We cancer survivors are quick to say that not everyone gets the life they deserve.Life, as it turns out, is random, brutal and very often, just plain unfair.Some of the nicest people I know I met in the chemo infusion room. I also met some really pissed off, angry folks but given that they were most often battling a terminal illness, I sort of got the angry part.
So, we all can agree that not everyone gets the life they deserve.What I have found, however, is that people often do get the dog they deserve.
Case in point, my brother, an intellectual if there ever was one, grew up, got his PhD, raised a family, kept a marriage together and his reward for all this was a wife who collects neurotic dogs the way other women collect jewelry. Worse, after years of what can only be rated as ‘terrible dogs’ my brother somehow found himself saddled with the mother lode of rotten dogs, a German Short Haired Pointer.
This is a fate I would not wish upon my worst enemy, much less a sibling.My brother didn’t even go out and get this dog willingly, the dog found him somehow.Since then, Trixie the GSP has treated him and his little family to an unending host of canine dramas. She runs away, lives for days on end with well meaning neighbors who feed her people food, she is quite adept at attracting all sorts of unwanted puppy attention and getting into a world of trouble.I am somewhat surprised that the Dog Police have not banged on my brother’s door, staging a sort of a canine version of Cops. I can almost see the video cameras humming and spot lights blaring as my brother and his family run the sleep from their eyes and stare in bewilderment at the puppy search warrant the Dog Cops hand them. I almost hear my young nephew speed dialing the puppy lawyer to bail Trixie out of jail….again.
My mother had a thing for GSPs, the more obnoxious the dog the happier she was.She obviously did this to torture my father.I think divorce would have been kinder but everyone has their personal arsenal of martial military hardware and my mother’s weapon of choice was a growing herd of GSPs.The worst of the lot was named Bonzai.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love dogs, the best gift I ever got was from my boyfriend who found Sophia Eleanora for me to celebrate my one year anniversary being cancer free.She’s the joy of my life and I would not trade her, mange and all, for anything.On top of that, nothing gets me more worked up than cruelty to animals. I still think Michael Vicks should have gotten the death penalty for what he did to all those poor pit bulls.
That all being said, Bonzai was pure GSP evil.First of all, she hated us kids.She wanted to be an only puppy child more than anything and every one of my mother’s biological children she considered a genuine rival.She would literally growl under her breath when we came to visit and only marginally tolerated grandchildren in front of their doing grandmother. She plotted against us like she was starring in a remake of Dynasty and if anyone ever were to say the merest suggestion of an unkind word, she would go running down the hall to another wing of the my parent’s house and seconds later, my mother would come charging back down the hall, singling out the person who had upset her precious dog.We never knew how our mother always knew who had upset the dog but somehow, she knew.My mother claimed the dog simply told her though that in itself was never enough to commit the old lady to a sanitarium.We tried.
I have another sibling who willingly chose to have a GSP as a pet, and she wonders why we all think she’s a total nut job. Another sibling has rescued teeny, tiny neurotic Chihuahuas and we always thought her to be the ‘big dog’ sister. She never had kids of her own so maybe they are her substitute babies. That I can understand despite what they cost her boyfriend in medical fees.But to willingly choose a Bonzai dog?I cannot fathom it. When my father became a widower he cased having pets overnight.I think they reminded him too much of his half-century-long tour of duty with the old lady.
And if you think that doggy karma doesn’t follow you forever then think again.When my father’s heart flat lined during a routine stress test, he was paddled and literally, brought back to life.Amid jokes about not ‘even getting death right’ he seemed troubled. When he finally explained, it was all about having actually experienced the white light at the end of the tunnel.Not being a religious person, my father had long believed that once you die, that’s it, you are done, dust.Then he had that out-of-body-experience and guess who he confessed was at the end of the tunnel waiting for him?