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The Dreaded Dog Story

This is one of those tales that provides more back story instead of me whining about the dark cloud that hangs over me. However, it does serve to illustrate the soap opera quality my adventures have.
So . . . .

I’m living with my wife and her parents because I’m too stupid not too, when common sense hits me like a ton of bricks that’s its time move. Oh, wait, that’s not entirely true. The real reason was I just got tired of making a long commute and wanted to move closer to work. I was also tired of fixing the things Beverly broke. How many times can somebody stop up a toilet before the realization that an entire roll of paper is not needed to clean ones backside? To this day I wonder if a bidet would have been cheaper and easier than moving. But, then, I would have missed out on some grand drama. C’est la vie.

My wife and I found a nice little (boy, do I mean little) apartment close to my work. We plopped down our first month and security deposit on our nice new pad and planned to move within 30 days. Sounds simple enough. Ahh, but what about Mommy and Daddy-in-law? While I am not privy to a streak of good luck, others often fare better, at least if I’m not standing too close. My in-laws had a relative pass away and leave them a nice some of money ($15,000) just a few days before we found the appartment. Yes, yes, this did have some bearing on my plans to move, but Charlene and I had been looking to buy a condo a few months prior to this news.

We came home and announced that we’d be moving within the month and that Charlene’s mom and dad should use their new windfall to push ahead their plans to move. I expected this to go just a simple as it sounds. We move to an apartment and they use their money to buy the mobile home they’ve always wanted. Such was not to be. Charlene’s mom threw a child’s temper tantrum, crying and stomping her feet like an over grown 3 year old. In her rage she contacted Charlene’s brother and sister, and that dear reader is where it starts to get interesting.

Robin and Alan both called Charlene and screamed at her that she was abandoning her responsibilities (don’t ask, just accept). They were under the firm belief that the two retirees had spent the last 4 years paying for us. Robin demanded to inspect her mom’s checkbook and ours. She wanted to account for every dime. Robin, Alan, and Beverly, whined, cajoled, demanded and even resorted to pleading for us not to move, or at the very least to take Beverly with us to the one bedroom apartment.
As we packed, the calls and demands became even more frantic. There were childish demands over who owned the crappy furniture my grandfather had bought for me before he died (well, stole is more like it, but that’s another story). The closer we got to moving day, the more irrational they became. Beverly refused to pack, or let the property management company know she wasn’t moving, although Charlene and I had already informed them we were.

In the end, they hatched a plan where Alan, would use his business as collateral on another home loan, with Beverly’s windfall acting as the down for a condo near him. She would stay an extra two months in the old property until the new one was ready. Robin and Terry would help her pack and when her moving day came, Alan, would use his carpet cleaning business to professionally clean the wall and carpets. This made her very happy. She could be within walking distance of her son and his children, as well as a short bus ride from Robin and her very large brood. There was only small snag in all this - a dog.

For our first anniversary, our paper anniversary, I had given Charlene the receipt for a German Shepard/chow mix puppy since she’d wanted a dog ever since childhood. One bedroom apartments are not the right place for a 100 pound dog. In addition, during our marriage, Charlene’s dad had been diagnosed with mild Alzheimer’s and was getting on in years. He needed a cane to walk about. Here’s the odd thing, as he became more and more enfeebled, the dog become more and more attached to him. In the house he’d act as the cane (he was a big dog, and Charlene’s dad was rather small). He helped the old man to the bathroom and would wait for him to finish before walking him back to his chair. During all the discussions of mobile home buying, it was stated that the dog would go with Beverly and Charlene’s dad. Charlene was unhappy about not having her dog, but saw the need he filled in her dad's life.

When this condo deal was presented, it created a dilemma for me. A condo is no place for a big dog, nor is an apartment. What to do with him? Alan had a house with a big yard, and his children all seemed to like the dog. I wondered if he would he take it. I was surprised when Beverly said that the condo encouraged its elderly residents to have dogs. So, I negotiated a deal. She would take the dog, her grandson Lyle would clean up after it, and Charlene and I would pay for its needs (food, medical and the like).
I know this is long drawn out story, but bear with me, it’s near the end.

One day at work I get this frantic call from Beverly. Alan’s wife, Terri had made the long trek over and was trying to take the dog to the pound. I was livid. I rushed home, and found the dog safe and sound. To prevent such measures in the future, I had the dog micro-chipped and alerted the authorities to her actions.

Our moving day came and went with out issue although the daily phone calls demanding that we not move if Charlene’s parents didn’t. After two weeks in our new apartment and after hatching the condo deal, Charlene still got calls for us to take her parents with us. Late one Saturday night I got a call. It’s Alan, and he wants to speak to me. I was taken aback. He’d never said so much as two words to me. On the phone he announced that since he was buying the condo, he had final say over the dog, and the answer was no. Beverly would not be allowed under circumstances to have that dog. If she wanted a dog, he’d get her one, she couldn’t have that dog. Charlene was devastated. Her dog now had no home. During the next few days we scrambled to find him a home. Seven days before Beverly’s move day, we found a nice couple some 800 miles away. We made the long trek up and back. Poor Charlene, She just couldn’t take it. She hid in the car and cried. If that wasn’t bad enough, because we couldn’t and didn’t stay long enough for the dog to imprint on this couple, he went berserk after we left and took off, breaking the man’s fingers on the leash. When he tried to take a bite out of their daughter, they called animal control and had him put down. You may now cry.

This tale isn’t complete, but this portion is. After the death of the dog, the calls stopped. It seems that we’d paid the price for our freedom, for our act of defiance.

In another tale, I’ll fill in the details about the condo and Beverly’s moving day.

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