So what is it with dogs, anyway? To me, dogs are like kids. I generally like the ones that belong to me, but I’m totally ambivalent about those that belong to other folks.
I watched the movie “Marley and Me” the other day. It is about a newspaper columnist and his out-of-control dog.
I have to admit, I’m partial toward columnists. All of the ones I know, I like.
But I’ve had it with ornery dogs. We once owned one, named Honey. She was the dog from heck.
We adopted her from the pound. We specifically chose her because she was so mellow. While the other dogs were yapping and jumping around, she just sat there, wagging her tail.
We took her to the veterinarian for a checkup, and he said she was sick. He gave her some sort of shot, which cured her.
She went from quiet and obedient to anything but. She knocked over the kids, killed our chickens and generally laid waste to all in her path.
She chased cars — from the front. I’m not making this up. She would charge from the front until the driver stopped his car.
One time, she cornered a deputy sheriff in his patrol car.
“That dog is out of control,” he told someone who was there. She shall remain nameless to protect the exasperated.
“You’ve got a gun,” she said. “Shoot it.”
Much to the regret of all concerned, the deputy didn’t.
Drastic times require drastic measures. We hired a dog psychologist to straighten her out. The shrink didn’t have a prayer.
“Sit!” she commanded Honey.
Honey walked away.
Though the dog blew off the shrink, I noted that one of our kids, who was 5 at the time, followed every command.
I guess the session wasn’t a total waste.
We’ve had other dogs, too. I used to have a malemute, which loved to run. All she needed was an open door and she was off like a rifle shot.
One time, she ran away and I had no idea where she went. I put an ad in the newspaper, and someone called to report that they had found her — on a nearby island. She had either swum there or hitchhiked across the bridge.
She also liked to roll in, well, the stuff most dogs like to roll in. I guess she liked the smell.
Another time, I was patrolling the neighborhood looking for her and finally found her several blocks away. She had managed to shed her collar, too.
I swooped all 80 pounds of her up in my arms, only to get a whiff of I-don’t-want-to-know-what. As I was staggering to the car, a woman leaned out of her front door, suspecting that she was witnessing a dog-napping.
“Is that your dog?” she hollered.
“I’m afraid she is,” I hollered back. The fragrance was making me nauseous. “In fact, come here and I’ll give her to you!”
She didn’t accept my offer.