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HANDWRITING ON THE WALL
19 May 2006
Even as Peanut snuggles his nose into the folds of my neck and starts licking my face, his little tail wagging a mile a minute, I am already reading the handwriting on the wall.
It may not happen tomorrow or next week, but it will happen. Peanut will leave here.
I was thinking of that as I was working on a tape from the psychiatrist. The psychiatrist has a dog. It is a yappy dog. And it barks and barks and barks and barks continually in the background sometimes when the psychiatrist is dictating. After a certain amount of time, I, who am not a violent person and who obviously loves dogs, am ready to find a gun and shoot the damn dog. The sound of that bark cuts right through my head and leaves it throbbing.
I've mentioned it to the psychiatrist and I know that he really tries to make things easier for me, when he remembers to shut the dog out of his office. There was a time when he didn't realize how loud his telephone was, as it sat on the desk and rang when he was transcribing, making me jump out of my skin and utter some fairly loud epithets. Once I mentioned how loud the phone was, he moved the it and he also shuts off the transcription unit if the phone happens to ring, even from where he has it now.
He really is much more accommodating when I complain than I have a right to have him be, given how backed up I always seem to be on his work.
But I realize that the reason he isn't more conscientious about his dog is that the dog yaps all the time and it has just become part of who the dog is--something that you don't think about when you are home alone with only the dog, who is doing what he always does.
Peanut is going to be a yappy dog, I think. Right now it's kind of cute, that little baby-yap as he sits in front of me demanding to be fed, or to be picked up, or to share whatever it is that I'm eating for breakfast for lunch, or when he is playing with Sheila.
But he's going to grow out of his baby days and unless he also grows out of yapping, he's going to be a dog just like the psychiatrist's -- yapping so constantly that people who are around him all the time don't really hear him because they're so used to it. I don't want to become used to it.
I'm also starting to be on my guard because I'm wondering if, as Peanut gets older and becomes more of a real playmate to Sheila, it will eventually trigger that "attack mode" that we had problems with when Latte lived here, and whether I'll have to send Peanut away to protect Kimba.
This morning Sheila went after Kimba in a playing mode, but Kimba doesn't play. Ever. It's the kind of pre-situation that could just have easily have turned into an attack, as Kimba growled about Sheila's towering "invitation" to play.
I also worry about her hurting Peanut. I sit here and watch the two of them play and I absolutely marvel at Sheila's restraint, letting that little pipsqueak attack her over and over again, skinking those razor sharp teeth into her skin and only occasionally reacting by holding Peanut down with her big paw until Peanut whimpers for mercy and is let go.
I watch Sheila lying there with her mouth wide open, that mouth with those powerful jaws that could snap Peanut's neck in two in an instant, while Peanut lunges over and over again at the mouth, batting at it, biting at it. Occasionally Sheila will take that tiny paw inside her huge mouth and just kind of hold it. She is so amazingly gentle...but if she happened to forget herself, she could kill Peanut before I could get to her.
I watch her leap up from Peanut and pick up the big teddy bear that Ashley brought over for Peanut to cuddle up to and then shake the bejeezus out of the thing. She could just as easily do that to Peanut and break his neck or his back in an instant. I have a friend whose little Pomeranian ran into a large dog on a walk one night and in a fraction of a second, the big dog grabbed the Pom, shook it violently, and then tossed it aside, already dead.
There is no question that Sheila could do that to Peanut. I trust her not to. But she could. We've now reached the point where I worry about all the things that are unlikely to happen, but which could. I'm like a mother sending her kid off to school for the first time and playing worst case scenarios out in my head.
So I know that the handwriting is on the wall and that Peanut must leave. Eventually.
But then I pick him up and he crawls up to my shoulder and snuggles into my neck, whimpering happy little puppy grunts and I forget what "could maybe" happen and concentrate on enjoying the time we have left, while we have it.
PHOTO OF THE DAY