Unleashing Beauty and the Beast


I’m a dog lover who doesn’t necessarily always like dogs.

I like their sweet faces and slavering loyalty to their owners, random chew toys, and peeing on all the things. I just don’t like the mud, dirt, bugs or behavior issues.

All this to say that your dog is probably lovely. Our dogs are kind of jerks.

We have two dogs and despite my big talk, I love them both very much. We got them both within weeks of each other a decade ago. This is because we aren’t too bright and thought that having two puppies at the same time would be a marvelous idea.

They have been each other’s accomplices, scapegoats and general partners in crime ever since.


The dog who garners the most attention is beautiful. He’s a purebred German Shepherd who, even by exacting breed standards, is stunning, if I do say so. He was a gift, so I can take absolutely no credit for him.

Like many beautiful creatures, he’s kind of  difficult. Sweet guy, loves you if he loves you, but if not, he’s kind of a bitey supermodel who will kill you quick. It’s like that time that someone said no to Naomi Campbell.

He is why we have the welcoming sign at the end of our lane that warns that under no circumstances should you exit your vehicle or even THINK about entering our property on foot.

On the upside not only is he easy on the eyes, but we feel quite safe.


Our backup dog, the dog formerly known as Ottoman, was always more of a speed bump. Wider than he was tall, he moved at the speed of sloth. His job was to maybe trip you if you didn’t see him when running in panic from the faster dog who could actually catch you.

As it turns out, he has a thyroid condition. Now if he takes his $33,000 worth of prescription medications, we are told the weight will just drop off him.

We are seeing that now. In the space of a week he has morphed from a dog we called “beast” to looking quite svelte.

Obviously, he’s going to have to share. Is it wrong if I lick each one before I give it to him? “One for you, two for me.” If he calls himself my best friend, he must be willing to cut me in.

To be fair, best friend may be pushing it. It has come to my attention that I am difficult. I’m sure what they meant was delightful. I tend to be the disciplinarian, harping on dirty paws, fur and suspicious chew marks on 100-year-old woodwork.

In short, I’m a doggie downer. Granted they do still put on a good show of loving me — particularly if I’m eating beef.

It’s not that I think their loyalty is suspect at best. It’s that I know it is. I know that out of our family of four, I’m like the sixth person they would save. I rank behind the three of them, the neighbor kid and cute boyfriend.

Honestly, I may also be behind the UPS man. He gives out dog biscuits. I don’t.


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Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless.



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