Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Doggone stubborn

You know it’s not a good sign when the veterinarian comments on how stubborn your dog is after seeing the beast for less than five minutes.
That is what happened when the dog doctor met Murphy the Mutt.
The tan-coloured hound is only three months old and weighs in at around 10 pounds, but he was born with the attitude of a teenager.
Great, that’s exactly what my home needed – another creature with an attitude problem.
With two teens running around the house there is enough attitude and angst to sink the Bismark – twice.
Now, the only truly optional member of our family has a stubborn streak and he’s only a few weeks old.
Perhaps it’s the pug in him, or maybe it is some sort of cosmic payback for when I was younger.
People told me I was stubborn, but I absolutely refused to believe them, no matter what. They obviously did not know the real me.
I noticed the stubborn streak within a couple days of bringing the little mongrel home. If he wanted something, his focus on getting it was impressive.
I also quickly noticed that if it is cold and windy outside, Murphy has decided it would be better to sneak off to a corner of the house to, um, well, you know, make a deposit.
Upon discovery of his covert operation, disciplinary action is taken, but he still does not want to leave the house when it is cold outside and a battle of wills is emerging.
I just hope I win.
I have to give him credit though, he is very creative when it comes to ‘doing his business.’
He has a penchant for climbing up on things. Not the couch or anything, but a stack of boxed games and my son’s guitar were two recent targets of his mini bombing runs.
Why he would balance on the neck of an electric guitar is beyond anyone’s guess. Mind you his brain is roughly the size of a walnut so how smart can he be?
So, for the sake of canine companionship, we are willing to add the stress of battling a dog about the proper use of sanitary facilities, which in this case is the backyard, to an already hectic and stressful life.
Dealing with the pint-sized terror got me thinking (which is usually a bad thing) about just how much people are willing to put up with when it comes to their pets.
My cousin had a rottweiler that could clear a room if you know what I mean, but she kept the beast and his gasses until he went to hound heaven at age 12.
That’s more than a decade of butt bombs wafting through the home, but after a while neither she nor her kids noticed.
It was guests like myself who spent the entire visit with watering eyes.
It is not just attitude problems and out breaks of nuclear-powered flatulence that people will endure, they are willing to lighten their bank accounts for the family pet.
Some friends of ours had a cat that was hit by a car.
While speeding to the vet with a carload of bawling children, mom and dad braced their young ones in case the news was not good.
They also discussed with each other exactly how much they were willing to spend to save the life of the hard-luck feline.
“We cannot go more than $200 to fix Fluffy.”
More bawling and wailing from the backseat.
“OK, Ok, we can go as high as $250.”
Even more bawling and wailing.
“Alright, $300 and that’s it. Not a penny more.”
Upon arriving at the vet clinic, it was like a scene out of the show ER. The vet and a couple assistants rushed to the injured pet that was wrapped in a towel and being accompanied by a herd of wailing kids.
They took Fluffy into the kitty emergency room for a quick assessment.
While the vet examined the cat, the wailing was reduced to sniffles, but the tears of the children were having an impact on the parents, especially dad.
While watching the vet work feverishly on the black and white feline, dad would glance at his children and see the concern on their faces. Eventually, the big, strong man broke.
“Doc, if I can donate a kidney or something just let me know.”
As it turned out, Fifi needed a new hip, the original one was shattered.
The cost of keeping Fifi in the family - $800.
“No problem doc, we can take it out of the kid’s college fund.”
Fifi, who everyone now calls Robo-cat, received the plastic and metal hip and is doing just fine and the kids are having a great time sticking fridge magnets to her.

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