Some animals are just indestructible. Thank the Gods for that!
When I worked as a veterinary assistant we lost dogs to parvo, car accidents, and other issues. It’s horribly tragic when these things take a furry friend and makes the survival of some doofey creatures that much more endearing.
When I was a teenager my dad had a dog that could eat anything. He passed nails, glass ornaments, an entire turkey, chicken bones. This crazy giant black lab drank cement water and beer with no known effects. Lived into old age without a single surgery needed.
Like him, I’ve discovered that my current dog, Cain, is just as gifted. His crazy personality matches his appetite at times.
The Humane Society listed him as some random breed of hound that neither my husband nor I had ever heard of. I always found hounds to be loving and intelligent; their sense of duty seemed instilled at birth. It was an easy sell.
When we met him, Cain was a tiny ball of fluff with Oreo cookie coloring. His tail whipped the air and his tongue coated our faces in puppy kisses, especially the kids’. We had only gone for a look but returned with an unruly family member.
As he grew, he didn’t resemble any kind of hound. His sleek fur was spotted up his legs like a Dalmatian. It lay straight but puffed out a little around his neck and head. His ears held a mind of their own. They took turns testing out standing up straight but never managed to stay. He came with endless energy and a tenacity for chewing, pulling, and chasing.
I had trained many dogs: labs, hounds, pit-bulls, mixed-breeds of all sizes, but this boy needed to be challenged. He longed to be worn out and dominated.
I knew that a lot of shelters often guessed dog breeds when they weren’t quite sure and I grew convinced they had guessed wrong. “He acts like a Border Collie,” I told my husband one night when he lay down exhausted of our puppy.
“He acts like he wants to go live on a farm.”
“He just needs work.” It was an understatement, but I rubbed both of their bellies.
After some research and talking with the vet we determined he’s probably a bodacian. A border collie dalmatian mix. It didn’t really matter what he was though.
Cain loved us so well I grew used to his eccentricities. His obsession with the bathroom trash can still annoys me and I have to wrestle him to the ground to cut his nails, but it’s all worth it. Despite his insanity and jumpiness, his loyalty makes up for it. He’s super gentle with the toddler and always there for the older kids.
Every summer something goes wrong and I keep bracing for it. The first summer of his puppyhood he ran off and we had to bail him out of the pound. I don’t recommend it. Paying to bring your dog back home is a huge rip-off.
Then last year Cain really tested my nerves.
My husband and I were desperately working to move the oversized double-decker refrigerator that our new home’s previous owners had left to leak all over the kitchen and blast ice on the floor every night.
“I hate this thing.” My husband punched the doors when we realized it wouldn’t fit out of the house and they had to be removed.
I laughed, “me too,” and kicked it.
Our son crawled to the baby gate. I went to pick him up and keep him busy. Thumps and bangs sounded down the hall and into the living room. I sat down on the rug with the baby to play cars.
My husband cursed and growled like an army grunt.
When it was all over I ran to him with our son in my arms. “My hero.”
He breathed heavy, and hugged me. “I need a minute. Do you mind if I go downstairs and play video games?”
“Of course not. You earned it.” I grinned.
He left us and I tickled my son’s sides. “Does somebody want some applesauce?”
He giggled and clapped his approval.
I got him in his baby seat but before I could feed him, a knock echoed from the kitchen side-door.
“Weird.” I wrinkled my forehead. We weren’t expecting anyone and all our friends and family used the front door.
I answered to find a sweet young lady fidgeting before me. Remorse filled her eyes. “I just hit your dog.” She waved back to her car─left running in the middle of the street.
Before I could comprehend what she said, our dog, Cain, bounded in like he had just been chasing squirrels. he probably had. He darted for the water bowl and lapped up every drop.
“What?” I sucked in a breath of disbelief.
The woman blinked her dark eyes. Her pony tail whipped from side to side as she looked around me to watch Cain. “He just came out of nowhere. Ran straight into my bumper.”
“He looks alright to me.” I smiled, hoping he was. “Are you okay?”
Tears beaded in her eyes and she placed her hand over her heart. “I’m fine. He just ran out and I felt my car bump over him. Really scared me.”
My insides cringed at the thought of that “bump.” Cold irrational fear threatened to strike with a side of guilt and shame. I hadn’t even realized he was gone, and it wasn’t the first time he’d taken off. “I’m sorry. He gets out sometimes. I didn’t even know he had slipped out. But we’ll make sure he’s okay.”
My husband came up the stairs. “What’s going on?”
“Cain ran into a car.” I laughed awkwardly.
“Okay.” He shrugged.
“He’s not bleeding or anything.” The young woman stared at Cain like he had sprouted wings.
“That’s our dog.” I shook my head and rubbed my temples. “I’m so sorry. We’ll keep a better eye on him.”
“Thank you so much. I’m glad he’s okay,” she said.
I hope your car’s okay.” I stared at it, still running in the middle of the street.
“Thanks.” She waved and left.
“Now, what happened?” My husband asked.
“Cain got out,” I said.
“Again?” He shook his head.
“He must have slipped out when we were moving the fridge, and ran into the street.”
“So, HE hit a car?” My husband chuckled.
I blinked at our dog who stood ready for round two. He panted with his tongue drooping out of the side of his mouth. The sight of his goofy contentment after what could have killed him made me burst into laughter.
My husband’s chuckle grew and we bellowed together, the baby wrinkled his forehead like we had lost our minds. It helped release the guilt and worry.
Cain was unscathed and is calming down now that he’s older. He’s still a bit insane but understands the command, “Stay out of the street!”
I have no idea what’s coming next but since we’re getting him an new puppy friend to play with, odds are there will be double the sillies. I mean who wouldn’t want more craziness in their life? haha