posted by Matt W on September 14th, 2011

“Pick us up at PetSmart; we decided to walk over there,” was the text I got from my daughter. So I walk in and see her and her friend standing in front of the rescued kitten cages, Awesome! We get to have the puppy and/or kitten talk, two of my favorites. While my daughter’s friend is bummed out, my daughter is disappointed but fine. She has heard the words so many times before that she repeats them for me. “I know, we have a great dog, you don’t ever want another animal, you always end up taking care of them, I know.” Excellent, my work here is done. It does however start the next conversation as to why I never want another animal. I’ve had the best cat ever and currently have the best dog ever, why would I want to jinx my luck by trying again? I concede I might consider another border collie later in life but why talk about it when our dog is alive? My daughter surprises me with her next, very insightful comment. “I think if you ever get a little lap dog or a cat I will know you are losing your mind, or maybe just Mom won, but I think you’ll hold your ground on this one.” “You’re absolutely right; if I ever willingly get a yappy dog or a cat, put me in the loony bin.” Yappy dogs are for old ladies and old men with a few loose screws.

I have always thought there are many physical signs of men growing old (my reading glasses, and the fact I wake up at 5:00 every morning to go the bathroom are my two dandies), but there are also many tell-tale psychological signs as well. The two that I notice the most are men forgetting to get haircuts, and getting little lap dogs.

Every smart old man that I have ever seen always looks pretty with it and then all of the sudden they stop getting their hair-cut regularly. They seem to be totally in control and when the haircuts stop, I know they are mentally losing it and in many cases about to die. The whole wacky ear, nose, and eyebrow hair scenarios play into this as well, but it’s mostly just the mangy dog look as opposed to the nice haircut every 3 weeks that lets you know when they have lost it. I have authorized my wife to tell me when this happens and if I don’t respond appropriately, shoot me. I’ll even put it in writing, so she can have a defense at her murder trial. Think back to all the old Senators that have held it together for years and then one day, their hair looks like it was cut between two rocks and they die the next week. Wacky.

The second sign is the freakin lap dog. How many men have had good sturdy dogs over the course of their lives and then when they are older get a yappy little rat, which they treat better than they ever treated their kids? My parent’s dog has clothes and a life vest in case they ever go on a boat (apparently it doesn’t know the yappy rat paddle). While seeing my mother coo over the “beast” just makes me roll my eyes, watching my father with the dog makes me fear my future. Watching him chase the dog through the house to tell it what a bad dog it is for taking a dump on the couch as he gives it multiple treats, makes me sad. Apparently, the last time I was in the room with my father and his dog, I didn’t hide my terror very well from my daughter. (Kids never miss anything.)

Thank God my dad still gets a snappy haircut every couple of weeks or I would really be scared.

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