New dog breathes life and death

“She’s an ‘alpha female,’” the shelter director told us.

I had never heard the term before. I assumed it was similar to “queen bee” or “prima donna.”

Our kids, particularly a six-year-old boy, had hounded me for months for a new dog, pun definitely intended. He was too young to remember when we adopted Hank, our five-year-old lab mutt.

He was also too young to remember the thousands of dollars of property damage Hank inflicted upon my estate.

Okay, it may have been in the hundreds, but it was certainly more costly than any damage Pumpkin the cat has perpetrated.

So, naturally, the term “alpha female” sent chills up my spine. Just when Hank finally quit gnawing on furniture, toys and shoes, here comes a bitch.

“We got a new puppy,” I told a friend a few days after she arrived.

“You mean YOU got a new puppy,” he corrected as my head dropped under reality’s weight.

While the kids have struggled to take responsibility for her care and feeding, they did take ownership of her name. She’s “Lucy,” and, given the feistiness of Lucille Ball, that’s about right.

She’s only a foot high and two and a half feet long, but she can leap vertically to where her nose hits the knob of our back porch door. She can’t yet turn it, but give her a few months. She’s still only a puppy.

She actually shouldn’t get much bigger – her body, anyway. Her ears are another story.

She was sold to us as a red heeler, but we’re seeing more and more chihuahua in her, especially in her ears. They’re starting to pick up TV stations in Austin.

What they’re not picking up are my instructions to stop biting legs, jumping on houseguests, barking before dawn and urinating on freshly-cleaned carpets.

While I have wanted to return her multiple times, my wife sees redeeming qualities in hard-to-love mammals, yours truly included.

Whereas you can’t take Hank on a walk that includes the crossing of a bridge of any size (he must have been abused under a bridge before we adopted him), Lucy is a decent walking companion. I can see how heelers really do heel.

I can also see how Lucy could drag me into an oncoming Ford F350. Thank God for the parachute ears to slow her down.
Lucy has breathed life into Hank, the old eunuch. She nips on his neck and slips under his hind legs. He climbs on her back and wrestles her in the yard.

She eats his food. He doesn’t mind.

On the other paw, Lucy has breathed death into Pumpkin. She traps him under cars and runs him up trees. He sleeps on the front porch now.

As I’ve written in this space before, city ordinance says pets must be licensed. Hank and Pumpkin both have their $4 tags of approval. Lucy is unsanctioned.

I wonder what Pumpkin had on his mind when I saw him in front of animal services the other day. That tattle tail.

I have no idea who put him up to it. I love Lucy.

Subscribe to regular posts from Kevin Thompson at http://www.kwt.info.

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1 Response to “New dog breathes life and death”


  1. 1 jessestroup November 17, 2017 at 11:35

    Kevin, I like a good laugh, and your article did the “trick.” Thanks much. I sent several copies to family and friends. We are looking forward to being at the Thompson’s Thanksgiving. Jesse Jesse Stroup Director of Spiritual Care

    JesseStrouplive@yahoo.com 6300 Harry Hines Blvd. BKB 101 Dallas, TX 75235 (888) 767-6363

    >


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