I did a lot of stupid things as a kid. And as an adult. And definitely as a teenager. But right now, I’m going to focus on one particular event that took place circa 1991.
I really, really, REALLY wanted a pet as a kid. But my mom couldn’t handle anything living in the house, and we couldn’t have an outdoor cat because my dad, Kirk, hates cats more than anything in the world. In fact, his hatred for cats is up there with my mom’s hatred of dogs.
One day, as fate would have it, a dog found me. I was playing in the backyard alone, while my parents were doing yard work in the front yard. This tiny little dog squeezed itself through our wrought-iron fence. It had a spiky collar and short, dark brown fur. Clearly, he was a present from God. So I took him inside.
I showed him the whole house. We hung out in my room, in the den, and ran up and down the glossy brick hallway between the den and the living room. I was having the time of my life. The dog eventually found the little half bath we had between the kitchen and the door that went into the garage. It had a sliding door so it was always open. My new friend promptly began drinking out of the toilet bowl. I was freaking out.
My 4-year-old mind was currently under the impression that what happens when you flush is the toilet sucks in any poop there might be, then cleans the water, and spits it back out. So if the dog drank all the water, he would break our toilet forever. And I would be in big trouble.
The answer was simple: I just needed to get the dog some different water. But how was I going to contain this water? I was too short to get a bowl from the cabinet. But I sure knew where some shoeboxes were! So I ran down the hall to the linen closet to fetch one. I filled it with water from the sink, and said, “Puppy! Look! I brought you new, better water! Come over here and have some or our toilet isn’t going to work!”
The dog came over and had a drink out of the shoebox. But he quickly lost interest when somehow, all the water escaped onto the floor. Then he went right back into the bathroom. I was trying to figure out how I could get the water back in the shoebox right as my mom walked in.
“Miranda, WHO is that?!” demanded my mother.
“Our new dog!” I said cheerfully.
“No!!! Get him out of here!!! KIIIIRRRRKKKK! Get in here! There’s a DOG in our house!!!!” screamed my mom with a stressed sense of anxiety in her voice, as if nothing could have possibly prepared her for how to handle this situation.
I don’t remember much after that, except that we didn’t keep the dog.