Even families have hierarchies—I mean look at the Kardashians. My family hierarchy has always been clearly defined. My mom was the boss with the wallet, my brother just bossed me around, and I was the bottom of the bucket: the chump of the family. Then we got a dog.
We are not a pet family. Once we had a dog, named Pepper. It was horrible, to say the least. She scratched every inch of glass on the back French doors, chewed through the back gate, and destroyed my black lab stuffed animal that coincidentally was also named Pepper. When that didn’t work out, Pepper had to go live on a nice farm.
It’s amazing that after almost a decade, my mom let my brother get another dog. She was already not a fan of animals inside the house, and no one could forget the destruction that Pepper left in her wake. My mom and I were prepared for accidents inside the house and mayhem everywhere. But Hanzo was perfect.
He was everything we wanted in a dog. The little Shiba Inu was smart, potty-trained, and as cute as could be. He even rang a bell when he wanted to use the bathroom. He was so perfect that I suddenly found myself even further down the totem pole.
Hanzo is an early riser for sure. Let the games begin at 6:30 a.m. But don’t worry. My mom always shut my brother’s door to be sure that he gets plenty of sleep. Sadly, my door remained open and I got to wake up to the sound of Hanzo ringing the bell to go outside and play. I thought breaks were supposed to mean sleeping in, but there I was playing with the energetic fur ball as I watched the sun start to peak its rays out. How was I supposed to kick around a soccer ball when I was still trying to wipe the sleep out of my eyes?
The worst part is that Hanzo knows he is higher than me in the family hierarchy. Shiba Inus are pack dog and all about the rankings. Sure, we love each other, but it’d be nice if he listened to me occasionally.
Seriously come inside!
Okay whatever. See if I care.
Hanzo listens to everyone else, but he seems to know that I’m the pushover in the family. He won’t even try begging my brother for food, but I’m his go to girl.
But maybe being at the bottom of the hierarchy isn’t as bad as I’m making it out to be. Adding Hanzo to the family means that our trio has now become a quartet. It means that there’s another family member to love and be loved by. I’ll take all of that even if it means being at the bottom of the dog pile.
"Air Travel" Lands in the ExHow do we as humans cope with grief—is there a formula for healing? “The Thing About Air Travel,” which opens tonight at the Loeb Ex, presents a main character who deals with the loss of her brother by imagining him as a dog. By incorporating surrealist elements, up-and-coming playwright Max Posner lightens an otherwise melancholy premise of a family trying to deal with a significant loss.
J-Term Journal: Dog SleddingIf someone had told twelve-year old me that I would someday voluntarily join a dog sledding trip in January in Maine, I would have put down my cold medicine next to my three inhalers and wheeze-laughed until I cried. If someone had told fifteen-year-old me that I would someday voluntarily wake at 6:30 a.m. to shovel dog shit, I would have rolled over in bed and asked for ten more minutes.