The joys of a dog in the family

Stupid Dog loves the Long Suffering Husband in the way that only dogs can – absolutely and without question or restraint.

It annoys me.

What? You expected a column touting the joys of a companion animal? If she loved me best, you can be sure this column would gush over how much I love that dog. But she loves LSH best, so she gets shafted.

(And before y’all start getting your knickers in a knot over my calling her Stupid Dog, it’s true. She is good-natured, affectionate … and abysmally stupid. Besides, she answers to it.)

I do like the dog. When no one else is in the room, I might every once in a while pet it and talk baby talk at it. Sometimes, when no one is looking, I give her treats. I may stealthily feed her popcorn and chips. (Yes, I know I told my mother I don’t feed her scraps; I lied. )

Despite all this, she loves the LSH best. She loves him so much she can’t stand to see me sitting beside him on the two or three nights a week we actually are home at the same time and not busy catching up on all the stuff pushed aside because we were too busy. Quiet time is rare and precious.

But Stoopy doesn’t care. If she spots the LSH and I sitting together, she will force herself between us, even if there is plenty of room to sit on the other side of the LSH. She then will drape herself over his lap and lay her head on his shoulder, giving me big, dumb doggy eyes the whole time as if she doesn’t know exactly what she is doing. The LSH thinks this is funny.

Sometimes, when I see her coming, I will throw myself over his body in an effort to thwart her, which drives her crazy. She’ll pace back and forth in front of the couch, giving me mournful glances. Back off, dog, I was here first.

Stoopy also follows the LSH around the house. (Except upstairs, because upstairs means bath time.) She gets all excited if he puts his coat on, because that means it’s walk time. If he puts on his coat, she runs around him in excited circles until he tackles her and puts her leash on.

Recently, we were collapsed on the couch, and the LSH was doing crossword puzzles. Since his lap was full, Stoopy jumped up and cuddled beside me.

“See, she loves me, too,” I told him. I petted her for good measure.

“She’s just sitting over there because she won’t fit in my lap right now.”

“That’s not true. I feed her popcorn. Stoopy loves popcorn. And corn chips. She loves those because they’re crunchy.”

“You shouldn’t feed the dog scraps. It isn’t good for her. What’s a six-letter word for dull or stupid?”

“Obtuse. If I didn’t feed her scraps, I wouldn’t get any love at all. I’ve got to work any angle I’ve got.”

“Finished.” He put the puzzle aside. Stoopy immediately abandoned me and crawled into his now-empty lap. “Oh, she loves you, does she?” He smirked at me.

“That’s it, dog. No more popcorn for you, you little traitor.”

(Wallace-Minger, The Weirton Daily Times community editor, is a Weirton resident and can be contacted at