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
I know this is long drawn out story, but bear with me, it’s near
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