So this week I’m in LA for work and of course the conversation invariably turns to celebrity sightings and all manner of brief brushes with fame. It turns out one of my colleagues has an impressive collection of relatively well-known friends, including the author of a series of children’s books about a Siamese cat that speaks Spanglish and thinks he’s a chihuahua.
Over dinner last night, as we’re swapping stories and I learn that I’m just two degrees removed from an accomplished children’s author, I was reminded of a conversation I had late last week.
Jacob put the full court press on me about needing an animal. He loves animals. And animal rescue. Especially baby animal rescue. (The secret to developing a hit cartoon by the way is to combine transportation with baby animal rescue— you know, like trains that save zoo animals, or cars that are animals that rescue other car animals. Expect a blog on this topic in the near future). Back to my story: This child used to refer to all snails as “his friends.” Last summer he totally lost it when Uncle Geoff threw one of his minnow “friends” into the pond and it was immediately swallowed up by a bigger fish. And he has invented an entire world of puppies and horses and all manner of pets at “his work.” It seems Scruffy and granddad’s menagerie just aren’t enough.
There has also been a distinct change in his little Nate Dog of late. It seems his puppy is not as obedient as he once was. Quick detour: Over the holidays we went to the Ahwahnee hotel in Yosemite for lunch. Afterward, as we were getting up from the table, James looked at Nate, outstretched his arms and said, “Uppy?” (Now I don’t know why he said this because it’s not really in our vocab.) The best thing? Nate instantly drops onto all fours and pants… like a puppy.
But let’s get serious. I need another thing to take care of like I need a hole in the head.
So we’re in the living room and Jake is doing his best to sell me on this pet idea. I decide to deflect him with some of my weaker arguments… with the hope that I’ll be able to save my big guns until he’s at least 8 or 12 or whenever it becomes cruel and unusual to separate a boy from his dog.
“Mama, why can’t we have a dog?”
“Well JJ, we just don’t really have room for a dog. They need space to run around.”
“What about a leetle chee-wah-wah? They don’t need space.”
Damn Skippyjon Jones.