There haven’t been many dogs on this Earth who I haven’t loved in some shape, fashion, or form. I started out as a large dog person, and I’ll always love the large ones best, but I also have loved the little dogs my paternal grandmother shared her life with. Universally, each and every dog my family has shared their lives with have been loving dogs, wonderful to be around, and to some greater degree, obedient and faithful. I went most of my life without knowing a truly bad dog. Dexter changed all of that, forever.
To begin with, Dexter started out as the dog of a woman who knew my roommate’s girlfriend. This is the friend of a friend type thing, and my first meeting with Dexter was at a party at the woman’s house. Dexter proceeded to hump the leg of a Korean woman throughout the night until he was locked up in the spare bathroom, where he yapped without taking a breath the entire night. Oh, Dexter was a ten pound little white poodle. And that was my first meeting with Dex.
Without getting into any detail of anyone’s personal life, the woman who owned Dexter divorced her husband and she took Dexter with her, for some reason. She and I struck up a friendship and eventually started dating. Dating the woman meant I was also dating Dexter. I discovered that dating Dexter was to test my ability to love the woman and love the dog.
To begin with, Dex was selectively house trained. When he was out of sorts with his humans he would pee on the floor, or worse. When things got to the point I went to meet her parents we took Dexter, against my better judgment. She and I walked him for about an hour before dinner, and when we got back, he squatted and pushed out a German Shepherd sized log right there in front of the entire family. That was Dexter.
He also ran away. If he got off the leash Dexter was gone like he was fired out of a cannon, full run, usually right down the middle of a road. We spent more than a few hours trying to get him to come back. Dexter humped legs. Dexter chewed up things. Dexter attacked larger dogs. More than once, I had people, really good and decent people, suggest that while my girlfriend was at work I could take Dexter to the pound and leave him.
We broke up, she and I, and therefore Dexter and I parted ways. But she invited me to a Halloween party one night and I went. Dexter was overjoyed to see me. He wiggled and barked and jumped up in my lap as if he truly loved me and missed me, terribly. It’s hard not to return that sort of love, and I realized that I did miss the little sh!t. Dexter slipped out when someone came in, later, and I was the one who found him in the middle of the road, a pool of blood had formed from his mouth, and Dexter was dead.
I cannot tell you how heartbroken I was at that moment. That was October 31st, 1987.
Have you ever loved a bad dog?