Some time ago, I shared my childhood summation of The Wizard of Oz, which, put plainly, is that a dog is nothing but trouble. Think about it – every twist in that movie occurs because little rat-like Toto pulls some stunt. Either he jumps out of Miss Gulch’s bicycle basket or he trots off into the Wicked Witch’s castle or he pops out of the hot air balloom bucket just as Dorothy is finally getting her tush out of Oz. Come on, he was a royal pain in the ass. Or so I thought then. Now I know that “royal pain in the ass” is non-dog owners mistaken interpretation of “profound love.”
So, my childhood words have come to haunt me as I now am head over heels for 25.6 pounds of crazy Cairn Terrier, one Theo Fannybrice. He came to be dogsat; they didn’t want him back. My heart was already a goner for this aloof, prickly, and way too intelligent four footed creature. If nothing else, he was aces in my book because he slept ’til 10 in the morning. That’s my kinda pooch.
Lately, however, Theo’s been in need of a watch. So far, he’s come jangling me awake at 3 a.m., 4 a.m., and 6 a.m. on different nights. What the hell? Mister, I put up with your “don’t touch me” cat-like nature because at least you let me sleep. Remember sleep?
Not to mention the ever more frequent vet visits.
“Mommy, my anal glands need draining.”
“Mommy, I sucked all the hair off my back and I’ve got a hot spot.”
“Mommy, I ripped my right rear tendon in half and I’m backed up with lotsa poop.”
“Mommy, I’ve got a foxtail in my ear. Deep in there.”
And how. The vet strolled in with three, count ’em, three foxtails. My macho strutter didn’t let on that they were in there for so long that by the time he started that distinctive head shake to clue me in, the foxtails were black and moldy. One bottle of antibiotic ear drops, coming right up.
The best part of the foxtail caper is that our mother Jeanne actually thought a fox slithered past Theo and dipped its tail into my doggie’s ear. Literally.
I guess the laugh’s on me. For every inconvenience – like running out at 3 a.m. in just sandals and a car racing down the street to catch my nudist act – I cannot remember life without my dog. Yeah, he is a royal pain the ass, but I don’t care. One look into those liquid brown eyes and I melt.
I love you, Theo. Please let me cuddle you. Please?