Mr. Twit jerked his dog back around behind him so his dog didn't get Poppy's cooties.
I struck up an inane conversation with him about dogs. His dog's name was Winston. Big surprise there! We hadn't talked too long when the twit casually said his bulldog puppy cost him three thousand dollars, and he had a private dog trainer.
I pointed out
there was something hanging on Winston's nose. There wasn't, but the twit looked for it a while. From what I could see Winston was being trained at the Three Stooges school of disobedience. He kept jerking on his chain trying to get to a pile of poop, like any other normal dog would do. I think the reason Mr. Twit bought the dog was so he could tell people how much he paid for it. Yuppies will buy artisan tooth paste if it costs more. Before too long all his friends will have seen his three thousand dollar dog. He will become bored with it and sell or give the dog away. I felt sorry for the dog. I liked Winston. Unfortunately it is still a misdemeanor in Colorado to shoot people like Mr. Twit.
Warning: short rant here. Please forgive me.
I read somewhere the average cost of having an animal throughout their lives is ten thousand dollars. I would venture to say the person who wrote this had a Yorkie that lived till he was three. The initial layout with license, exam, rabies, and fixing runs around three hundred to three fifty. Just one of my dogs eats about five thousand dollars of dog food over a thirteen year period, some dogs live till they are eighteen. That does not include, dog bone treats, toys, shoes, or furniture. There are fences, crates, grooming, leashes, combs, stolen sandwiches, and on and on. I pay about fourteen hundred just for maintenance like heart
worm, rabies, distemper, parvo, teeth cleaning, scent gland expressing and then there's mishaps, like eating a bag of birdseed, bladder infections, rattlesnake bites, cuts, attacks from other dogs and allergies (Poppy is allergic to carrots). Many dogs get diabetes or cancer. Every single dog I've ever had has had a bad hip or knee. Vets will offer surgery for around two to five thousand dollars depending on what kind of boat they are planning to buy this year. The cost for health care is much higher in an older dog. These expenses are for a "free" dog.
Whew! Scared myself there. Almost started typing in capital letters. I need to go to some on and on meetings.
We only have homeless animals. Apparently there is a secret mark or smell written in hobo dog language in front of our house that says "These people are suckers" Sometimes after a particularly poop intensive day, a misplaced hairball or a high vet bill I wish I could find that mark and erase it. Over the course of twenty years, a Weimaraner, three Shelties, a Blue Heeler, a Pitbull, a Basenji, a German shepherd (all mixes except the Shelties and the Basenji.) and about eight cats and a rabbit have wormed their way into our house and hearts. We currently have two dogs, Poppy and Shaggy and two cats Mika and Bobbette.
I might add here that we have only ever had tailless Manx cats, because they don't cause most people allergies and I am allergic to cats. If you get one, always get one with a little stump of a tail or they will have spinal problems. Any cat can birth a Manx of any size or color if their father or mother was a Manx.
When I saw the dog, I informed my wife that she was a pit bull. "Nuh uh!" was her first and last response. Love is blind.
At first I thought "Man! this is going to be a great guard dog!" Silly me. When she pants (Poppy not my wife.) her open mouth looks like a great white shark's and when she barks pictures fall off the walls but if someone broke into our house to steal something Poppy would drag it to the door for them. Fortunately she only barks about once every three months, which is how long it takes for the cats to forget what she sounded like last time they took a swipe at her. She will occasionally bark if we leave her outside in the dark. She is a little blind nowadays and can't tell what the shadows are.
Shaggy's hobby is barking at nothing. Shaggy is Poppy's stunt dog. He does what Poppy can't or won't do, but Poppy is the star.
As any dog knows, the greatest threat to life is squirrels. I've seen Shaggy try to climb a tree after a squirrel for ten minutes.
The first thing he does when going outside is check for squirrels or barring that, rabbits. I've seen him go after a rabbit like a bolt of lightening getting closer and closer and wham! He hits the fence the where the rabbit had a hole. No harm done, he absorbs most of the impact with his brain.
When sleeping, Poppy routinely makes noises that cannot be explained by any known laws of physics. Her legs move like she is running and her eyes remain open. If she wakes, she comes clicking (She has long nails) down the hardwood hallway, up to the bed and licks any limb that happens to be sticking out, probably to reassure herself that she was just having a dream. There's nothing like having a cold nose on your butt around three AM. It's a pretty frequent occurrence because any time that's not meal time is potentially sleep time.
I took Poppy to the vet today to get heart worm medicine. It's only five blocks away, but by the time we got there the dog snot was too thick to see out the window. There were other dogs and some cats in the office. She whined because she wanted to play with them but I kept a firm hold on her leash. Poppy wants to get to know every one and everything. If we take her to pet world everyone wants to pet her and talk to her. She goes over to them and gives them the look if they don't. They always turn to silly putty and succumb to her charms. She loves the attention and the strange smells so much that she won't leave voluntarily. We have to lure her out with a Slim Jim. It never occurred to her that someone might not want to play with or pet her. Almost everyone does, so it's not much of a problem. At home she waits till I have a hot cup of coffee and will then sneak up behind me and nudge me on my elbow to let me know she needs pets and attention. I started using a cup with a lid. If you habitually drink hot tea or coffee and you have an affectionate dog, never, ever write in your skivvies without a travel mug. You can't type YEEEAAAHHHH! fast enough to not scream. It's also a drag cleaning the ceiling and your computer if it isn't ruined.
Shaggy is a different story. Whenever we bring Shaggy to the vet he goes into full Bozo mode. Shaggy will go in, wiggle his nose, sniff, realize where he is and go flat-out into reverse. It's like when Wiley Coyote is standing on nothing and realizing it scrambles through the air trying to get back to the edge of the cliff.
Shaggy is quite the spectacle as he gets dragged into the waiting room barking at all the dogs and cats, lunging at them and choking himself. The staff cringes when they see him and send in an extra tech to help subdue him in the examination room. He is not a cowardly dog. I've seen him go after mastiffs but he is the biggest whiny, yipping, baby I've ever seen when they take his temperature. Come to think of it, I'm not too crazy about the rubber glove myself.
Dogs are said to have the intelligence of a two year old human. If my son had been as smart as Poppy at the age of two he would have had several P.H.D.'s by now. Please keep in mind I said smart, not obedient. Poppy (Who is legally a dog) knows how to get what she wants. She knows when your are engrossed with something and not paying attention. She knows she is not allowed on the couch, but if you are watching a movie, sometime during the course of the movie she materializes on the couch her head on your lap, eying your popcorn. You never see, hear or notice her until she passes gas. She can emit aromas that are strong enough to interfere with the TV signal. All these attacks are S.B.D's (silent but deadly) so it's too late by the time you notice them. No matter how cold it is we jump up and open all the windows so we don't pass out from the fumes.
It's that bad. I hope she has gas when a burglar is here. He wouldn't stand a chance. At times it can be advantageous to have gassy dogs, like when hon cooks beans for supper.
I've had dogs that blow coat in the spring but Poppy sheds year round. She has very short, coarse,white hair but no matter how much you curry her she still sheds enough hair weekly to create a whole other dog. Our floors looks like a barber shop's. We have a Kirby vacuum and almost can't afford all the bags we use. Most of our clothes and furniture are desert tan so you can't see it unless you are close. I wear black socks but you would never know it. The white hair actually gets embedded in the socks and won't wash out. Those sticky lint rollers are worthless. I had a giant yellow cat, Max, that weighed thirty pounds. His stomach dragged on the floor. He was pretty old but I suspect that he died trying to expel a giant hairball after licking Poppy's hair off his stomach. I have to admit that without Poppy, my life would not be nearly so rich in hair.
Remember Mikey who wouldn't eat anything? Poppy is nothing like that. I haven't found anything she won't eat including Hon's slippers. We call her Hoover at dinner time. You hear the clank of her tags once on the bowl and the food has vanished but she is licking at the linoleum for ten minutes in case a crumb escaped. That linoleum is getting pretty thin there. I'd better replace it soon. We don't allow her in the kitchen while we're eating, that's the plan anyway. She moves like a soldier crawling under barbed wire getting closer and closer to her objective. You rarely see her move but every time you glance over she is a foot closer to the table. If we catch her and shoo her towards the door, she stops at a water bowl on the way out. She will drink for a long time, hoping we will forget she is in the kitchen. There are other water bowls throughout the house she normally prefers so I know she isn't just thirsty. Her strategy often works and we forget about her. The next time you see her, she is looking up at you from under the table waiting for something to drop.
The waste basket is both snack storage and toy box for her. After she gets into it so is the rest of the house.
It's hard to discipline her. She looks so pathetic. She has big mournful brown eyes that seem to say I" love you, please don't yell at me." (I almost never do.) For some reason she almost never wags her tail. Sometimes it will wag very slowly. It always stays tucked between her legs unless she is playing and then it sticks straight out. She lays in front of doorways so maybe we stepped on it too often or maybe it's part of her act. Whenever Shaggy wags his tail It's so violent I expect it to come loose and fly across the room.
Poppy is not exactly Rin Tin Tin. I remember a time I was changing a tire. While getting the spare from under the truck it fell on my chest. I was stuck for quite a while. Did she go for help? Noooo! After I got free I had to wring out my shirt from being licked and slobbered on. I've fallen on the ground several times which in dog speak implies, "Come and jump on me." You can easily see she doesn't qualify for hero status. I think Lassie's career is safe.
So why do you have these dogs, you ask. Good question. I'm not really sure. They don't herd cattle. They don't retrieve ducks or tree coons. They won't track mountain lions. They don't lead blind people. They're mutts so they don't impress anyone. I've never heard a person say "Oh! I want really ugly dogs like that." Maybe they are just dumb animals I can give something to. Maybe it's because they need me. Maybe it's their unconditional love. Maybe it's because they won't leave.
Does anyone else have a dog who tucks their tail in?
Shaggy always licks Poppy's ears as foreplay. Whats up with that? Leave me a note if you know.
Poppy has passed on to the land filled with peanut butter stuffed Kongs since I wrote this. It's amazing how much we miss her. I've had many dogs, but none as much a part of the family as that "killer" pit bull. If you know a mean pit bull, it's owner is an asshole or an asshole gangster training the poor thing to fight. Sorry about the language, but that's how strongly I feel. They try to outlaw pit bulls all the time because of them and they are persecuted. The only dog that ever bit me was a miniature dachshund.