The beast has been bred to feed


I have an infestation problem in my house.

Before you get all creeped out, it’s not termites eating away at the wood, or rats chomping through electrical wires and drywall. Heck, it’s not even an infestation of ants making a beeline to my sink.

No, no, my infestation is caused by a little 7-pound bundle of joy named Bailey — a pug that seems intent on eating me out of house and home.

For those of you who read my column religiously and with a heart-full of the kind of unconditional love that only a sweet-natured woman can provide (thanks, Mom and Mark Hardt!), you’re aware that I got Bailey over Labor Day weekend, and that I was a bit out of my element with this unbridled package of energy scurrying about Casa McCann. Well, as an update, let me begin by saying Bailey has gotten out of her favorite little game of spraying Bailey juice in every corner of my home and has now undertaken a new favorite pasttime.

She eats.

Oh, we all eat. And I understand perfectly that Bailey is a growing puppy, thus in need of added nourishment. But this has gotten past the point of attacking her food and begging for reinforcements to be poured back into the bowl. In fact, this might be even past the levels of Jonathan “Ace” Starkey scarfing his way through a candy dish on Monica Fleming’s desk. This has become the stuff of horror movies.

I’m not even sure how to adequately explain the seriousness of this issue. I guess I could go on and on and use metaphors and similes to express it, but I feel like that would only lend so much hyperbole to the situation, people would take everything as an exaggeration. It would seem the only way to explain the feeding frenzy of this goat-like miniature dog would be to describe what I see in that two hours or so every morning from the time I launch my alarm clock across the bedroom to the moment I walk out the door to go to work.

6:30 a.m. — Alarm clock rouses me from dream featuring Swedish bikini squad and team of midget jugglers. I slide out of bed, drape my robe over my rhinestoned thong and let the little monster out of her crate. She peeks out her head, stretches her legs and makes a break for the stairs like a third-grader hearing the bell on the last day of school.

6:34 a.m. — I make my way down the steps and find Bailey attacking her food bowl. There is a series of grunts (and possibly moans?) as she resembles a vulture on a road-kill possum. Closer inspection shows that food is indeed her top priority over all others, as her legs appear crossed.

6:40 a.m. — Finally sickened by the food display, I pull on her legs until I can get her head out of the bowl and place her on the back deck. She sprints to the grass, handles business and zips back to the door.

6:42 a.m. — Bailey is now licking the remnants of food in her bowl. I pack her medicine into a piece of a hot dog and feel like a lion tamer as I approach her with the goods.

6:43 a.m. — Spreading iodine on finger after Bailey got confused where the hot dog ended and my finger began.

6:45 a.m. — Get back upstairs to start getting ready for work. Put toy on bathroom floor to distract Bailey while I’m shaving.

6:46 a.m. — Bailey tires of toy. Goes to work on shower curtain. Again, I yank on her legs to break the vice grip she has on her prey — but I forget I happen to be shaving at the time.

6:47 a.m. — More iodine. Different place.

7:02 a.m. — Done shaving head and face. Notice that Bailey again left her toy and is now dining on cabinet knob. One quick wave of profanity, an animated stomp and she scurries back to her toy.

7:20 a.m. — Have visions of original Psycho movie. While lathering head, something catches my eye. A quick turn of the neck leads me to discover that Bailey is again at work on the shower curtain. Frustrated, I shrug my shoulders and get back to work.

7:40 a.m. — Get out of shower, and Bailey sees towel as another snack. Have you ever tried drying off with a pug hanging from your towel?

8:30 a.m. — Finally dressed, after tug-of-war with socks, pants, shirt and, at one point, my toe.

8:45 a.m. — Put a little more food in her bowl. I stand back and watch the carnage.

8:52 a.m. — Attempt to pull dog away from bowl to put her back in her crate. A fight ensues. I get in a couple nice shots to her ribs, but eventually ...

8:57 a.m. — More iodine. I now look like I’m in a scary Halloween costume — dressed like Frank Miranda.