We put the fun in dysfunctional

My dog and my husband share the same name.

Therefore, my life is a revolving door of me yelling, “Steven!” and my husband asking, somewhat annoyed, “What?” and then me replying, “Not you! The dog!” This is, of course, followed by me yelling “No!” and/or “Drop it!” because Dog Steve has chewed up yet another blanket and/or gotten a hold of yet another roll of toilet paper. 

Because I’m afraid people will think my husband and I are a couple of weirdos who name their dogs after themselves, I never fail to tell people I met the dog first.

On a whim one day, my mom made the manic decision to adopt a puppy, so we made the trek to the nearest animal shelter. That place reeked of broken promises and bleak futures. It was depressing. After a while, though, I locked eyes with a sad-eyed, six-week-old puppy named Cornelius. I decided right then and there I would give him the best home I could afford, right after I gave him the best name I could think of at the time: Steven. My mom ended up adopting Steve’s brother. She named him Murphy.

I (re-)named Steve after Morrissey (whose first name is Stephen, but I decided I like the ‘V’ spelling better) for no real reason other than I’m a big fan of The Smiths. It worked out perfectly though because Steve is so melodramatic and sassy. He always whines like a baby when he decides he wants to go outside, when he’s hungry, when I don’t give him another treat, when I breathe on him, etc. Much like I imagine The Smiths frontman does.

I met my husband on the internet — Tinder to be precise. Prior to swiping right on his wonderful face, I swiped left on every other Steve (Steven or Stephen). I really wanted to avoid the awkward my-dog-has-the-same-name conversation. Turns out that was the opening line I used on my Steve. He countered with, “My cat’s name is Elizabeth.” But he was just joking. His cat (who is now our cat) is named Arthur.

Arthur is very grumpy. But with good reason: he’s 16 years old. Sometimes he likes to run around like he’s still a kitten, though. He likes his space, but he’s clingy when he wants to be. He loves to dig his claws into my legs. He also loves to snuggle. He’s a walking contradiction. I’m just glad he’s still walking.

Human Steve and I got married after only knowing each other for six months, and that was the best decision of my life. Right up there with adopting Dog Steve. Because it was a pretty short-notice wedding, not a lot of people were able to make it, but the important ones did. Dog Steve was at our wedding, too. He walked down the aisle and laid down next to our man (note: not maid) of honor during the ceremony.

We adopted another dog late last year. We named him Edgar (after Edgar Allan Poe), but we mainly call him Eddy for short. This worked out well, because Eddy turned out to be such a silly, quirky freak, and not at all like Mr. Macabre.

Eddy and Dog Steve pretty much look exactly the same, so they often get mistaken for biological siblings. The other day, I took them for a walk and some drunk guy called out to me, “Those doggies are so cute! Are they, like, daughter and sister?”

No, they’re not, random drunk alleyway guy. They’re not related at all, actually. But I suppose they’re kind of like brothers now.

First, it was me and Steve; and on the other side of the country, it was Steve and Arthur. Then it was me and Steve and Steve and Arthur. Then it was me and Steve and Steve and Arthur and Eddy.

We’re dysfunctional. We’re weird. We’re far from perfect.  But we’re perfect for each other. And that’s all that matters.

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