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Nshima & Curry
Nshima & Curry
DOGS ARE ENJOYING THE GOOD LIFE
My wife, Malathi, loves dogs. She calls them
"Sweetie." She also calls me "Sweetie." I
don't know whether to smile or wag my tail.
It's really confusing. The other day, Malathi
said, "Dinner is ready, Sweetie." I rushed to
the kitchen, along with the dogs. "Silly dogs,"
I thought. "You're not getting any of my dinner."
The meal looked delicious, and I would have
complimented my wife, had she not placed it
on the floor.
The two dogs got to the food before I could.
Their heads, unfortunately, are closer to the
floor. That allows them to quickly slurp food
and anything else that looks remotely like
food, such as dirty socks or tofu. If you own
a dog, you may not need a vacuum cleaner.
Within a minute, the dogs -- a Labrador and
Golden Retriever -- had licked their bowls
clean and were looking up at us with
expressions that said, "Come on, folks.
When are you going to feed us?" Even if
they've just eaten a big meal, they want to
keep eating. They're a lot like me. Except
that I'm too proud to beg. When the dogs
are wolfing their food, I try not to sit in front of
them and drool. Unfortunately, they never
extend the same courtesy to me. I can't eat
anything without enduring their sad-eyed
expressions that say, "Oh please, we
haven't eaten any food since last summer,
when we ate all your tennis balls. If you don't
feed us, we'll fill your entire home with drool."
The dogs aren't ours. We're just dog-sitting,
until their owners return from vacation.
Dog-sitting is a lot like baby-sitting, except
for three major differences: (1) babies have
trouble catching food with their mouths;
(2) babies are usually uglier; and (3) babies
are nicer to trees.
Most dogs in America are so lucky. They're
fed and treated better than many children
around the world. And they never have to do
the dishes. You can't even get them to take
the trash out. They must have a powerful
My wife knows a lot about dogs. She's a
veterinarian specializing in epidemiology. It
took me three weeks to learn how to spell
"epidemiology" and another three weeks to
learn how to pronounce it. I still don't know
what it means. All I know is that Malathi loves
animals, especially dogs. She kisses them
and pets them and talks to them, making me
wish I had four legs.
I think she likes dogs partly because they're
better listeners than men. When she's telling
one of her long stories -- usually about
something amazing she heard on NPR
(National Public Radio) -- the dogs will just
sit there and listen attentively. I know what
they're thinking: "If we sit still and act
interested, maybe she'll feed us." Dogs are
smarter than they look.
I don't mind Malathi babying the dogs, but I
wish it weren't so confusing. The other night,
she said, "Are you coming to bed, Sweetie?"
I rushed to the bedroom, along with the dogs.
"Silly dogs," I thought. "You're not snuggling
in bed with us. Not until you learn to use
The Labrador jumped on the bed before I
could. I looked at my wife. She looked at me
with a puzzled expression that said, "Did
someone call YOU to bed?" Then she petted
"He's going to be with us for only a short
time," she said.
"OK, Sweetie," I said. "I love you."
"I love you, too," she said.
"I was talking to the dog," I said.