Our First Dog

As kids, we always begged our parents to get a dog until one day, they gave in.  Our first dog turned out to be a terrible one.  His name had previously been “Hoover” (like the vacuum) because he ate anything, all of the time.  For some unknown reason, “the previous owners didn’t want him anymore,” the pet shop owner told us.

Let me just stop for a moment and draw your attention to this.  If two different owners didn’t want a dog, always ask why.  My parents never asked why, and thus, were sorely dismayed when the dog turned out to be a complete reprobate.  Okay, anyway, we brought the dog home, named him Dusty for his off white, tannish color, and soon saw why he was returned from not one, but 2 owners.  Whenever he ate, he would bite anyone that came near him.  From this experience, both parties learned a few things:

Lesson #1-Never, on any occasion, try to refill his bowl while he was eating. We almost lost limbs when this occurred.

Lesson #2- Never wear nice clothes when Dusty was around.  I lost many nice clothes (including my favorite 80‘s purple sweatpants suit) thanks to his incessant biting of anything that moved and then tugging at it like a chew toy.

Lesson #3- Never take Dusty on a car trip.  He was the only dog we ever owned that had to be sedated just to go to the vet 3 minutes down the road.  You know the Proverb about dogs returning to their vomit?  We never really understood that until we took Dusty for a car ride.  Sometimes that Proverb would be played out 3 times in the same 5 minute car ride.

Lesson #1 (for Dusty)- Never, ever, chew on an extension cord that is plugged in.

Lesson #2 (for Dusty)- Never, ever bite someone in front of Dad.  Generally, my dad is a laid back guy, but if Dad was in the middle of a home project on a Saturday, everyone (with the exception of Dusty) knew to stay away. On this particular Saturday, he was working in the garage with my older brother Jonathan.  Dusty bit Jonathan and wouldn’t let go and Dad came over, and gave Dusty a hard kick.  The hair in the spot where Dad kicked him always grew in grey from that time on.  That was our last day with Dusty.  My Uncle Bill came to get Dusty (dun, dun, dun!).  He was a terrifying man in his younger years and was known for his uncanny ability to make bad dogs change their ways.  The same was said for wayward children, but we tried hard not to find out.

In a few months, Dusty was a new dog.  After his reformation, he was given to my Grandpa B’pa who renamed him Georgie Boy.  Georgie Boy went on to live a full and happy life, still biting at anyone who came near when he’d eat, but otherwise much improved.