It must have been Molly that finally set me off.
I mean, with her warm, brownish hair and those loving eyes, well, she just reminded me of someone I left behind in New York.
Who used to live in my building. She, too, had the same color hair, and those eyes that could melt an iceberg. Every time P.J., my nine-pound Yorkshire terrorist, or I would see her, we couldn't help but smile.
Or pant, as was P.J.'s case.
But now, out here in the Valley, we'd met Molly. Excuse me, that's "Good Golly Ms. Molly," as her owner told us. That's her real name. Also the name she uses on television.
Turns out Molly is some kind of superstar out here in the land of SUVs with drivers who can't control them.
Yup. She's the star of some local show on Channel 3 every weekday morning at 9.
Not only were her eyes a wonder to the eyes, her well-manicured nails were amazing. But I think what put P.J. and me over the edge were her eight perky nipples.
It all started a day before, when it was decided, by MBH (my better half), Nick (my stepfather) and me, that we'd take P.J. and Nick's little white snowball of a Maltese, Yeti, to Biltmore Fashion Park for a weekly event called Yappy Hour at Three Dog Bakery.
It sounded like something fun to do, plus, P.J. and Yeti were driving each other nuts with who got to be on whose lap.
You have to understand, Yeti is a Maltese. A small dog of royalty. If you were alive hundreds or thousands of years ago, you'd see her type on the throne with kings and queens. Nick, my stepfather, knows this, so he treats her that way. She usually gets whatever she wants, and wherever Nick is sitting, she must be as well.
And that's what pisses off P.J. And I can understand why.
This is P.J.'s house. Some little snow-woman bitch shows up all hoity-toity, and suddenly she gets the little dictator's seats? I don't think so. Even though P.J. has known her his whole life and she's his older stepsister.
So we figured it would be fun to take both beasts to Yappy Hour. There, they could socialize with others of their kind. Four-legged, butt-sniffing, floor-licking beasts in P.J.'s case, and other civilized human beings in Yeti's case.
So after letting P.J.'s main squeeze, another Yorkie named Tigi, know about the event, off we went.
"There's gonna be no one there except us," MBH complains as she drives me, P.J., Yeti and Nick to the Biltmore.
"It'll still be fun," I say, trying to reassure her we aren't wasting our time. But it's only a couple of hours until The Apprentice and The Donald's bad comb-over, and MBH doesn't want to miss a thing.
After parking and walking toward the Three Dog Bakery, we all find ourselves in shock. Not only are there plenty of dogs running around the outside of the place, but most of them are really cute, and there are a lot of Yorkies in the mix. Including Tigi, whom P.J. runs over to immediately to get a good whiff of her butt and snatch.
He's pleased, because his tail wags at a million miles per hour, and the next thing we know, he and the Tigster are rolling around on the grass like a couple of kids.
Of course, MBH and I, as well as Sarah and Dylan, Tigi's humans, all look on in delight.
Meanwhile, Nick is trying to stop Yeti from taking chunks out of any dog that comes near her. And that includes three Yorkies named Cha-Cha, Gino, and Maximillion -- Maximillion being the most hyper, as he is the puppy of the group. He runs on that Biltmore grass as fast as he can, doing figure eights and barking at anyone and everyone. He's frapping.
That means he's involved in a FRAP -- Frenetic Random Act of Play. It's when puppies' brains short out and they run around like nuts.
Sorta like I do when I'm on a beach full of bikinied beauties.
Anyway, after some air-biting and growls from Queen Yeti, we make our way into the store itself after learning about Pugapalooza, some pug rescue program, from a chick named Shawn and a guy named Robert, who show us photos of about a million pugs on Shawn's cell phone. I ask Robert why pugs are popular to begin with. They have smushed-up faces and worse sinus problems than me. They're not sleek, stylin', or anywhere near as handsome as P.J.
"They're so ugly you can't help but love them," Robert tells me, and I see his point as I stare into the face of his furry friend, Maximus Auerilis. He explains what the name means, but I'm not really listening. I'm wondering how one cleans up all that pug drool.
Once inside the bakery, P.J. immediately gets a cookie called a Lick 'n Crunch.
Antonio, the manager, explains the cookies are freshly made and the dogs go nuts for them. And he's not kidding.
He also says that Yappy Hour has been an event for almost seven years now. Earlier, outside, a couple of women told me they have been going to this event for quite a while. One said, "We don't have lives, but our dogs do!"
A few minutes later, Antonio tries to give Tigi, P.J.'s plaything, a Lick 'n Crunch. The little dictator eats the thing before it reaches poor little Tigi's mouth. So, obviously, we are forced to buy a box for our brat, who can't stop begging for them.
We also learn that on certain Yappy Hour nights, there are special guests. This night we have Mary Palmer. She does pet portraits, and really does capture their spirits in her paintings. Of course, she's on my list of who I give my money to next.
Antonio also tells me about the pet massages, pet photos, and even the pet psychic. My bet is that the John Edward of dogs just does cold readings like they teach in the CIA.
"Your dog wants a steak!"
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The evening ends after we meet Molly and are told about how wonderful she is by someone we suspect is her owner. As we all admire her beauty, I start to get jealous.
So what if she's some TV star? P.J.'s been on the front page of the Washington Post, did a spread in People, and was on the cover of New Times!
Then I realized that P.J. isn't the only one who needs to be the little dictator of the house.