Wednesday, September 05, 2007

The Telltale Tails

One of the most common sentences spoken by me to my wife is "You love that dog too much." Our dog is smart, loving and fun. In my uninterrupted lifelong string of dog ownership, she makes a case for all-time best canine. As the kids grow, age and continue to separate themselves from us, this dog has become like another child. The problem, of course, is that the dog will live for another ten years or so; then we have heartache. Still, we must enjoy the time we have with her, just not too much.
We are at low pet census in the house. Our old cat died a few months back and the legendary Harry, the only male dog I've ever owned, died four years ago. He was a good boy and I loved him. I still miss him. Maybe I loved THAT dog too much. Here he is (on the right), shown in a love fest with our surviving cat and The Exiled Dog.
My wife hates the exile dog, an accidental acquisition. I was driving on a busy city street when that idiot ran out in front of a truck and got hit. I was the next car in. The driver of the truck sped away. I rescued the dog and took it to a nearby vet. We were able to track down the owners, who refused to pay the bill. So, we bailed her out and took her home. She's a barker, a digger and a fighter. We couldn't keep her outside because she barked all the time and dug out under the fence. Inside, she wasn't reliable in the house training department and she wrecked more than her share of carpet. My daughter loved her, though, and we kept her around. One day she got out and got into a fight with a much smaller dog that lives on our street. We had to pay the vet bills and the neighbor never spoke to us again. My wife had had enough. The dog had to go. Fortunately, my dad took her in and they are thick as thieves. She has lived with him for eight years now.
My wife still hates her.
She's unreasonable about it. She hates that dog too much.
Now, with just two pets, a new relationship has developed. The dog and the cat worship one another. There was a brief debate around the house about whether the cat belongs to the dog or the dog belongs to the cat. That was settled quickly. The cat is smaller; but she's older, wiser and most assuredly meaner. She's definitely in charge. She loves that dog too much, too. Of course, she would never let it show.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Darrell - As the commercial says, "Dogs Rule". Our faux sheepdog, Gumbeaux, was featured as Pet of the Week on KSLA-TV in April, 1994. I bailed him out of the animal shelter immediately! He's 14+ years old, and life is really slowing down for him. He's helped raise my boys and has even converted my wife into a dog-person. We truly understand how you feel about Harry! Thanks for sharing a great story.