Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Marley and NOT Me

I finally saw the movie Marley and Me. I was on a flight to San Diego. Actually, I was on a plane that was supposed to be going to San Diego but was sitting at the gate for an hour instead. (I think to be classified as a flight, the plane would actually have to be in the air.) Anyway, to make us feel better about sitting in a plane instead of flying in one, the airline handed out free headsets and showed the Marley movie.

I should say right up front if you haven’t seen Marley and Me this blog could be a spoiler. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED. READ NO FURTHER IF YOU DON’T WANT THE MOVIE SPOILED. Okay, the dog dies. Not soon enough. If I had a dog like that (which I have) I would get rid of it, kill it (okay I wouldn’t really kill it, because I can’t even kill spiders. . . most of the time) or have myself locked away somewhere where there is lots of padding.

As much as I hate to admit it, I did get a little tear in my eye when Marley went to that great dog kennel in the sky. NOT because I was going to miss a dog like that, but because I thought of my sweet, blind, diabetic dog who died a couple years ago. BTW --(By the way, that stands for by the way.) -- I would highly recommend owning a blind, diabetic dog, but that’s another story.

Before the sweet, blind dog, we had dogs from Hell. Exhibit A. Toby. Dalmation. That dog not only had spots, he had me seeing spots. He ate everything. I planted rose bushes. He ate them. Didn’t chew them, engulfed them, swallowed them thorns and all. No more roses. I baked plates of brownies as Christmas gifts for my neighbors. He got them off the counter, not quite sure how, and ate every last crumb. Chocolate is supposed to be toxic to dogs. Apparently it’s not toxic enough. He ate his own collar while it was on his neck. How do I know this? After his collar turned up missing, I found it again. Coming out his back end. He’s lucky he didn’t turn himself inside out.

The worst was when he would get out, which was often. The front door would open and he would plow through small children, frazzled mothers, and terrified visitors like a crazed woman at Wal-Mart the day after Thanksgiving.

Now I am not one to be messed with. Actually, I’m a total pushover. But you know, one can only take so much. So I devised this ingenious plan. I would go out the front door and stand against the house with a newspaper. . . okay it was a frying pan. One of my children would then open the front door. When Toby bolted, I would give him a little thump, thus teaching him never to plow through the door again. Dang. That plan still looks good on paper. . .

However, I didn’t reckon on him being so fast and me being so old and slow. Missing my big chance as he flew through the door, I dropped the pan and dove for him. (What was I thinking??) I managed to grab his back legs as he/we sailed off the front porch. He landed on his feet in the front yard while I landed on my stomach and was dragged a few feet before his feet slid out of my hands. I laid there with a mouthful of front lawn and grass stained clothes wondering if I was alive and how many of the neighbors saw.

Now with this kind of dog, you just want to let them go and hope they never come back. But everybody knows when you have a monstrous, abominable Dalmation. The phone starts ringing: “Your dog’s out again.” (I should be so lucky.) “Your dog just pooped on my lawn.” (I’ll bill you later for the fertilizer.) “My kids would like to ride their bikes, but your dog keeps chasing them. . .” (Tell them to pedal faster.)

So, you leave a 5 year old in charge of the 3 & 2 & 1 year old while you go catch the dog from Hell, bring him home, just so you can repeat the whole process in an hour.

I finally found a good home for Toby, and no I absolutely did not cry when he left. I did the victory dance with a capital V. A Hell’s Angel biker man bought him. Even paid me money. I braced myself for the worst when Toby ran at tough-biker-Hell’s-angel guy full speed. (He was a pretty protective dog, when he was around.) Toby planted his front paws squarely on biker man’s chest. His tail started wagging and he licked his face. Hell’s-angel-biker man cried tears from heaven (for me). He took him away (for-e-ver), telling me they were going to sit in the recliner, watch t.v., eat pizza and drink beer every night. “Rock on,” I thought, “rock on.”

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