Iowa

Iowa

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Back to Normal?

The dust has settled, the parade is over, some players are on their way to the Pro Bowl. An exciting week for the Steelers and Pittsburgh.
Mippy and I went for a walk this morning with Oscar. It is warm here, a nice change. We began to talk about their former dog, Ernie. Ernie was a golden also. Mippy and Bird got Ernie soon after Bird got out of the military and came back home. They lived in a condo and were only supposed to have a certain size dog, but they ignored that because they both wanted a big dog. And a big dog they got.
Goldens need a LOT of exercise. And if they don't get it...well, look out.
Ernie was a great big, friendly dog, that wouldn't hurt a flea (we'll get to fleas a little later). He did, however, have some quirks.
Often when walking about the neighborhood, in the middle of the street, Ernie would either take a dump (pardon the expression), or just sit down in the middle of the street and wouldn't move. You could gently tug on his leash, you could pull with all of your might, he would not budge until he rested.
In the condo, where Mippy and Bird lived on the first floor, telephone books were left in the lobby for all residents. Ernie liked to shred paper. A lot. Once a night, Mippy would go out into the lobby, bring in a phone book and Ernie would spend a half hour or so shredding the phone book. Mippy said it was worth it, kept him busy.
Ernie had lots of pep. Mippy, have just birthed Bean, did not. When Ernie wanted to play, he barked. It didn't matter what time of the day or night it was, he wanted to play and he wouldn't stop barking until you played with him. I remember dog sitting and getting up at three in the morning and taking him to the shopping center parking lot and throwing balls for him, just to exhaust him.
Then there were the fleas. Buzz was watching the dog, and turns out Ernie had fleas. Scratched the whole night. Thump, thump, thump as his leg hit the floor.
Ernie would sleep by the side of Bean's crib at night, and look with suspicion at anyone who dared to come into her room. He was a great dog, chasing Tazzie, their cat over and under the dining room table, hitting his head trying to go under the table, sliding across the table trying to reach the elusive cat.
Ernie got a tumor on his mouth and had to be put down. I think Bean was about three when it happened. She understood, and when her parents came home from having him put down, she took his leash and sat on the hearth with it, tears running down her face as she sat holding his leash in the spot in which he slept.
Bean and Mippy are reading Marley and Me. Mippy said she should have written a book about Ernie.

20 comments:

ginger said...

Pets are fun, but a lot of work. I just saw my neighbor out in the snow cleaning up after her dog. That's one of the joys of being a dog owner.
We had one dog,a mutt, that our son brought home. Didn't want to keep her but after much debate, we did. Guess what, she was the best dog, never did anything bad in the house, was house trained in two weeks and when she died, we all missed her terribly. Especially, Skipper, who never wanted a dog in the house. A good watch dog and a wonderful companion.
We never replaced her because as I said, a lot of work.

SassySam said...

We have had many dogs as I was growing up and the one I remember best was a mix breed that was big and shaggy. Her name was Shags and she went everywhere with me, kind of like Ernie must have been with Bean. Does Bean remember Ernie? Oscar and Ernie, how were the names picked? After characters on Sesame Street? Great names, and it sounds like great dogs. We have had many pets since Shags, but she is the one that is nearest and dearest to my heart. I was just a kid, so I don't remembet the naughty things she did!

Cathy said...

On a quiet Sunday morning, I sat with my dog, reading the paper, waiting for the rest of the family to awake. Our dog is an integral part of our family. He goes on vacation with us, we go on long walks together, he plays with the kids in the yard. I, like Bean, would miss our dog terribly. How poignant that she sat with his leash and shed tears for him. Dogs are wonderful companions that we often take for granted.

tigger said...

I have a cat. They have their own personality. Very independent. I have had the flu this week, and she seems to sense when I don't feel well. I have had both cats and dogs, am dogless right now.

Wicked Kitty said...

I was an eight year old with a cathouse in the back yard built by my father. Need I say more? I took in strays, knew all the cats in the neighborhood (and still do). I lure them with warm milk and treats. Even found them as playmates while on vacations, picked clams to feed them while at the beach.

I like big dogs but never had one. They are great fun to tease. Def still a cat woman. Me-ow.

Ben said...

I inherited my dog from a neighbor who moved to an apartment. She still visits. I don't know that I would have bought one, but he fits my personality perfectly. And, like Bean, I would miss him terribly if something were to happen to him.

Jessica said...

I loved Marley and Me! Haven't seen the movie yet though. It was a great book, and it sounds like Ernie and Marley may have had the same gene pool.

Anonymous said...

I don't have any pets. Had some as a child, but none as an adult. They sound like they can be good companions for some, but I agree with Ginger, "a lot of work". Good post, though, Mia, amusing.

Jen said...

Our dog is not the brightest dog and she is getting older, but she certainly has earned a place in our heart. Maybe you should get a pet, Anonymous, everyone can use a good companion.

SocialWorker2 said...

When my father was in rehab recovering from a stroke, the staff encouraged family members to bring in pets. They believe it helps in the recovery process. Our dog went over to my dad and nudged him until my dad responded. As he recovered, he looked forward to the dog coming in. He is home now, and needless to say, the dog is his constant companion. They are growing older together.

Kevin said...

Allergic to dogs and cats! Wish I could have one, but my eyes swell shut and I start sneezing when I am around either! Funny post, though.

Elizabeth said...

Give me my cat, my book and a cold, winter day by the fire. I am toasty happy, and so is my cat.

Bill said...

What would a house be like without pets and kids? Can you say quiet? I think it would be way too quiet for me----although----nah, give me the chaos.

Anonymous said...

I can remember having to put down my dog. I can understand what Bean went through. I didn't show it as she did, but good for her. One has to mourn, and she did it well.

Nate said...

Pets are great, although, like Ginger, I think they take a lot of time and work. For me, at this time in my life, I want them. I have two dogs and a cat and although they are a problem when I take vacation, I love them and watching them play is great fun. I would be bored without them.

Lori said...

I work in an animal shelter, so need I say more. If anyone is thinking about getting a dog or cat, you can call the shelter. Some of the big dogs can't be taken into the shelter, but are available, so if you want one, you can request it. Also, go to the rescue sites for breeds of dogs. Sometimes people just can't keep their pure breds, so they put them on rescue sites. They do make wonderful companions, so if you want one, contact your shelters or visit the rescue sites.

Tim said...

Best to quit while you are ahead, Ginger.

Michele said...

My family has had a few dogs over the years, Pepper, Freckles, Sampson, Maggie, and Max. The difference about Max is that he was the only dog that was truly mine. Max was a shepard-lab- rotweiler mix and you could actually see all three of them in him. When he was little I used to try and turn him into a circus dog (because he was smart) but that didn't work out so well.
When Max was three he got diabetes, which consequently acts in dogs exactly like it does in humans. For about seven months Max and I tried to get the diabetes regulated but it didn't work. Max passed away about two weeks before his fourth birthday. It was sad BUT what I can tell you is that we had a great four years together, so perhaps for him it was quality over quantity. It has been two years and I still miss him, but I also still smile every time I think of him. I agree with those above, having a pet is a lot of work (especially if they get sick) and that keeps me dogless for now :-)

On a side note, I strongly suggest getting pet insurance. It's $5-10 per month, but in Max's case I couldn't get it after he was sick, because he had a pre-existing condition, and it would have helped greatly to defer the cost of medication. :-) Great stories!

Angela said...

I like the name of your dogs, Michele. My pets have had such imaginative names as Spot, Socks, Mittens. Very original. But I have loved each of them in a very unique way because they each had their own personality.

Another Original by Tamara said...

Just had to do another post, Mia so that we (well OK, YOU) could hit a record breaking 20 comments with this one!

Masumi was my Siamese Princess' name. She followed a long line of Seal Point Siamese cats in my family. She made it to 17 years and I still pretty much crumble when I think of her. I also nicknamed her Kitty Kuddles, which while quite sociable, she was sooo not into cuddling. She would run when she saw me (OK, I'm exaggerating only a tad) because she knew what she was in for with me.