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Someone should care, maybe not you....

My thoughts on many things including the army, war, politics, the military corrections system, chaos, life, books, movies, and why there is no blue food. Feel free to comment on what I say. Feedback is nice.

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40+ year old former teacher, linguist, interrogator, soldier, and lastly convict. We all do stupid things every once and awhile. I am an economic conservative and a firm believer in civil rights. Starting a new life now and frankly not sure what I am going to be doing.

19 December 2008

I got off work yesterday at 6pm, walked outside and saw this sunset.

It was so pretty I dug out my camera and took a picture of it. Little did I know but during that same sunset my dog was lying down and dying. I arrived at my parents’ house where she has been staying during the day to check on her before going to teach some fencing lessons. I found her lying near the back gate. My father told me that barely 15 minutes before, while I was photographing a sunset, he had gone out and had spoon fed her some of her food, (hamburger, raw eggs and condensed milk) then come back in. She had apparently gotten up, and started to walk back up the house and not made it.

I got this dog just over 10 years ago. I was living in an old farmhouse owned by an acquaintance and had decided that since I was living in the country I could finally get myself a dog. I looked at a lot of Puppies for sale and free ads before checking out one where someone was selling lab pit bull mixes for $20. I went down and noticed a small black dog with a few very small white patches, picked her up and took her home. The dog sat on the floor of my car and didn’t move. I was trying to pet her and comfort her to the point that I got pulled over for weaving. When I pointed out the cause for my weaving the officer let me go. I took the dog to my parents’ house where she refused to enter the doorway and when I carried her through it she went absolutely still. I left her there and went tot eh store to buy some dog food and such and when I got back she hadn’t moved and inch. My parents thought I had a brain damaged dog. I took her out to the farmhouse where her career of sleeping in my bed began. I have found that is much easier than trying to sleep while a lonely puppy cries. Her door phobia and some other quirks led to her name, DD. (dumb dog) (A true misnomer, she wasn’t dumb at all) She would go to work with me and I would chain her to a cinder block behind the building. This was good because she was strong enough to move around dragging her block, but too small to drag it very far. This is probably one of the reasons she became such a strong dog. The trustee from the county prison who worked the grounds at my job became her friend and would often slip her snacks (usually baloney sandwiches from his lunch) I left the farmhouse and moved into a small, old, mobile home that I got from a fencing student. I built a dog pen in the yard because DD was getting big enough to move the cinder block wherever she wanted to so it was time to stop taking her to work. (Much to the trustee’s distress) Her “Dumb Dog” name earned some validity the first time there was a rainstorm. I was getting ready to leave and looked out and she was sitting in the middle of the pen, in front of the dog house, in the pouring rain. A more miserable picture would be hard to imagine. I went out, got in the pen and pushed, actually forced her into the dog house. To dumb to get out of the rain. But after that the dog house got good use. She was at her happiest when there was some sort of physical contact between her and me, or barring me, some other human. If you wouldn’t drop your arm to where she could lean on it she was not above hooking her nose under your arm and flipping it loose from whatever it was doing. She was strong enough to do it too. I got a cat at this time too. I was walking the dog when a scrawny little black fur ball ran up to the dog, rubbed on her leg and then sat down between her front legs. DD stared bemused for a moment, sniffed the cat, and walked on, the cat got up and trotted along under the dog till we got to the house. When we went in, the dog stopped and looked at the kitten and it ran in to. So DD adopted a cat which at first I called DC (Damn Cat) but later became Max, or Maximus when being formal. (Max, incidentally, is alive, healthy, and huge.) D had some strange habits, she would lick your toes when you first took your shoes off, which is mildly disgusting but actually felt quite relaxing. A little foot massage. She also had a tendency to lick my head whenever I was sitting low enough for her to reach it from behind me. My sister, my parents, and a very good friend all had opportunities to live with DD for various amounts of time as the military would periodically send me away. Summer drills, 7 months at the language school, a couple of months active duty for “force protection/Homeland Security” back in early 2002 and of course the wonderful deployment to Kuwait/Iraq/Afghanistan and the subsequent 7 months at Ft Lewis to end my military career. They all have their stories to tell of her.

I recall once relatively early in DD’s life I was going to visit a married friend in North Carolina. He told his wife I was bringing a girl with me. She perked right up, “Oh Really?” she asked. “Her name is DD and she is much younger than he is.” he said. “Oh Realllly?” she said. “She’s black.” He said. “OH REALLLLYYYY??” she said. “She has four feet.” He said. She hit him. Then she hit me when I arrived.

DD loved teddy bears and other stuffed animals. She would carry them around and sleep with them for weeks. Then one day she would quietly and without fuss, pluck their seams, and disembowel them leaving white fluffy stuff all over the floor. When she was done, she wouldn’t pick up the discarded skin again.

She broke my mothers arm once by accident. She would chase cats as long as they ran, but if they stopped she would stop too, and look at them waiting to see if they were going to start playing again. Although I wasn’t there to witness this; she apparently once trapped my sister, her husband and her three kids in my parents’ living room when they arrived for a visit late at night and held them prisoner for about half an hour before my dad woke up and rescued them.

She got old, pit bulls are very short lived, gained weight, got lazy, and enjoyed life. Then she suddenly began to lose weight. And lose more weight, and there is where the story began in my last dog post. It turns out the abscesses in her spleen were caused by cancer, a blood cancer. Basically Leukemia. The vets told me I could give her a chemotherapy drug that might keep her alive and relatively healthy for three or four more years (or might have no effect at all) but she would need it everyday for as long as she lived. That was well outside my financial means (and I wasn’t going to try and borrow $200 a month from anyone every month for the next 3 years either.) so after talking to the vet I kept her on a steroid that suppressed her immune system enough o keep her white blood cells from trying to eat her red blood cells and she lived a few weeks. She was weak, and tired but she was loved. She got to eat all the things they say dogs shouldn’t eat but love. Ice cream, cookies, cheese, more ice cream, gravy, more ice cream. I asked the vet about dietary restrictions and was told, If she will eat it, feed it to her. For the last week of her life Ice cream became a major part of her diet. She preferred vanilla.

At about 6:45 my father and I dug a grave at the base of the Gardenia bush in front of my house and buried her. There is a large dog shaped hole in my life. The other dog that lives at my house will gradually move in to fill a lot of it. But not all of it.



Rest in Peace Old Dog.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rest in peace, Deeters

1:39 PM  
Blogger The Appalachianist said...

I've not gotten a chance to go through the whole post yey, but, I'm sorry about your Dog.

Oh, and Merry Christmas!

10:32 AM  
Blogger Gunngirl said...

Ohh, I'm so so sorry. I know how it is to lose a pet, especially one you had a long time. I still think of Tracy sometimes, I still miss her a lot. It was sweet you shared your story. May she rest in peace. She was a beautiful dog. (((hugs)))

Happy New Year.

3:29 PM  

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