The Dog-in-Law

My sister-in-law is in the process of moving from Virginia to Utah and is visiting family along the way.

The kids are usually this side of incoherent with excitement whenever we have visitors, but although they’re fond of their Aunt—and argue loudly about whom she should sit next to at the table and in the car—they’ve gone completely bonker-nuts over their new cousin:

This is Jada—or Jada Mae, if we’re being formal. She’s part Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, part Clydesdale.

She’s not entirely sure about all this driving and staying in strange places without yards where she has to stay in a small room next to an octogenerian who isn’t really down with inside animals.  But she’s such a sweet pup that all she’s done in protest is “Baroo” at passing suburban wildlife and blow her coat like it’s August.

‘m not kidding—we may be able to build the kids another dog with the fur.  Which is pretty much the only way they’re getting one,* unless I can talk my sister-in-law into living here and walking both dogs for bed and board.

I tried, for the sake of the children, but she has her sights set on Salt Lake City, so it’s the vacuum for the puppy piles instead of the glue stick.

And how does Mr. Toby Cat feel about this canine invader, whom he hasn’t seen but has darn well heard and smelled?

Pretty much says it all, right there.


*Before all of you try to convince me we really, really need one . . . We really, really don’t.  Or rather, a dog doesn’t need us.  We don’t have a yard or the time for walks and there’s nothing sadder than a lonely dog whose people are around and awake for two or three hours a day, tops.


16 thoughts on “The Dog-in-Law

    • Janie took the photos and nailed that expression in one take. Toby is Not Happy At All and has thrown up in three rooms in the last twelve hours to signal his displeasure—he has hairballs to spare, since the Big Shedding has come early to our neck of the woods.

      This is March and it’s 83F—what happened?

  1. Oh my goodness. Your friend Averil would also be going completely bonker-nuts for Ms. Jada Mae. Look at that face!

    And speaking of faces . . . Better keep this two apart.

  2. That dog is so sweet. i would love to have a dog!
    It’s not in the cards for the same reason. My husband would be more likely to agree to another child and to paraphrase he explained something about me getting home from work to find him rocking in the basement, mouth attached to a carton of wine.
    So, yeah, the dog is definitely out.
    And the look on Mr. TC? It’s the reason I adore cats.

  3. What a cutie. I love dogs but there’s no way. Absolutely no way. Not in a million years Uh-uh. Nope. Sorry.

  4. Glad the kids are warming up to their cousin. It took a long time for Philander to be “petable”. Toby’s expression is priceless. Cats are much easier to raise, but think of all the dogs you had growing up.

    • I hear Philander still has a “sock problem.”

      Toby trapped himself in the spice cabinet today—he made a racket until I came into the kitchen, and then went quiet. It took me ten minutes to find him. Tell me again why I’m a cat person?

  5. While I’m obviously a cat lady, if my husband and I ever give up our high-rise, easy livin’ apartment life, I know I’d totally want a dog…but I fear I won’t be able to go through with it because I wouldn’t want to disturb my cats. That’s right. I would defer this decision not to a human loved one, but to my cats.

    When I was a teenager, we got a puppy, and my timid cat was terrified. It took her YEARS to adjust and lived her life only on the second floor, leaving the downstairs to the dog. Eventually she and the dog called a truce — for example, they’d both sleep on my bed at night and co-exist just fine — but she still never hung out downstairs again. Which means she didn’t get to spend as much time with us and didn’t get to go to her beloved screened-in porch. It sounds so small, but it really made me feel guilty and sad for her, and I wouldn’t want my current cats to go through that.

    See how much emotional stuff I just wrote about my cats and my worries about their nonexistent future discomforts?? Gah. Cat lady indeed.

    • We chose our current house in part because it had a screened in porch for the cat, so you’re not alone, Laura! 🙂

      I think if we did get a dog, any cat we might have at the time would show puppy who’s boss in a big hurry . . .

  6. Don’t worry, this dog lady is not going to try to sell you a thing. I have a friend who, like me, has 2 labs. They used to be house dogs, but then they got new carpet and the dogs became yard/garage dogs. Banished. For new floors. I can’t even tell you how sad that makes me.

    So here’s to your houseguest! How fun.

  7. I’d love a dog, but it’s just not feasible right now. Hopefully when we move…

    Love the cat’s expression 🙂

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