Widgets Magazine

Feb 23, 2011

Dogs (part 1)

My grandparents had an amazing dog when I was a kid! Her name was Tanjo and she could hold 21 marbles in her mouth at the same time. I’m not sure who taught her this stupid trick, but first she would lie on the floor under her favorite chair. After gathering all of her marbles from the dog food dish, we would sit on the floor about 15 feet away and roll them quickly at her face. She would dutifully grab each one and hold it in her mouth until all the marbles were covered with saliva and dog germs. Then she would race to the kitchen, spit them all back into her bowl, and run back to her hiding place under the chair. We knew what that meant, "Get the marbles, Stupid!" in dog language. We would head back to the kitchen, retrieve the slimy disgusting orbs, and start the game all over again. Now that was one cool dog! 

Our neighbors across the street also had a dog. We were good friends so that gave us open access to petting their dog. Then one sunny summer day we were playing basketball on their court when the dog showed up. She was acting a little strange so I approached her in an effort to comfort her. Let me remind you that this was a dog I had played with many times, but on that particular day, I should have stayed as far away as possible. The dog had been injured and when I got too close, she attacked me. She bit and scratched me in several places before the neighbors pulled her off and called the animal shelter. She was put down and they had to send samples in for Rabies tests. We were terrified that I might get really sick. The tests came back negative, but that was the day I decided that I really didn’t like dogs much. 

When Teach was about three, my sweetie finally convinced me that maybe I was being a little paranoid, so he bought a puppy…a purebred Basset Hound. We named him Jake. He was cute, but a lonely little thing that didn’t take kindly to sleeping in the garage by himself. So we bought a little female named Jessie. The kids made a big deal about them getting married, and it’s a good thing because before we thought it was even possible, Jessie was acting funny and getting fat. A week or so later she delivered a litter of eleven pups! 

It was Christmas time and our house was suddenly turned into Animal Farm. Normally the dogs stayed outside, but it was way too cold for the pups out there. We lost one the first week when Jessie crushed it in her sleep. That’s when my sweetie built a 6 x 6-foot wooden "pen" for them in the basement. He filled it with newspaper and wood shavings and that became their new home. We spent an exciting six weeks raising pups and then we sold them for as much as $200.00 each. We clearanced the last couple at $125.00, but all in all it proved to be a pretty productive business. 
Someday Bossy will post actual pictures of the puppies.

We were surprised when Jessie went into heat again a couple of months after all the pups were gone. Unfortunately, Jake got aggressive and attacked Teach when she attempted to separate them. She received a cut on her face that required stitches, and I remembered how much I didn’t like dogs. It wasn’t too long after that we were forced to sell them both. Our new house was not quite finished and we had sold our old one. That meant an apartment for a couple of months and dogs were not welcome there. We heard that Jessie delivered another litter (13 this time!) shortly after she arrived at her new owner’s home. What a bonus for them, 14 for the price of 1! I hope they had a big basement…  Jump to part two here.

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