Well, my little dog Peanut passed away. She was a wonderful little dog that was the widow of my niece’s Pomeranian, Wicket, and the mother of my sister Nancy’s wonderful dog, Dexter. While she was living with me she had a few litters, which I found homes for, and Dexter was the pick of the litter and she went to live with Nancy. He is half Pomeranian, a quarter Chihuahua, and a quarter Terrier. Like, Rat Terrier. Anyway, he turned out to be a beautiful dog with long, curly hair, and a very pleasant personality. His job, as he saw it, as he was bred to do, was to cuddle in M’Lady’s lap. His mother, Peanut, was more of a yapper. Like a Terrier or Chihuahua, she would yap at whoever had the audacity and temerity to traipse past our front porch. I heard some passers-by had bestowed upon her the sobriquet Mrs. Ferocious.
Also departed is my dog, Dusty. I once took Dusty on the road with me, and he liked everybody, with 2 notable exceptions: My brother, Don, and my high school friend, Otto. He took umbrage at their demeanors, it seems, and I might also add that he was an excellent judge of character. He would not stop barking at either of these two individuals, though a random stranger we met on the road gave him a friendly greeting and salutation, and he acted like he had known him all his life.
Dusty always was a little frightened of something, like he was suffering from post traumatic stress disorder. He was a rescue and he had been placed in a home, but had committed some egregious transgression–what exactly I could never fathom–but he had been returned to the dog pound. I adopted him, and occasionally he got a little out of line, as puppies do, but he adapted to his new environment reasonably well, except that he was haunted by some traumatic episode in his past. Or maybe it was own anxieties and neuroses that I projected onto him? I identified him somehow with my brother Don, which is ironic, given their mutual animosity. One other episode occurred that I should mention, and that was the time he bit a soccer player. There was a park where dogs could go off leash, but it was also used by soccer players. Dusty chased after one of the players and bit him. I would have thought that Delilah would be the one to do something like that, because she would often just bark at random individuals. Dusty was mellow with most folks, if they were nice to him, with the exception of my brother Don and my high school friend Otto, who he had serious beef with. Anyway, Dusty did bite someone, which caused me a lot of trouble, but lucky for him he wasn’t put down.
I loved that dog, in spite of any challenges he presented, but then as he got older his legs began to give out, and he had more and more trouble getting outside in time to do his dog business. I carried him out and helped him however I could, but right around Christmas it got so bad that he was howling in pain. It was time to put him out of his misery, but as you can imagine, all of the animal services that would perform the euthanasia were closed for the holidays. It was a grim Christmas.
I really miss Peanut and Dusty. I am going to write a song about them. I used to have way too many pets, but now I am down to one dog and one cat — oh yeah, there are a few feral cats that live under my house: Ginger Snap, Rice Crackle, and Ziggy Pop: Snap, Crackle, & Pop. The house pets are Delilah the dog, part Dingo, and Samantha the cat, a feisty tortoise shell. I will write a song about them also, one fine day. Peanut & Dusty. Samantha & Delilah. Townes Van Zandt mentioned someone’s parakeets in a song called “If I Needed You.” It always chokes me up when I hear about how Mr. Bo jangles still grieves for his dog after 30 years. And of course, B I N G O and Bingo was his name-o.
I will carry on that proud tradition of singing about pets.