As with most families, ours enjoyed having dogs around as pets. Currently the canine residents of our home are Buster, 70 lbs of love packaged neatly in a very muscular pit/mix and Bella who is best described as a cross between a miniature Italian Greyhound and a Chupacabra. Picture a 6 lb., long legged beast with a pointy nose and no hair from the shoulders back with the exception of her unnaturally short tail. That item, which is usually tucked tightly between her legs (she is very modest and thankfully covers her lady bits) has a fringe of hair around the outside edges.
Bella, of course, is Angie’s dog. The dog has a licker problem. She can’t control it and will perch up behind any visitor on the back of the chair or couch they are on and attempt to remove all the wax in their ear canals. Needless to say, we don’t have many that return to visit again.
When Angie first got her she discovered this problem after letting the dog sleep with us. Let’s just say that the combination of a long pointy cold nose with a constantly flicking tongue, not unlike a snake, is a disaster under the covers, especially if you sleep naked, as Angie does.
Buster and Bella. Buster thinks she is a pillow.
When the kids were still home the dogs that resided with our family would live in a feast or famine type of existence, as it was always a guessing game as to when they would be fed as it was one of their chores to feed the beasties. To the children they were viewed as self sustaining play things that never required the care and attention that was promised to the parent figures.
To the parents they were viewed as occasional companions and, depending on the size of the animal, full time depositor of tootsie rolls, cigars or presto logs in places that people walk.
Buddy, our Pekinese, was doing his “dooty” to uphold the standard of quality for parental annoyance to his dying day. He had aged and had the unpleasant habit of imitating a miniature goat’s ability to deposit potty pellets while walking across the floor. I would find a trail of “Buddy pellets” in a neat row showing not only his direction of travel but if you calculate the spacing you can figure out his relative speed.
I once witnessed this glorious event during a gathering of friends at our home. Poor Buddy didn’t even notice the ongoing deposits as he shuffled across the floor. I yelled:
He just turned around and looked at me and then at the neat line of tootsie rolls across the floor with a look of “where did those come from?”
Cinder and Brutus were a mother and son team of dogs that occupied the backyard of our home for many years. They were good dogs for the family and grew old and happy in their fenced in kingdom.
We would occasionally take them for walks around the neighborhood much to the delight of Cinder but not to Brutus. Despite his imposing appearance, Brutus was a devout coward outside of the back yard. When we would take him out for a walk with his mother it would turn into more of a dragging session than a walk. At the end of this exercise I would usually be the one to carry this four legged eighty pound pansy back into the backyard.
Brutus was a good looking dog, strong and muscular with a long tailed Rottweiler look about him. If any other unauthorized animal would dare to come into his backyard they met with a swift and usually fatal end. Several of the neighborhood cats made the one time mistake of venturing into Brutus’s domain. Our cats were accepted and protected by him but any other “four legged strangers were fair game.
One day one of the children brought home a tortoise as a pet. He lasted only until he was left in the backyard and Brutus decided that he was a threat to the family and turned him into a chew toy.
The years eventually took their toll on Brutus and Cinder as Cinder developed epileptic seizures and Brutus would lose all power and control to his rear legs. The decision was reluctantly made to take them to the vet’s for a humane termination of their pitiful conditions.
This sad task fell to our oldest daughter, Marisa, and her new husband, Daren. We made the appointment at the pet hospital and Marisa and Daren took them there at the appointed time. Stares of disapproval met them from the tree hugging animal worshipers behind the reception desk as they carried these decrepit animals in.
They were escorted into an examination room to await the vet. They placed Cinder and Brutus on the floor where Cinder went into her normal seizure and Brutus collapsed into a heap.
Much to their amazement the dogs suddenly recovered and assumed a four legged, tail wagging stance just as the vet entered the room. He asked,
“So what brings you here today?”
“We need to have these two dogs put down” replied my daughter.
The vet looked at these two apparently healthy and happy beasts and said:
“Are you sure? They look very healthy to me.”
“Oh, no” replied Marisa, “They both are suffering, Cinder is having seizures and Brutus can’t walk anymore”
Of course during this conversation the old dogs are happily scampering about showing the vet that they are perfectly fine and these two would be assassins are out of their minds.
As the vet reluctantly left the room to get the injections for the dogs they again collapsed in to a quivering mass only to revive again as he entered the room and administered the fatal doses.
Marisa and Daren, these two angels of death, left the clinic with the now two deceased victims of their obvious cruelty in a leaky cardboard box as they felt the stares of hatred and loathing from the veterinarian staff boring into the back of their heads. They left the dogs in the box in the back of our SUV for me to plant into the animal orchard in our back yard.