I’ve spent the majority of my life living with a pet. The first pet I owned was a fish my granddaddy bought me as a teenager. It didn’t live long, Probably because I had no idea about fish, and no one clued me in on water having chlorine in it, so it died right after I cleaned the tank the first time. I remember his lifeless body floating upside down and squealing when my mom made me scoop his fermenting body out of the tank.

Fast forward to 3 years ago, when I was living alone for the first time in forever. I wanted someone to love me unconditionally, so I went to craigslist. I located the section that featured pet services, and saw someone selling pitbull puppies. I fell in love with a chubby brindle puppy and I quickly contacted the owner about adopting. We planned to meet the next day after I was off from work. 

All hail broke loose.

The next morning, the weather had shifted and hail was predicted. Work told us to go home, and finish the day there. I coordinated with the puppy proprietor… Well, basically I offered to pay her more if she would meet me closer to the office.

We linked up at a gas station, and she put this chubby little baby dog in my arms. She snuggled close to me and I was in love.

It took us a few days of getting to know each other before we landed on her name. I had her on the floor and she wanted up on the couch. When I wasn’t paying attention she started to climb my leg and I felt like that was a pretty clever approach.

Pretty Clever is her name.

Clever is almost four now, and lives up to her name regularly. The most Clever regular thing she does is push past me to run out the front door when I’m trying to leave the house. 

Clever is smart enough to recognize my pattern of behavior when I’m preparing to leave. I see her side eye when I’m moving around a lot and wearing shoes. She’s by my side with every step, and constantly looking me in my eyes. 

I’m going too!

She’s gotten by me enough for me to learn how to get her back in the house. She really just wants to go, so if I open the door to my truck, she’ll hop in. I can put the leash on her and escort her back inside. Then she tries to escape again. 

Lately, she’s focused her escapes on when me and Bae try to leave together. I leave the house last, and out of the back door. She’ll dart by me and run to Bae’s car begging to be let in. In my head, I picture her running to Bae’s car, and saying…

“Homie, let me in before mom comes. Don’t tell her I’m here, just drive off. She won’t even notice I’m here.”

Her face looks so defeated when I take her back inside.