D’Ogee is our dog. We call him Ogee for short.
Well, he’s our oldest daughter’s dog. He is so named because Jaycee, our then three-year old granddaughter, was learning how to spell D-O-G. It kept coming out deeohgee in one fluid word instead of three distinct letters. It just stuck.
You know how some people talk about their oh-so-smart dogs and how they are man’s-best-friend and how gushy-mushy they get when they talk about their little four-legged family members? Not me. At least not where Ogee is concerned anyway.
Don’t get me wrong, please. While I am not an animal lover like some people I know, who carry pictures of their pets on their key chains and on necklaces proudly displayed around their necks and spend a fortune at McDonald’s buying them Happy Meals that get thrown into the back seats of their cars, I am rather more of an animal ‘liker’, meaning I won’t intentionally run one over. On purpose. Although I probably won’t feel too bad for too long if I happen to do it accidentally. Most times.
Maybe it’s a character flaw. Maybe it’s because my grandfather used to trade dogs for pocket knives and then trade pocket knives for hunting dogs. Maybe it’s because I actually know the difference between a squirrel dog and rabbit dog. Maybe it’s just because I wasn’t raised with dogs as pets. Or maybe it’s because my grandmother would have had a full-blown fit if someone had brought an animal of any sort into her house.
Maybe I’m just crazy and everyone else is sane. Maybe one day I will fully come to realize that dogs really do like to go shopping in handbags affixed to old ladies’ shoulders. Maybe.
But Ogee? I guess you would just have to know him to appreciate my rejection of that animal. He has a tail that he flings and smacks like a bullwhip, slashing in two everything he whacks. Our front porch rails have had to be replaced twice because he keeps cracking them. And oh, my poor knees are at that exact perfect height for this way-too-happy tail-slasher.
Most dogs simply wag their tails. It’s even kind of cute when they do. Even I think so. Usually. But Ogee bull-whips his with a force that makes his whole body double around itself so that he’s almost kissing his own doggie derrière. Repeatedly. And very painfully to those who happen to be anywhere near him. This is a dog that needs his own three-foot circumference wherever he goes so as not to cause harm to himself or others.
Ogee has not only damaged our knees, our furniture, and solid wood with his tail-whipping, he has also damaged his tail. My daughter has taken him to the vet on more than one occasion because he had almost whacked it off completely against some something or other and the bloodletting was just horrible. I don’t think Ogee really lost all that much blood, though, but the way he splashed it everywhere with his violent tail whipping made it look like blood spatter worthy of an episode of Dexter. Droplets on the floors, on the ceilings, on the furniture – our living room looked like a crime scene. Smack splash! Smack splash!
The vet said something akin to “Well, when he realizes it hurts, he’ll stop.” Sounds like something my Uncle used to say about the television set his son, who was a toddler at the time, kept pulling by the cord. “Just let it fall on his head one time,” he said, “and he’ll learn to quit.” It was the kind of statement that was immediately followed by a stream of tobacco spit in some general direction that was away from his own shoes.
I don’t think our vet chews tobacco, but we do live in West Virginia, so you never know. She might.
But Ogee just doesn’t stop, regardless of the now ragged condition of his tail. This morning he was standing at the bottom of the stairwell looking up the stairs, front paws about three steps ahead of his back paws. His tail was whipping violently back and forth against both corners of the wall that housed the stairwell. The corners! They have metal strips in them for stability! Metal! My husband and I looked at each other and just shrugged. One of us wondered aloud if maybe he had no feeling left in his poor tail, and suggested that maybe the lack of feeling was why he continued to beat everything with ferocious fervor. The question had to be repeated, twice, because the sound of Ogee’s tail (thwack thwack thwack) was delivered with such velocity that the original sentiment was drowned out. It was like trying to talk next to the roaring blades of a helicopter in full spin.
The other of us suggested, loudly to be heard, that if it were indeed painful, surely he would stop, sounding just like the vet in our expertise. Although neither of us chew tobacco.
My husband’s eyes lit up then, with a new thought entirely. Maybe Ogee just wanted to go outside and was at the ‘wrong door’ so to speak. I find it necessary to point out at this juncture that the carpeted view from the bottom step looking up the stairwell in no way resembles that of our front yard, regardless of how long the intervals between vacuuming. But it was a good idea. Ogee is apparently not that bright and maybe he was just confused. My husband went to the living room and opened the front door. Ogee indeed seemed grateful, when he finally figured it out, and took leaps and bounds in his effort to get outside, being sure to forcefully thwack/smack both sides of the door frame on his way out. He was so grateful, in fact, that my husband is still limping, three hours later, from Ogee’s glee.
I am truthfully considering amputation at this point. If I could only be certain that I was doing it for Ogee’s benefit, I might rush right into discussions of the project with our vet. My hesitation is that I fear I would be doing it out of selfishness, especially if Ogee really can’t feel what happens to him whenever he takes out a car’s tire or breaks a two-by-four in half. But the other concern I have is that maybe he just hasn’t figured it out yet. He’s really not a very smart animal. I’m not sure we can withstand the time it will take, though, for Ogee to discover the relationship between thwack/smack and his own pain.
Or maybe I will just affix a hoola-hoop to my knees, thereby providing my own three-foot circumference whenever he’s around.
May 1, 2012