The Demon Dog

 

I was raised in a cat family. (There were five kids and mom wisely didn’t want to add to her burden with a dog. Better off with a pet who is 100% indifferent). JY, on the other hand, always had a dog growing up.

When we bought our house in 1987, all my brothers and sisters pitched in and bought us a golden retriever puppy; we aptly named him Mack the Knife. He was dead five days – and 300 bucks – later from Parvo.

Finding ourselves dogless, JY went off to the Pasadena dog pound and picked out a black lab puppy. He picked him because he was sticking up for himself when another dog attempted … molestation. So Paladin joined our family about six months before son #1. He was a good dog; enjoyed a walk but wasn’t needy. He and son #1 spent a lot of time chasing each other around the backyard. By the time son #1 was in middle school, Paladin was old and arthritic and I think blind. Coaxing him into the house on a cold night became harder and harder.

JY came home early one day and took him to the vet. We had agreed that it wasn’t fair; he was worn out and in pain. We told the kids that we had found him passed away in his favorite little corner of the garage.

A few months later a teacher at school showed up with puppies. Son #1 was immediately taken with one in particular; I made him call his dad and ask if he could keep him. His exact words were “there’s a hole in my heart since Paladin died”. I was fine with indulging him; this was a kid who literally never asked for anything. He took Rascal to two or three sessions of puppy, then dog training.

By then I was suspicious of Rascal’s lineage (claimed to be a German Shephard/Lab mix). He looked nothing like his brothers and sisters and I was pretty sure there was some Chow in there. When I speak of the dog now I usually refer to his mother as a dog with very loose morals.

Anyway, no amount of training could get the demon out of him. He escaped at every opportunity. He dug. He ruined the garden. He jumped over the fence by climbing on daughter’s Little Tykes castle He destroyed daughter’s dolls. JY was traveling a lot then, and there was many a night I was out in the van looking for him. He ate the arm of my new couch, then destroyed the back seat of the van that was stored in the garage.

This went on for several years. By then even son #1’s support for the dog was wavering.

He got out one day and attacked a neighbor’s dog (her description) and by then we were worried. So on a rare Friday night when no kids were home – son #1 playing in a high school football game, daughter was at a sleepover, and sons 2 and 3 were at Scouts, JY came home and wrestled the dog into his fairly new Honda. His plan was to drop the dog off at the pound, then meet me at the football game.

JY eventually showed up at the game, looking a little haggard. He had tried to drop the dog off at the pound, but they refused to take him. Seems a boundary had changed (JY is way too honest; had they asked me what city I was from, my answer would have been: what city do I need to be from?)  JY actually considered just abandoning the dog outside the pound, but threw him back in the car. On the way to the football game, all he could think was he was going to miss the damn game, because the damn dog couldn’t be trusted with damn upholstery.

As he was driving through surface streets, he heard a weird sound. The Demon Dog had managed to push the back window down. And he promptly jumped out of the car.

“What did you do?” I asked.

JY replied, “Hit the accelerator as fast as I could.”

We eventually met up back at home, and decided to go out to dinner (a rare event). As we drove down the street, JY was going maybe five miles an hour and his neck was on a swivel. “What the hell are you doing?” I asked. He replied, “I want to make sure I’m not lying when I tell the kids we looked for Rascal after he ran away.”

That story lasted for years. Until JY had a few drinks one night and let something slip. We’re still not sure what kid knows what.

Published in Humor
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  1. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    My dad was a dog lover. He always had to have one. Some were good. Some were trouble. And some were dumb as posts. There was a Great Dane at one point whose tail was not docked. He used it to clear off tables and knock paneling off the walls.

    • #1
  2. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Just a few of my current charges:

     

     

     

     

    A couple months ago, when 3 of them were smaller:

     

     

    • #2
  3. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    We had a cat that was destructive of anything she could claw apart.

    Plus she had a nasty disposition. In her first encounter with my dog, she scratched her across the eyebrow, and a small scar still marks that spot. The dog, who loves all other kitties, managed to avoid her for the next 5 years.

    On the plus side, she weighed only 10 lbs, so she could not possibly be as destructive as your demon dog. It is one thing if a piece of furniture is tattered by claws. There are upholstery shops for that. It is quite another if an animal eats away an entire arm of a new couch.

    In late spring, the vile thing  wanted out at 5Am, and never returned.

    I truly did go out looking for her, as for some reason, my spouse adored her. But there was relief, on my part anyway, when she did not return.

    • #3
  4. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    While neutral observer and I were on the Bourbon Trail Meetup, we had middle daughter take care of our cats and look after the house.  She spent the night a few times, one time bringing her dog, Dixie.

    Big mistake.  She kept Dixie in the garage overnight because she was worried the dog might decide to attack one of the cats.  While in the garage overnight, Dixie managed to chew up my old work boots, and rip open two brand new lawnmower oil filter boxes.  Middle daughter recovered one of the filters (undamaged).  However, the other was missing.  Our texts went as follows:

    Stad:  So, where is the other oil filter?

    Middle daughter:  What other oil filter?

    Stad:  I had two filters in the garage.

    MD:  Maybe it rolled under the mower.

    Stad:  Hmmm.  Dixie hasn’t been constipated, has she?

    MD:  Dad!

    • #4
  5. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    You know, this could be the premise of a very funny movie.  ;)

    By the way, we’ve always been a dog family but then we found a stray kitten by the side of the house, took him in, and now have one of each.  The cat is a lot less work.  ;)

    • #5
  6. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Manny (View Comment):

    You know, this could be the premise of a very funny movie. ;)

    By the way, we’ve always been a dog family but then we found a stray kitten by the side of the house, took him in, and now have one of each. The cat is a lot less work. ;)

    In my experience, 10 cats, or even more, are less work than one dog.

    • #6
  7. Manny Member
    Manny
    @Manny

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    You know, this could be the premise of a very funny movie. ;)

    By the way, we’ve always been a dog family but then we found a stray kitten by the side of the house, took him in, and now have one of each. The cat is a lot less work. ;)

    In my experience, 10 cats, or even more, are less work than one dog.

    I have a friend who has ten cats.  I can’t even go inside that house.  You would need a cat allergy vaccine shot.  ;)

    • #7
  8. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Manny (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    Manny (View Comment):

    You know, this could be the premise of a very funny movie. ;)

    By the way, we’ve always been a dog family but then we found a stray kitten by the side of the house, took him in, and now have one of each. The cat is a lot less work. ;)

    In my experience, 10 cats, or even more, are less work than one dog.

    I have a friend who has ten cats. I can’t even go inside that house. You would need a cat allergy vaccine shot. ;)

    Someone who is allergic to cats has a different problem.  Although some people find that their allergy doesn’t seem to be a problem with certain types/breeds.  Long-hair vs short-hair, for example.

    Actually though, all of my cats are outdoors, having inside cats would be too complicated.  I have brought some inside if they need special attention for a while.  But having even one dog inside would be worse.

    • #8
  9. Mark Camp Member
    Mark Camp
    @MarkCamp

    Annefy,

    This is pretty good stuff.  And I am comparing it to stuff that pops up in our little neighborhood that is really, really pretty good stuff.

    Please keep ’em comin’!

    • #9
  10. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    On reflection, I want to point out that if an animal that you adopt is a problem, a visit to the vet can be the solution.

    I had a demon cat when I was growing up. Not the worst animal ever, but she did not like people and was aloof. When we tried our best to socialize her, she clawed and scratched.

    Upon the kitty’s death ten years later, long after I had left home, the vet who performed an autopsy discovered the cat had diabetes. So maybe had we known this all along, she would have had a happier life than sitting in a far corner under a chair, glaring at life itself.

    With my demon cat, I took her to a vet and he prescribed a psych med. For 18 months this helped the entire family out. She treated the other two cats with respect and no longer attempted to gouge out their eyes.

    She also seemed to figure out while medicated that the other animals were not at all out to get her. Often she became well adjusted enough she only needed  two meds a week.

    The med was very cheap, less than  90 bucks every six months. (40 pills cut into quarters, and then put inside a glob of wet cat food, maybe five times a week.)

    For a dog the medication would be more expensive, depending on how large the animal is.

    In the end, some 18 months into the regimen, demon cat realized how to vomit up her meds, and then she went back to being negative all around.

    • #10
  11. kedavis Member
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    If the poor cat with diabetes was in pain the whole time, that’s a very sad thing.

    • #11