Tuesday, September 3, 2013

We're Not that Brave

We had the naughtiest dog.  His name was Buster.  He was always in trouble.

It all started one day when I heard my children screaming bloody murder.  As a mom, I had learned to tell the difference between an ordinary cry and a serious cry.  A serious cry means “you’d better come quick, and there might be blood.”
This was one of the most serious cries I had ever heard, so I ran outside to see who was bleeding, and I was praying that a car was not involved.

Imagine my surprise when I saw three hysterical children screaming at smallish dog who looked about as scary as a marshmallow.  I quieted their frantic cries and took them inside.

At that moment, it seemed that perhaps we needed a dog for our children.  They needed to get used to animals.  I couldn’t have them screaming every time a dog wandered through the neighborhood.
What were we thinking? 

The problem was, we were complete failures at dog training.  House training was a major issue.  Our little puppy was not the slight bit interested in going to the bathroom outside, at least not in our yard.  However he was happy to go almost anywhere in our house, and was also willing to use any of our neighbors yards.

Buster was the terror of the neighborhood.  He wasn’t very big, but he had a bark that you could patent.  He barked at everyone who came to visit.  If he were outside, he challenged every passerby.  He wasn’t a biter, but oh, he could bark.

We tried to keep him inside, but he was an escape artist.  He could wiggle out that door in a flash.  Once he was free he would wander the neighborhood making a nuisance of himself.  He always came home, but we never knew what mischief he had been up to. 

Once he came home with a limp, and we learned that an unhappy neighbor had shot at him with a BB gun.  Once a neighbor turned him in for unlawful cohabitation with their purebred. A police man brought us the news.  Sometimes we had to pick him up at the pound.  He seemed determined to live a life of crime.
After he got away it was hard to get him back.  Believe me, we tried.  Once he refused to come home and  chased me clear to the freeway. I knew that his luck had run out.  I never expected to see him again, but when I got home, he was sitting on the doorstep waiting for me.

He got hit by a bike and survived.  He got hit by a car and survived.  He jumped out of a two story window to chase a cat and broke his jaw in 3 places.  We had to have it wired shut until it healed.  He recovered.
After 8 years, he began to slow down.  He looked tired and walked with difficulty.  He died quietly on our daughters lap.  After all the adventure he just wore out. 

Our kids missed him a lot.  The neighbors didn’t miss him much.  To be honest, it was a bit of a relief  for my husband and I to have him gone. 
The kids wanted another dog.  We thought about it, but we’re not that brave. 

Linda Garner


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