Friday, February 24, 2006

the house is still here...

...and so is my dog.

My dog was a Christmas gift from "The Daughter" and "The Wife" over five years ago. A Chihuahua.

Now I'm 6-01, 225-230 pounds and have lived a very "macho" life. I've been known to "scrap" with the best of them. Five years ago I got this little tiny Chihuahua, not barely six weeks old. I've always been a Labrador Retriever or Springer Spaniel person because I used to duck hunt and because I bought those types of dogs... Labs and Springers.

Well, just before Christmas in 2001 I was looking around in the paper for a Springer or a Lab. Just looking... commenting on how much they were... nothing serious. "The Wife" picked up on my looking and plotted with "The Daughter" to keep me from buying a big and hairy dog. Little did they know that I really had no intention of buying a dog... at... the... time. Right at that moment. Maybe a month or two afterwards... after Christmas but not right then.

So, I wander out to the living room on Christmas morning, we begin opening gifts and I get a dog bone... one of those little rawhide thingys that'll ball up in a dog's intestine and kill them. Yah, one of those. Another gift I open is a dog bowl. A very small dog bowl. Then there's the socks, underwear, jeans, computer game and finally, I opened another box and there were three polaroid pictures (yeah, we still had a polaroid then and we found film for it). The pictures appeared to be of a brown and white bat or rat... I wasn't sure which... staring at me with real, real, real buggy eyes. A tiny labrat type rat. This little thing was sitting in the palm of someone's hand.

"What's this?" I had to ask. I mean, no one was offering up any explanation.

"A dog" The Wife answered.

"Uh, uh!" I shot back, staring at the photo's. "It's gotta be a rat or a bat without its wings."

"It's your new puppy". Daughter now... and she's real crappy about hiding her sarcasm.

"Uh-Uh!" again... it eeked out of my mouth. I truly don't remember saying it but they said I did.

"Yup. All yours. A Chihuahua." The Wife again... now I know where the daughter gets her sarcasm.

I stared at the pictures and drifted back to when I was a kid. I grew up here in Olympia and I remember when the city was really starting to expand. We were surrounded by forests but neighborhoods were beginning to be built. This was in the late 50's and early 60's. I remember us being in one of the first homes built in a new development called "Thompson Place". As time went on, more homes were built there. More people bought the homes and more dogs, family pets were added to our budding neighborhood.

I used to deliver newspapers back then. I was accustomed to outwitting and outrunning dogs on my bicycle as I tossed the rolled papers onto the front porches (or as close as I could get) of each house as I whizzed by, dogs in my wake.

There were German Sheppards (King... he was mean but slow), labradors, Heinz 57's and this one particular dog... the only dog I was afraid of and the only dog that ever bit me... that dog bit me more than once... more than twice... more then ten, twenty times. All in one violent attack. Like a land pirahana he was! Got that taste of blood and wanted more. That dog was SCARY!. Yup... that dog bit me more than a colony of red-headed ants could. And it was all in one attack. Early morning... ride by on my bicycle... toss the paper... miss pretty bad. So I went back to pick it up and made a huge mistake... I got off of the bike and walked over to where the newspaper was laying. Keep in mind this was early in the morning and it was dark.

I heard a "flap". One of those "flap's" that I can identify now... a "pet door" type of flap. I had no idea what that "flap" meant back then though. As I bent down to pick up the newspaper I saw a blur... a white streak charging in from the right, something snagged my hand. It felt like a dozen rose thorns or blackberries or devil's club or something like that. My first reaction was to run like hell... so I did. I heard this gawd-awful high pitched "yap-yap-yap" from behind me and realized it was closing fast... very, very fast. My right ankle got bumped and I got stung again. Something like a killer jelly fish. Damn it burned. Then my left foot, ankle, calf. I remembered thinking I was getting eaten alive by a white blur. I had no idea what was trying to devour me from the ground up... from the ankle up until I heard a woman's voice with a heavy German accent...

"Wookie, Wookie. You get up here and leave that boy alone!"

That went on for a bit until "Wookie" had had enough of me. He turned and trotted towards the pet door.

"Are you okay hun?" The woman asked.

"I've been bit all over by that thing. What was it" I answered. I might have thrown in some rather inappropriate words for an 10 or 11 years old kid back then but damn, I think I earned that right.

"Well, you shouldn't have come in the yard. Wookie doesn't like that" she said as she turned to walk back into the opened door.

"Wookie" was sitting inside of the doorway staring at me, daring me to step into the yard again. Wookie was a friggin' Chihuahua. I've hated them ever since.

Oh yeah, as "Wookie" passed the rolled up newspaper in the yard... he stopped and peed on it.

Another Chihuahua trait.

So, I named mine "Rookie".

And damn he can be vicious if he wants to be... just not with me.

He's my little buddy... a gift from the two women in my life.


Sunshine said...

I loved this post DH...

I often see one particualar large macho man walking down the road with a small, toy or minature dog and wonder what the story it his? his wife's? his mother's?

Now I have another dimension to the concept....

You know, our daft dog would be terrified of your's. As a sighthound, his eyes are designed for far vision. As he is tall, anything that goes between his legs or to the side of him that he cannot see - TERRIFIES HIM!!!

I wanted Ed to have something smaller....but we ended up with a rescued greyhound!!!!!

Rookie looks a cutie - and I love the play on names..... in more ways than one!

D. H. said...

Hi Sue- Yah, I can relate to the "walking the dog" routine. Also, when someone's at the door and I go to answer it I have to pick Rookie up and let him perch (sitting) on my left forearm so as to avoid anyone being subjected to what I was subjected to by "Wookie" in my youth.

Also, when I first picked him up I took him over to "Pet Smart"... a store where you buy pet things over here... not sure if Pet Smart's in the UK or not.

Anyways, when I went into the store I carried Rookie inside of my flannel shirt. His little, tiny head with those huge buggy, buggy eyes was peaking out from between the buttons. "J" complained (jokingly) that I was using him as a "chick magnet" because every woman in the store (young and old) came over to pet him and tell me how cute he was.

You can't do that with big dogs.

And I've been following (and enjoying) yours and Ed's greyhound adventures for awhile now.

Cathy said...

Your women have fine taste in dogs! I've never been a fan of Chihuahuas but for some reason my youngest always loved them. Four Christmases ago my mother, being a grandmother who believes he should have what he wants, got him one. I took to her so well we got us a second one the next Christmas. They are Corona and Jitter Bug and they are the biggest dogs on the block. And, about the best friends I've ever had.

DG said...

rofl... Gawd help you... Gawd help the Rookie

D. H. said...

He be my dawg.

Queue_t said...

this was such a cute tail!! ( intentional play on words)

I always wanted a small dog, but was raised with boxers and labs and my ex- and I had Labs - now my husband loves dachshunds and we have 3 little mini's I just adore the smallness of them.

there is a definate cute factor to the little guys.

D. H. said...

Hi queue_t- Thanks for coming over... stopping by.

Yeah, small dogs truly do have that "cute" factor that is normally only associated with big dogs when they're very young puppies. Dachshunds are another dog I never really understood but never seemed to have any quarrels with. They're neat too.

The only thing about Chihuahua's that really gets to me is they think they're 200 pound dogs. They'll take on anything... and stay "cute" while doing it.