To anyone who doesn’t already know, this is Scooter, a beagle/dachshund mix, and he is the subject of this week’s Spin Cycle. Why? Because the subject is pets and the kids resent being referred to as “pets” he’s far more blog-worthy than the fish.
I’ve been anti-cat all of my life, but that’s probably because I’m allergic to them – if I get too close to one, my face swells up until I look like a Cabbage Patch Kid that’s taken a bad beating. Eyesight and breathing through my nose become an impossibility until you take the horrible beast away and the Benadryl kicks in.
While I’m not anti-dog per se, Beloved and I, long before we ever became husband and wife, decided we didn’t want any pets. Period. We had more than enough kids, thank you very much – what the heck did we need with something that wouldn’t be able to exploit us in our old age?
However, in the Spring of 2003, Miss Jacki brought Scooter home and made it clear that if we didn’t let her keep him, she would go throw herself under the wheels of the nearest garbage truck next trash day and we’d all be sorry then. The fact that the rest of the kids were “oohing” and “ahhing” and making a huge fuss over him didn’t help matters a bit, and before we knew it we’d been railroaded into giving room and board to a six-month-old, ten-pound set of teeth.
Because HE. CHEWED. EVERYTHING. Shoes. Garbage cans. Furniture. Ankles. If it weren’t for the fact that he came to us house trained, I have a sneaking suspicion we’d have spent the next several weeks warning the Department of Sanitation to be on the lookout for a desperate and dogless 11-year-old. But, time passed and he outgrew his desire to chew everything he could get his grubby little paws on. He’s probably not as well-trained as he should be – he barks at everything that passes in front of the house (for some reason, bicycles particularly seem to bother him) and he will try to jump on people when they come into the house, although since he weighs all of 16 pounds this isn’t as much of an issue as it would be if he were, say, a Saint Bernard. He has the disgusting habit of dragging his butt across the carpet, then licking it (the carpet), and he is forever getting his lead tangled on things when he’s outside without us (as The Young One said, “Geez – even the hamster could figure out how to get loose!”). But his love and adoration for all of us is so obvious that we can’t help but love him back.
I noticed a little grey on his muzzle and belly the other day, and it made me realize that he will be 7 years old sometime this fall. Since the life expectancy of a beagle is just over 13 years, and the life expectancy of a dachshund is just over 12, this makes Scooter middle aged – if he lives another 7 years, he will be a very old doggie indeed. It then occurred to me that those seven years will pass much more quickly than I want them to, and I’ll be facing the rest of my life Scooterless.
I was more than a little surprised to find myself on the verge of tears. I guess I’ve just gotten used to the little bugger.