In the house, Gaspode is the picture of the perfect, lovable little dog. He follows us around, yet stays out of the way. He sits when you say “sit” and goes and lays down when you tell him to go lay down. You can give him a bath, cut his nails, pick him up, swing him around your head, toss him across the room, grab his nose – ‘Pode will look at you quizzically and accept whatever you dish out.
If you are his friend.
Friendship status to ‘Pode is easy, though. You just have to acknowledge him or be my brother John Boy (there’s not an animal on the planet who is not in love with John Boy).
To be his enemy, just walk through the door and ignore his greeting – or work for UPS or be my brother
I bring this up today because ‘Pode's bipolar behavior may very well be his undoing; because yesterday he picked the wrong battle and went after the landlord’s little dog.
We have to accept most of the blame for this, though, because it’s never really the dog – it’s the dog’s training and temperament. And for the past three weeks, we’ve only been able to let him out on a line or on a leash. A Parson Russell Terrier.
I can’t tell you how unfair that is for this high-energy breed. That he doesn’t rip out our throats in our sleep is a miracle. But we certainly shouldn’t have left the door ajar when our landlord’s very prey-like little dog who was acting…well…very prey-like.
‘Pode bolted after it and Dirtman bolted after ‘Pode and then there was a lot of screaming and squealing and the bizarre sight of Dirtman crawling under a school bus. When I arrived on the scene, ‘Pode looked quite proud of himself, his prey forgotten (and unscathed, I might add in relief), and Dirtman looked like he was going to have a heart attack.
Well, you know where that put me. No one will adopt Cujo, which means one thing: putting him down.
By the time Dirtman came back into the house, I had lost it. Somewhere I envisioned this big, green Wicked Witch of the West, who has just turned me out of Kansas, now pointing to me and saying, “…and her little dog, too!” (Yeah, I know. I am nothing if not dramatic. My whole life can be summed up in a series of famous movie lines.)
Turns out I heard incorrectly. Efforts toward the fence in the back are being stepped up, though fencing for a Parson Russell Terrier is, to him, just a barrier to be overcome. So ‘Pode is permanently attached to a leash, which he drags about the house like Jacob Marley and his chains. That way, if he bolts, we just need to step on the leash.
In other doggie news, Salt has the crud again, meaning I do this seven or eight times a day.
Yes, morale has waned just a bit, knowing that, as “renters,” we don’t even have the usual rights of a pet owner in this circumstance. If the landlord says ‘Pode goes, ‘Pode goes. It is only by his good graces that we have a second chance. But I’m not used to being this vulnerable and it makes me a little nauseous.
Don’t say a word,