Panorama of San Bernardino

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Puppy Love

I am playing doggie referee tonight.  My three dogs are all in the house together because big bucketfuls of rain are falling from the sky.  There is a lot of tension in the house (not all from the dogs because remember my mother-in-law lives with me). 

Neron weighs approximately 100 pounds and the combined weight of Frodo and Chewie is about twenty-five pounds.  Based on sheer power alone, Neuron should be the alpha dog, but Frodo and Chewie rule the roost with paws of iron.  Frodo is king and Chewie is prince and his second in command. 

One would think King Frodo would stay in costume and wear the royal red cape that I bought him for Christmas, but he refuses to wear clothing.

Frodo is laying on our couch with Chewie cleaning him and each time Neuron moves from his prescribed spot on the tile next to the patio door, Frodo bares his teeth and gives him a Gizmo like growl and then a deep bark if he doesn't listen.  Poor Neuron sits tearing up a towel and wagging his tail.  He just wants to play, but Frodo and Chewie won't play doggie games with this Rudolph like doggie.

Their hatred is escalating.  Last week, I let Frodo and Chewie out in the backyard and before I could say "bad dog", Frodo and Chewie cornered Neuron behind the barbecue and Frodo bit Neuron in his hind leg.  Neuron, silly big dog that he is, responded to Frodo's bite with a yelp and then turned onto his back, feet in the air. 

Now, I know what you are thinking.  Neuron needs to get some balls and this household needs Cesar Milan.  I know I need Cesar Milan. 

My dogs rule my life and I am sublimating my yearning for children with my obsession with Frodo and Chewie.  When I went on vacation to New York for five days, I came home a day early because I missed my dogs and my husband, in that order. 

I love seeing my dogs' furry faces when I walk in the house.  They make me happy even though they gnawed the legs of my dining room table along with all of our baseboards (and I won't go into the carpet issues).

No matter how many times Cesar Milan says that dogs are not human (as you can see, I have read his books), I see a consciousness in Frodo's deep black eyes that is humanish.  Frodo even sucks a blankie like a baby at night.  And sometimes, when Chewie looks at me from the corner of his soft brown eyes, I swear I know what he is thinking (usually it's about food because although Chewie is a ten pound Imperial mini Shih-Tzu, his appetite rivals someone five times his size.  Chewie eats so much that he throws up.). 

The funny thing is, growing up I was always a cat person.  My whole dog experience is a result of the fact that three years ago, right after we moved into our new house, my black cat Leopold Bloom was murdered.  Yes, murdered.  The assassin was either a coyote or a bobcat and was never prosecuted. 

I made the mistake of putting a bell on Leopold and the killer(s) tracked him.  I was at the fair and when I arrived home that evening, Leopold was not on the stoop as usual and I knew something had happened.  Later, we noticed claw marks on the back screen door, like he was trying to scratch his way into the house. 

My husband looked all over the nieghborhood for Leopold, including in all the drains, and I passed out flyers of Leopold in his Superman Halloween costume.  One night, I woke up at two a.m. because I thought heard meowing.  At the time the house next door was empty and I padded over there in my pajamas looking for Leopold, but he was not there.  Finally, I had to acknowledge that Leopold was in kitty heaven (there is a cat heaven and a doggie heaven too).

I went through a depression after Leopold died.  Leopold was with me all through Houston and and San Francisco.  I couldn't snap out of it.  In desperation, my husband took me to a pet store at Victoria Gardens in Rancho Cucamonga to cheer me up and I saw a black and white puff ball with polka dots on his tummy.  It was love at first nip and once we got Frodo home, my grief dissapated with the stress and joys of owning a new puppy. 

After a few months it became clear that Frodo was lonely.  We had Chewie shipped from a breeder in Kansas City, Missouri.  I picked him up from the airport and he looked like a kitten with matted reddish brown fur.  He smelled like pee, but he loved to snuggle and kissed me with the longest puppy tongue I have ever seen (his Gene Simmons tongue still doesn't fit in his mouth).   Once we had him shaved down, his hair grew back a soft caramel color. 

Then came Neuron.  I found Neuron in Banning, California.  At the time I was stationed at the courthouse there and was coming back from lunch with my colleagues.  A puppy ran down the street, we stopped my car and he jumped inside.

Neuron is the dog of many names.  His original name was Chelo, my friend and co-worker Jen named him after a restaurant in Banning.  I changed his name to Jack Shepard after the lead character in Lost.   But, alas it was not to be.  Once I brought him home, Frodo and Chewie attacked him and I had to take him to my in-law's house.  Orieta and Alberto promptly renamed him Nueron which only sounds good if you say it with an Argentine accent. 

When Alberto passed away, my mother-in-law came to live with us, Neuron came too.  We are one big cozy family now. 

At the fair a couple of months ago, a psychic said I would have three kids.  I looked at her like she was crazy and said, "I'm thirty-nine, unless I get pregnant soon and have triplets, that is very unlikely."  She looked at me and smiled.

I think she meant fur children.

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