Wednesday, April 15, 2009

A Real Dog Day

Today, Bo joined the Obamas in the White House.

It's a milestone day for dogs, so I'm telling a dog story. This one is
about the ugliest dog I've ever seen in my life. And I saw her today.

I'm sorry I left my camera behind. Because now I have to describe this
little dog. And you'll just have to believe what I say is true.

We're in Norman, OK, at a dog park, hoping our Standard Poodles can
work out their motor home kinks. As we enter the small park, I
notice bales of hay set up inside.

Then I notice a young, delicate woman, maybe 20, sitting on one of the
bales, cradling this ugly dog.

I stare (how rude). I think the dog's a failed Jack Russell Terrier/
Chihuahua experiment. Something went badly wrong. She is a little
bigger than a normal Chihuahua, with a chunky midsection and sporadic,
wiry blonde hair.

I mean, it grows a little here, a little there.

Her pointy ears are hairless, as are her tiny feet and rat-like
tail. She has wavy, very thin hair on her back, legs and snout, and a
mohawk of blonde on her head down her neck. Her skin is mostly pink,
with accidental splotches of brown.

Long, whimsical eyebrows straggle above her bug eyes. Those brows flutter
when she growls. Oh, yes. She growling because I  extend a hand
in friendship and she's not impressed.

"Oh, she's mean," her owner apologizes. "Just a plain ol' mean dog.
She doesn't like people or other dogs."

Mean Dog's eyebrows flutter. She stares at me (how rude!) and dares
me to just try that hand of friendship again. I learn fast.

Here's Mean Dog's story.

Her owner found her alongside the road about three years ago.

"How'd you pick her up if she's so mean?"

"She was hungry."

After a few bowls of food and a good night's sleep, Mean Dog showed
her mean side.

"Each time she'd growl at me, I'd whup her butt," her owner said. "I
did a lot of whuppin'."

Who'd a thought this delicate young woman would raise her hand and
whup. (For the record, I disapprove of hitting animals. I endorse the
voice-activated control system.)

It didn't take long, she said, before she finally whupped Mean Dog
into submission.

It's clear the ugly, cantankerous old pooch feels safe on her owner's
lap and enjoys the warmth of their friendship. She's content to sit
there, not be touched by anyone else, and just growl if anyone tries.

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