The Dog Days: Episode Four

Annie, our Great Weimar puppy, has made a speedy recovery from her surgery. After visiting her regular vet the morning after taking her to the emergency vet, we were told to continue to give her the antibiotic until it was finished and keep the area around the sutures clean with a special prescription cleaner they gave us for free. We are now getting to enjoy our time with our sweet puppy instead of constantly running back and forth and to and from the vet. As my husband said last night, “She may cost us a ton of money and be a pain to deal with during the day but it is really nice to cuddle with her like this at night.”

A Day in the Life of a Dog Named Rocky

Rocky 2009

“Dogs are great. Bad dogs, if you can really call them that, are perhaps the greatest of them all.” ― John Grogan, Marley and Me: Life and Love With the World’s Worst Dog

Today’s episode is going to go back in time to the life of my first big dog. He was a Boxer who weighed in at a whopping 98lbs and had a head that was bigger than mine. Rocky was a bad dog by all standards: he chewed through valuable things (like the cable line and my mother’s $700.00 mouth guards), he stole underwear and shoes and anything else he could get his teeth on (like a stuffed Santa doll we used as decoration at Christmas or my stuffed animals from my room), and when he wanted attention he always got it because he would make noise and scratch at us with his heavy paws. Rocky was the best dog I could have ever asked for, though, because throughout his 11 years of life he never stopped loving me and he was spunky until the day he died.

One memory of Rocky that sticks out in my mind today is his insatiable energy. When I was young, I used to put on my rollerblades and hold on for dear life as he pulled me at top speeds around our neighborhood. The neighbors all remember seeing me fly by their windows and they still ask about “the daughter who was pulled by the dogs.” I was a legend in that regard. As I got older, Rocky maintained his energy and if he didn’t get enough exercise, he would destroy household items. I graduated from high school and soon moved away for college. Because I was no longer around to take Rocky out for a rollerblade run, my parents had to become innovative. They managed to find a neighborhood kid brave enough to strap on his rollerblades and let Rocky pull him around but he, too, got older, joined the Air Force, and moved away from home after a year or so.

Now it was up to my parents to do something about the dog and his need to run. Not being rollerbladers themselves, they had to come up with some other way of running Rocky around the neighborhood. One day, my dad had the genius idea to get in the car to run the dog around. This seemed to work and after the first few tries, they got the hang of it. Every day, my dad would hold the leash in his hand out of the car window and accelerate fast enough that Rocky had to keep up a decent gate. It was certainly a sight to behold.

One day during a particularly hot summer, I was on my way home to my parent’s house after work. As I drove down the main street of our neighborhood, I saw a car that looked similar to my mom’s Lexus SUV. It seemed to be stuck in a drain and the tire was as flat as a pancake. When I got a bit closer, I saw my dad standing on the sidewalk near the car with Rocky on a leash sniffing around. He was clearly infuriated from the look on his beet red face. He was on his cell phone saying all sorts of choice vocabulary.

I soon found out what had caused such a scene. He was taking Rocky out for his daily run beside the car when a squirrel suddenly caught his eye and Rocky bolted across the street, in front of the car after the squirrel. At that point, my dad had two choices: 1) hit Rocky with the car and potentially kill him, or 2) swerve and try not to hit Rocky with the car. He chose the latter and ended up running into a drain, popping the front tire, but saving the dog.

The lesson I think we all learned from that experience was this: Don’t try to run your dog by holding the leash out of the car and letting him run on the side of a moving vehicle.

A lesson I learned from having Rocky, the best worst dog ever, was to love always, live in the moment, and never stop chasing those darn squirrels.

I’ve had small dogs and I’ve had big dogs. I’ve had good dogs and I’ve had bad dogs. I’ve had the whole range of them and I’ve found that there is always good in a dog’s soul even if it doesn’t present itself in the mischievous nature of the dog. Deep down, there’s a good dog in all of us.

Anyone have dog stories about good-bad dogs? If so, I’d love to hear them! Tell me about it in the comments!

Until next time…

J. G. McNease


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