"The Jingle Bell Bum" (Read The Touching True Story...please!) Comment at patriciahanrion.com

"The Jingle Bell Bum" (Read The Touching True Story...please!) Comment at patriciahanrion.com
Still available on Amazon for Nook and Kindle, hard copy booklett to re-print November 2013

Monday, May 30, 2011

"The Dog Ate WHAT?

The dog ate WHAT?
After Tuna died we had several other dogs join our family.  Bandit was an absolutely nutty Dalmatian, he put out fires.  If we set off a firecracker, he would pounce on it with his paws and put it out.  Fairly soon after we got him, he jumped the fence.  We never saw him again. 
Shoe came along…a long haired retriever of sorts, black with white patches.  He became the Rooster of the back yard.  Megan had chickens in a coop along the back fence.  Shoe would sit like a king with all the hen-ladies surrounding him, pecking, grooming and getting any bugs or dirt off.  In return, he protected his girls from the many raccoons who prowled the neighborhood and would have loved to make a chicken dinner of his harem. 
Next came Bevis who was massive, protective and gentle…and he loved the beach!  He could swim 2 or 3 hundred yards into the water to retrieve his beloved ball and swim back to the shore like a seal.  When Bevis died all the kids were gone from the house and Mike was on a mission to Texas.  I wanted someone, anyone, to meet and greet me when I got home from work. Patrick was working long hours at a hospital job over an hour away from Santa Clarita so I wanted another dog.  I watched the paper dutifully and soon found an advertisement for retriever puppies.  There were only two males, a wild acting black one with white marks on his chest and a cute sleepy golden one.  Hoping to get a calm dog we chose the golden and named him Biscuit.  Big mistake,  as soon as we got his shots and other puppy ministrations (de-worming) he became a crazy monster who could jump straight up into the air about 6 feet and began to dig and demolish the back yard like an archeologist searching for King Tut’s tomb. 
He particularly liked PVC pipe, and excavated all the sprinkler lines in the back yard.  Patrick was incensed and thought getting him a new home would be better than dog-o-cide.  I tried to minimize Biscuit’s behavior and would often replace the sprinklers before Pat came home.  One time he got into the house and got shoes, the TV remote and my daughter-in-laws’ cell phone and IPod.  At that point he was very close to being abandoned in the Mohave Desert.  Then  we discovered he could open the sliding back door by using his nose to push it open and would also get into the garage and my clean clothes in the hamper…spreading them all over the backyard in the dirt.  We were unaware of another of his tricks until one day when taking him for a walk.
He was about 14 months old but somehow was one of the most obedient dogs when on a walk especially when we had a weighted pack on him full of about 12 pounds of nuts and bolts from one of the buckets Pat had left over from one of his jobs.  (see “What do you do with a dozen doorknobs.”)  Caesar the dog whisperer had suggested having a weighted harness was a good way to calm down an over energetic dog, so I was willing to try anything at this point since it appeared Biscuit was soon going to the dog jail due to his gangster behavior.
After we were about half way around the block he stopped to manage his usual poop deposit which I dutifully picked up in one of the doggie bags I carried.  I dropped the deposit in a trash can which was on the curb waiting for the garbage men and we continued on a while, talking about the vicissitudes of life.  It was Patrick who noticed what looked like a string hanging from Biscuits’ rear.  I watched it dangling back and forth and thinking it was something he sat in so put a dog-bag over my hand to retrieve the string swinging from under his tail.
As I grabbed the string he walked forward and as soon as he did we both realized the string was coming out from his rear.  As he walked forward, about two feet of string emerged and then finally tied to the end a wooden pull handle made an audible pop as it came out and fell to the ground.  He had eaten the lawnmower pull cord…handle and all…
It was if we had revved him up and started him like the lawnmower.  He ran forward yipping as the handle emerged and we couldn’t believe our eyes…but it was true.  When we got home we discovered sure enough, the handle and pull cord were missing from the power machine!  He had devoured the cord…handle and all. Patrick’s only comment was, “That’s your dog.”  Now how could you get rid of a dog who was that clever…and that stupid? 

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