So here we are, 3 weeks away from the birth of our fifth and FINAL child and we are moving again! Thanks to my colloquial Spanish, psychological insights, (and monetary enticements,) I was able to convince my domestic goddesses to stay and help us right on through the programmed move. Our daily routine consisted of spending a few hours every afternoon driving around town with realtors looking for the “perfect apartment” for a family that HATES apartment living. Sound difficult?
Because of the anticipated apartment situation, we had to put ads in the local newspaper announcing that we were looking for a good home for our “boys”- dogs. My husband was heart-broken each time he glanced in their direction knowing that at any moment they would cease to be part of our family. These dogs were his life and he was tormented by guilt feeling he was abandoning them. But there was no alternative. Two active 80-pound dogs that are used to running and chasing squirrels and iguanas all day, are not going to be too thrilled cooped up indoors laying around on a marble floor.
Nonetheless, the first parental prospect for our canine was this big-boobed free-agent model chick who came to the house to specifically “meet” one of the dogs, our gorgeous vivacious full bred white American Labrador Retriever named Izu. She fell in love with him immediately and because he´s easily won over by anyone with food, we knew that he wouldn´t suffer too much separation anxiety provided she had a stocked fridge.
The other dog, our beloved Moishe, the one we had originally rescued from a drug-addict infested condemned beach shack in Costa Rica, was already up there in years and would not be such an easy sell.
Moishe was not royalty. He did not have any papers nor an authenticity chip demonstrating his pedigree like Izu. He was a mutt. He also had a very unusual condition in that his testicles never descended and one knife-happy vet concluded that he was a hermaphrodite. We never bought into that theory for Moishe acted braver and nobler than the biggest-balled Pit Bull we ever knew.
And he was the most loyal, humble, appreciative and wise animal we ever knew. He carried himself like a full breed and was careful not to bite anyone´s fingers off when they slipped him some expensive cuts of steak under the table- unlike his expensive white “brother” who gulped anything and everything down like a ferocious savage.
Izu, the "fancy one," had a personality disorder. He could not get along with another dog. In fact, the mere sight of another dog, even in print enraged him so. As a result, we spent a great deal of money over the years paying neighbors´ veterinary bills thanks to Izu´s lack of social skills.
In hindsight, the dynamic between the two dogs probably gave way to Izu´s anxiety disorder. Moishe was a barker- he would bark endlessly at a mosquito if we allowed it. He was addicted to barking and we never understood why he never contracted laryngitis. Izu would react to Moishe´s barking instigations and go in for the kill. As a result, Moishe would come out "clean and innocent" while Izu would end up with every species of insect, rodent, amphibian and bird in his non-discriminating, taste-buds lacking orifice.
Moishe was able to tolerate and further manipulate him because Moishe was already with us when we acquired Izu as a 3-pound puppy. And due to Moishe´s innate street-smarts, survival skills and maturity beyond what is normal for a dog, he learned how to ignore much of Izu´s offenses and eventually re-direct them for his own personal advantage.
Apparently, we spent much time over the years musing about the interactions between the two. We laughed ceaselessly as we mimicked them with our "doggie-voices" as if we knew exactly what they were thinking. And we were usually right most of the time. We studied and analyzed them like two geeks in a psych lab and read their minds the way a parent instinctively knows her own flesh and blood child.
But now it was time to say goodbye.
This chapter was over and I feared for my husband´s fragile state of mind. He had become way too attached over the years and without much mental preparation, his (original) boys were soon to be taken from him...
To be continued…