For the most part, we are animal lovers in my house and with Biscuit, we now have a total of four dogs, four cats (five if you count my sweet Boo Boy buried in the side yard), and 2 humongous gold fish. The accumulation of pets has been a source of stress and aggravation for my husband who for several years has threatened to go find himself a nice, animal-free double-wide if another living creature is brought into our home, however, that didn't stop him from rescuing Noodle, a starving and aged Chihuahua he and the girls found one day roaming the parking lot of a .99 cent store, Goodwill, Ophthalmologist office, golf cart dealership, and a Peter Piper Pizza (strip malls have something for everyone these days). I am primarily a cat person, but whatever, he likes dogs and Noodle is cool. She's unobtrusive, doesn't eat much, and F adores her and vice versa.
When he came home from work and told me about the dog he saw running around, I took one look at his face and knew. I mean I'm okay with rescuing animals and everything, but the dude owes me like 17 cats now. And let me point something out; we do make every effort to find the owners of the lost animals we bring into our home. The thing is...people suck. Now I'm not going to delve into the ridiculousness of ignorant/lazy people choosing to bring an animal into their home and then opting to set the poor thing loose when it becomes clear that pets equal responsibility. But, I have to tell you, to this day I'm still dumbfounded about why someone would turn Biscuit out. She's not a cheap breed of dog and she was spayed before we added her to the Cooksey Clan. She was very skinny, but she was clean and appeared to have recently had her nails trimmed. All I can think is that her previous owner(s) suck and did exactly what so many irresponsible pet owners do when the eventuality of puppyhood rears its ugly head.
For us that happened gradually. It started small with the chewing of a picnic basket early one morning after my husband left for work before God was even awake. We don't crate our dogs and the last time we had a puppy in our house was over five years ago when, again, my husband opted to adpot A's dog, Ellie, then only 5 weeks old, when our neighbors discovered their older dog wasn't happy about the addition of a puppy. But no biggie, she's a puppy and she needs to learn, right? I mean it's only a decorative wicker basket and the damage wasn't even enough for me to throw it out.
A few mornings later, I'm in bed sleeping, because you know, it's five-freaking-o'clock in the morning, when I hear the pounding of paws throughout the house and barking which sounded alarmingly close to my bedroom which is located beyond the gates we have attached to the kitchen and family room so as to keep all the dogs on tile in case there's an accident as is often the case with the Best. Dog. Ever. who is, sadly, so old she's most likely not going to be celebrating Christmas with us this year. But I digress... My bedroom also happens to be upstairs and is so well insulated, I can't hear someone calling my name from the loft or hallway outside my door—even with the double doors wide open. So hearing the barking, I knew it wasn't gonna be pretty.
I got out of bed and opened my bedroom door to see Ellie and Biscuit romping and racing through the second level of the house, having themselves a grand ol' time. I wasn't enjoying myself...not being a fan of single-digit mornings and all. Apparently my husband hadn't quite latched one of the gates before he left for work, but still, not a huge deal. Then I went downstairs and realized that our fish would probably beg to differ on that opinion if they could speak, because I'm sure they were watching this beast devour their food; all the while knowing they were going to be next if the guy who feeds them's wife doesn't get her lazy ass out of bed soon to prevent their untimely demise. And I have to wonder if one of the cats was sitting on the pool table gleefully watching the whole thing and cheering Biscuit on...well, I'm sure the cheering came to a sudden halt when the dog started in on their toys.
But here again, it's just a little fish food that costs like three bucks to replace—maybe—and a few cat toys that won't ever be touched by a self-respecting feline ever again because they've been tainted by dog saliva. Seriously, it's not like we don't have gobs of cat toys because I'm species biased and the family member who primarily does the shopping (this being typed while my husband is at Wal-Mart buying paper towels and stuff for dinner). I just told myself that she's a puppy and while we're waiting for Biscuit's true owner to call about the flyers we put up in the neighborhood, that maybe it's time we look into getting a crate for her to spend the night in.
Then, the destructive behavior escalated to shoes and swim goggles...
In the almost month that Biscuit has been living with us, I've lost three pairs of flip-flops, F has lost two, and we've found the carcasses of four-ish pairs of swim goggles. Now I take full responsibility for the loss of my footwear, I do. I hadn't ever seen her chew shoes, but I knew she liked to pick them up and carry them around, so I shouldn't have left them where she could get to them. Same thing with F, so it's our fault. The goggles are trickier because I think Biscuit probably enjoys a good goggle hunt similar to Ellie's favorite pastime of playing Seek & Destroy with the many lizards in and around our yard. However, we just need to find a place to store our crap where she can't get to it. The plants...? Well, our shrubbery and landscaping poses an issue because you can't exactly put flowers inside a deck box.
<----- This was a Hybiscus and used to look like this. ----->
Now I think I've done an excellent job of maintaining my cool and taking responsibility for my lack of proper puppy training up to this point, and let's not forget that I'm not even a dog person and didn't want the damned puppy in the first place. But with Perris (the aforementioned Best. Dog. Ever.) being so close to the gates of Doggy Heaven and knowing the heartbreak my husband is going to go through, I really want him to be able to keep this dog, because when she gets all growed up, she's gonna be a kickass dog. Truly. And she's not really even all that bad of a puppy either. At least that was my stance until she chewed the crap out of my beloved patio furniture...
We've had this four-piece set for nine years after buying it new for $40 and it's survived a lot. I absolutely love it and know I'll never find a comparable replacement...especially for the price we paid.
And I can handle a lot...I really can. I understand this is a phase and it'll pass—in like three or four years. Not only that, but this dog is so enthusiastic about life, she wags her painfully whip-like tail so hard and profusely that she makes the end bleed. No, I'm not even kidding. Her freaking tail bleeds daily and the bandages that we put on her don't stay on and the walls and doors of my house continually look like a crime scene any blood spatter analyst would swoon over the opportunity to examine. If it has to happen, I would of course prefer Dexter to come knocking on my door, but I'm not gonna kid myself—I don't have that kind of luck. And for sparing you the pictures of that grossness, you're welcome. But I swear to God, I almost committed puppycide this morning after returning from picking up A from cheer practice this morning. I was gone for 15 minutes at the most and this is what I came home to find....
Yes. That's my Kindle. Er...it was my Kindle. And get this?! The f-ing dog actually UNZIPPED it from its protective case to chew it all to hell!! And it wasn't like it was sitting on the floor or anything...it was on a table. And I'll tell you what, if that had been my Macbook Pro, the sweet, cute puppy I've been making excuses for would be dead. No doubt. And I'd do my time in prison for animal abuse and not care because puppy or not, you don't fuck with a writer's computer. Especially one that costs over $1300.
Biscuit has since been exiled and put in protective custody for both her safety and mine, where she'll remain for the next three to four years or until she outgrows her tendency to put her life in jeopardy. She will be spelled for bathroom breaks, meal times, periods of supervised playtime with the other members of our household, and...well, that's pretty much it. And because I'm a cat person and all of this crap basically gives me just cause to be that way, I have one more picture to explain why I think cats are better than dogs...
My big, blue-eyed, beast of a cat knows how to drive.