For the past couple of months she has done nothing but complain about this stray dog she took in. "Duchess," as she named her, is about eight months old and completely crazy. It only took M.E. a few days to realize she had made a big mistake. For one thing, the dog is too big for her. She can't walk the dog, for fear that she will be pulled off her feet. She has already suffered a sprained shoulder trying to walk her.
The dog made herself right at home by chewing up a pair of slippers and several paperback books and a couple of coffee table books. When M.E. tried to take her to the Humane Society, they couldn't take her because they didn't have room.
She has to keep Duchess in the house, along with a Westie that she agreed to take when her grandson decided he couldn't keep him, and the Westie (Barkley) looks upon Duchess as an interloper and a nuisance. He spends his days avoiding contact with Duchess. Duchess needs a place to run, so M.E. has tried to get someone with a lot of land to take her, with no success.
She calls me every day with another story of the destruction of her house. Last week, she complained that Duchess chewed up the rungs on her wing-back chair in the living room and the Adirondack chairs on the deck.. This week, Duchess has learned how pull things down from the kitchen cabinets.
One day, I got a call at 8:30 a.m. to tell me she was going to take Duchess back out to the humane society and try to bribe them into taking her. She says she'll offer to pay them for Duchess's upkeep until they can get rid of her. She'll pay any reasonable amount.
It has gotten so bad, she is considering taking her son up on his offer to come to Harrison and shoot the dog. He says he'll bury her in the yard and nobody will be the wiser. So far, M.E. has resisted, but I can tell she's weakening.
Her latest idea is to call Animal Control and say there's a stray in her yard, and she has brought her in the house until they can come and pick her up. The only trouble with that is the dog is no longer emaciated and pitiful-looking. In fact she looks healthy and well-fed and very comfortable. So she thinks Animal Control will figure out that the dog has been taken care of for a while, and they'll tell her she's got herself a dog.
Duchess and Barkley got away one morning and ran down the busy street in front of M.E.'s house. She got in her car and chased after them. She managed to catch Barkley, but Duchess kept running, so M.E. decided to go back home and hope Duchess would run far enough that she would forget where she came from. It was a wonderfully calm and quiet day, until late that afternoon, when her neighbor called and said, "I've got your dog over here. She must have gotten out of the pen."
Now, Mary Ellen has taken to threatening me with Duchess. "Wouldn't you like a dog? You need a dog." I keep saying, "Sure. Bring her on over, and bring a check for $300 made out to the apartment complex manager, and you can send me another hundred or so monthly for my extra rent. I'm confident she's only threatening me because I laugh so hard when she tells me about the latest damage Duchess has done.
M.E.'s grandson will be here at the end of March, and has offered to take Duchess far away, to the Bentonville humane society, maybe, and if they won't take her, he'll probably just let her out of the car to fend for herself. M.E. may be a little too soft-hearted to let him just dump Duchess out of the car. But, she is tempted. Very tempted.
Meantime, I'm getting a good laugh every few days. I'm finding it therapeutic.