I've often wondered how people with dogs keep their homes so neat and tidy.
You know the people. They have two English sheepdogs and three cats, pristine terra cotta pile carpets, microfiber sofas and gleaming floors. There are no shit stains on the microfiber where the dogs have scooted themselves, no puke marks from the time the dogs ate the ham they retrieved from the ice box, no half chewed spindles on their chairs.
These are the people who happily act as valets for their dogs instead of writing blogs complaining about them while the dogs chew their prized runners in the background.
My friend Suzanne is a master dog manager.
She has an incontinent, blind, 16-year-old dog named Buddy who keeps falling in the swimming pool. When Buddy poops himself, she and her husband have to spend an hour cleaning his gnarly fur in the laundry room. He often pees where he stands.
And yet, her house is always pristine.
I could have -- and perhaps did at one of her splendid parties -- eaten off the floor.
Now she does have help. A cleaning lady. Dog walkers when she and Norman are on one of their fantastic adventures. A massage therapist who comes three times a week to help Buddy limber up. A yoga instructor who has him doing the downward dog.
I have help, too, in the form of Nick in the basement who is no help at all.
His idea of canine relations is to tell Finnigan to "shut the fuck up" or "I hate you" when he's anywhere around him.
Other than that, I'm on my own.
When Scott comes home from work, he has no idea what mayhem will have ensued while he was off selling cars to rich people.
There will be paper. That's for sure. His bank statement will have been shredded or the new Vanity Fair will be missing The Brad Pitt page.
And there will be fur everywhere, regardless of whether I've cleaned or not.
Finnigan and Sophie are constantly wrestling, with Sophie riding his back like she's vying for the Triple Crown. As a result the carpet is so black I've taken to vacuuming it with my hands. We have, in fact, contributed to the retirement fund of the local Chinese vacuum repair guy whose eyes light up when we bring in the latest carpet cleaner still smoldering from a valiant effort at picking up Finnigan's black bastard fur.
Our furniture is also in shambles.
My dining room chairs look like they've been eaten the Olympic termite team instead of by an innocent looking little vixen named Sophie.
I've tried everything. Scolding. Pleading.
A stock offer.
Nothing seems to deter her.
I've even tried hot sauce on the spindles.
She likes it.
Perhaps she's a Mexican variety pug.
"Me gusta mis sillas con salsa picante," she says to me with those bug eyes. "I like my chairs with a little hot sauce."