So my sister has these two dumb dogs, Bosco and Peanut and this first diary entry is about Bosco’s early days. There will be a second entry containing thrilling tales of sticks, elephant bones and the terrifying cat who stalks them mercilessly while they attempt midnight crumb patrols.
Well, okay so Boo-Boo just lays in the hallway and doesn’t really stalk the dogs but there is no changing their minds about the evil that lurks in the hallway in the shape of a cat.
The Early Years
Bosco came first, rather like a steamroller with fur barreling into my sister’s life. He was gloriously happy being the only dog child.
His doggie world was idyllic; he had an owner that loved him, acres of woods to roam in and a food bowl that would get filled, as if by magic, at the exact same moment he realized he was hungry!!!
He even had a lovely, roaring fireplace to snooze in front of…and on his very own couch no less! My sister definitely did not want Bosco to take over the couch.
But he did.
Bosco hadn’t a selfish bone in his body though and he was quite pleased to share his very own couch with her; kicking and wiggling to show the deep happiness and sheer excitement he felt snuggling with his beloved human.
She eventually learned to watch T.V. with sixty pounds of drooling fur (and sharp doggie elbows) hogging her lap. She even forgave the occasional paw jammed up her nose.
She would often come in the family room and find Bosco lying on his back on his very own couch, legs askew, tongue hanging sideways out of his mouth and gazing upside down at his collection of toys on the bottom shelf of the bookcase. Wonderful toys, his very own toys he could select at any time.
His first toy was a purple Nylabone rubber monkey that Bosco promptly named “Good Dog!” (Bosco is not sure if his own name is Good Dog! or Bad Dog! but he likes the former better.) This toy quickly became his most very favorite toy in all the world.
Chewing and slobbering on the head and limbs of Good Dog! the Monkey was sheer delight. This wonderful toy was designed for dogs like Bosco. The monkey was made of Nylabone rubber, a soft yet nearly indestructible material so Bosco could chew to this heart’s content (and the toy was no less the worse for the constant wear and tear.)
He would vocalize his pleasure with long, drawn-out doggie grunts and growls punctuated with short excited barks. It was one of the highlights of his doggie day.
And while Good Dog! the Monkey was his very bestest, most favoritest toy in all the world, it was, after all, only one of the many, many toys in Bosco’s idyllic existence. When he was tired from his long day of doggie adventures in the woods, he would lie on his back on his couch and look at all his toys as he drifted off to sleep. The site of all those toys helped send Bosco into doggie dreamland, content and happy.
Happy was Bosco’s hallmark.
Bosco was a young, handsome dog, a Black Lab and “Something” mix. His big brown eyes, even bigger, slobbery grin and thick, windmill tail were definitely ‘all Lab’ but his body was smaller and leaner; far less beefy than is typical. This turned out to be a blessing but we’ll get to that later.
Bosco had an amazing array of quirky habits when he was a pup, fears like going up and down stairs, jumping out vehicles, and a deep fear of cement. He also had nearly pathological fear of someone knowing that he actually eliminated food from his body. My sister has never seen him poop, ever.
We’ll attribute these illogical fears to his unknown gene pool donors, the dreaded and mysterious breed of “Somethings.” The “Somethings” are almost mythical in the lore of doggiedom, somewhat like the dog equivalent of the bogeyman.
They come out of the murky mists of time and unknown ancestors; they lurk inside unsuspecting dogs, waiting to force these dogs to exhibit really strange behaviors. Yes, sadly the “Somethings” bring strange quirks to otherwise perfectly wonderful purebred dog breeds.
Now, those who know a thing or two about dogs know that even purebred Labs are pretty happy (and dumb) even when the evil “Something” mix has NOT intruded into the gene pool. Being happy is just part of the breed characteristics for Labs, just part of the deal, if you will. And Bosco was all Lab when it came to happy.
Bosco was happy ALL the time. Energetically so. Relentlessly so. As my sister liked to say, “he’s failed dog obedience class…three times.” And he actually had.
And he remained happy, despite all those attempts by obedience trainers to change this part of his nature. Those obedience trainers finally threw their hands up in frustration and blamed my sister. Apparently, none of the trainers had read the book “Marley and Me.” My sis thinks that book makes obedience trainers have nightmares. I watched her work with Bosco and the fact is, she did everything right, everything they told her to do.
It just didn’t work with Bosco. He was exceptionally determined to remain happy.
In fact, Bosco remained so exceptionally happy that he was still willing to jump on everyone who walked through the door.
He couldn’t seem to learn that being knocked flat onto one’s backside by a large, slobbering dog is not the way most humans like to be shown about happy. Those were the ones he greeted at the door of his own house.
That’s when my sis decided that Bosco’s “Something” gene was a good thing because had he been full sized and very beefy, he probably would have done even more damage to those he showed his happiness to.
Bosco REALLY didn’t seem to understand that strangers liked his idea of happy even less than the people who came over to the house. This confused Bosco because he just loved to show how glad he was to meet new people. He thought maybe humans didn’t like cement either because they always got upset when they came into contact with it after falling down. Said falls, he noticed, always happened after he said hello and gave them hugs and kisses. Alas, he didn’t make the connection.
You see, Bosco didn’t like cement. One of his quirks from the evil “Somethings” was jumping out of the van. Jumping in was fine, getting in the van he loved. But getting out? Oh no, he didn’t like it, not one bit. Jumping out and landing on cement was even worse and this terrifying idea caused him much anxiety.
He would react in strange ways when his paws hit the pavement and thus Bosco usually required help in getting out of the van. This involved much coaxing, shoving, pulling and a great deal of frustration on my sister’s part.
So Bosco figured humans must share his fears about cement because they always seemed to get so mad at him when he jumped up to say hello…and they lost their balance and hit the pavement. This caused his huge doggie heart much pain and confusion because all he wanted to do was love people; he didn’t understand why it wasn’t o.k. Nope, poor Bosco never made the connection between his jumping and humans falling.
Another thing Bosco sure didn’t understand were words like “Down” and “Stop” and “NO!” Sis always said them in a loud voice when he was busy saying hello to new humans…and she always combined those loud, incomprehensible words with his name. So he knew she was trying to communicate with him but just couldn’t decipher the messages.
He figured she was probably trying to warn him about the hot cement or something. Or perhaps to be careful and not fall down like the humans seemed to do so often.
Bosco especially liked to greet new people in the grocery store parking lot because he not only wanted to say ‘hello’ but also wanted to share his enthusiasm with them about how good a hunter his owner is.
You see, Bosco knows a secret about her: she hunts with her Dodge Van.
Yes, Bosco had figured out my sister was a spectacular hunter and he had deduced that she hunted with the van because on the days when she didn’t take him, she would leave in the van and come back later with that van fairly bursting at the seams with delicious food.
Therefore, in Boscoe’s idyllic world, and by the mysterious power of deduction called ‘dog logic’, she hunted with the van itself. The ‘mysterious’ part of dog logic is that humans simply cannot fathom how dogs think…or even if they really do think.
After my sis decided she couldn’t take him anywhere anymore (because of his excessively happy, human-flattening greeting style) Bosco became sad whenever she left him. But he always rebounded when she came home and she never minded him trying to flatten her. She was his whole world and he loved her even more than Good Dog! the Monkey.
Bosco was never happier than when she brought home food after one of her disappearances. Until the day she brought Peanut home so he would have a playmate.
Peanut was also a Black Lab “Something” mix and he was ecstatic to meet one of his relatives for the very first time. This nearly uncontainable ecstasy was a new emotion and was so far beyond happy that he could not even begin to describe it. He nearly flattened my sister about 15 times within the first 5 minutes after the initial introduction to Peanut. Then he turned his attention to trying to flatten Peanut.
And joy of joys, Peanut didn’t mind! He jumped, he slobbered, he barked, he turned 37 circles in a row.
In fact, Peanut jumped back on him and even held him down on the ground! Bosco was in doggie heaven.
They played together, jumping and flattening and running and barking so loud the neighbor’s cow wandered over to see what all the commotion was.
Bosco was beside himself with joy. Then he had a wonderful idea.
“I will bring her my favorite toy in the whole wide world! I will bring her Good Dog! the Monkey. Then Peanut will know that I am welcoming her with open paws into our happy household!”
Peanut accepted Bosco’s kind gift.
Then she promptly ripped the head off of Good Dog! the Monkey and, in the blink of an eye, quickly tore off both arms and legs.
My sister went into shock because Nylabone is supposed to be indestructible.
Bosco went into shock, period.
Good Dog! the Monkey went into the garbage.
The shredded pieces of Bosco’s bestest, most favoritest toy in the world were purple portents of doom announcing, in the cruelest way possible, how poor Bosco’s idyllic doggie world was about to change.
Poor Bosco. Poor Sis. Yes, life was getting ready to change…
The next thrilling entry, Peanut the Devil Dog, is available for viewing here