We were a dog family because, of course, it only makes sense that in order to make life with four kids in a funeral home crazier, you throw a few dogs in. Not cats, because cats are pretty quiet. Definitely dogs are the right choice. The first dog we had was named, “Happy.”
Who do you think named him? My mother, of course. He was a beautiful, sweet collie that barked his balls off. My parents didn’t want him in the house because he was so big and shed everywhere, so we kept him on the back porch where he bothered the entire neighborhood with his incessant barking. Since he made everyone miserable with his barking, maybe we should’ve named him “Unhappy.” Thank you, I’ll be here all week (that joke is so bad that my dad would have loved it.)
We all loved that dog but in the end he was too big for our house/porch and needed a yard where he could run around. We gave him away to some people a few towns over. We visited him a couple of times and eventually he ran away from them. He was probably trying to find us. What big dog wouldn’t want to be confined to the back porch of a funeral home? Sadly, we never saw him again.
If anyone needed Cesar Milan, the dog whisperer, it was my family. We had no idea how to train dogs and anyone who remembers our dogs could probably attest to that. A few years after Happy, my parents decided we could get another dog, but this time we’d be smart and get a little dog. We went to some weird place where they bred Yorkshire Terriers for show dogs and there were all these little puppies running around. Of all the cute little, friendly puppies to choose from, my mom chose the little weird one who was facing the wall and clearly had an anti-social disorder. I know she felt sorry for him and that was sweet, but she should have put a little more thought into who the puppy would be dealing with. We thought that if we teased the shy little dog, it would help to bring him out of his shell. Isn’t that retarded? Instead, we created a little crazy monster that bit everybody. He bit us, he bit our friends, he bit almost anyone. He lived in a little closet underneath the sink in our kitchen, like a little troll. He would growl and if you stuck your foot in the closet, he’d attack it. His name was “Buttons.” Looking back, maybe we should’ve named him “Bittens.” Thank you. I’ll be here all week.
When Bittens was a few years old, somehow we roped my parents into getting another puppy. He was a mix and was so cute and sweet. The whole family got in on naming this one and we were undecided for a long time, so we just kept referring to him as “the puppy.” He soon started to answer to it and that’s how his permanent name became “Puppy.” Puppy was a little bit crazy too. He was nice to everyone in the house, including friends, but would randomly attack people on the street. You never knew when he was going to do it. We would be peacefully walking him and pass two or three people, and out of nowhere he’d just growl and lunge at someone. He would also lie outside the bathroom whenever my mom would take a shower and if we tried to move him, he’d growl at us. But we loved Puppy. He was so much more normal than Bittens. One time my parents had a priest over and invited a few of their weird friends to come over and hang out with the priest. I guess they were having some kind of home-made mass ceremony, and at a quiet point during the ceremony, Puppy started licking his balls like they were made of steak. My dad was the one who told us what happened because he took Puppy out of the room and brought him into the living room where we were. My dad was laughing when he brought him in and we loved it. That’s just one reason why he was such a great dog. He knew the best time to lick his balls.
Because we had no control over them, there was more than one occasion when we would open the kitchen door before we had their leash on and they’d dart out and run downstairs before we could catch them. This was a problem when a funeral was going on. They would reach the bottom of the stairs, see all the people and just start barking incessantly. Naturally, it scared the shit out of everyone. They would all start backing away with a mixture of fear and confusion on their faces. What kind of business did they think we were running? What was this, a circus? Where are the monkeys? Whose dogs are these and why are they at my mother’s funeral? My dad almost had a heart attack. That’s another law suit, of course. I can imagine how disturbing it must’ve been for the family, but we thought it was funny. We knew it was bad and that my dad was gonna be pissed, but to see these two crazy dogs causing unexpected chaos at a funeral was still funny to watch.
Bittens was about 12 when he died and Puppy lived for awhile longer. It was really sad for our family when both of them died. As crazy as they were, we loved them. We had a funeral for them with little caskets and invited all the people that they bit and attacked…just kidding.
There was one other crazy dog that my parents got after they were retired. His name was “Jake” and Jake liked to hump everything….but who doesn’t? Have a great weekend!