Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Man's Best Friend

 I received an e-mail yesterday from a Texas-based sales engineer I work with, informing me she will be working from home for the rest of the day because her arm hurt from a shot she received from the doctor.  I sent her an e-mail asking if it was a rabies shot.  She immediately called me on the phone asking, "How did you know?"  I replied, "Don't all dogs get rabies shots?"

Okay, that wasn't nice, but it was actually a tetanus shot.  Apparently, she went on a date with a guy and the guy's dog bit her.  Now guys, if your dog bites your date, he's clearly trying to tell you something.  DO NOT CALL HER BACK!  Dump her immediately, change your identity, and run for the hills.  Your dog is your protector and will always have your back (and quite possibly your leg).  And gals, if you get bitten by your date's dog, take that as a sign and terminate the relationship.  There's a reason dogs are known as "man's best friend."  Besides, if his dog doesn't like you, surely his mother won't like you either.

I love dogs….especially with barbeque sauce, macaroni salad, and two scoops rice.  Okay, nevermind...bad joke.  Anyway, I've been around dogs for most of my life and I've come to the conclusion there are two types of dogs, 1) those that pee on your grass and kill it and 2) those that pee on everything else.  The former is the female dog and the latter the male dog.  For those of you who failed "health" class in elementary school, the male dog has this long thingy between his posterior legs and the female dog does not.  This is also generally true for Homo Sapiens, unless you live in the San Francisco Bay Area.

My wife and I bought our house in 1993 and soon thereafter, added a blond Golden Retriever we named Rusty.  I quickly realized female dog pee kills grass…which sucks when you're in your new home with a beautifully sodded backyard.  I built a fence out of chicken wire to partition the backyard so Rusty could pee in one area while I reseeded the other side.  Much to my dismay, Rusty would hop over the chicken wire fence and pee.  It was extremely frustrating.  There were so many times I wanted to kill her, wrap her in a plastic garbage bag, tie it to a cinder block, and throw her in the lake (sorry if that sounds psychotic...I've since had therapy).  But, I maintained my patience (for the most part) and accepted it as God's way of preparing me for children.  At the time, my wife and I both worked during the day and we figured Rusty was just bored and needed a playmate.

In 1995, we got another Golden Retriever, named Hunter.  We decided to get a male dog this time to save our yard.  The good news is male dog pee does not kill grass.  In fact, male dogs don't even pee on the grass.  The bad news is male dogs pee on just about everything else….and it's very corrosive, especially to air conditioning units, barbeque grills, patio furniture, and chicken wire fences.  Not only did we have dead grass, we now had a rusty air conditioning unit, barbeque grill, patio furniture, etc.  We've since resolved the grass problem….with a wonderful building material known as concrete….so, our next dog will need to be a female.

Sadly, Rusty and Hunter are no longer with us.  Both lived long, happy lives and we cherished the time we had with them.  Here is a picture of our dog shrine, with Rusty and Hunter's ashes, their collars, and a stuffed animal Rusty used to hold in her mouth.  My brother thinks it's weird (and a little creepy)….but the wooden boxes were just too nice to bury in the yard.  By the way, if you live in the Tri-Valley area and need a veterinarian, check out the folks at the Amador Valley Animal Hospital.  They offer services at reasonable prices and are very compassionate when you lose your best friend.

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