Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Too Lazy to Run? Get a Dog

I come from a family of cat people. According to some article I read online, I think it means I was a sociopath.

But then about five years ago I got a dog. Finally I was going to join the ranks of affectionate and fun-loving people!

But there was another issue that having a dog would aide me with.

I was chubby as hell.

I looked like a chipmunk storing enough nuts in its cheeks to survive a winter. I had always prided myself on being a fit and health minded individual. But looking back at those old photos of myself, all I can think is, "holy hell, am I actually a balloon?!" Maybe being a cat person hadn't made me sociopathic so much as delusional. But getting a dog was going to fix everything!

Puppy: Cute. Me: Chubby.
I specifically decided to get a very active dog, so that it would force me to exercise. I got a Siberian Husky, Anya. For those who don't know, if a husky doesn't get 50 hours of exercise every day, it destroys all of your furniture.

All of it.

This is how I started running. It was winter. In upstate New York. There was a nice recreational trail behind my apartment, covered in about two feet of snow. Anya and I started running together, very short distances at first. She didn't really run so much as jump through the snow. I destroyed the snow with my bloated mass.

The runs got longer, and I started looking less chipmunk-like. In the Spring Anya shed her winter coat, leaving me a new carpet that covered the whole house. Eventually it got too warm for her, but I kept on running. And excepting a few disastrous injuries (future stories!), I have kept running since.

All thanks to Anya.

I eat cats for supper.
Unfortunately I parted company with my then-girlfriend for reasons I won't share with you voyeuristic scoundrels. And she got Anya. And I got an empty house full of my discarded socks.

After that, I got a cat, because being alone again reminded me that I'm still actually a sociopath. My furry evil minion and I rejoiced in our sinister solitude. But unfortunately this new arrangement wasn't helping my waistline any. My balloon genetics started inflating again.

So I got another dog, Kasha.

Length of tongue indicates amount of exercise.
And off I was again, pounding the grass and pavement with my canine companion. This time I did a better job of sticking to the running. I started counting calories. I started lifting more often than "oh shit, I haven't been to the gym in a month." Eventually I started running too far for Kasha to keep up with me.

Which brings me to a recent awkward tale.

It was a hot summer, and I was running by myself most of the time. Kasha was sitting at home being a general asshole (but in a cute dog sort of way *cough*). My girlfriend Pixie told me, "you have to take him exercising with you. He's young and I've run out of cushions for the couch."

So I decided to take him on a walk. It was a hot day, but a walk is safe, right? I decided on three miles. He would be tired after three miles. Turns out he got tired after two. He was panting copiously. He started stumbling like a drunk on St. Patty's day. Then he just lay down on the side of the road with nary a care in the world.

I was still a mile away from home. So without any other option, I picked him up (all 60 pounds of him... Apparently lack of exercise effects all mammals alike) and slung him around my shoulders like a furry sausage shawl. And I carried him back.

Either he found this immensely amusing, or he was just too tired to care. Trucks rumbled past with bearded guys giving me bewildered looks. "What, have you never carried a dog before? Geez, some people." And then I felt something moist and spongy in my ear.

It was his penis.

I briefly contemplated using a cutesy term like "doggy dongle", but am thoroughly enjoying the moment of awkwardness you're currently experiencing. Just be happy I didn't put it in huge letters.

In any event, the rest of the walk home was very interesting. For both me and Kasha. I'd like to think we were closer afterwards because of it. But, um, try not to think too much about it.

So the moral of the story is: If you're fat and lazy and need impetus to run, get a dog. If you're already an active runner, then maybe don't get a dog.

Get a cat instead.

I miss our runs though.

Bonus content: Cats don't run

They don't. They just sit. More often than not they just f*#k off and you have no clue where they are. For days at a time. One time my cat, Lidka, went missing for a week. I thought she had found a new home full of parakeets. Turns out I had trapped her in my basement for a week.

She was fine. But if there had been any mice in my basement, there weren't any more after that. You'd think I'd learned to be more aware of my cat, but no. After that I locked her in the garage for three days.

My friends and family kept saying, "where is your cat?"

"She's gone forever," I'd say. Not because I wanted her gone, but because I was feeling arbitrarily miserable in that moment and needed an excuse to be even more sad.

"I'm pretty sure she's in the garage," they'd reply, "I can hear her."

"Stop getting my hopes up," I'd say, "just let me mourn in peace."

Then after a while I finally opened the door and there she was, thirsty.

As is apparently the trend with all the creatures in my household, Lidka also has gotten fat. Pixie told me that I should stop giving her half a bag of food everyday, especially as Pixie was the one who bought the pet food. She also told me to put her outside a lot more. But this may have had more to do with the fact that she just loved peeing on my workout clothes, as if to say, "you think these smell now?"

The cat was peeing on my clothes, not Pixie. To be clear.

I still see Lidka in the mornings when I head out to work. I like to imagine that she has a little furry suitcase that she takes with her to her desk at the Rodent Slaughtering Factory. She has a middle management position where she oversees the carcasses of at least half a dozen squirrels and possibly an undersized deer or two.

But who really knows.

Have you seen my suitcase? I have to go to work.


  1. "The cat was peeing on my clothes, not Pixie. To be clear."

    Funniest thing I've read for a while! I think Pixie must be a fabulous patient woman to put up with Lidka, Kasha, you and doggy dongle!

    Run on!