After the Tulsa tournament Bernadette had a break. When she got home she had a dog with her. She had purchased it in a pet store in that fine Oklahoma city. It's a chihuahua. I guess she hadn't got enough of Mexico after all. Now, I'm a big dog, German Shepherd kind of guy. You know, "Kill, boy, kill!" And I especially never liked chihuahuas, with that nearly bald look, the bug eyes, the shiver-and-shake routine, the turning in circles while they bark. I figured if I ever owned one I'd go nuts just looking at him.
But this one isn't like that. He actually has fur. The eyes are a tad sad, but they don't bug out too badly. One ear stands proud and tall while the other has a little flop in it. He loves being held and hugged and kissed. His paws are...there's no other word for it - dainty. He's so small he can't even jump up on the couch. I had to put a stool in front of it. When he runs he takes a few strides and then bounces - boing-boing. But what I love most is that he tries to act like a real dog. He climbs the stool to the couch, crawls around behind Bern, gets a mouthful of her shirt, and then starts snarling and shaking his head like he's tearing the head off a boar. He likes to chase my hand. His needle teeth have drawn blood a couple times. I love it. When we take him outside in the heat, he runs around a few minutes and then he's pooped out and needs water. He's very conscious of being down there, so we have to pick him up a lot so's he can hang out at our level. He's worked his way into my heart with surprising ease.
Bern named him after the golf course she played in Tulsa, Cedar Hills. Or Ridge or something. We call him Cedar. Did I mention that he's small? Here's a picture of him being dwarfed by the driveway. You may click to enlarge. And then you may click again in the lower right corner (once that symbol with the four arrows appears) to enlarge further.
Here's a picture of him being dwarfed by Bern:
She mentioned one evening that the vet had said she might want to get him neutered, but that it could wait for a while. I at once protested . Why, I asked, would she want to do that? He's a boy dog. If you neuter him he's nothing. Not a boy, not a girl, not even a transexual or a transvestite or even a hermaphrodite. Just nothing. You'll turn an energetic little Speedy Gonzalez into a lap dog.
Well, she said, she couldn't have him going around indiscriminately making bunches of baby chihuahuas without permission.
And name one, just one, female chihuahua of his acquaintance, I said. It's not as though dogs roam the neighborhood like they did when I was a kid. The opportunity for promiscuous liasons just doesn't exist anymore. There must be a law or something because every dog I see is being walked by a human master, and they're all bigger than Cedar. He'd need that couch stool just to...rise to the occasion.
But, she pressed on, he will grow up and I can't have him humping everything in sight.
Like people's legs? I asked, which is what she was getting at.
Aw, poor people, I said, embarrassed by a dog's instincts. Look, he's a boy dog. Let him be a boy. I'll tell you what. We'll build him a hump post and train him to hump that and that only. Whaddya say?
It doesn't work that way, she said. When the urge comes on...
Wrong-o, I answered, you can always teach a young dog new tricks. Or is it an old trick? Never mind. Okay, wait. Better yet, we'll go to the adult pet store and get him an inflatable female chihuahua dog doll. Problem solved.
This was greeted by a look of silence, mixed with distaste and condescension. Neither she nor her mother believed there was such a thing as an adult pet store, and that there was something wrong with people who imagined there might be.
Oh yeah? Have you looked around at this society lately? Is there a single taste, no matter how peculiar, that is not catered to? And the conversation went on, I, in a swirl of societal analysis, managing to make a convincing case that, even if there were no adult pet stores, there probably soon would be. All I know is they better not neuter that dog.