Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Dog Gone It

One of the contributing factors to my tense Thanksgiving weekend had to do with a certain dog that Aries and I thought we wanted to adopt. My ex, Daddy D, donates time to a no-kill dog rescue in Washington. She called and told me about a dog they had obtained that was low-key and had a great temperament. Aries has been wanting a dog so I agreed to test drive the dog over the long weekend.

She was a Chinook/Pit mix. Absolutely beautiful. She was a very quiet dog; she was playful; she seemed very loyal. She didn’t eat the first three days she was at the house which worried me. Guess she needed some settling in time.

She kept looking back at her bottom so I took her to a vet on the Friday following Tgiving. This is where the chaos truly began.

With Aries in tow, we sat in the room waiting for the vet – almost 25 minutes. When the vet came in he pet the dog and said she probably had a plugged anal gland. Gross. Ew. Then as quickly as he told me of the problem, he started his aggressive diatribe about how I needed to get rid of the dog immediately.

I was confused. Two seconds prior he was petting the dog and rubbing her ears and now he was going off about how I needed to get rid of the dog because she was part Pit. He continued his criticism of the dog and spoke of a Pit Bull’s nature. They’re aggressive and born attackers (his words). His tone became mean. The dog that originally greeted him with a wagging tail was now hunched down and growling at him.

He pointed out that we had only had her three days and that it wasn’t too late to get rid of the dog before we have any more time invested. He pointed to the now growling dog and viewed it as confirmation of his point that she needed to be gone, destroyed…didn’t matter which. He said she had anxiety (well no shit, she'd been in a dog rescue kennel for a couple of months with no sense of belonging).

I looked over at Aries and her lower lip began to quiver. The area around her beautiful, tender green eyes was red as she fought back tears. She was in love with this 67 pound dog and did not want to give it up. She held the retractable leash tightly in her hand staring at the dog, her heart breaking.

I can deal with a lot of shit from people. I don’t have a problem at all being confronted. I can take being poorly spoken to with blatant disregard. I won't tolerate it, but I won't crumble if it happens. I will always stand my ground and stand up for myself regardless of how badly I may be shaking inside. It takes me but a moment to evaluate whether the person speaking to me is worthy of a response. It’s taken me a long time to learn to just walk away when it’s not worth it.

But when someone hurts my daughter in any way, the time lapse between patience and being fucking done is approximately 2.3 seconds. I come out swinging like a Momma Lion with her claws out.

The vet carried on with no hesitation. I quickly stood and stepped into his personal space. I addressed him as though he were still worthy of my respect which he was not.

“Sir, if you want to have this conversation then let’s have it one-on-one. Privately. Why don’t you take the dog in the back and treat her and let me calm my daughter down.”

“No,” he insisted. “She needs to hear this. This dog could kill her.”

I could feel the rage and heat screaming to the surface. Street-Auburn Pisces was ready to kick this fucker’s door in.


“You don’t understand,” he yelled, “This dog will maul her and there won’t be anything you can do about it. She needs to hear the truth. One day one of her little girlfriends is going to come over and reach down to pet the dog and this dog is going to attack her out of fear. Do you want that on your conscious?”

“Sir, isn’t it possible that the Chinook breed in her and the complacency that breed displays overrides the nature of the Pit that you seem so freaked out about? This dog has given me no cause for concern. We’ve spent three solid days with the her.”

“I don’t care what “brand” she is. The Pit Bull in her will kill your daughter.”


I grabbed the leash from Aries, ripped the door open and said “We’re leaving” as I nodded Aries out the doorway. There, sitting in the lobby, were other unsuspecting victims. I got 10 feet from the asshole veterinarian and heard him bellow “YOU OWE ME FOR AN OFFICE VISIT!!” He was waiving my new file in his hand.

Blown away by his idiocy and ignorance, I turned on my heel and walked right toward him. I never slowed down. I was beyond pissed off. I leaned toward him and pointed in his face.

“You had NO fucking right to have that conversation in front of my daughter. You had NO right to scare her. I was willing to talk to you about your concerns privately but you wouldn’t stop.”

“She deserves to know the truth!”


I stormed out the door. Jaws in the waiting area had officially reached the floor. As he screamed about the cost of the office visit one last time, I told him to bill me and walked out – with a kid in tears and a dog that was so wound up I could hardly get her in the car.

I had to dig deep into the depths of my soul to find the patience to take care of Aries and the dog and put my anger aside. I got home and was talking to Hot Toddy about the whole deal. It’s like I told him, at least Aries has officially seen Street-Auburn Pisces and knows that her Mom isn’t scared to stand up for what’s right and that I will protect her at all cost.

The name of this place is Companion Pet Clinic, 3150 NE 82nd Avenue, Portland, Oregon. Don’t ever use them. Ever.

But wait, the story continues.

Later that night, Aries and I were watching movies. I had come down off my mad and had begun the hateful thought process of what I wish I could have done to that asshole. Until this point, the dog had either slept in Aries room next to her bed or next to mine on the floor.

Aries and I both fell asleep on the couches that night. I awoke at 1 a.m. and got Aries up and told her to just sleep with me and we headed toward my bedroom. The dog came walking out of the room as we entered. I didn’t think much of it.

Aries laid her little head down and says, “Why is it wet right there?”

I ran over and flipped on the light to find that son-of-a-bitch dog had pissed on my bed right in between the two pillows where your head would lay.

Not that big a deal you’re thinking? Guess again. I sleep on a king size Carrington Chase Coral Bay Plush bed. It retails for nearly $4,000.

The dog was cowering in my office which is through a set of sliding glass doors off my bedroom. I threw the door open, pointed at her and yelled, “YOU MOTHERFUCKER…YOU JUST BOUGHT YOURSELF A ONE WAY TICKET OUT OF HERE.”

Then I lost it. The weekend, the dog, the kid, the veterinarian, the cooking, the turkey that seemed to cook forever, no back up to catch me when I needed to fall. I started to cry. I didn’t know what to do. The bed is latex. The stain was bright yellow. It stunk. The mattress was supposed to have been treated but it didn't appear as such.

I put Aries in her bed and she tried her best to comfort me. She never sees me cry that hard and with my guard down like that. She just watched me wide-eyed trying to talk me down. Bless her heart.

Hot Toddy came in from a night at C.C.’s and in his drunken state of mind, grabbed wash cloths and Febreeze and tried to clean the spot. He appeared to have gotten the bulk of it out but needless to say, I would no longer sleep on my $4k bed. In fact, I spent the next five days on the phone with the mattress company working out a replacement.

I ended up paying for the replacement mattress. They sold a new mattress at a used mattress price of $1279. Bastards. I still have the old mattress and until I find that warranty card, it’s not going anywhere. There’s something about throwing out a $2k mattress that doesn’t sit well with me.

The dog slept in the garage from that night on. The next morning when I let her out to pee, she promptly jumped the fence like it wasn’t even there. Rebellious little shit. Twice I went after her to bring her back home. The second time I realized that I wasn’t willing to beg her to come home. I flipped her off and said, “bye bye, see you at later” and walked off.

She ended up coming back eventually. She jumped the fence repeatedly. I called the ex to come and get her, to no avail. I took her to the Southwest Washington Humane Society where Daddy D was supposed to pick her up and take her back to the dog rescue to be adopted out. Hopefully she’s found a great place to roam free with no expensive bed to pee on.

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