My dog has seasonal affective disorder. SAD, as the condition is known, overcomes Cooper and his fur begins to fall out in semi-symmetrical patterns along his flanks. The drudgery of licking the coin purse that used to house his nuts is apparently only fulfilling for three seasons a year. His continuous licking at the top of the stairs in the winter is done with a mechanical lament only treatable with melatonin tablets.
His wrinkled eyes in the height of his annual depression are vacant and do not comprehend the noxious smell coming from his constant gas. It’s like driving by a cow pasture. The melatonin adds to the considerable monthly cost of housing a mastiff. Not only do the tablets create a percolating noise deep within his lank abdomen, they cause nausea. Midnight upheavals leave dollops of gourmet organic GMO-free kibble down the stairway and through the kitchen to the backdoor. There he waits, a string of barf and bubbles dripping from his jowls, as he stands proudly above a pool of mauve diarrhea.
My wife contends the pills are worth it. Clearly he is happier. And from the look on his face, distorted by wrinkles and drooping skin, in the way only a Muppet or an aggressive tumor can be, he looks happy. Across his panting face there is an expression that resembles a smile. It’s not just a smile. It’s a laugh –because the big bastard knows. I wanted a golden retriever. The comparably dainty animal’s disposition is wholly happy despite the change of seasons.
When they shit the rug it’s cute.
“They have too much fur,” my wife says.
We are medicating this dog to regrow his fur.
When his coat returns to its full capacity and is overrun with flakes of dandruff, Cooper must keep taking the pills. As a result our canine companion maintains a newfound level of excitement. My wife is right. He is happy. He runs through the house releasing off-key farts like the exhaust of a tractor-trailer truck. He nuzzles my arm as I work. Now my sleeves are soaked in a solution of drool and puke giving off an aroma I instantly associate as early morning French Quarter bathroom.
I buy a chemical solution, which is available in two-gallon jugs to try and disinfect the house. Mastiff accidents are no simple matter. Loose stool is a term that is woefully insufficient. Loose meatloaf is a closer approximation. He is on both anti-depressants and stool hardeners plus he enjoys an exclusive type of enriched breath biscuit. But what is the point? No breath biscuit can possibly contend with his new infatuation with locking his own asshole.
“You know,” says my wife, “you seem a little depressed."
This story was written by Patrick Love. Patrick writes and paints in Denver. His work can be found at ploveart.com.