I have to start this post with a disclaimer. I really do love animals. We have two cats and a dog and I've had pets all my life. There was just this one dog though...
My wife is on the board at the local SPCA so we stop over there on occasion. One time when we were there, they were naming some new animals they had just gotten in. There was this little dog there. Black and tan like a rottweiler pup. It was some sort of terrier though, so it was full grown. He was roughly 112,000 years old (in demon years.) They needed a name and my wife was wearing Levi jeans so I said, "Levi." They liked it and that was that or so I thought.
Levi had a hard time finding a home. Personally, I think it's because he was a mean little bastard, but The Wife thought it was because he was handicapped. He had a gimpy front leg. When you walked him it looked sort of like he had three legs and a flipper. Gimp leg would swing out and forward, plop down and repeat as he walked and made this little 'skritch' sound as his nails would drag on the pavement.
Time passed and Levi festered in the SPCA. Finally, one day, The Wife announced she was going to foster him so he didn't have to stay there. I begrudgingly said, "Okay."
He had this habit of trying to bite people in the heels. It's all he could reach, but after a few corrections, he at least stopped trying it with me. One day, someone decided they would take a chance on
the miserable, little cur Levi.
When he got to his new owner, he rapidly made himself at home by unhousebreaking himself. This was made worse by the fact that she was a little older and couldn't really do a good job of retraining him. He was also one of those vile poop eating types. Yeah, because you want to see that happen in your house.
Back to the SPCA went Levi.
Enter The Wife.
TW: "We should keep him."
Me: "I don't like him. I'm sure the feeling is mutual too. I've seen him try to dial for a hitman. But he can't because of the gimpy paw."
TW: "That's mean."
I need to point out here that we had just gone through an ectopic pregnancy. It's was rough for both of us since we were told we couldn't get pregnant. At all. And then that happened. (Hey, Universe, I still owe you a big, "Fuck you!" for that one. Consider yourself served.)
Anyway, I could tell this was one of those things that would help.
Me: "Fine, but I'm calling him Mr. Hankey now due to the whole poop thing."
So home he came with us.
He would go for walks with us. We discovered we had to buy him these little booties for his paw because the top would scrape on the ground and it would get raw. I'm certain he did this only to inconvenience me though.
Time wore on and his name changed. He became 'little dog.' The Wife called him this because she used to carry him around like a 15-pound black and tan meatloaf. People would come over and remark how cute he was. They thought he was a rottie pup. Usually if they thought he was cute, I'd ask if they would like to adopt him. After about 20 or so hairy eyeballs from The Wife, I stopped.
Time ground on and little dog, nipper of heels, started peeing in the house even though he was going out regularly. Off to the vet. He was diabetic. Whoopee!
Gimpy and diabetic and mean (to everyone but The Wife and The Boy.)
The morning routine changed a little and I had to start giving him shots. Granted, it was some small satisfaction. "This is for your own good, Levi." Jab.
Time crawled through fields of razor wire and broken glass bisected by a river of burning bile.
Levi turned grey, but he was just teasing me. He clung to life like he would to my leg given the chance. Then, another joke on me. The diabetes caused blindness. It didn't much matter since The Wife carried him most places. He would just bump into things here and there. That didn't matter much either since snails would challenge him to drag out in the backyard. No harm done when he bumped into something. But for those of you keeping score:
Gimpy, diabetic, blind, mean.
Time nearly gave up. I kept resuscitating and yelling, "Finish it already."
One night, while trying to sleep, I was awoken by barking. Constant barking. I tried to reason with little dog. He was having none of it. Back to the vet. "He seems to be a bit senile," was the diagnosis. Frigging awesome. After The Wife would go to bed (she was sleeping in The Boy's room at the time and couldn't hear the barkitude we had going on) I would carry his crate down to the basement so I could sleep. I'd get up early and sneak him back up. Oh, and:
Gimpy, diabetic, blind, mean, senile.
One day I came down to find that the senility had advanced. How did I know you ask? He was covered in his own poop and urine. The Mr. Hankey joke was no longer quite so funny.
TW: "What are we going to do?"
Me: "That's funny that you chose the pronoun 'we.'
TW: "Get back here."
Me: "Fine, I'll hose him off in the yard."
TW: "It's 40 degrees out!"
TW: "Fine, I'll take care of it."
Amen to that. This mercifully only went on for a week or two before we took him to the vet's office for one, last visit. She misses him from time to time. I don't, but there's no need to point that out to her.
It turns out here also that I was also a bit of a prophet when I named him. As proof, I present this: