We decided it was time to neuter Louie (dogs don't have very many rights still). We had planned to wait until after his first birthday, which is in one month and which will include balloons, a peanut butter cake, and at least a dozen dogs running around our house for an afternoon. Because we're not monsters.

But we grew impatient recently because Louie seems to be regressing in the direction of domestic terrorism. We had hit this polite state of equilibrium with him around late June where we didn't bother him and he mostly didn't bother us. He'd do his thing and we didn't get in the way and in exchange, he wouldn't try to run away or shit all over our house.

But in the last month he's started to push the boundaries again. The most problematic behavioral issue is that Louie has started darting to the home of his lady friend next door. It's impossible for us to catch him. We have to stand in their yard in our underwear and engage in a hostage negotiation which always ends with us taking him for a ride in the car (the only desire more powerful than SEX, apparently).

Well, we don't really have the emotional capacity to deal with an unplanned pregnancy at the moment, and we're too young and cute to become grandparents, so we decided last week it was time. Rather, Skylar told me, "if we don't chop off Louie's balls immediately, I'm going to lose my mind."

So I called the vet and scheduled the snip snip.

It's weird how guilty you can feel after arranging something like that. I'd look at Louie's big dumb eyes and just think "I don't deserve your love or trust."

The day of the great neutering arrived on Monday. He was so excited when I put him into the car. So full of hope. So sure he was going somewhere fun.

Duncan recognizes the building once we get within sight of it. He'll start panicking in the car. But Louie? Totally oblivious.

Duncan was a rescue who came from sordid past. He knows trial and tribulation. He knows heartache. He lives in a perpetual state of caution. Until Monday, Louie had never experienced a moment of adversity in his life so he anticipates good news at every turn.

It was for that reason that he pulled me into the vet hospital. His tongue hanging out of his mouth. His tale wagging. "What great adventure awaits?!" I could almost hear him thinking.

I think he started to sense something was off when I was signing the paperwork. There were sounds of unseen animals in distress coming from back rooms. His tail stopped wagging. His tongue was deposited back into his mouth. He resisted the tug of the leash as I tried to take him into an examination room.

The hardest part of these things is that you can't explain to them what's going on. When the assistant took Louie from me and walked him out of the room, his big eyes, wide and full of terror, stared into me, as if to say, "I thought you were my daddy?"

I know I'm overthinking it. I know. But I'm so thoroughly convinced in these moments that our dogs think we are giving them away and they'll never see us again. That they'll be taken off to some new life—maybe, and probably, much worse than the one they've loved so far.

My mind was overrun with these thoughts as I got back to my car, so full of anxiety I could have powered a mid-sized country with my nervous energy. I cried?

The vet called me a few hours later to tell me the deed was done. "Has he asked about me?" I resisted the urge to ask.

Skylar insisted on going to pick him up. I didn't fight him on this. Sometimes you have to let your coparent lead the liberation parade and enjoy all the good will that comes with it. That's marriage, baby.

Duncan and I were waiting at home for Skylar to return with Louie. Duncan had spent his day in nervous pacing, wondering what the hell happened to this dog he has spent the last ten months terrorizing. They walked in, Louie with a clunky neck pillow and high out of his mind. Duncan kissed Louie's face for five or so minutes, true relationship progress shown by a dog we thought would never forgive us for bringing this baby monster into his life.

We're on day three of Louie knocking over furniture in his attempts to travel through tight spaces and reach around the barrier to lick the hell out of his massacred genitals. We give him one pain pill a day, which has a very funny effect on his balance.

He's still a monster. But he's our little monster.

~It Just Gets Stranger