Tuesday, April 13, 2010

"I Could Write a Book About That Dog."

One Saturday afternoon when I was about 11 years old, I was in my room, probably drawing or working on a toothpick sculpture. Then I heard my mom yell, "HEY! What's that lady doing running around on our lawn??"
I looked up with a cartoon expression, 'huh??' and looked out my window which faced the front, and sure enough, a woman in her 30's or 40's was dashing to and fro on the lawn, like she was trying to catch something. Then with amusement and embarrassment, I saw what she was chasing. Our dog Nicky had her purse in his mouth, and he was playfully avoiding her capture.
"Oh my God..." My mom ran out the front door, "Nicky! Nicky! Bad dog!" Soon they were both trying to catch him, as he skillfully dodged them both, even with the purse in his mouth. Finally, my mom grabbed the purse and had a tug-of-war with Nicky for a few seconds. I watched from the window and couldn't help but crack up at this display.
"I'm so terribly sorry..." my mom apologized profusely as she handed the woman her purse, but she was good natured about it, and even laughed. She went on her way, happy to have her purse back. "Bad dog!" My mom scolded Nicky, but he just wagged his tail with his doggy grin.
A couple hours later I was helping my dad mow the lawn. He abruptly stopped and went to the front of the mower and picked something up. It was a set of keys, obviously from that woman's purse.
That was our dog Nicky on a good day. "I could write a book about that dog." my mom would often say.
One time I saw him crossing the street back to our yard with something in his mouth. It looked like an egg. Then he laid on the lawn and chewed on it for awhile, but soon he went back across the street and into the neighbors garage, which was open. He came back with another egg. After he went on another egg run, I went outside to see what he was doing. They weren't eggs, they were the neighbors brand new Titlest golf balls, chewed to bits. He had broken in to his golf bag and helped himself. I quickly put him in the backyard and hid the evidence. I'm not sure if the neighbor ever found out.
Nicky's escapades weren't always as amusing. One time he disappeared for 3 or 4 days. We were worried sick, checking the animal shelter, putting up flyers...but then he came home, without his collar and starving. A long time later we found out he had been dognapped by a crazy neighbor around the corner, but had made his escape. We found out because the neighbor moved, and the new people who moved in found his collar in a kitchen drawer, which had his tags with our address.
He was also hit by a car, not just any car, a Police car!...he came limping home with a broken hind leg and full of abrasions. A friend of ours saw the whole thing, "I saw Nicky get hit!" he later said, "he was trying to cross Stevens Creek Blvd. and a cop car hit him! The cop pulled over and got out, but Nicky was half a block away by then! He even drove his cop car to find him, but he must have hid!"
That's what we would always fear when Nicky got out, and he would always find a way to get out, no matter how escape-proof we tried to make the back yard. Well, he was a beagle, a hound, and hounds like to roam, so that's what he did. "I saw Nicky cross Stevens Creek!" another would say. Stevens Creek Blvd. was a major four-lane artery. "He dodged all these cars, I don't know how he did it, but he made it across!"
"uuuuugh...my God...I could write a book about that dog."

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