Official Cat People welcome canine addition to the family |

Official Cat People welcome canine addition to the family

Debbie Farmer

As of last week, we have a new addition to the family. His name is Murphy and he’s 6 pounds, 3 ounces, 12 inches long, and keeps us up all night.

Now before you start breaking out the, “Congratulations! It’s a Boy,” balloons, let me add that he is gray, furry and, if not watched closely, drinks water out of the toilet. Yes, it’s a puppy. A PUPPY!

Now some of you may not think it’s such a big deal. But, you see, up until last month we’ve been Official Cat People. We always have hordes of them milling around the house and laying around in the potted plants. But for some mysterious reason I’ll call guilt, we crossed over the domestic animal kingdom line into Dog Territory.

I’d like to say it was a very calculated and practical decision that we weighed carefully factoring in time, money, attention, lifestyle and mental stability, etc. The real story is that last week my son said, “Hey, can we get a dog?”

Harmless? Ha! Ha!

So, like any guilt-ridden parents – I mean, conscientious animal lovers – we went to the city pound to adopt a nice stray mutt that needed a good home. The pound was closed. So then (and this is when the tide began to turn), we decided to “just look” down the street at a place that should just call themselves the Very Expensive Pet Store.

Now those of you seasoned shoppers know that to “just look” is secret code for going to a boutique and ending up spending more money than you ever thought possible.

Approximately one hour and 5 bazillion dollars later we ended up with … wait for it … a purebred miniature Schnauzer. The shoe equivalent of anything made by Fendi. Which means we not only overpaid, we now have a dog that’s way too overqualified to live with us.

I’m not saying that we’re not good pet owners. I’m just saying that we’re not what anyone would call show dog material. We’re the type of people who get their pets by herding them into the house after they wandered in the back yard by mistake.

I’ve learned a thing or two in these last weeks about owning a dog. I learned that there are tons of high-fashion accessories you can buy: fancy bandanas, custom visor caps and crystal hairclips.

And I learned that it doesn’t matter how much money you spend on a purebred dog, it pretty much acts just like the ones you get at the pound. It still chews on the sofa, nibbles on the carpet, and snacks on tennis shoes.

So after replacing the furniture, repairing the carpet, buying new shoes, and building an $800 fence around the pool, our dog expense tally comes to the exact same amount of money it takes to run, oh let’s see, France.

• Debbie Farmer is a humorist, mother, and the author of “Don’t Put Lipstick on the Cat.” She can be reached at, or by writing