I just finished reading the most wonderful book. My daddy bought it for me as an early birthday gift, and I sped through it in record time. I loved it so much, in fact, that I felt compelled to email the author and tell her just how much I loved it. I’ve never done that before. If she emails me back to give me a nice Southern “thank you very much” I’ll tell you the name of that book. She’s a Yankee, but she seemed nice enough in the book.
Her book was about her dogs over the years, their antics, their love and the unconditional happiness they bring, even when they are making you furious. So, I’m inspired today to write a little dog ‘book’ of my own right here on my blog. You all know I’m an animal lover, but I’m a card carrying Dog Person as well. I’ve decided that I’m going to write about each of the wonderful balls of fluff that have been part of my marriage. I will not write about the dogs I had as a child, because at the time my mother was not a Dog Person (she’s since reformed), and none of those stories end happily. So, I’ll just write about my little loves in fur since I married Mr. Big Prize. This is gonna have to be my first multi-part blog, because after 14 years of marriage and eight dogs, well, you just can’t say it quick.
My story really begins about 15 years ago, when I decided I really wanted to marry Mr. Big Prize. He was a Dog Person, though in his then 28 years of life he’d only had one-Friend, an ‘outside’ Cocker Spaniel that chocked to death on a chicken bone at some much too early age. But, despite that early tragedy, Mr. Big Prize was a dog lover. He had a breed all picked out-Border Collie- and a name ready to go –Blue. He even had a little magazine cut-out taped to his refrigerator door of just that sort of dog. Sitting obediently, blue eyes looking expectantly at some off camera master, yep, that was the Blue Mr. Big Prize wanted. But, from the very beginning of our courtship I’d pretty much been able to convince him that he needed whatever I thought he needed…whether I was right or not. So, I decided that even though he was then living in a less than 1000 square foot apartment, he needed a dog. But even I, dog behavior novice that I was, knew that a Border Collie was working dog, and those can’t be kept in a less than 1000 square foot apartment. But Mr. Big Prize loved those big blue eyes, so I found another dog with equally big, equally blue, eyes. The Husky. Yes, you may now laugh. If there is any dog on the planet LESS suited to a less than 1000 square foot apartment than the Border Collie, it’s the Husky. But, I was determined, and for those who know me, that’s a dangerous state for me to be in.
I found a copy of the Sunday paper, and a listing for a breeder only 20 minutes away who was advertising Husky pups for a low low $85.00. So, out we went, to buy ‘our’ first dog. Now, let me back-track a bit, back to that part about wanting to marry Mr. Big Prize. MBP claimed that he wanted to get married, and that he wanted that real bad. Both being of the Southern and Christian persuasions, and both being children of ministers of the latter, we weren’t the ‘moving in together’ types. Sadly, I found MBP to be a bit slow in the proposing department, and I devised a plan to speed things up a bit. It was two fold; A) get him out of that less than 1000 square foot apartment and into a bright shiny newly built home of his very own, and B) Get him a dog-one that thought of me as ‘mommy’. As a realtor at the time I had him building that house in no time flat, and I was picking out the paint colors. And so that is how/why, on that Sunday afternoon we found ourselves driving his bright red convertible to a Christmas tree farm to pick out a bright shiny new puppy too.
Blue was neither bright, nor was she shiny. That Christmas tree farm was filthy, inside and out, and the wooden deck we were shown to was covered in such layers of filth as it is impossible to describe. There they were-two little adorable wolf faced pups, but with those glowing blue eyes. One was silver, the other red. We scooped up that little silver darling, and trotted her out of that filth for a negotiated $65.00. Note: this was the first time I had seen what I now know to be MBP most embarrassing habit-dickering. But we got our ‘new baby’ for $20 off her suggested retail price, and off we went.
On the way home, in that tiny red convertible, in a pouring rainstorm, the newly Christened Blue started putting a powerful wail…and an even more powerful stink.
That dog smelled worse than anything I have ever smelled, before or since. And it didn’t go away. We got her home and dunked her immediately in bubble bath, certain her aroma was merely the effect of the squalor in which she’d been living. But no, that wasn’t it… precisely. Our beloved baby Blue had, we discovered after her cleaning, two open wounds on her rumpus. I’ll spare you the details, but those were the source of the stink. It took months to clear up those spots, and months more to clear the miasma they’d left out of that less than 1000 square foot apartment. It did, however, forcibly cement me as ‘mommy’.
Much much more to come...