A Pitbull Named Sully

The snow from yesterday morning has already melted, but what it’s left behind is nothing but a mucky mess in which my Pitbull gets to wallow in each time he goes outside to poo. We would be fortunate if he were the kind of dog that you could take for a little ‘walk and shit’ stroll down the gravel road, but he’s not. No, he needs to be taken out and put on the chain so he can drag it back and forth through the mud while he meanders this way and that for five minutes, before turning in half a dozen circles to do his job. I try not to hang around the door waiting and watching—you know, to give him a little privacy and all—but those times I’ve caught him before he’s finished, he looks up at me like a little, old man sitting on an imaginary stool, deep in thought, and pissed that you’ve bothered him. Those moments I just walk away.

You know, I have to give him credit; he can maneuver around his landmines as graceful as a dancer. What he can’t seem to do, however, is stay out of the mud. If there is one section of bare, wet ground, he will purposely move onto it to do his dance; able to avoid the grass completely. I know what your thinking…just move the chain somewhere else. Well, we have; everywhere, in fact. Our dog is a 90 lb shit-machine that must emit toxic properties in his waste, because what he leaves behind is the equivalent of a crop-circle. I guess I don’t have to tell you that my lawn looks lovely!

Okay, so use your imagination and do the math. You have a 90 lb dog with paws the size of saucers, apply that to a muddy, crop circle the size of a small, area rug, what do you have? Two pairs of brown booties! Sooo…on top of having to drag him out into the elements (no matter the weather conditions), wait till he’s good and ready to do his thing, you then get the added pleasure of having to clean each individual paw when he comes back in the house; which I might add is not an easy task, because he doesn’t like it done, you have to fight with him to lift his back legs, and he’s ASS-HEAVY on top of it. ((Yay for me)) I just love spending my days this way.

I have to say, I almost envy people that can enjoy the love of an animal and not have the constant upkeep. I know most country people have large dogs, but seldom do I hear of them allowing them in the house. They are simply there to protect man and property, and the biggest chore the owner has is feeding them. Not so in our house, and I know I’m to blame. From the time I was young I’ve had this ‘thing’ about people chaining their animals to doghouses, etc. and just leaving them there. WTF? Would any human want the totality of their lives to be confined to a small, smelly area? I think not! So, is there a reason you’re doing it to man’s best friend? Just consider what I’m saying… Anyway, I’m under the firm belief that if you take on the responsibility of a dog, this dog should be part of your family. He should be allowed to be in your home, a constant part of your life, and is entitled to be happy and comfortable, as we all would like to be. I just didn’t know ours would be such a BIG part of our family.

We have a little, 4.5 lb Chihuahua named Johnny Cash. My husband calls him J.C. most of the time. I just refer to him as ‘Hound Dog’. Hound Dog has the markings of a Rottweiler and places few demands upon us—as you can let him out and he won’t run, doesn’t terrorize the cats, and can only molest you so much when you walk in the house because of his size. Hound Dog is my dog; nearly a perfect angel. He was also already a year old when I found Sully in the paper for my husband.

Men have this thing about owning tough dogs; I personally think it’s the equivalent of a pissing contest amongst them. That being said, he decided he wanted a Pitbull or a Rottweiler, so I started looking. I’m not big on shelters. I hate to say that because I think castaways need homes, but I don’t like the idea that they take it upon themselves to alter the dogs so you no longer have the choice to breed them, and that they charge the price of damn-near a kidney to buy one nowadays. Yeah, way to help the animals out, dumb-asses! I decided because of these things that this was not an avenue I would take. I started looking in the ‘big city’ paper instead, and was fortunate to come across the ad where this guy was practically giving the puppy away for just a few hundred dollars. I was skeptical at first, but upon arriving at his house realized there was no need for concern. He was a pure bred, blue nose, had all his papers, but was already almost four months old when the gentleman found out he had to move and couldn’t keep him. This gentleman already owned the sire (which I have no clue whether he kept or not), and this puppy was the pick of the litter from breeding him. Had I the opportunity to see the size of the father when we first looked at him, we would not have gotten him, I assure you. Unfortunately, my husband was the one who picked him up to bring him home after that first, initial meeting and was the only one to get that privilege. Me, all I saw was those pair of  ‘doe’ eyes on the little guy and I was smitten. He was such a little doll! I was completely heartbroken that we couldn’t take him home right then and there, but we really couldn’t swing the money that week and had to wait. It was a long week for me!

I asked for the trouble I have, I know I did. I begged my husband to bring home that little, bundle of joy; and he was a little bundle. When he made his first appearance at the house he wasn’t much larger than Hound Dog. Heavier, yes…but not much taller; till the next week, and the week after, and yet the week after that. He started cuddling in my lap, until quickly there was no lap left. Today, almost four years and over 80 lbs later, he still hasn’t realized that he’s too big for Mommy’s lap, and has continued to climb up and cram his fat-ass in the upholstered chair with me. This is quite the sight, because although his legs are relatively short, he’s torso long, and when he sits on my lap he literally hides me from view! ((Groan)) And of course we spoiled him unmercifully when we first got him: Bought him his own bed, we now have to drag back and forth from the bedroom on one floor to the fireplace in the living room on another everyday, and it’s the size of a crib mattress, let him lay with us on ours why we’d watch tv before bed, a place now he just assumes he can jump on at will, and won’t let me go upstairs without him joining me…and he HOGS the bed, and of course got to go bye-bye with Daddy everywhere, which now if he can’t take him becomes nothing short of a small child throwing a full-blown tantrum. The only one that doesn’t let him get away with anything, and doesn’t fall for his charms it seems is Hound Dog.

My Chihuahua established his seniority in our home the very first day Sully got here. I watched him walk around with his tail high in the air as if showing him the ropes, barge in on our cuddling sessions to let him know who’s Mommy I was; nip and growl when necessary to make him aware of boundaries. Today Sully is a good 20 times his size, but when he pisses off the King, Hound Dog will jump on the ottoman so he’s face to face, and grab his jowls stretching them way out. This serves to put him in his place real quick, and works everytime!

I don’t know much about Pitbull’s—only what I’ve read and seen on the news—but I know a lot about Sully. He is far from the terrorizing dog depicted everywhere. Dad is way too easy on him, but I rule him with an iron fist and all I have to do is show him the red, fly swatter and he behaves like a cadet in the academy. He hasn’t figured out yet that it doesn’t really hurt. Never once has he become too aggressive with me for correcting him, or any of us for that matter. Guests get the shock of their lives upon approaching the door, but once inside when he knows they’re not a threat to us, he becomes nothing more than a big baby that wants attention. He is, for the most part, a wonderful dog.

Yes, he is a wonderful dog and a member of our little, dysfunctional family, so I suppose that makes him a keeper. I suppose that also means that I’m going to have plenty more winters taking him out into sub-zero temps, Spring months of wiping muddy paws and my voice going hoarse from screaming at him not to get on the furniture after, and early summers hunched down cleaning up his dried, landmines left behind from winter’s past. Those things could dismay me, but I also know it means just as many more years of kisses I’ll receive every time I get in his face and ask for some sugar, cold nights of keeping me warm while snuggling, and the absolute peace I get while here alone in the house when my husband is away, knowing he would never let anyone harm me. These things, I admit, make it all worthwhile. Now if I could just convince him that he can lay on the floor without us dragging his bed down the stairs into the living room every morning…

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