Since most every dog we had was a stray, they each came to our door with their own set of...issues.
Patsy, the first dog I remember us having, was particularly fond of one of my father's shoes. She thought it was her puppy and would carry it around. She'd also try to nurse it. It was super entertaining watching her trying to get this brown shoe to nurse. Sometimes it was more entertaining than watching TV. Come to think of it...this was the mid sixties. Most things were more entertaining than watching shows like My Mother The Car. Had I been older, I'd have pitched the networks a show called, My Puppy The Shoe. I bet they would have bought it.
Patsy lived a long life and went on to move from shoes to real puppies. Lots up puppies. She was quite the girl about town. Seems like every few months we were taking boxes of puppies to the pet shop.
Then, there was April. She was another stray. She was super sweet. She had super big ears. Super big ears that were constantly getting infected. You could just look at her ears and she'd yelp and run away.
Then there was Oscar. Oscar was my first dog. All mine. As far as dogs go, Oscar was nervous. Very nervous. Every time the door bell rang he'd pee. Every time there was a loud noise...he'd pee. Every time you touched him...he'd pee. Do anything and Oscar would pee. Stand still and he'd pee. Still...he was sweet. And somewhere up in Heaven St. Peter is cleaning up after him.
Next there was Daisy. Daisy was a Vizsla/Pit Bull mix. She was probably the sweetest dog I've ever known. And the dumbest. She was big and dumb and sweet and constantly had to be touching someone. She also drooled uncontrollably when anyone ate an orange. My family didn't like oranges that much but would buy them by the bushels just to watch big, dumb, Daisy drool.
There was Emily. Emily was my parents' dog. She was snooty and obnoxious. I knew I was in trouble when my father called her my sister. During the late 70s, she got more attention than I did. Had it been allowed, I'm sure my parents would have sent her to college while giving me bus fare to attend a local trade school.
Petey. Ahhh, Petey. Petey was the first dog my wife and I got. People used to tell us he was the ugliest dog they had ever laid eyes on. We didn't see it. To us...he was our baby. I got back at my parents by telling them he was their grandson and could kick Emily's butt.
My wife and I doted on that dog for many years. Then we had a real baby and realized Petey was ugly. Not just ugly. He was gross. He had an underbite that stretched out at least three feet. When he breathed it sounded like a possessed Hoover. Not the president. The vacuum. My baby daughter loved that dog and he lived long enough to love her, too.
After he died we sorta decided to not have any more dogs. That only lasted a few months. We were at the mall and saw they were having pet adoptions. We walked by one dog and stopped. He was one of the biggest dogs I had ever seen. He was laying down. Asleep. My daughter got on the ground and laid next to him. He let out a big sigh. This was the perfect Rugg dog. A big sleepy dog. A big sleepy dog with a head the size of a Honda. We took him home. And found out he wasn't so sleepy. He started running around in the back yard and playfully barreled into me. I landed hard on the ground. Then he started running toward my three year-old daughter. I picked her up just in time for us both to be knocked to the ground.
Worried that he'd cause havoc if I wasn't there to supervise, I started taking him to my office with me. Unfortunately, these 8 hour days together caused him to overly bond with me. After a few weeks he tried to take my wife's arm off when she tried to hug me. Honda Head had to go. The Adoption folks we got him from said I should take him to a dog psychic to see what was wrong. I didn't. I'm happy to say he was adopted by a family of giants.
We decided that was it with dogs. That lasted two weeks. We got a call from the pet adoption people that they had found the perfect dog for us. He was an eight week old, stray, border collie mix. He was missing his back foot. Why they thought that was the perfect dog for us is unknown. But that's the dog we have now. His name is Murphy. He's great...three working feet and all. As with most border collies...he's kinda vocal and bossy. Actually...he's way vocal and bossy.
And there...it was to remain. One, vocal and bossy dog. And one, vocal and bossy dog only.
Until last September. We were driving back from Mass one Sunday when my wife spotted a rat in the street. As we got closer she saw it was sort of a dog. An iddy biddy dog. She told me to stop the car. She got out and tried to coax the dog out the busy street. He must have known she was Cuban because he turned and ran away from her. She made me follow the dog in the car. We followed a few block and then I got out of the car. It must have known I'm of Swedish descent...because it ran right to me. Fleas were jumping off his back. Ribs were sticking out. I brought the dog to the car. It licked my nose. It licked my daughters nose. It licked my wife's nose. Our goal was to take it to a shelter. It looked like it had been on the street for months. Somewhere along the way, the plans changed and we took it home to give it a bath and some food and water. Then we would take it to the shelter. Then the plan changed again. I called the local shelter and reported that we had found the dog. They took my name and number and nobody ever called. The dog was ours. A miniature Chihuahua. A tiny, iddy biddy, teensy, weensy dog. A tiny, psychotic, teensy, weensy dog.
We named him Lucky. And he's bi-polar. He can lick you one moment and then tear into your skin with iddy biddy teeth. He'll come over to be petted and then attack you, grinding your fingers to pulp. You never know when he's about to attack. He's so tiny that you never hear him coming. One minute your sitting on the couch reading and the next there's a dog attached to your wrist.
Somehow fate has deemed it so.
I own Foamy The Freakadog.