Little dog, big attitude
By DARREN HANDSCHUH
If I had known how long my dog was going to live I would have named her Gollum.
Mikah is a mixed breed of Scottie terrier and a bunch of other hounds.
When people ask me what kind of dog I have, I say, “A black one.”
She is small, with a long body and short legs and has never weighed more than 15 pounds in her life.
Like most little dogs, she came with a big attitude and when she was only six months old she charged a full-grown Husky.
I have never seen a dog laugh before, but this 80-pound pooch was definitely snickering as this little black terror raced up to it yipping and yapping.
I’m sure all the Husky could think was, “Aaaah, shaaaduuup.”
The Husky did not move, flinch or do much of anything really. It just sat there and stared until I collected Mikah and carried her off kicking and barking.
I don’t speak dog, but I am sure Mikah was saying, “You’re lucky he’s here. You better hope he doesn’t let me go or you and me will have a real problem.”
I never said she was the brightest animal God has ever placed on this earth.
She was a cute little dog with fluffy black hair that made her look bigger than she was. But when she got wet she looked like a rat with a collar.
When we got Mikah 16 years ago we also got her brother, Homer, who was named after one of the greatest actors of our time – Homer Simpson.
The name was fitting because Homer the dog was about as smart as Homer the cartoon character.
He was not too bright, but he was a fun dog, always ready to run and play.
Some good friends of ours also had two dogs and we dubbed them all the Fab Four. Minnie the One Eyed Warrior – a cocker spaniel with only one eye which is a story in it self – was the first to pass on to the great doggie park in the sky.
Homer was next, felled by congestive heart failure. Our friend’s second dog died shortly thereafter, leaving only Mikah to carry on as the last of the gang of mutts.
One of our group activities was to go for walks with our dogs. It was a merry old time as we watched the dogs run and frolic – none of us had kids yet so the dogs got all our attention.
At the time, we thought raising dogs from tiny puppies was hard work. We had to feed them and clean up after them, it was grueling. Now I have kids, so raising dogs compared to kids is like comparing a mosquito bite to a shotgun wound.
There are certain advantages to raising hounds over kids.
When you are mad at your dogs for doing something wrong you can throw them outside and close the door. If you do that with kids, they just open the door and come back in.
Dogs also will never want to go to college, they don’t talk back and all they want to do is serve their masters and make them happy. With kids none of those statements apply.
Also, the older dogs get the more they sleep.
In this way kids and dogs are similar. Except the older kids are called teens and with age comes attitude – lots and lots of attitude.
Anyway, back to why Mikah should have been named after a hairless, big eyed, freakish looking creature from “Lord of the Rings.”
Over the past couple of years Mikah has developed several medical problems that dictate we give her a variety of medications. Yes, we are getting prescriptions filled for a beast.
The combination of her meds and her ailments has caused her hair to fall out, leaving her this bald, scary looking creature, ie: Gollum.
We bought her a sweater to wear to keep her warm and I would just like to take this moment to apologize to all the people who I used to laugh at for putting clothes on their dogs. (Although I justify it by saying the sweater is for practical reasons and not a fashion statement so I still might snicker if I see a dog wearing booties. I mean, really.)
Mikah is deaf as a post and is becoming senile. She often barks at the closet, the dresser and the wall for no particular reason.
Gollum also had “unusually long life” due to his possession of the ‘Ring of Power.’ I have checked several times, and Mikah does not have a ring, but somehow she has lasted a lot longer than anyone expected.
It is time for her to pass, and we keep telling her to go towards the light, but she has been a stubborn little critter her entire life.
She didn’t listen to us then and she is not about to start now.