Thursday, February 19, 2009

Boots the Wonderdog

Well, today's the day. Today's the day that Boots, the blind wonderdog is going in to get fixed. And he knows it and hasn't been seen since 4 AM when he chased an early rising bicyclist down the street, terrifying him.
Boots was rescued from the local pound about two or three years ago. He's got a thick tan coat and white legs from the knee down, hence his name. He's a big, bold, handsome dog, all muscle and playfulness. About 90 pounds of muscle and playfulness. And he's a great great guard dog, something you need in rural Texas, what with lawn mowers and chainsaws in the garage, and recently repaired bicycles on the front porch. Thieves don't generally come and steal a television here, like they did in New York. Here they wait till there are no cars in the driveway and then bring in a truck and take the whole darned house. (Probably why so many people have at least one or two extra cars, often non-functional, in their drives.) So Boots is essential and fantastic.
He wasn't always. We got him at the same time we got another pup, Blue. Blue was a sort of weird midget doberman who got sick early and then got mange, then an awful flea infestation, then got his head bitten by a junkyard dog who used to hand around looking for scraps in our trash. The head bite left Blue unable to walk properly: his head bobbed up and down constantly, like a bobble-headed dog and when he'd put his right forepaw out to take a step it would stand straight out at a right angle to the ground for a few seconds, then it would bob up and down in time with his head for another few seconds and then he'd finally get it onto the ground and take that step. Then it would all be repeated again a couple of seconds later. He looked like some sort of strange military dog, always tipping his cap and saluting as he walked.
Blue and Boots were pals, with Boots always cleaning him, till he too began to get whatever horrid thing Blue had. And then one day Boots decided to see what the street in front of the house looked like from a position in the middle of it and got walloped by a passing car traveling 60 or so mph. I found him on the side of the road, his hips broken badly. So I carried him to the porch, put a blanket out for him and imagined he'd just die. I had no money for a vet for that sort of thing, and wasn't willing to put him down--I've never put an animal down--so I was just sort of waiting for him to die. So was Blue, who curled up next to him, bobbing his head and pointing his right foreleg at the space in front of him.
But Boots didn't die. And in a couple of days, when I realized I had to do something, I looked at him, prayed, then reset his hips. And I got lucky and they went back into place. One was still crushed pretty badly but I figured time would heal that. Months passed and Boots got a little better by the week while Blue got worse. And then just about the time Blue crawled under the house to die, Boots stood and instead of dragging his hind quarters, actually walked.
That was a wonderful sight. He even walked to the back of the yard behind the chicken coop where the pig now lives to watch us bury his pal Blue.
And then, several months later, he was all better one day. Just started running around like a 6-month old pup and hasn't stopped. And he also became this wonderful guard dog--though he's fairly blind from some infection he and Blue shared, and the Vet doesn't know what to do about it. I mean he went from this broken-hipped 50 pound dog to this 90-pound wonderdog overnight. And in the process decided to defend this place of ours with a gigantic heart and a ferocious attitude. Not toward us: To us he's like this big teddy bear who loves to have his nose kissed. But not to others.
We first found out about his guard dog tendencies when Italo got a frantic call one night. We were in my truck running an errand and Italo's friend Martin called to say that Boots was trying to attack him. Now Martin had been to the house 100 times and Boots knew him but still, Boots had become the Wonderdog overnight and we were not home and Martin was not getting into our house and that was that.
Then about a week later, maybe a year ago, Boots chased his first bicycle with a speed I couldn't have guessed he had in him even if he hadn't suffered broken hips. We tried to calm him down a little and explained who to go after and whom to leave alone but it didn't really sink in. And then last Summer he bit a teenager--I've written about that--and did a week in doggie jail/quarantine while awaiting the results of rabies tests. The teen deserved it for trespassing near midnight with two friends onto our property, but them's the rules: The dog is guilty here in Texas even if you were trespassing at midnight.
But lately it's gotten out of hand. In November he knocked a man off his bicycle and had him pinned to the ground under his bike until I came out (in about three seconds) and called him off. Then he bit the plumber who came to fix the pipes at about the same time. Then he nailed a DHL lady and the FedEx man and the neighbor and who knows how many others. Not big bites, just reminders that the next step you take will be very painful. Heck, he doesn't break skin in most cases, just tears jeans or leaves scratches.
But then while I was in Peru I had to pray to whatever God I believe in to make sure Boots didn't run someone into oncoming traffic while I was gone. And I swore I'd have him fixed as soon as I came home if he didn't.
And I came home to find Boots had behaved wonderfully while I was gone. And so I didn't immediately get him fixed: Somehow that fell down the list a few notches. Until yesterday when he bit the FedEx man for the second time. I wasn't home but I'm told he did and so that's that. Me and Italo are going to go round him up if we can and take him over to get him fixed. Not that he's broken, but he has to get that testosterone level cut back.
I told Madeleina on the way to school this morning and she hates me. "Now he's going to be a wimpy bum, not a guard dog, dad! How would you like it if someone cut your things off?"
"Don't even talk about that, baby. Men don't like to think about that."
"Well, I'm talking about it because that's what you're doing to our beautiful dog!"
That went on till she stepped out of the car. Whew!
But that's what we're doing. I hope he'll still be Boots the Wonderdog when it's done, but it's got to be done.
Assuming we can find him.

1 comment: said...

Me ha parecido muy interesante el contenido de este artículo.
Gracias por todo.
Thank you.
las mejores dietas