Bad Dog!

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Along with Blondie’s birthday we always celebrate another year with Trixie (Blondie’s rat terrier). A little dog of her very own was Blondie’s 10th Birthday wish, and of course, birthday wishes should always be granted. From the moment she came wagging her little nub of a tail into our house, Trixie has been Blondie’s very best friend.

Just yesterday, I was commenting that finally Trixie had become a good dog! She’s outgrown potty breaks in the house and the horrible antics that almost left her homeless, or at least banished to the back yard…. like the time we went Christmas shopping and she went around the house from window to window and chewed up every curtain we had. (You don’t realize it, but the average house sports hundreds of dollars worth of curtains!) Then there was the time that Blondie’s first boyfriend brought over her first gigantic heart-shaped box full of chocolates. They were safe and sound on the kitchen table, so we thought. Blondie was told to put Trixie in her kennel that morning before school, but somehow, as 12-year-olds often do, she forgot! We got home from school that day to find the trash can had been devoured and destroyed all over the house. The chocolates were gone. And if you know anything about the Chocolate-Canine-Intestinal Disagreement, you know this wasn’t good. Blondie walked in her room to find chocolate-poop all over her brand new comforter. In fact, for a while Trixie made it a habit to use Blondie’s bed as her potty as a way to convey her feelings were hurt. If Blondie spent the night at a friend’s house, and left Trixie all alone, she would come home to a nice little present smack dab in the middle of her bed.

Yep, that behavior alone was almost the death of Trixie. I nearly killed that dog at least a dozen times. But it didn’t end there… no, it didn’t end… On top of her destructive antics she piled up a stack of vet bills that sent me in search of a second income. There was the time she was run over by a car  when I was at work. Now, I work at a high school, in a classroom, so just running out the door when an emergency call comes in takes a great deal of orchestration. The frantic phone calls are steady coming in, I’m sitting there waiting for someone to relieve me, I finally get home and get her to the vet to find that she’s broken her ankle in a zillion places, and it’s suggested that I take her to a specialist for ankle surgery if I don’t want her to look funny….

Hmmmm….. big decision…. apparently dogs have a zillion small bones in their ankles, and while casting it would certainly give it some measure of healing, she would likely look funny at the end of it, one leg kind of crooked. With surgery, she may still look funny, but not quite as funny… so I looked down at my own foot, which has been in need of surgical repair for 5 years, and say to myself “I can’t get my own foot fixed, and I’m about to run to a specialist so that Trixie can look less-funny?”  Yeah, I don’t think so… For the next year or two she hobbled around like a tripod, not because she couldn’t use that leg, just because spending a few months in cast made her think it no longer worked! She finally figured out that she could indeed walk on all fours, but let a cold spell hit us unexpectedly, and tripod she is!

This dog couldn’t leave it at being run over, she also had to go and get herself bitten by a Copperhead! Yep, more vet bills, and I’m sure I’m leaving out at least a dozen other “oh my God Mommy save my doggy” stories that ended with me writing gigantic checks and begging the vet to please “hold this til payday”… I won’t even tell you about the time her behavior landed me in court… good thing I didn’t have to face Judge Judy on that one….

So yesterday, I was recounting in my head the many ways in which Trixie almost met an early fate, and I got to thinking, she really is a good dog! Her one litter of puppies taught Blondie her first hands-on lessons in the miracles of birth (along with all things birds and bees related)…. She loyally laid by Blondie’s side the first time her heart was broken and she cried in her room for weeks. Trixie’s smart enough to hide from the small children that threaten to pull her tail. And she finally learned that eating my kitchen trash will land her in some seriously hot water. She even does her best to rid Blondie of boyfriends! What more could any parents want from their teenage daughter’s canine companion? She’s not a bad dog after all….

Then, at 11:30 last night, I decided I had spoken to soon. Trixie has Blondie trained to let her out whenever she gets the whim to go outside, I’m not sure if Blondie even realizes when she gets out of bed and opens the door. However, Trixie has failed to train Blondie to wake up and let her back in… so what does she do? She runs around to the back of the house and bounces up and down barking and hitting herself against my window until Daddy or I get up and let her back in. For the first time in weeks I was actually sound asleep at 11:30, and here goes the dog, waking us up!

Midnight- “SHUT UP TRIXIE!” She is barking all over the house. “Stupid dog, you’re going to wake up this whole house!” I get up and yell at her to get back in bed, which she does, for about 5 mins… then she barks again! “Shut up” I yell, and somehow I drift back to sleep.

12:30am- again! How did she get out again? So soon?? URGH! I get up this time, consider strangling my precious daughter for opening the door, bring her in the house, march her to bed with Blondie… I’m going to kill that dog! Then the phone rings at 1am… It my neighbor/mother-in-law…

“Do you have a flashlight? The police are headed over…”  Apparently someone poking around in the middle of the night in their car-port broke some glass, and scared the bejeebers out of everyone. Blondie wakes up in the commotion to tell us that not only had Trixie kept on barking to go out, but also, she had tried to pull Blondie out of bed to go with her… biting and nuzzling her face… I’m glad Blondie was too sleepy to check it out… but I’m even happier to know we have such a “bad dog” watching over us. (There are a few other dogs in this house that have some explaining to do! Slackers…)

More importantly, I think its only fair to issue a written warning to anyone brave enough to sneak around here after dark… let me just tell you that our little barking dog is the only creature that gets away with waking Daddy up in the middle of the night… so mercy on your soul if the dog doesn’t scare you away before Daddy grabs his boots…

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