Saturday, June 15, 2013

Remembering My Dog

Way back in the 1980’s I had this dog, a very nice dog and even though he was a young dog, he was very big for his age, he looked more like a pedigree than a mongrel, sometimes you luck out with mongrels and get a very handsome dog. He was a very friendly pup and took a while to get use to the back veranda after he was too old to stay inside the washing room, many a nights we could not sleep because of his yapping and crying.
Like This but brown patch
However time past and he got use to staying outside with the other dogs which is when the problems started. This dog loved to play while the others loved to sleep and guard the property. He saved his best playing time for the night, under my window romping with the other dogs or just ripping anything he could find to shreds. It got so bad we could not leave our clothes outside on the line, he would rip them to pieces or role in the dirt with them. Anything this dog find was fair game, mats, plants you name it, if he could move it, it would be ripped off, ripped up and found in the streets.

It got worse when he ran out of things to play with in our yard and decided to expand his territory to the yards of our neighbors. Many a morning we woke up to find the property of others on the verandah, ripped up and dirty. We could not even deny it because the neighbor would come over pointing to the evidence in our yard and we had no choice but to pay for the damage. One neighbor would drive up, stop and blow her horn then shouted … “You see my welcome mat anywhere?” and yes there it was… “How much did it cost?” we would ask and then we would pay her.

We decided to invest in a collar and a chain in an attempt to restrict his movements but we quickly realized the dog had mad skills, nothing we did could contain him, I was at a loss, I could not understand how this dog was getting out of the collar or breaking the chains but he was and I never found out how. One morning I found the collar still attached to the chain and the collar was still intact... how?.. his head was not that small!

The Special Relationship
Almost every dog on this planet have a special relationship with the postman, as a matter of fact every dog in my area was no exception to that golden rule. This special relationship can best be described as a hate, hate relationship. I cannot imagine what goes through a postal worker’s mind before they start their shift. In Jamaica the postman delivered your mail using a bicycle fashioned with a bell and as they rode along the avenue they would ring their bells at every gate to inform everyone that they've got mail. I never did understand why my dogs dislike the postman so much but they despised him, it was just pure savage hate. It must be the bell because the closer that sound gets the more anxious and irritated the dogs get and they can hear this bell way before us humans. We know the postman is on his way by the change in behavior of the dogs as the hairs on their backs stand up, tail shaped in an aggressive manner as they run around like a caged animal trying to get out and rip poor postie to shreds. The dogs would run to the corner of the fence, looking up the street waiting for the postman to come into view and when he does the excitement was often too much for them to take as they would run around barking and fighting each other.

One day the excitement was too much for Samson, the dog next door as he jumped the fence and attacked the poor postman, who jumped from his bike and started running around a light post with his bike in hand and the dog behind him, biting at his heels. He was using the bike both as a weapon and a shield trying to get this mad crazy dog away from him. In the end the owner came out with a belt and gave Samson a few well deserved slaps which caused him to break off his attack and retreat behind his borders while looking back at the postman with a grudge, as if to say …”wait until next time... when this muppet of an owner goes to work and it’s just me and you... not even God can save you!”.

By the time the postman got to my gate, my dogs are already in a frenzy, they wanted nothing more than to kill this man with his annoying bell, who came every day to put things in their box, on their gate. In their minds this man was an invader, an intruder into their territory and they wanted nothing more than to remove him forthwith. They would jump up and down at the gate, biting the iron bars and frothing at the mouth, all my dogs behave this way except my special one because he was not a fighter but a player. He wanted nothing more than to jump up on the postman for a hug, lick his face and maybe play tag-a-war with his bicycle wheel or pants leg. I was beginning to realize that this dog was never going to be an aggressive guard dog, he was not following the examples of the other dogs. He was more interested in playing than anything else and would bother the other dogs when they wanted to sleep, biting their tails and jumping on them... My dog was a player.

I woke up one morning to find the garden of the lady across the street, in the drive way, plants rip to shreds, roots and dirt everywhere. Now this woman did not have a child or a dog, her first love was plants and she looked after her garden in the morning before work and after work, so I felt for her. Trying to tell this dog off was very hard, the hair around one of his eyes was brown, the rest of his face white and he would bend his head to one side to look at you, then jump all over you…, we chained the gate shut, placed mesh between the bars but no luck, locked him in the back wash room and he barked like there was no tomorrow. I was hoping at some point he would settle down and join the other dogs patrolling and guarding the yard but that was not his thing… One of the things I loved about him was that he knew when I was driving home, don’t ask me how but the second I turn the corner there he was waiting at the top of the road and he would ran beside the car all the way home, yes he was special to me.

One night at around 10 pm, under my window I heard my dog making some strange choking sounds, I knew right away he was not well and he was not responding to me. I went outside to see what was happening, he was in a very bad way and I knew he was on his last leg, he was suffering badly, heaving and puking, I stayed with him until about 2 AM then went to bed and when I woke up he was dead. I knew he was over the lady’s garden because I saw her plants in my yard and I assumed she must have sprayed pesticide on her plants which got into his system, my friends said I was being naive that the woman poisoned the dog, but I did not want to believe that, she did not seem like that type of lady to me but one never knows. He was buried in the back yard and a mango tree was planted in the same spot, we always plant a tree where we bury any of our animals knowing their life force was going to help this plant grow and whenever we pick a mango from the tree we always remember this cute, lovely, super friendly dog that brought a lot of joy but also a lot of pain and financial expense!…

I am so NOT a cat person!

1 comment:

  1. That was a funny story until the end but I guess they all need to go at some time. The dog I currently have is 13 yrs old and when I remember back to all the trouble she gave me I laugh but it was no laughing matter back then. She chewed up all my furniture, books, clothes, etc. She pissed me off so bad once that I took her to the SPCA to leave her - only it wasn't free to drop a dog off so I begrudgingly took her back home. All these years later I'm glad she stayed in the family.