The Fifth Horseman
By: W. S. Allen
Unfortunately, I haven’t had the time to write much lately. I’ve been 100% involved in training my little gift from heaven Bailey. We’ve been through all the don’ts.
“Bad girl, you’re not supposed to defecate on my floor or urinate either. I really don’t think my $4,000 shotgun is a chew toy. Let’s attack Daisy for grins, she only four times your size and strength.”
Let’s work on “fetch, sit, and heel” not to your liking. OK then let’s work on socialization I’m sure you’ll be a star getting along with everyone.
These are just a few of the things I’ve said out loud to a dog. A dog I might add who I’m sure is the devil’s spawn.
I met up with a couple of friends the other day for lunch. The first thing one of them asked was.
“What happened to your arms?”
“Cujo likes raw meat.”
I replied without blinking or hesitation. I’ve spilled more blood in the past few weeks than all of Gettysburg. I would get a tetanus shot if the nurse could find a spot on my arms that hasn’t been maimed by this twenty pound fugitive from the dog pound. One of God’s little test for us in our lifetime are puppy teeth.
I took both the dogs into the vets. Bailey for her next shot and Daisy for a nervous condition she’s picked up lately. I asked the vet if he knew of a doggy dentist.
I don’t think he was having a good day because he looked at me as if I had the Lindbergh baby in my closet.
However, there is a bright spot in the ongoing saga of Bailey’s training. She loves my soft leather couch in my office. Do you have any idea what puppy teeth and claws will do to Corinthian leather? I’ll say one thing for her, she has great taste.
She and I will be playing with a toy and she’ll get this look on her face and within a nano second she is firmly attached to my arm. I swear I can hear someone snickering in the background. I now believe there are five horsemen of the Apocalypse and the last one is so terrible that no one dare put it down on paper in fear she might come disguised to your door as a cute brown puppy.
Bailey’s first boat ride was noteworthy. We’d been out for about an hour, knowing everyone needed to use the facilities we headed for shore. Within 1000 yards of the dock Bailey walks over to the side of the boat, stands up on her hind legs, puts her head down on the rail and proceeds to relive herself. When she’d finished she walked over to me looked up, smiled and laid down at my feet. Thank you Bailey for such a nice and thoughtful gift I and the boat will cherish it for a long time.
On the same trip we were tied up at the dock waiting for everyone to reappear. The dock itself was crowded with boaters like myself waiting for someone or something to appear. Bailey was lying in the same place she’d occupied after she’d watered the boat. She must have got tired of waiting. Her answer was to climb up on a strut that went all the way across the boat and jump out. She swam to the dock where some innocent bystander plucked her out of the water as she planned. She is after all a water dog.
To tell Bailey’s story completely I need to tell you of her favorite toys save my arm. The name sake of “The Hound of the Baskervilles” loves to play with anything that squeaks. That in itself is a very good thing when she’s playing with her toy she’s not eating an expensive weapon of some kind. Instead she will bite a squeaking toy over and over again for what seems like hours on end until you want to bomb china. She is insidious with her plot to drive me crazy with a squeaking toy. Often times she comes close to succeeding only to be thwarted by pen and paper.
When writing my first novel I wore out a CD of the Doobie Brothers Greatest Hits. Since then however, I prefer quiet when organizing my thoughts. Now I have to write listening to a Chinese squeaking toy in the mouth of a pro. If I practiced my duck calling that much I’d have dates with every duck that ever flew the Mississippi flyway.
Least, we forget her voice. When at the ripe old age of 1 month, 22 days, 13 hours, 7 minutes, and 12 seconds Bailey discovered she could squeeze out of that small body a sound so horrifying as to put everybody in a 25 miles radius running for the bomb shelters. This in its self is not that extraordinary but the number of times she can produce this sound is one for Guinness.
Between the Chinese squeak toy and her adolescent barking it’s a wonder anybody on the block gets anything done. I say adolescent because her voice is changing and so her bark squeaks at the end, a wonderfully soothing sound.
When I went to choose, yes I said choose, this one puppy over the rest of her litter I should’ve known she was the fifth horseman of the Apocalypse when her mother at the ripe old age of five weeks took Bailey’s head ever so gently in her mouth and barked. At the time I didn’t know why the people at the breeder kept asking me.
“Are you sure you want her?”
When it comes to this dog, my motto is ignorance is bliss and I smile all the time. So I said.
“OH yes she is so beautiful and active.
They just smiled, saying thank you as they skipped away.
Her personality has determined that there is no amount of ear pinching, collar shocking, or rolled up paper beating that will keep this dog alive for the next year, it’s just not possible. If I don’t take her out Daisy will. To Daisy her personality is like finger nails on a black board.
Something just licked my ankle maybe I’ll give her a reprieve for now anyway. Her usual behavior is to lick my ankle and when I relax then bite it. Maybe this time she won’t bite my ankle? I now have a two little brown paws on my leg and a pair of the most beautiful hazel eyes looking at me, saying I love you can we go for a walk or play with my pull toy?
With eyes that look like that, I guess I’ll continue to train and love this puppy.
Having vented all my frustration on you the reader, I think I’ll take both my dogs for a walk.