Mandy is out of town. So the persistent whining and scratching that signifies that the Naughty Dog wants to be let out of the bedroom to piss it up at the other end of the house fell onto my freshly wakened ears alone. Instead of releasing the pee hound from the bedroom I decided to take both dogs outside for their mid-night micturations.
I put the slip lead over Naughty Dog’s thick neck and decided to let the Therapy Dog go commando. She usually comes right back in the house, so I figured we were safe. As we headed out the door I noticed that it was 3:00am. Good, I thought, maybe that will hold everyone over until I’m ready to leave for work.
The carpet pissers both did their duty in the grass for once, and Naughty Dog trotted back into the house and waited patiently—as did I—for the Therapy Dog.
Now, I don’t refer to her as the Therapy Dog because she provides some psychological benefit to a member of our family. No-oo, Therapy Dog is in need of therapy. She has deep seated daddy issues. I volunteered to pick her up from the pound as one of my wife’s fosters. I figured I could do her a solid even though I am not part of the Save Every Dog in Powell County Campaign. In fact, I don’t think some dogs are worth saving. But I get ahead of myself.
Anyway, I brought the shadowblack darter home. She had puked in the crate and quivered as I carried her from the car to the kennel. That night she cowered by the kitchen door. She cowered for a couple of days.
She reminded me of a long gone Scratchy-dog. And so I became somewhat attached to the neurotic transient pooch that had taken up residence behind out kitchen door. She soon warmed to life in the Chainring household, but stayed aloof of me—her actual rescuer—for a few more days. She dodged me like oil slips from water. I couldn’t even pet her. But she took to Mandy right away. Dogs like her. They must enjoy seeing her eyes swell shut and her skin welt up. But Raven, as she was called then, was having none of me.
It took a couple of weeks but she finally came around. She fit right in with Radar (the Naughty Dog), and we enjoyed watching her kangaroo box the stuffing out of him. As we mulled over keeping her the name finally came: Roo. Once we had a name we kinda had to keep her. And she’s been a good addition, though why we thought we needed two dogs is beyond me. It made no sense and still doesn’t.
Both dogs are housebroken, though you wouldn’t know it. Roo likes to pee on anything fabricky that lays flat on the floor (like rugs) and Radar is a classic territorial pisser hitting the couch or one of our recliners like a war-seasoned sniper. Same spot every time.
And so I began to refer to them both collectively as The Carpet Pissers.
When we would come home and find they had turned our living room into a canine public toilet I would call out in my best Dude voice: “Do you think The Carpet Pissers did this?”
“Ma-an, that rug really tied the room together!”
“Roo, do you not want the room to be tied together?”
And then the Naughty Dog started killing chickens. One day he escaped the kennel and wham, bam, thank you ma'am three of our laying hens were laid out around the yard. Couple days later he somehow got off his cable tie out and whacked three more. The next day three more. Maybe one of those days he got four or five. We doubled and opposed the clips on his cable tie out. He broke the plastic buckle on his collar. Three more. All-in-all he probably killed twenty chickens. The second go 'round he even brought the Therapy Dog a chicken to play with since she hasn't learned yet to escape her bounds.
After the last gruesome round I was somewhat shell shocked. The last three were pretty gory. Partially eaten, laid out in the sun for a few hours, pecked at by other diabolical chickens. They looked so...brutalized.
“What do you want for dinner tonight?” Mandy asked as I sat staring absently at the kitchen table. “I have pork, and I have chicken.”
My stomach roiled.
I nodded frantically.
I'm so done with dogs and chickens. But I love the fresh, organic, free-range eggs! I can't go back to store bought.
Last night I took both dogs out at 3:00am. I slipped the lead over the Naughty Dog's head and let the Therapy Dog go of her own accord. Both of them emptied their ample bladders. Naughty Dog returned; Therapy Dog disappeared into the blackness of night.
I sequestered Naughty to the bedroom. I didn't need him to slip free and relapse into his Radar the Ripper persona in the middle of the night. From the kitchen doorway I called in a loud whisper:
I felt stupid yelling the single non-sequitur syllable into the darkness.
She danced around the edge of the weak light from deep inside the house. She was avoiding me. Her savior, her benefactor...and she was making me stand in just my shorts in the doorway calling out her stupid name. I shined my bike light into the yard and finally found her. She stood beyond my reach. Eventually I had to chase after her and she scooted through the kitchen door in a panic just ahead of me.
“No treat,” I informed her, as I stomped through the kitchen, snapped off the light obscuring her confused expression, and went to bed.
I never fell back to sleep. I surfed the web, trolled through Facebook. I set my alarm up fifteen minutes, but that made no difference in the end. Finally I just got up and started getting ready for work. On my way to the shower I saw that the Naughty Dog had peed on the couch leg.
“At least I'm housebroken,” I mumbled, and headed off to start my day.