Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Thomas Jefferson on Dogs

Last week we received some bad news. Our good friend Pennie went to the emergency room with back pain that she soon found out was caused by a huge mass of ovarian cancer.

Pennie made the cupcakes for my wedding, she’s more southern than grits, and is such a fantastic cook she could make a saltine cracker taste better than anything you’ve tasted in your life.

Sunday her sister called and asked if we could take care of Pinto, Pennie’s dog.

We agreed, not only because we love Pennie, but because if something ever happened to us, I would want to know someone who loves dogs (and me) would look after mine. My dog Kiddo is a big heart full of love. As a matter of fact, the biggest problem in my life right now is that getting out of bed is difficult when there’s a snuggle bundle curled up in a ball against your chest or tucked under your arm.

However, though my dog is unbearably cute, she’s a lot to handle. Before we got her we did some research and all signs pointed to—DO NOT get this breed. Look up Jack Russell Terriers and you will find a truck load of euphemisms. “Lively!” “Independent minded!” “Create their own fun when left alone!”

We once hired a trainer to help with her excitability. The woman made a “treat puzzle” that she said occupies dogs for hours. Kiddo had it decimated and emptied in under five minutes.

If something ever happened to Danny and I, the conversations might go something like this:

FRIEND #1: “So, Steph and Danny are both in a coma. Can someone take the dog?”




FRIEND #2: “Oh Jesus, I don’t know. Did you see what that dog did to their couches?”
FRIEND #3: “The last time I went over there that dog peed on me.”
FRIEND #4: “Ummmm. I’m allergic to dogs. Especially that one.”

Since Pinto arrived, Kiddo’s tail is thumping so hard with excitement I think she might lift off the ground and Pinto has not had a moment’s peace.

I’ve learned that around other dogs, my dog is like the overly affectionate kid on the play ground that really, really wants to play with you and doesn’t seem to understand rejection, and so ignores it. Think Ralph Wiggam on a combination of cocaine/ecstasy.

It's all fun and games until Pinto tries to jump up on Danny or me , then Kiddo rips out a snarl that sounds like something you might hear before a lion mauls your throat. My dog's snarl can be quite scary. More than one delivery person has said, “That little dog is making all that noise? I thought there was a 200 pound pit bull back there!” (Danny and I have concluded that two or three Jacks could take even the burliest man down and in the event of an apocalyptic catastrophe, that is the breed we’ll use to secure our compound.)

Kiddo did let Pinto take a nap on her favorite leopard pillow though. I’d like to think it’s because she senses that Pinto misses Pennie and is having a hard time, so Kiddo, being the good hostess, gave our guest the most comfortable spot in the house.

I’m worried about Pennie. But it makes me happy to think that, maybe in her suffering she'll feel the tiniest bit better to know that her little companion is being well cared for and has the Chihuahua equivalent of six acres of yard to run around and drop pellets in.

Over the weekend, a friend told me that in Kaplan test prep courses, students are instructed for essay questions to always bring it back to Thomas Jefferson. So here it is.

"I believe that every human (and canine) mind feels pleasure in doing good to another." --Thomas Jefferson

(Alright fine, he didn’t actually say canine, but I think it’s implied.)


Dana said...

That is so sweet of you to take care of Pinto.
And I looooove your description of jacks. Stella's the same way!

Erica said...

Oh -- so sorry to hear about Pennie! So glad you can take Pinto for her, too!

SolDesigns.net said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SolDesigns.net said...

I'm really sorry to hear about your friend. I'll say a little prayer for her so she can return home safely back to her Pinto! She really does make the yummiest cupcakes! As for Kiddo, you know we would gladly take her, even though we are only allowed to have one dog and already have an undercover one. We have two undercover ones, and one crazy Kiddo! All of you always have a place in our home :0)

Speaktrue said...

YEAH, I silently made your blog. remember kids it all ties back to T.J. PEACE, T

MsLisaL said...

We will always take kiddo for you. I ain't afraid of no dog.

Anonymous said...

Actually Jefferson hated dogs and stated that he would "would readily join in any plan of exterminating the whole race" of them.