Thursday, August 2, 2012

D-O-G to the Dizzle

If Cassidy is our oldest then Alfie is most definitely the middle child of our family, complete with issues and all. After the disappearance of Tuzigut, the Pavlovian cat we had for a short time, we decided that there was an opening in the Pet Department of our house. We were looking to hire a canine this time but we weren’t sure what kind. The guidelines were merely that it must fit through the doggie door, which meant no Great Danes (this time, sorry Juanito). Also it could not be so small that it might a) fit in a purse or b) be mistaken for a ball of some sort. Juanito’s fear was to accidentally punt an animal across a room.

So one day Juanito sends me a picture of this face:

This sweet little face.....
At first glance my heart melted and the theme song to Snoopy played in my head. I don’t know why. I emailed that I wanted him. It was the most definitive decision I’ve ever made. (which is kinda sad since I got married and bought a house, two major decisions that I apparently wasn’t as sure about as I was about a dog.)

Anywho…..that started the process of adopting a rescued animal. I would say that adopting a dog is much like adopting a baby from China but I think that might be a bit of a hyperbole. Needless to say it did involve home visits and background checks, money exchange, and visitations between Cass and Alfie to make sure they were compatible. It did not take years, passports or attorneys to achieve though so its not EXACTLY like adopting from China. But because he was a puppy the rescue had quite a bit of interest in him. They warned that we might not get him because there was so much interest, but we ultimately won! So five years ago this August (I believe) we brought home Alfie.

Alfie is the name he came with. While we might not be over the moon about this name, I think it’s cruel to rename a dog after you adopt them so we never changed it. (No one gets to rename the kid they adopted out of the foster system do they? Really. Do they? Is that ok?) Needless to say he has received many nick names over the years: Alf, Alfredo, Alfarunie, Dingus One or Two, Alfie Baby and most notably Asshole.

You see Alfie lived a life on the lamb for his first year. He was a repeat offender of a nearby county animal control system. To quote City High he’s been “in and out of lock-down” but I’m not sure if his daddy’s been smoking rock now. I'm pretty sure he learned how to make a shiv (had to Google how to spell that which is totally suspect while at work) and how to lay low and get in good with the guards and all the other things you can learn by watching Locked Up on MSNBC.  What I'm saying is that when we got him he had seen some stuff which left him with a rough, crusty exterior.

Can’t you tell?
With my mind on my money and my money on my mind
He went for a while where he would have what we called "night terrors." Back then he would sleep at the foot of our bed which made our bed quite cozy with Juanito, Cass, Alf and me on the queen-size. But if you should toss or turn in the middle of the night and GOD FORBID touch him with your feet he became a Ninja Basset and attacked your feet. Now mind you this wasn’t like he was a cat lying in wait for your foot to suddenly move. This was full on reaction to your fucking foot encroaching on HIS territory and he was gonna fuck a bitch up. When it happened to you, you would bolt awake because 1. The dog is growling his mean loud growl which usually means someone is in the house. 2. THERE IS SOMEONE EATING YOUR LEG! 3. You’re yelling like your leg is being eaten. But then in a blink of an eye you both realize what is going and I swear to God Alfie would spit what remains of your foot out, jump off the bed and hide in the living room. It was traumatic for everyone.

And while I don’t think he attacked our feet out of malice there have been a number of instances that earned him the name Asshole. There was the time he attacked Cass, well there were a couple of those times. There was the time he ran away and I chased him and he attacked me in front of the neighbor’s house and no one came outside to help me. That’s a warm memory. Or the one time I had him in a choke-hold and another time pinned against the kitchen cabinets both over food issues. Those were some lovely bruises I blamed Juanito on when questioned at work.

What I’m saying is he has earned those names. He might even need a little bit of therapy from his hard-knock life. And while I’m afraid to pick him up for fear of losing my face to him much like that lady who was attacked by her pet gorilla, I love him. He is an asshole. He is a grumpy old man.   But he is warm, soft and totally cuddly (on his terms).  I see my worse traits in him and he makes them soft and cuddly. He is the antonym of an anthropomorphic me. Just be careful, he’s grumpy, has teeth and more than likely a melted down tooth brush in his butt.
Sweet Alfie Baby
If you're interested in adopting your own sweet gang-banging basset check out

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