Don’t you die on me, idiot dog.
Dexter will be old enough to vote on July 9, 2015. He’s already a lot smarter than a certain 51.1 percent who voted in 2012.
Dexter was a rescue. At the time, we had four other Chihuahuas. Chili, Nacho, Taco, and Jalapeno. We told Dexter, “Your name is now ‘Burrito.'”
Dexter lifted his leg and gave us his opinion on “Burrito.” “Look,” he said, “My name is Dexter. We won’t be changing it. Plus, I’m going to be pissing on a lot of things. The quicker y’all learn to live with yellow shoes, the better. Oh, and tell those Taco Bell bitches I’m the alpha dog.”
After one significant chapter in my life ended, I inherited Max and Dexter.
On Labor Day in 2010, after a trip to Chicago, I had to let Max go.
There were times where it seemed the only living creature in the world who cared if I lived or died was Dexter. Granted, it’s mostly because I could work the can opener and feed him.
Without fail, though, the little dog always seemed happy to see me at the end of the day:
For his devotion, he gets mine. Twenty years ago I’d have called you nuts if you would have insinuated I would “love a dog.” I’d have huffed and said, “Ain’t no way. It’s just a dog.”
But. Here I am. When the little guy goes, I’m going to have an empty space in my life.
I got the little idiot dog someone to keep him company. This is Dipshit:
Two days after Dexter turns 18 Dipshit will be 4. There are times when Dipshit is running around like the puppy he still is, Dexter and I will exchange looks. “Really? Aren’t we too fucking old for this nonsense?”
For a dog that’s, what, 126 human years old, Dexter’s still pretty spry. He runs, jumps, barks . . . and still pees on every damned thing. His hearing and vision are going, but, hell, so are mine. He can’t get mounted up on things he used to be able to just a couple of years ago. But, hell, neither can I.
I’ve no reason to believe the dog is in imminent danger of . . . well, chasing his last cat. (In his case, his last leopard. Damn dog is fearless.)
Let me tell you a story about Max. I really didn’t care for the dog. He was just . . . a dog. I never had any strong attachments to the beast.
I took him to the Ohio State Vet School when it was time to let him go. I remember they wheeled him in the room I was in. He was slightly sedated. They had him prepped with a tube in his leg. His eyes met mine. The doctor told me, “Now, by the time I’m completely done pressing this syringe, he’ll be gone. It acts that fast.” Sure enough, it did.
It kind of broke me up a little bit. Here was a dog I was ambivalent about, but I was choked up that he was gone. I was telling a friend of mine about this and she asked me if I’d been in the vet’s office / room when it happened.
“Yes, of course,” I responded. “Why do you ask?”
“There’s a lot of people who can’t handle it. But here’s what they’re not thinking about. The animal is sick, hurting, in pain, and scared out of its mind. All these strangers around, doing things to it. If they see you, they know things are going to be all right. Because you’re their person. And things are always right when they’re with their person.”
That kind of broke me up, too. I hadn’t considered it from that angle at all.
If the loss of Max, a dog I was meh about at best, could choke me up . . . well, when Dexter goes . . . it’s gonna leave a mark.
I’m not prepared to let him go, but That Day isn’t too much farther in the future. Let me get The Ride done, Dex, before you check out, man. I need to be there with ya to the end. At the end I don’t want you to be searching for your person. I want to be right there.