I have to buy WHAT?

Here’s a post that I wrote up a few months ago that I neglected to publish at the time.

Breeding and not-breeding dogs has made for some classic conversations at the check out line when I’m buying stuff for the pups.

I thought I had it bad in college, when I was the Financial Manager for a 50 person house and the Kitchen Manager (a woman) and I would make trips to Costco to buy several hundred dollars worth of junk food once or twice a month to stock the kitchen. We’d get looks and comments from people in line, as we pulled up three flat bed carts, piled high with every sort of trans fat vector imaginable. We’d hear everything from, “No wonder he’s fat,” to “They must be Mormons with six kids.” And it wasn’t much better telling people you were buying for 50 people…. they’d usually respond, “What, are you in some kind of cult?” “No, it’s the Italian House, it’s kind of like a fraternity, but for students who take Italian” just didn’t seem to be the answer they wanted.

The first doggy-shopping incident came when I was at Costco buying an industrial sized box of “light days” maxi pads, a case of baby wipes, four tubs of cottage cheese and two jumbo packages of fresh ground hamburger.

“How old is your baby?” she says as she scans the giganto box of baby wipes.

“I don’t have a baby, those are for me. They’re very useful, I love them.”


I get the once over as the girl must be imagining the six foot tall barrel chested man with a beard who is standing in front of her must use baby wipes for his delicate sensitive heiney. She shuddered.

“So you really must like cottage cheese and meat,” she says with a tone. The look on her face says “No wonder he has digestive problems, look what he eats.”

“Those aren’t for me. They’re for my dogs.”


I can only imagine what she’s thinking now that she’s grabbing the maxi pads. She smiles and says, “What a nice guy, my boyfriend would never buy anything like this for me, he’d be too embarrassed. He’s such a prude, he won’t even buy condoms!”

I should have just smiled and nodded, paid and left, but nooo, I just had to correct her one last time.

“Those are for my bitch.”

“Your what? Did you just call your wife a bitch? If I weren’t on the job right now I’d tell you…”

I cut her off. “No, my dog bitch” I said, trying to remember to never use that word outside of the dogworld again. But she kept on going.

“…exactly what I think of people who use such disrespectful words for women. That is inappropriate and… what???… your dog bitch? Who do you think you are mister? No woman deserves to be called…”

“No, my pet dog. I have a female and a male dog. I told you. The pads are for the female dog. The food is for my dogs, the pads are for my dog. A real dog, canine and all. Wag Wag, Bark Bark?!”

“What the hell do you do with hamburger and pantie pads with a dog? What kind of nasty…?”

The people behind me in line are falling on the floor at this point and I’m getting no help trying to explain myself.

“My dog, she’s intact, she hasn’t been spayed. So she has a heat cycle a couple of times a year. She wears a diaper with the…”

“A diaper? What? You are a sick puppy!”

It didn’t get any better, so I swiped my card and tried to get out of there before I said something really inappropriate or found out anything more about the checkout lady’s weirdo boyfriend or her views on male chauvinism and bestiality.

The same thing happened a few days ago at Walmart when I stopped in to buy the KY Jelly liquid and some plastic thermometer tips so I could check Celeste’s temperature as comfortably as possible. You think I would have learned.

Well, my first mistake was asking the girl stocking the shelf in the pharmacy section where the lubrication for the thermometer was. I had walked up and down the isles and couldn’t find it. Well, she was obviously confused, told me that this was her first week, and went to ask someone else. Well, she brought back her male supervisor and he was obviously inconvenienced.

“What do you need, thermometer lube, what’s that?”

“Yeah, I need some lubricant to put on the thermometer tip. Just not Vaseline.”

“You just put it under your tongue, what do you need lube for?”

“No, I have to take the temperature somewhere else.”

He looked around the area where I was standing, where the thermometers and their disposable covers are.

“I don’t see anything and I have never heard of thermometer lube.”

“No, it’s not really thermometer specific. You know, water based lubricant.”

“You mean the sex stuff? CHARLINE, WHERE’S THE SEX LUBE? You know, the kind that gets all hot and stuff, this guy is taking someone’s temperature” he yelled at the clerk behind the window at the pharmacy, emphasizing the last part to insinuate that he thought I must be joking about my ‘thermometer’ and ‘somewhere else.’

The pharmacist pointed to the back wall of the store. The look on her face was crushing.

“So you want the stuff that gets all hot, huh?”

Unaware that K-Y makes a sexual lubricant that gets warm when you use it, I was completely lost at this point. “Um, no, what? hot? I don’t understand. I just need some gel. I need an accurate temperature, so no, nothing hot.”

“Oh dude, you gotta try the hot sauce. It gets all tingly and warm and…”

“This isn’t for sex. It’s just so I can take a temperature easier.”

“Oh. Bummer. You should really try it though. It’s even fun by your…”


I thought that this would be the extent of my public embarrassment, but no, I did not meet my daily quota yet. As I’m about to leave, I get a call and I’m supposed to bring home some chocolate syrup. Ok, fine, it’s right on the way out of the store.

So I take take the plastic sterile gloves, the thermometer tips, the K-Y jelly, and the chocolate syrup into the short line and get yet another teenager.

“Dude, someone’s having fun tonight.”

“Yes, yes I am. I’m a dirty, dirty boy.”

I thought about telling the kid the stuff was for my dog, but after the Costco incident, I’d rather be thought of as a hamburger and cottage cheese swilling, baby wipe using, feminine hygiene products buying, kinked out KY Jelly-Latex Gloves-and-Chocolate Syrup-using sex freak than trying to explain that I have a dog in heat.

It’s just easier that way.

P.S. And don’t even get me started on the looks I got buying up three RiteAids’ worth of deluxe human sized incontinence pads (on sale half off) for the puppies’ litter box. I even got yelled at by some old lady in the parking lot who warned me that I’d better not have bought all the pads (I had) since the last store (already hit that one 30 minutes ago) was all out. I tried to give her one free, but she just responded “from the looks of it, honey, you need them more than I do.”

Great. Just what I need. The pity of an old lady with bladder problems.

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About Christopher

Christopher Landauer is a fifth generation Colorado native and second generation Border Collie enthusiast. Border Collies have been the Landauer family dogs since the 1960s and Christopher got his first one as a toddler. He began his own modest breeding program with the purchase of Dublin and Celeste in 2006 and currently shares his home with their children Mercury and Gemma as well. His interest in genetics began in AP Chemistry and AP Biology and was honed at Stanford University.