I was standing in the Golfsmith store today, browsing through stuff I want but will never buy, when a long-haired blonde guy stuck his head in the door.
"Can I bring my puppy in here?" he asked.
"What the hell?" I thought to myself. Why would someone bring their puppy to a golf store? Why would he even take his dog in the car if he knew he had shopping to do? What would make him think that a store would allow a dog inside?
Maybe the dog is a golfer, I snorted. This joke kinda backfired because I spent the next 20 seconds actually picturing a dog playing golf, which would explain why people in the Golfsmith store saw a sunburnt guy stopped dead in his tracks with a huge doofey smile on his face.
But I wiped that smile off of my face in a hurry because there's nothing funny about Florida's dog problem. Not even golfing dogs. Although they do come very close.
Anyway, people in Florida collect dogs. And when I say that Floridians "collect" dogs, I mean they collect dogs like people used to collect Beanie Babies, except that these particular Beanie Babies will often pee on the furniture, vomit on the floor or both.
The Florida obsession with dogs would not bother me at all, except that my mother-in-law, the owner of three (sometimes four dogs) has decided that my family needs another dog. She and many other Florida dog owners agree that we need a second dog because:
1. My Current Dog is Apparently Lonely and Needs a Friend. I'm not sure how anyone can calculate my twelve year-old dog's need for companionship, but apparently it's obvious. Perhaps my dog has been clumsily placing ads on Craig's List.
2. My Kids Need a Younger Dog. This one is an insidious reversal of the first reason because it posits that my current dog has too much companionship. It seems that my rambunctious kids may accidentally break my elderly dog in the course of normal activity. We need another, healthier dog to draw away our kids' attention. There may be some truth to this, though. My mother swears that my kids broke her once when she was babysitting.
3. Florida Needs More Poop. Okay, I made that last reason up. But if you ever come across a room full of people and you want to pick out the Floridian - just look for the guy with the plastic bag on his hand.
I left the Golfsmith before I found out whether they let the dog in. Probably, they did. This is Florida. I don't know yet whether we'll get another dog, but we probably will. This is Florida, after all, and my mother-in-law is very convincing.
I don't want another dog, but I'll take it in stride. I'll feed it, walk it and love it. And when I'm picking up poop, I'll picture that dog playing golf.