May 27th, 2004

Relampago ocean

Dog meets nature

Relampago lives with the guilt of only one (vertebrate) death at his paws. There was malice aforethought. He had a malignant, depraved heart. An innocent, stupid baby opossum would have lived a long happy life harassing the rest of the neighborhood, going through trash and eventually killed by an irritated alley cat had it not been for Relampago. I guess the only good thing about the whole mess was that the opossum didn't suffer much. To the best of my recollection, there were no blood curdling screams. There was a lot of blood though. Relampago doesn’t seem to be suffering from any residual guilt, and he sleeps rather well. I wish I could sleep for 15 hours a day as well.

Relampago once caught a squirrel. He has hated squirrels his entire life. The whole household is thrown into code red upon the sighting of a squirrel. (The puppy hasn’t yet sworn her blood oath against all squirrels, so she gets kind of confused when there’s a code red declared and it appears that there are no dogs, cats or mailmen in the vicinity. She’s a willing learner, though, and she knows that you don’t ask questions when someone has set off a code red. You just do your job and follow orders.) The word “squash” makes him perk up his ears and head to the window to patrol. He has sat patiently under trees waiting for them to come down. He does this cute little hopping thing on his hind legs, hoping that he can get higher up to a tree. And the squirrels know this and taunt. They used to throw pecans at him. I swear they’d aim. They also used to go down the tree to right above Relampago’s reach. Anyhow, one time a squirrel miscalculated how far Relampago could reach, or maybe he just hopped a little higher than usual, because the next thing they both knew, the squirrel was in Relampago’s mouth. Unfortunately for Relampago, but fortunately for the squirrel, both were so shocked that they didn’t know what to do. Relampago didn’t realize that if you bark at the squirrel while it is in your mouth, you let the squirrel go. The squirrel didn’t know this either, but it was the first to figure it out after a few trials and errors, and it got the hell out of dodge. Relampago just sat there, bewildered.

Relampago also ate a squirrel once. I think. At any rate, something died in the back yard, and Relampago and Holden decided to feast on it. Holden ended up in the ER with IV’s and antibiotics. Relampago was disgustingly and thoroughly sick for about 15 hours. I swear: my black dog looked green. After three baths and two rolls of paper towels, he was fine. I think he still lords it over Holden that he has stronger intestinal fortitude and he didn’t have to go to the vet.