July 2007 - Sincerely Sire Newsletter


Not counting dog food, vet bills, and doggie toys, Finn, our now full-grown 20-pounds-of-JAWS Boston terrier has cost me five grand. I’m not kidding and I’m not exaggerating. 

Two 14-foot by 12-foot custom area rugs—I don’t have to tell you how she destroyed those—and one TV repair—remember she ate it—later, I figured I was finally done with Finn miscellaneous expenses. But that was before she ate the corner of our custom-made, cloth-fabric sofa.

The chewed sofa didn’t bother me that much, but it did bother Roe—much. I tried to convince her to just let it be, and that worked for a while, but this dog—I’m talking about Finn…let’s not make things worse than they already are—she is always on the sofa, shedding shedding shedding her little black hairs all over everywhere, and I do mean everywhere. Yesterday I opened a brand new tube of toothpaste, squeezed some on to my toothbrush, and there to my amazement, embedded in the tartar-resistant white paste was one of Finn’s shiny black hairs. How does she do that?

And in addition to the hair, she drags in mud from the patio when she comes in through her doggy door and jumps on the sofa with one of her many buried rawhide bones—she loves rawhide bones. And then to top things off she gets little scratches on her paws and frequently spots our light beige sofa with rich red blood. And since this is a fabric sofa, it can’t really be wiped clean, so, this means once a week Roe is removing all the covers from the entire sofa and washing and drying everything and putting them back on the sofa. Week after week after week.

Well, I guess she must have gotten tired of doing it, because she came home a few weeks ago and told me she had purchased a new leather sofa.

Now, of course, she didn’t just come right out and tell me she had bought a new sofa. No, she went through her normal process of obfuscation by first picking a fight with me over something minor, putting me solidly on the defensive, and then casually, as an add-on, mentioning that she had, “Oh, by the way,” just purchased a new sofa for the family room.

“A new sofa?” I said. “You didn’t take me with you? How much did it cost?”

Obfuscate, obfustcate, obfuscate.

“No, honey, how much did it cost? You’re making me nervous. How much?”

“It won’t even be here for a couple of weeks.”

“How much?”

“Three thousand two hundred dollars.”

“Three thousand two hundred dollars? Three thousand two hundred dollars! What does it look like? How do you know I will like it? I can’t believe you bought a sofa, the place where we spend most of our lives without seeing if I liked it first. I just can’t believe you would do that.”

“You’ll like it,” she said.

“Can you get your money back?”


“Well, that’s just great,” I said. “I guess I better like it. You know I’m really upset that you would go out and buy something as expensive as that, something as important as that, without having me involved. How could you do that? That’s why you picked that whole fight with me just now, isn’t it? Because you were nervous about telling me about the sofa? Right?”

When confronted directly in this manner, Roe has a way of becoming instantly translucent. The eyes move so far up into her forehead I find myself looking at two egg whites. She just isn’t there anymore. I don’t know where she goes, I just know it’s far away—South Coast Plaza maybe—and that the noise coming out of my mouth islanding on left ears.

And so, it was with great anticipation that I awaited our new sofa, knowing that we couldn’t get our money back and that although I had never seen it, Roe had assured me that, “I would like it.”

Well, it arrived, and I don’t—like it. The first thing I noticed was that the L-shaped sofa was about a foot and a half shorter one way and about a foot shorter the other way, than our old one. It also wasn’t as deep as our other sofa. It looked like a sofa for midgets. The arm rests are too high and the cushions in the back bump into my head when I lean back and they’re too soft. I hate it.

So, now what am I supposed to do? I can’t get my money back, I’m stuck with Roe—I’ve gotten almost as attached to her over the past thirty-two years as the old sofa—and we gave the old couch away to the cleaning lady. Hum, I wonder if she’d take this new leather sofa and bring the old one back. It’s an option. Maybe I could surprise Roe!

The one good thing is that the new sofa is leather and it can easily be cleaned with one or two swipes of a damp cloth. Roe will like that. It will make her happy.

I guess the only thing I can do is learn to love it, in spite of its many drawbacks, soft cushions, and high cost—just like Roe. I can do that.

I just hope Finn is able to discern the difference between rawhide and genuine leather, otherwise I’ll come home one day and find our sofa buried in the garden…in which case, soon to be joined by Finn.

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