Meet Oscar.

Oscar doesn’t look very threatening, does he?

Don’t be fooled.

Oscar belongs to a friend of John’s, who went skiing in Lake Tahoe for the weekend and asked us to puppysit. Since Oscar is about the size of one of John’s shoes, we figured “how bad can it be?” and agreed. (No, really, he’s about the size of a shoe. We took a picture to prove it because we knew the internet wouldn’t believe us. See? There’s John’s shoe, and there is Oscar looking at it with apprehension because it is so large compared to him that he’s afriad that the shoe might bring him some harm. Afraid of footwear. Real threatening, this dog. ) We’ve even talked about getting a dog from time to time, and thought this would be a terrific way to test our puppy parenting acumen.

(Side note: I should have known this was a bad idea after the Unfortunate Incident of the Ficus. My parents gave us a ficus tree that had lived all summer on their back porch but that they didn’t have room for in the house for the winter, and within approximately nine minutes of arriving at our home, the ficus had shed half of its leaves and has been dying a slow painful death ever since, despite my best efforts to care for it.)

Now, lest the side note about the ficus lead people to be afraid that I killed Oscar, and I’d like to say, for the record, that I DID NOT HURT THE PUPPY. Oscar nearly killed me, though. No, seriously. See, Oscar is a spite pooper. He likes to be the center of attention, and if he is not, he likes to express his displeasure with poop. Pseudostoops needs to take a shower? Oscar will punish her selfishness with two little poop piles on opposite ends of the rug. John and Pseudo want to go to bed and sleep through the night? We will wake up at 4:30 in the morning to the mournful sound of Oscar hurling his little body against the walls of the bathroom in which we’re keeping him to alert us to the two special presents he’s left because we refused to let him sleep in the bed with us. This spite pooping was killing me. I was afraid to leave the house for fear of what I’d discover when I returned. This was all good with Oscar, who appears to be completely nocturnal and would, if he had his druthers, spend the entire day sleeping peacefully in a ball on my lap.

“Why didn’t you just allow him to sleep in the bed?” you ask? Well, because we tried that the first night, and it was WORSE THAN SPITE POOP. First he had to give us goodnight kisses, which seems sweet but which actually was kind of a problem because as much as I hate to admit it, I am technically allergic to dogs, and all this doggy love caused me to break out in hives. The night before my con law final. All over my face and neck. And one eyeball, where he managed to lick me when I wasn’t paying attention. So I had to go sleep on the futon. The dog managed to force me to sleep in a separate bed from my husband! The four and a half pound dog! I ended up being glad for this, though, because after I left, Oscar piddled in the bed and John woke up soaking wet. Pet ownership! It’s a blast!

So eventually Oscar’s owner came home, and we gave Oscar back to him, and we did a little dance of joy because we got the bed back and the house smells less like crap. John has now officially announced that our thoughts on getting a dog are OVER, that we cannot get a dog until we have a YARD, and maybe not even then, because I am apparently ALLERGIC TO EVERYTHING. (Maybe I should have told him that before we got married.)

The kicker? We came home from a concert last night and Oscar wasn’t there to greet us and I got a little sad. I guess even spite poopers can be loveable.