I can't believe I just wrote three blogs about animals, and have yet to mention The Dog. The current dog, not the old one.
So Disney died at the end of my senior year of college, which seems to be around the time that most family pets go to the big farm in the sky where they can run and chase rabbits. My mom basically sank into depression. Like I said before, Disney was the dog equivalent of her. I had unrelenting love for that dog, but he belonged to my mom, and she belonged to him. She refused to get another dog. I was on the same page as her.
Three days after barely graduating I left for Europe and spent every penny I'd ever earned in my life. When I arrived back at the parents house (like I could afford to support myself) a couple months later, I am greeted by another dog. Surprise.
"Who the hell are you?" Oh, nevermind, you are obviously the dog that cannot stop chasing its tail. Stop it. Stop it, dog. Stop. STOP IT. Stop. LET ME PET YOU.
I pin the thing to the ground, where it wriggles uncontrollably and starts biting my hands and gyrating its legs. "Who are you?"
"Rusty," says my dad.
"Is it ours?"
"Great." I let it up off the ground, and it does this crazy back twist thing, jumps backward, barks at me for six seconds, spins and lunges forward, bites my leg, and runs away, sliding down the hallway on the tile.
"You named a dog Rusty? Why not call it Mandy or Prince? Everyone names their dog Rusty."
"Well, you weren't here."
"Can I change it?"
"So far? Loki." I am slightly annoyed. "And why did you get another dog?"
"Aren't you glad? You get to train him, and walk him..." Dad puts his arm around my shoulder, and smiles sarcastically. "He's, like, nutsy cuckoo, but he's a good dog."
"You have got to be kidding me."
"You don't have a job, kiddo, so I'm giving you one." And then he laughs. For like, half an hour. And repeats the joke to my mom, who shakes her head. Then, to prove his hilarity, he tells each of my sisters separately, laughing the entire time, flashing his teeth, shaking my shoulder. And as we walk around the house, the dog is darting in between our legs, doing his very best to topple us over as he nips and jumps and barks his fucking head off.
"I need to shower. I've been on a plane for like, four days."
"No, you haven't, your flight was only like eight hours." My sister is a bitchy little know-it-all.
"Shut up, Katsisch."
So my dad had secretly called Central Illinois Sheltie Rescue about a month earlier and expressed interest in rescuing a dog.
This makes me happy, because acquiring family pets from breeders is usually pointless and I have absolutely no respect for people who purchase dogs through pet stores. That, to me, is complete ignorance.
Allow me a rant: If you aren't responsible enough to learn about the different ways of getting a dog, then you aren't responsible enough to learn about how pet stores acquire their dogs, and you aren't responsible enough to own a fucking dog. A "local breeder" means someone who makes their dogs give birth over and over again for profit, which means puppy mill.
A breeder would NEVER sell a dog to a pet store.
You are the type of person that gives dogs to shelters because they bark too much, and you also probably abuse small children and eat kittens like candy. Stop being part of the problem.
Just so you know.
That is how I feel about that. Good luck convincing me otherwise, your excuses are worthless.
Okay, so, sidetracks be damned, I'm back on the original story. My dad calls the Rescue Center and they inform him of a family who needs to find a home for their dog, who is within the correct age bracket and lives nearby. The family agrees to meet with my family and start the adoption process, the first step of which is to just introduce the dog. But they want to do it away from home because they don't want their son to know. So my dad, being a fucking genius, suggest they halfway. In a parking lot.
So my parents and my sisters are sitting in their mini van waiting to meet up with this other family so they can see the dog they are thinking about getting. They finally show up in a paneled van, and my dad exits the car, walks over to them and taps on their window, like he's buying crack or something. The side door of their van slides open, Rusty comes bouncing out, someone is crying hysterically and another person throws a basket of toys on the ground, closes the door, and they drive away, leaving my family with a new dog.
My dad is like me, in this respect: he views the acquisition of Rusty as the greatest story ever told. My mom and my sisters are embarrassed that it happened, and I couldn't be prouder of my family for keeping the dog that was thrown from a van and left to them in a parking lot.
That dog is fucked up. His hind legs are longer than his forelegs, so his back arches improperly and slopes up and over his giant, fluffy ass, like a sled hill. His nose is too long, he runs like a rabbit, he jumps by stopping completely and bouncing straight up on all fours. It took me forever to break him from eating his own crap. He is completely misshapen for his breed and is inbred as fuck. I'm pretty sure his previous owners got him from a pet store. But I am completely obsessed with him.
That dog learned how to do nearly everything I imagined up for him. Want him to speak? "Rusty, shave and a haircut." (he then answers: two bits.) Want him to stop barking? "Rusty, chill." Do you need to take something out of the oven, but you're far from the drawer with the pot holders? "Rusty, oven mitt." You want him to stop dead in his tracks, and look at you? One short whistle. You want him to come running? Two short whistles, one long one. You want him to stop what he's doing, look at you, come running, open a drawer, give you an oven mitt, and say you're welcome after you thank him? "Rusty, get over here and snag me a fucking oven mitt."
Because that's how we roll.