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Thursday, February 16, 2006

Bad To The Bone

Sticking with the dog theme, I thought I should tell you guys about our dog Sydney. I was volunteering in an animal shelter in California. As an animal lover, that can be a really bad place to spend time. When a lady brought Sydney in, I was madly in love. I'd only been there helping for a few days and I'd already found an animal I wanted to take home. She had all of the cute puppy powers, which were by far stronger than any of the other dogs in the entire pound.

She was one of nine pups born to a mom whose family no longer wanted her. Since all of the pups were weaned, the mom dog was adopted almost immediately. The pups had to be immunized and checked over a little more then their mom.

Out of all those babies, Sydney was the social one. She would make her presence known without being a barking fool. Anytime I was near the kennel, she would get up from a sound sleep, crawl out from the bottom of the doggie pile, tilt her head to the side as if to ask, "Whatcha doin'?" Yup, I'm a sucker for cute and that puppy was oozing with it.

She was quick to learn tricks and was going potty outside in no time. She loved to run and play frisbee, and she was great at herding the kids when they would run in the house. She would nibble their Achilles and it would stop them dead in their tracks. She never hurt either one, but they always listened when Sydney "told" them to stop running. She was by far the smartest dog I've ever been in contact with.

That is, until she began teething. My daughter was the only 4-year-old on the entire planet wearing crotchless panties because of that damn dog. Every pair she would find, she chewed the cotton crotch right out of. It didn't matter if they were clean or dirty, the dog chewed until there was nothing but a big hole. And she only did that to Lane 2's drawers, which I guess I should have been thankful for.

The first day I left her home alone while she was teething, was a day I'll never forget. It was the day I learned how smart she wasn't. It was a day that made me laugh until my guts hurt, which made being mad almost impossible.

I had to go grocery shopping but knew how she had been chewing anything left in her reach. Although I bought her tons of chew toys, bones and rawhide, I opted to close her up in the laundry room rather than trust her free-roaming in the house. All of the laundry supplies were in the closet and there wasn't one thing laying around for her to get her teeth on except her chew toys.

When I came home an hour later, she was whimpering so loudly, I had to let her out of that room fast. She sounded so pathetic. As I opened the door, I couldn't believe my eyes. She had tore up the entire linoleum floor and was stuck to the pasty underside. She had a pile of what used to be flooring in one corner of the room. She had a small piece of linoleum stuck to her nose and several stuck to her legs.

As she tried to walk toward me, her paws were slowly pulling from the destroyed floor, making this velco ripping sound. She tried to get out of that laundry room but every step she took made that same sound. She began with fast happy to see me tail wags, until, crrrrrraaaah, and then she tucked her tail under her ass. She would hold still a second, wag some more, and than crrrrrraaaah. It was one of the funniest, most pathetic things I have ever witnessed.

I got a bucket of warm water and dumped it on the floor to help melt some of the glue. I guess she thought I was trying to drown her because it scared the shit out of her, literally. With the floor completely gone, the dog's pads on her paws practically being ripped off by the glue, my laundry room soaked and loaded with shit, all I could do was laugh.

She finally let me pick her up and take her out of the laundry room. Once I cleaned her paws, I could see there wasn't any visible damage.

After that fateful day, she was terrified of that room. If I left the door open she would creep by with her tail between her legs. Sometimes she would sit a few feet away from the door whimpering. I tried to help her get over her unnecessary fears as soon as I replaced the floor. I put treats and some of her favorite toys in there but it was no use. The only way was to keep the door shut. Out of sight out of mind I guess.

Sydney stayed with us until we had to move back to Illinois a couple of years later. Our new place didn't allow pets so we had to find a new home for her. We were lucky to have a friend with a farm who wanted to keep her. A friend who knew all about the crotchless panties and that fateful day, but was brave enough to take her anyhow.

P.S. Did you guys hear about the dog that ran away following the Westminster? I bet she was pissed that ugly ass colored terrier beat her. Renting Best in Show this weekend, thanks for the suggestion.