I received this greeting card in the mail today from PetSmart® (my last name was misspelled, but I consider anything that’s only two or so letters off to be a triumph – even when I have GIVEN it to someone letter by letter):
Wow - someone's PUNNY!

Someone give me a tissue.

Inside the card, in addition to the cloying greeting – I’ll get to that later – was a “birthday certificate” for a free dog toy. Now, MY birthday isn’t too far off, and when I’d first skimmed the card it said something about belonging to the PetPerks® program, which I do, so I thought it was a birthday gift for ME. Not the case. Upon more careful reading, I discovered that, according to the above-pictured document, I OWN the “best dog ever.” Moreover, it’s My Dog’s BIRTHDAY AND the inside of the card is, I kid you not, addressed “To the best dog ever…” But there’s more. “Jessica,” the PetSmart® “Birthday Coordinator” evidently sent this card and gift to My Dog, “the best dog ever.” Oh – and a POEM, too (ready another tissue):

You bring so much joy
Into everyone’s day,
All the wags, walks and fun –
We just wanted to say,

Thanks for the smooches,
And the love, tried and true.
We hope that your day
Is as special as you!

I can only mange to utter THANK GOD THAT DOGS CANNOT READ. Ah yes – but therein lies the rub – I HAVE NO DOG. As I’ve mentioned before, I have two Kitten Children (whose tiny eyes I will have to cover if they come and sit on the computer desk, as they are wont to do – yes, I presume THEY are smart enough to read – they do, after all, receive mail). When I signed up for the PetPerks® program I do not recall mentioning ANY pets, and as much as I adore (probably to a vaguely depressing extent) my Kitten Children, I cannot recall their birthdays off-hand (I am a HORRIBLE Mother – HORRIBLE), so even if I’d mentioned my pets I couldn’t have supplied their birthdates. Come to think of it, that really is sad. My Kitten Children give me Mother’s Day cards and even gave me a lovely set of scented votive candles and pretty holders for Christmas (perhaps they had assistance, but they were still the gift-givers). Thank goodness I can hear them in the kitchen stealing the dog’s food (the dog who belongs to my PARENTS – the old lady dog who doesn’t even play with toys any more) and are therefore too occupied to see this. But that’s not the point (YES – I HAVE a point – I ALWAYS do, even if I meander around for two or three or sixty-seven pages before I get to it). I evidently own “the best dog ever,” and I have no idea who has My Dog! How alone this poor canine must feel, especially since it’s his or her birthday.

So if ANYONE has information about My Dog, “the best dog ever,” – sorry, that’s the only description I have, other than the fact that it is the aforementioned pooch’s birthday – please let me know immediately. The “birthday certificate” expires on February 28, 2006, so we have to work fast if My Dog, “the best dog ever,” is going to receive his/her very special birthday gift. Thank you for your assistance in this matter.

P.S. I am certifiable. Fiona just jumped up onto the desk and I actually did, momentarily, cover her tiny eyes and I said – out loud, “Fiona – don’t look! Don’t look!” Immediately I felt horribly silly. Yet THEN, when she at one point turned her sweet little face to the screen, I had to squelch the impulse to do it again. No wonder someone has taken My Dog, “the best dog ever.”