Friday, January 11, 2008

Your Lucky Has Run Out

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!


WendyB said...

After such a funny post, I want to lick your brain too! Would that be rude?

Leonesse said...

Our dog is a black lab mix. He likes to go out at night and pretend he is on his way back in then, at the last minute, he veers off into the dark so you can't see him and stands still so you can't hear him jingle. He works in tandem with the other dog who suddenly wants lots of pets and you don't notice the black one is gone.

Tara said...

I'm reading this paragraph by paragraph, hoping that Rita...Lucky...whoever wouldn't be hit by a car. Thank you for the happy ending! My brother's dog, Carolina, likes to lick brains too.

constant drama said...

You are such a fantastic storyteller. Great story!

Gwen said...

Hilarious! I never saw it coming that Lucky wasn't Rita. I'm certain I wouldn't have been able to admit it, either. Especially after the hysterics. Great post!

Churlita said...

I used to date a guy who claimed his dog smelled like piss on a Frito and he was absolutely right.

Anonymous said...

Great post. I cannot really relate too much. I am non-pet person. Funny nonetheless.

The Lady Who Doesn't Lunch: said...

WendyB - I'm flattered, and although I'm sure your breath smells fresh as Creme de Menthe I plan to keep my head out of tongues reach for the time being. I hope you'll keep reading my posts just the same ;)

Leo - I'm picturing the other dog perusing in an effort to find a canine companion who is more emotionally accessible and willing to jingle.

Tara - It's a true story, and my style to build up the suspense and keep you all guessing. While it's true that I am sometimes mean spirited, I would never dedicate a birthday post to my BFF about her beloved soulmate doggie being run over in traffic. Besides, most Amy stories have a happy ending.

Drama - thank you darlin'! I'm so glad you enjoyed it.

Gwen - She called me at work after she called Lucky's owners and told me the story in the same way that I wrote it, so I thought she was talking about Rita too. I ran out of the office screaming at my boss that I was going to take a break because I was laughing so hard.

Churlita - Was it a beagle or other water breed? They are the smelliest creatures in the dog world.

Evil - Rita is as irresistable as she is irritating, but also the reason why I have a cat.

Joe said...

Funny post.

My youngest daughter has a tee shirt with that "obey the rat terrier" graphic on it, only her rat terrier has the whitest teeth and cleanest breath of any dog I've ever known. In the summer though, his fur stinks of compost.

dmarks said...

My mother sometimes tells me of the rat terrier she had when she was a little girl. No worries about it getting out: she lived in a small town, and the dog basically had the run of the town as her yard.

And yes, this is a great post. One of those were the writing really stands out.

Family Adventure said...

Rita is a very lucky doggie, with two mothers she loves enough to lick their brains. And both of them clearly adore her, too. I'm feeling the love all the way across the Atlantic!

Heidi :)

The Lady Who Doesn't Lunch: said...

Bubs - Hi! Welcome to my blog! We have never figured out why Rita's mouth is so gross, she gets her teeth cleaned at the vet and doesn't eat anything but kibble. In summer Rita likes to lay out in the sun and bake and she smells like compost then too. Weird!

Dmarks - Rita is queen bee for sure! Now that she is older she is even more of a curmudgeon and sleeps in late every day and will growl if you try to get her out of bed. Grrrr!

Heidi - Rita is indeed very much unconditionally loved by Amy, me and LBL.

Anonymous said...

Holy Crap on a Stick! My mother used to have a little white and black rat terrier named Lucky. (because it had a black shamrock shaped mark on it's ass)
Except hers weighed about 20 pounds and rarely ran for more than ten minutes.

SkylersDad said...

I had an aunt who had two Chihuahuas with sweaters...

Why oh why did you stir up those memories?

Unknown said...

Oh man. That is classic. You have the funniest friends.
ANd you told that story so freaking WELL! I'm still looking for the moral.

The Guv'ner said...

Oh man. That was funny. Imagine that moment when you realize "Hey wait a minute...that's not my dog!" and you've already flailed down the street like a lunatic after it. Classic!

What's up with the smelly though?

The Lady Who Doesn't Lunch: said...

Killer - not to worry. As a long time worker in the veterinary industry I can tell you that roughly 8% of all male dogs and 3% of all male cats are named Lucky. Rita has target shaped markings on her bum, punctuated with that ridiculous stubby hot dog tail.

SkyDad - I hope that none of my future posts bring back such odd and unsettling memories for you. BTW - Rita is way too obstinate to ever be caught dead in a sweater.

AGT - Thanks! It's not a fable, so there's no moral, just a good time making fun of my crazy friend.

Guv - Amy has so much good dirt about my wacky doings - I love this story too. As far as Rita's bad breath, she's healthy and gets her teeth cleaned regularly - it's an enigma wrapped in a rotton egg mystery.

Coaster Punchman said...

Oh for God's sake woman, stop making me laugh - I have work to do.