddler's face while she's frantically trying to run to the gift shop at Chuck E Cheese. It's almost as relaxing.

And speaking of toddlers, I've recently been known to chase the dogs around the house with a baby wipe when they come in from decorating our lawn—in a preemptive attempt to avert the dreaded living-room booty scoot. (Luckily, they usually only do that when we have visitors.)

Watching our daughters grow up, become more independent (except financially) and begin to leave home has been hard for me, but the companionship provided by their pets has been a comfort, even if the dogs don't respect bathroom boundaries.

These days, when I'm in the recliner at home and I've got a lap full of dogs licking my face, I often reflect happily on all the sweet times in the past when I had a lap full of girls kissing my cheeks-only, back then, I didn't have to worry about what they'd been licking beforehand.

Yes, dogs and daughters are different, but until I get the chance someday to chase grandkids around with a baby wipe, the dogs will have to do.

Jase Graves
"Quips and Salsa" 9-20-22 column


Jase Grave's "Quips and Salsa" columns
Humor


  • New school clothes for Dad 9-6-22
  • And then there was one teenage daughter left at home 8-23-22
  • If you can't beat the heat, join it 8-9-22
  • One night in The Big Easy-as pie 7-26-22
  • Portrait of a colonoscopy 7-12-22

    more »


  • Texas Escapes Online Magazine »   Archive Issues » Home »
    TEXAS TOWNS & COUNTIES TEXAS LANDMARKS & IMAGES TEXAS HISTORY & CULTURE TEXAS OUTDOORS MORE
    Texas Counties
    Texas Towns A-Z
    Texas Ghost Towns

    TEXAS REGIONS:
    Central Texas North
    Central Texas South
    Texas Gulf Coast
    Texas Panhandle
    Texas Hill Country
    East Texas
    South Texas
    West Texas

    Courthouses
    Jails
    Churches
    Schoolhouses
    Bridges
    Theaters
    Depots
    Rooms with a Past
    Monuments
    Statues

    Gas Stations
    Post Offices
    Museums
    Water Towers
    Grain Elevators
    Cotton Gins
    Lodges
    Stores
    Banks

    Vintage Photos
    Historic Trees
    Cemeteries
    Old Neon
    Ghost Signs
    Signs
    Murals
    Gargoyles
    Pitted Dates
    Cornerstones
    Then & Now

    Columns: History/Opinion
    Texas History
    Small Town Sagas
    Black History
    WWII
    Texas Centennial
    Ghosts
    People
    Animals
    Food
    Music
    Art

    Books
    Cotton
    Texas Railroads

    Texas Trips
    Texas Drives
    Texas State Parks
    Texas Rivers
    Texas Lakes
    Texas Forts
    Texas Trails
    Texas Maps
    USA
    MEXICO
    HOTELS

    Site Map
    About Us
    Privacy Statement
    Disclaimer
    Contributors
    Staff
    Contact Us

     
    Website Content Copyright Texas Escapes LLC. All Rights Reserved