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The Treaty of Montclair

As odd as it sounds, I finally made peace with my stepdog Eddie in Montclair. A 40-pound Blue Heeler mix with dark spots on white fur, Eddie and I had been waging war for nearly ten years, ever since I stayed over at my then boyfriend Jim’s townhouse in Los Angeles and his dog peed outside the bedroom door. The message was clear -- “He’s mine.” When I fell in love with Jim, I had braced myself for two stepkids. Never, ever did I worry about a stepdog. But in trying to find my place within my new instant family, Eddie was the one I couldn’t win over. He barked at the sight of me. He stood guard and tried to intercept me whenever I moved in Jim’s direction. He jumped between us when Jim and I tried to kiss or dance. He behaved like a jealous mistress – one capable of biting -- who knew who had come first. Jim got him from a rescue place exactly four months before we started dating. I was the intruder. When several years into our marriage we moved to New Jersey, I thought I had found my opening. I tried to leave Eddie behind. “He’s a California dog,” I told my husband. “He’s used to perfect weather and sunbathing. He’ll be miserable on the East Coast.” READ MORE: Baristanet.com

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