I have a history of them, starting with Exhibit #1–my parents’ Chihuahua, Pokey (short for “Poquito”, meaning, “not much”!) I think his mental health suffered from my mother crocheting him seasonal sweaters–green for St. Patrick’s Day, red, white and blue for July 4th (he was ALWAYS cold, even in 110 degree heat!), orange and black for Halloween, orange and yellow for Thanksgiving, and of course, red and green for Christmas, complete with jingle bells. Anyway, he didn’t know he was a dog. This, I think, is why he had such issues with his tail. He’d chase it furiously which caused us to wonder just WHAT would happen if he ever caught it. Well, guess what? One day he did. And he stood there with his needle-sharp teeth clamped firmly halfway down his tail, half-growling and half-whining, wondering why it hurt so much!
Exhibit #2–Morris, an orange tabby who resembled–guess who?–Morris the Cat from the 9 Lives commercials. His misadventures are too numerous to relate, but the one that best depicts his insanity was the time he just HAD to invade the bird’s nest in the tree across the street from our house. It was inhabited by one of those brownish-black birds (we call 'em “grackles” around here) that had built a nest a good twenty feet up into the tree. Several times I caught Morris sauntering over to check things out, but usually a sharp word from me produced a frustrated glare and then a sulky return to the window to await a better opportunity. Well, one day, I heard a tremendous commotion from across the street–screeching, screaming, caterwauling. I ran out front and saw the tree shaking, leaves flying everywhere. Suddenly, an orange blur zoomed down the tree trunk and up the street, with about three or four grackles in hot pursuit, screeching for blood! I screamed for Morris and watched the blur zig-zag back and forth down the street, trying to evade the birds (thank God no cars were coming!), then I grabbed a broom and prepared to fight as Morris charged past me into the house and the birds gave up the chase. I ran in and found Morris collapsed on the kitchen floor with two badly tattered ears and several bald spots on his head and back where the birds had plucked his fur! He sulked for several days after that and looked at me as if it were MY fault the birds got him!
Exhibit #3–Edgar. Edgar is my Weimaraner. He is fat and lazy (okay, so the poor dog has a thyroid problem, but still…) and has a torn ligament from falling off a futon onto a slippery wood floor. Anyway, Ed has perfected the “martyrdom” routine. Tell him to get off the couch and he sighs and drags his weary body into a heap on the floor, groaning with the weight of the world on his soul (somebody get me a violin!) But don’t accuse him of being stupid. He has US trained very well. If he needs to go outside during the night (my husband and I go to bed early, our son usually stays up later, watching NFL network), instead of going and getting the person who is still awake, he will go to my husband’s side of the bed and stare. If the stare doesn’t work, he shakes, flapping his huge ears like he is Dumbo about to take off. That wakes up my husband who yells down to our son, “Ed needs to go out!” The minute Ed hears my husband call our son’s name, he happily lopes to the door, knowing our son will be there to open it by the time he gets there. As far as Edgar is concerned, THAT is how the door gets opened-Ed wakes Dad, Dad calls kid, kid opens door for Ed. It works!
I realize these stories offer far more insight into MY mental health than my pets, but I defy anyone to call ME crazy!