A prisoner in my own home


I live in a house of ill repute.
Darin J. McCannDarin J. McCann

Now, it wasn’t always like this. There was a time when I would come home from work, kiss my wife, pat my two dogs on the head and go about my business of sorting through mail or watching dwarf Jell-O wrestling on ESPN 36. It was very Rockwellian, and home was a place of mirth and good will.

As a re-cap for those of you smart enough not to read my column on a regular basis, my dogs are a shar-pei and boxer mix named Guinness, and a pug named Bailey. They’re both young, full of energy and incredibly affectionate — a mix that was once very therapeutic and entertaining to be around.

But now they’re both in heat.

At the same time.

And my world is imploding.

All my house needs now is thick shag carpeting and a disco ball to make it the set of a twisted adult movie. My typical commands to the dogs used to consist of three consistent subjects:

• Stop barking;

• Do that outside; and

• Get the pug out of your mouth!

Now I can only stifle a little vomit in the back of my throat and weakly ask them to stop doing what they’re doing while I’m eating. Look, I’m a squeamish guy to begin with — I get physically bothered when a fat guy takes off his shirt on television. But the sight of my two innocent female puppies carrying on like they’re in a Roman orgy is enough to make me break out in a cold sweat and reach for the closest Rosary. I’m starting to think I need an exorcist more than the “Dog Whisperer” to fix what ails my dogs.

I know what you’re thinking. I should just go ahead and get them fixed so they stop the chicanery. Unfortunately, health issues prevent them from that step, so I’m left with Caligula being re-enacted on my kitchen floor.

And living room.

And bathroom.

It’s gotten to the point where I have to stand outside with them when I let them out so my neighbors don’t protest the goings-on happening on my property. I’ve tried throwing balls and toys around the yard to get them distracted. We’ve taken them on long walks with the hopes of tiring them out. And I’ve put reality shows on the television, with the hope of just boring them to death so they’d take a nap.

Nothing. The beat goes on.

I’ve started to feel like the Hilton family — all my hard work and affection being thrown back at me in a wave of tasteless exhibitionism by my “daughters.”

See, times have changed in my home. Over the winter, as Bailey was adjusting to the new dog in the home, Guinness and Bailey participated in a little game they liked to call, “I’m going to beat you up.” Every six minutes the two of them were engaged in a near-fight to the death, leaving my wife and I with a plethora of scratches and bite punctures as we tried to keep the combatants off each other’s throats. It was horrible, and we were close to giving one of them away just to keep the peace. It got to the point where we were calling our home the McVick mansion, because of the ongoing dog fights.

I’m not sure which is worse.

I’ve always adhered to the argument of “Make love, not war.” As someone who voluntarily participated in combat, I’m adamantly against it in any form. However, I can’t overstate how much this romantic abomination is concerning me.

Perhaps if they knew what they were doing, it would be more platable. But they quite obviously do not. Nothing is off limits to these female Lotharios — as they have set their sights on each other, themselves and any plastic bag or table leg they come across.

Bailey is, by far, the worst. My little emphysema-laden pug has taken heavy breathing to a new height, as she huffs and puffs her way around the house in search of prey. Guinness, while no angel regarding this matter, usually keeps one wary eye on the hyperventilating dog and the other on her food dish. Her attention is divided and torn — split between her love for all edible things to be found in the home and her fear of being assaulted by a 12-pound predator.

I write this piece for two distinct purposes. First off, to blow off some steam and get out my anxieties in a written form. The second reason is to solicit help — any help I can get.

If you have any ideas on how to keep these two from, well, continuing on their current path, I’m open to suggestions. Just fire off an e-mail to the address in the staff box to the right, or give me a call at the office. This is a call to arms, and I’m more than willing to listen to some sound advice.

It’s that or move. And I’m not taking them with me.