Funny about Money

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. ―Edmund Burke

Exeunt Ruby, Stage Left

Ruby the Corgi is vacationing at my son’s house, keeping Charley the Golden Retriever company and taking a break from Cassie the Corgi. And I feel like a boulder has been lifted from my shoulders.

My poor little Cassie has been totally harassed by this puppy. Really, I think at seven she was probably too old to have a pup come into her doggy life, which was happy and settled. It’s not that she seemed unhappy about the puppy…most of the time. But…

Ruby proved to be the more assertive dog and, after a year or two, displaced Cassie as Queen of the Universe. Cassie moped but seemed to adjust. I guess.

More recently, though, they’ve taken to engaging in what can best be described as sparring matches. You know how little kids play “swordfight” with a couple of sticks? Well, these dogs would have schnozz-fights…just like that. whack whack whack whack whack! Only with their muzzles, not sticks. Teeth would be bared, but they weren’t exactly fighting; not in a serious way. Yet.

But now Cassie shows up with a gouge on her face, just barely missing an eye. I didn’t see this happen, but I believe it to be a dog bite.

If it’s an injury and not a hot spot, it could be one of two and only two things:

  • Dog bite
  • Twig poke, incurred while rummaging under the citrus for the precious mummified oranges

Either is possible. Dog bite seems most likely to me, since Cassie has been rummaging for many a year and never poked herself in the face.

Meanwhile…

I have been sick for six months. Whatever I came down with in March has never gone away! After much consultation, three docs suspect allergies. One is the alarmingly commonsensical Young Dr. Kildare; one is a gastroenterologist who believes it is not a recurrence of GERD, and one runs on high-test fuel at the Mayo. And in all cases, as soon as they hear “…and yes, the dogs sleep on the bed,…” they can be seen visibly restraining themselves from rolling their highly-trained eyes heavenward.

It became more and more clear that one or both dogs were going to have to go.

So I emailed my son, who has conceived the idea that Charley the Golden Retriever is so lonely he needs a companion, and asked if he would like to have Ruby. Otherwise, she was going back to the breeder.

Well, that was like plugging him into an electric outlet.

Forthwith he showed up to pick up the dog, all the while assuring his neurotic mutther that if she had second thoughts, all she had to do was say so.

Hm. I felt a little sad to eject Ruby, who is a cute little puppy as long as you don’t mind being dominated by a dog. But…

But…

Y’know, when the kid went out the door with that dog, I felt like a three-hundred-pound weight was lifted from my shoulders.

§ § §

Spent the entire rest of the day cleaning and dusting and laundering and laundering and laundering.

Under the bed, I found a lake of dog hair and dust, a good two inches deep. You never saw so much dirt and dog hair mixed together in your life! No wonder I’ve been sick!

What can a little corgi or two do? Well…hang onto your hat:

Thats’ just five days’ worth! This shack was cleaned from stem to stern last Tuesday! Now admittedly, it includes the dog dunes under the bed (which should have been eroded by the weekly dust-mopping). I’ve cleaned all the floors, swiffering and vacuuming and then swiffering again. Especially in the bedroom. Pulled all the bedding off, washed the blanket, washed the dog pads (twice), washed the mattress cover, washed the bathroom rugs, changed the sheets, laundered EVERYthing. Pulled out the bed, cleaned behind it, cleaned the wall behind it. Climbed up and cleaned the ceiling fan’s blades, carefully.

As for Cassie: can’t tell whether she’s depressed or relieved or what. In the absence of Ruby, she has almost completely stopped the incessant gawdawful  barking. Granted, it’s only been a few hours…but my gosh. It’s so quiet in here my ears hurt from the silence.

Cassie and I went for a doggy-walk this evening, the first we’ve had in several years that wasn’t a mile-long contest and the first enjoyable doggy-walk since the weather has begun to cool. She’s out of shape, so was tired by the time we got back to the Funny Farm. Just now she has resumed her position, at long last, as Queen of the Universe. And she’s sleeping in the direct line of the doctor-ordered steamer. I hope she’s feeling less allergic…

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6 Comments

  1. It sounds like a tough decision, but you need to trust yourself on making it.

    A local friend just went through a similar experience. She had to rehome one of her three dogs when it injured another one. Even though she had all the dogs together for three years, this dog had recently started getting aggressive towards the other, older female. About two weeks ago, she came home from running errands and heard the older female crying out. The younger female had her pinned down and was biting her leg. Friend was very sad to get rid of the younger female, but she couldn’t risk her older dog getting hurt again. I saw the dog and it was a pretty bad wound.

    My dog’s dislike of other dogs makes getting another one out of the question. I also want her to have peace in her old age. She’s 14 1/2, so she deserves a break.

  2. Well, I’d been told (many times) DON’T GET TWO FEMALES. But Ruby was the only pup available from the breeder, who convinced me that she probably would get along.

    And she did, until recently. Over the past few months, she’s decided she should be Queen of the Universe and to do that, she needed to de-throne the present Queen. Verrrryyyyy slowly, she’s been getting a little more aggressive and a little more aggressive. Cassie by nature is not very dominant, and so she has just hunkered in her nest and let Ruby have the run of the house and the human.

    That was making me unhappy, but when it appeared that Ruby actually hurt Cassie, enough was enough.

    Anna the GerShep was dog-aversive, but we were able to slip Walt the Greyhound in without incident. She decided Walt was OK, probably because he was male. They were excellent together.

    At 14, though…well, I don’t think I’d insert another pooch in the pack, Like you say: she deserves a peaceful old age.

  3. I remember the problems with Ruby during her puppyhood, but then I thought she’d settled down enough that she was tolerable. Poor Cassie! Yeah, you made the right decision.

    • She is tolerable, though she’d be a lot better with a male companion or with only a human to boss around.

      Cassie is going to the vet this afternoon. I now suspect this thing is an infection or possibly a tumor. I see she has a tooth that looks kind of bad, right below it…hope it’s not an abscess that has somehow worked its way all the way through her little muzzle…

  4. Honestly, I didn’t realize what I was letting myself in for when my spouse decided he wanted a dog. He kept on about getting a dog for SO long that, when the opportunity came for him to bring home a lab retriever, I relinquished the battle and welcomed the dog into the house. In short order, I became the one who walked and trained the (very intelligent) dog, cleaned up after/fed/watered. 11 years later, the pooch developed heart failure and was put out of his suffering. I never realized just how allergic we had become until the pooch was gone and the house cleaned. The sneezing, coughing and sniffling was drastically reduced, although we have a couple of cats here and still sneeze off and on. It IS a huge responsibility to care for an animal. I have decided that anything more than ONE CAT is now too much for me to commit to, because we ain’t getting any younger. I do miss the pooch but, like you, feel that a weight has been lifted.

    • LOL! Men remember their beloved dog from childhood, but often don’t remember all the work that Mom did in taking care of it. 😀

      Yes, I found that to be true of the cats: once I left my DH’s cat-infested household, I realized the chronic stuffy nose and coughing resulted from allergies…which went away when I was no longer living with cats.

      I suppose by now, after all these years spent in the company of dogs, I could have developed an allergy to them, too.

      It’s true: owning a dog is a lot of work and responsibility. It kind of sneaks up on you, after the initial adjustment to the cuteness (and annoyance) that is puppyhood. You don’t realize how much work you’ve been doing and how much expense it’s been costing until after the dog is gone. And then you feel guilty for feeling relieved that all that responsibility is lifted from your (increasingly frail…) shoulders.