By DARREN HANDSCHUH
Poor Charlie is more like a Charlene right now as he no longer has the required elements to be a “man.”
Actually Charlie is a dog, my friend’s dog that recently underwent a certain operation that makes grown men cringe.
My friend called the other day and asked if we could give him and Charlie a ride to the vet where the “job” would be done (on Charlie, not my friend.)
Like all dogs, Charlie had no idea what he was in for, because if he did, he would not be nearly so happy to go for a car ride.
Ignorance is bliss and Chuck the dog was about as blissful as any pooch can be.
Charlie was looking out the window and sniffing around like any dog does, completely oblivious to the fact his family lineage was about to come to a screeching halt.
It has been a long time since I have had to take a dog of my own to get the chop.
The dog’s name was Homer and at the best of times he was not too bright. He was just under a year old when we took him to the vet to “alter” him and he too was quite happy to go for a car ride and was even chipper when we got to the vet’s office.
He was bouncing around, sniffing other dogs and trying to mark his territory every chance he got.
There was not a hint of concern in any of his actions.
I on the other hand was solemn and sympathetic to the poor beast because I knew and appreciated the life-changing experience he was about to undergo.
The vet came out, called our name and Homer quite happily trotted to the back room with his usual goofy look of “What’s going on? Are we gonna play? Hey, who’s that guy?”
When we picked him up a few hours later it was a much different story.
He was all whacked up on drugs and looked even more tuned out than usual. The first couple of hours he just slept in the corner, but as he regained his senses, he began to realize all was not fine in Dogville.
He would sniff and stare at the area where his boy bits used to be with a confused look on his face.
“What the…They were there this morning. Where did they go? Houston we have a problem. What the heck is going on around here? I usually don’t go anywhere with out them. Um, excuse me, human people we have a slight situation here.”
He spent several days checking out the private property wondering where the rest of him had gone.
Eventually he got over it (at least I hope he did anyway.) He quit looking for what he had lost and life resumed with him chewing on everything he could find and barking at everything that moved.
It had to be done, no matter how temporarily traumatic for the hound. I am a firm believer in having your pets spayed or neutered, but I still felt some guilt at having him turned into an ‘it.’
It’s kind of like one of those old war movies where the general knows he is sending his men to their doom, but he also knows it is for the greater good.
He doesn’t really want to do it, but he has to.
While Homer may have forgotten about losing the accessories he was born with, he did not forget who removed the accessories.
He was still excited about going for a car ride and would practically turn inside out when the words were spoken. I have always wondered why dogs get so hyper when you mention going for a car ride.
It’s a good thing people don’t do that or the roads would be chaos as people bounced up and down in their seats, tried to jump from side to side and rode with their head out the window.
No, the Homeboy had not lost his love of going for a ride. However, the next visit to the vet proved problematic.
Apparently, Homer associated the smell of the veterinarian’s office with something terrible that happened to him because the instant I opened the door, he cowered and refused to move another inch.
“No, no, no. I remember this place and unless they are going to put them back on, I am not going in.”When the vet came out, we had to drag Homer across the linoleum floor as he stretched out all four legs in an effort to stop the forward progress.
That visit was merely a check up, but until the day he died Homer hated going to the vet – and I can’t say as I blame him.