It has been stated that parents form stronger alliances just to protect themselves from the children. The goodwife and I are empty nesters, but we too have a special alliance that prevents us from committing a rash act to the dog. In order for something rash to happen it would take two black balls. As long as only one of us is directly affected it remains that one of us is available to intervene. In the event of a failure where we both want to dispose of the troublesome beast, well, let me say that he should probably seek shelter.

The dog is a very loving animal and a great pet. He loves to be loved and petted on and in return, he loves us back. His is however, his own special brand of crazy. A rescue mutt, half black Labrador and half Dalmatian, and a fine-looking animal.  Not much of a guard dog however, we had become accustomed to Rottweilers, a great guard dog, but could be trained to just bark and stand ground. This one barks at everything. Not just threats, but everything from the wind blowing the leaves on a tree to a full-blown attack by dire wolves. You might as well be manning the post on your own because every time he barks, if there is any concern, you will be required to check for yourself.

We had struggled through the puppy stages before with other dogs. At this time Beau is three and one-half years old. Maybe a little on the plus side of that age. His puppy stage seemed to never end, and we are uncertain as to the current status. He began his siege on the homeplace by digging up potted plants. For the first summer of his existence, the goodwife tried to plant flowers as she always had. This proved to be not only a challenge, but also unsuccessful. Year two came and she passed on the annual ritual of planting any flowers that could be reached by this destructive youthful member of the household. 

The attack on the flowers and their blossoms was followed by forays into the garden, the consumption of a motorcycle seat along with damage to the ABS braking system and a brake line. Fortunately for him none of these assaults occurred simultaneously therefore only one member of the opposing alliance was consumed with rage and the other was able to lobby for Beau’s safety, freedom, and his continued residence at this address.

This morning as the goodwife was returning from a visit to the garden, I heard a conversation that could only be between her and Beau. I was thinking that he had gotten into either her Hens and Chickens or some of the many other potted plants. That was not the case. Today this crazy dog had raised up, placing his front paws on the trellis, and was eating the blooms off of her Clematis!

The conclusion is that this dog is an idiot and blooms year-round.

-Paul Richardson is the proprietor of In Sane Marketing Solutions. He writes a weekly column, The Horse I Rode In On, for The Neosho Daily News and The Aurora Advertiser.