In honor of my best friend Amy's birthday I thought I would share a story about Amy's devotion to her dignity and her little dog Rita.
Rita is a 12 year old, 15 pound, black and white Rat Terrier with a little snub of a hot dog for a tail. She is hands down the cutest and most frustrating dog I have ever known.
She is yappy, obstinate, has the worst friggin' breath paired with the longest, slimiest tongue in the entire galaxy and wants nothing more than to lick endlessly inside your ears until she tastes your brain.
This is why when I am at Amy's house I never pick Rita up, lay down on the floor or allow my head to be anywhere near the level of that dog's reeking snout.
Even though Rita sheds enough to knit another dog, her breath smells like rotten eggs and her feet like Chili-Cheese Fritos, Amy loves this goddamn dog almost as much as she loves her own daughter LBL. Sometimes I wonder though, because Rita doesn't lie, ask for money, or whine about having to practice piano.
I helped Amy pick Rita out of the litter when she was a wee, bitty puppy, so in spite of all her smelly and irritating insubordination, I love Rita too. I however can say for sure that I love Amy's daughter more than Rita because along with many other wonderful qualities, at least LBL comes when you call her and nobody has to clean up her shit from the back yard.
Next to licking inside people's heads, all Rita wants in life is to sleep, sit or stand next to Amy - in exactly that order. Which is why she doesn't try to lick inside Amy's head. Ever. Rita needs desperately to be with Amy at all times (unless I'm there, and then she wants to sleep, sit or stand next to me) and knows that if she tries to taste Amy's brain that Amy will not hold her or let her sit next to her.
Rita has never had any training whatsoever (surprised?) and as I mentioned before, she is obstinate and she doesn't come when you call her. She will just stand there and look at you, lie down, or to prove herself to be even more of an asshole, turn around and walk away. She won't even come for Amy.
The old house that Amy lived when she got Rita had a beautiful fenced in back yard for the doggie to run around in. Since Rita only wanted to be inside with Amy, she just went out long enough to do her business, after which she would wait pathetically, with doe eyes and perked ears by the screen door to be let back in.
Rita hardly ever got outside of that fence without being leashed and when she did it was a huge ordeal to get her back in. When she was younger, she ran as fast as a little 4-legged rocket in increasingly large circles so that at some point she would come close enough to almost grab. When you reached out to snag her, she would get away while the circle got bigger and bigger until an arc of it included the road in front of the house. During it all, Rita would wear a big crazy, tongue flapping grin. The louder you screamed at her, the faster the pace and the bigger that infuriating grin.
One weekday morning, Amy ventured out to the supermarket 5 blocks from her house. She was sitting at a stop sign 3 blocks from home and about 1 block away from one of the busiest streets in Columbus when she looked over and saw Rita running around in someones front yard.
She immediately put the car in park and started walking slowly over, calling softly to Rita. The dog stopped what it was doing, looked at Amy for a moment, then it bowed down in a playful stance and took off running in a crazy circular pattern a wearing a wild, tongue flapping grin.
The closer Amy got, the faster and farther away the dog ran, until it was no longer on the part of the block that was residential. She had started running in the parking lot of a strip mall on the busy street. The circular pattern getting closer and closer to the fast moving traffic.
Amy was panicked and crying, wondering how the fuck Rita got out of the yard and blaming herself for leaving the gate open.
The shrilly screaming of Rita's name through sobs, over and over at the top of her lungs is what caught the attention of the store manager working in the tuxedo shop in the strip mall, who for some reason managed to catch the dog's attention and lure it into the store.
Amy ran to the tuxedo store, shaking and crying. Once inside she scooped Rita up in her arms and sobbed a thank you to the store manager.
She walked briskly back to the car, which was still idling at the stop sign and loaded up the dog and drove back home in silence while the dog energetically hopped all around the back seat.
Amy later told to me that she realized as soon as she walked into the tuxedo shop that the dog was not Rita, but after all the fussing and screaming she didn't know what else to do but take the dog.
It was a black and white male rat terrier, with similar markings to Rita's, whose tags revealed it's name to be Lucky.
Once home she put it in the back yard and called the owner's phone number on the tags, feeling quite ridiculous, but also like she had done the right thing. The owner came and picked up the dog a couple of hours later.
That dog was indeed lucky. Lucky that Amy didn't notice it had a penis and a different colored collar than Rita. The store manager was also quite lucky that Amy didn't dump the dog in the tuxedo shop because she was too proud to admit that the dog wasn't hers after crying and carrying on with the hysterical screaming fit in the parking lot.
BTW, Rita is still kickin', smellier than ever and now only goes out to do her business while supervised on a leash. She still wants to lick my brain.
and... PS - Happy Birthday to Frenchie too!