|Feeling bright-eyed and bushy-tailed again!|
Where were we? Oh, yes, ANIMALS! I suppose I have been a little rattled by the recent events in the Middle East and northern Africa, so that writing about my pets seemed a little ridiculous. I have to say, while I try to remain apolitical on all forms of social media, those events left me feeling pretty darn frightened and more than a little dismayed and disappointed in our present administration. To have no security at our embassies and/or consulates on the anniversary of 9-11 seems, well, almost outrageous. And the fact that it took nearly 24 hours for our president to come forth and actually say anything? I thought Hillary Clinton was 10x more presidential than "he" was. Okay, rant over.
Animals ... yes. So our puppies made it to Manila with no apparent scars. They spent a month or so at a kennel until our household goods arrived. They had the run of our house, and while our maids seemed to like their little furry charges, not so much our gardener Reuben. (If you are shocked that we had "staff" please remember that this was commonplace in Manila. They practically came with the house). Whenever Reuben showed up, Sheba would attack his pants legs with the ferocity of a land piranha, teeth bared and a growl that came from somewhere deep in her soul.
At night our back yard would come alive with these strange frogs (that I know I have mentioned before). Sheba didn't know that the frogs were poisonous to small animals, but somehow she was immune. We knew she had been frog diving when she would come in the house with her beard chock full of foamy phlegm, or whatever the heck it was. The dog had a stomach of steel. Although one time she got hold of a church bazaar cake that had been sitting out in the sun most of the day, and she wasn't too pleased with the results.
|Don't they look tasty?|
|My dad and me, with puppies, Christmas 1978, Singapore|
|The quarantine station at Jurong, Singapore|
In 1979 mom and dad returned to the states for good. The dogs made it home in one piece. Gus ended up having an undescended testicle that became cancerous (which may have explained his lack of, for want of a better word, lust for life). He lived until he was 11 years old, when he died suddenly as the result of a tumor was found near his lung. As Gus came to us at such a grief-stricken time in our lives, I thought losing him would be another crushing blow for my mom. As it turned out, I was the one sobbing my eyes out on the way home with his body after he died. Dad buried him in the back yard, along with a couple of my sister's cats.
Sheba lived until she was 14, long past any quality of life. She used to walk around in circles, deaf as a post, and half-blind. One time mom and dad went away for an extended trip, and dad dug a hole in their "pet cemetery" just in case she died while they were gone. Evangeline was given away to a family in Baton Rouge some time in the 80's. We later learned that their house had burned to the ground, and we were never able to bring ourselves to ask them what happened to Vangie. Mom and Dad had 2 more dogs after that, a wire haired terrier named Gulliver and a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier named Toby. None of them was as well-traveled as the three Schnauzers. I loved the breed so much that I got a black Schnauzer named Boudreaux in 2003. He is almost 10 and still acts like a puppy, but his sleeping time seems to be getting longer than his playing time. He loves playing with his Beanie Babies (I just knew those things would come in handy some day!)
|Boudreaux the Wonder Dog|