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ANDY

4 July 2014, 01:00

Nope. Haven’t written in a while.

This is Andy.

Sometime of the morning of July 2nd, he was found dead in front of my house. He was 2 1/2.

I mourn him deeply.

I’ve lost dogs. It is never easy. It never gets easier. When he died, it was like a member of my family was found on the road. Everytime a lose a loved one, it take a little chunk out of my insides that I never get back.

Let me tell you about Andy. Doug and I use to go to the flea market on the weekends to hunt for comic books and whatnot. It would be hot, and the market would have all sorts of things for sale from rotting fish, fruits, veggies, furniture, plants, stolen electronics etc. And it would have puppies. I abhor flea market puppies because they are usually put out there by breeders and I abhor breeders. The are displayed in a tiny cage all piled up with ridiculous prices posted, and they really don’t look too happy to be there. I’ve tried my best to avoid them, and always contemplated calling the dog cops or burning down the breeders’ houses or something to that effect.

We were at the Anderson Jockey Lots flea market outside of Greenville, hunting for comics and golf clubs. I may have gotten a 2 dollar stolen Linksys router too, I’m not sure. Prior to this outing, I had been toying with the idea of getting another dog. We had Easley, who is like the most perfect dog in the world – well behaved, people oriented and house broken – she was a little neurotic but I felt sorry she didn’t have anybody else to play with other than two cats who didn’t do very much. So, doggies were in the back of my mind. But HELL to the NO I wasn’t going to get one at the flea market. Humane society most probably. Or as Doug often did, he might Craigslist one up.

Anyhow, we are trudging through the heat and the mass of humanity that are most of the people who decided that Walmart is too expensive and show up at the flea market to shop, when I ran across this table with puppies on it. As well as what looked like shit they had not been able to pawn off at a garage sale, there was a little pile of uncaged pups. About three, I think. Two black ones and a black and white one sleeping on top of them. These dogs were around three months old, and TINY. The puppies were as big as my size 7 1/2 shoe. I was drawn to them. Sosumi. The lady was just a little redneck trailer park woman, not a breeder, and the puppies seemed like an "whoopsie" as in whoopsie, my doggie got knocked up cause I’m too stupid to get her spayed. She said the puppies had been born in October, and they’ve had their puppy vaccines, and showed off a handwritten note with chicken scrawl on it she said was a vet certification. Could have been Hitler’s grocery list for all I knew.

I sat there and looked at the puppy on top, sleeping. Something in my head said "get him."

We pointed at the pup, gave Jabba the Hut’s stunt double $20 dollars and I craddled him in my arms, and we took him home.

We lived in a big apartment back then, and the cats were non-plussed at the puppy. Doug named him Andy after Anderson County, where we got him, and the big black cat would cuddle with him and lick him. He was a happy little dog and would bounce around the house after Easley and the humans.

Until about a week and a half later. He seemed to get sick, and weak. He wouldn’t move and liquid was coming out of his eyes. I’ve seen something like that before. It looked like Parvo. We took him to the vet. It was Parvo. This was around the time we had almost no money, and the Greenville vet said, fuck you, no credit. For a couple days, I tried to figure out what to do. Didn’t have enough for the $400 plus dollars the guy wanted up front to help my dog. And Andy was suffering more and more each day, getting sicker and sicker. We decided to have him put down. I was at work and Doug had him. He said that the dog wasn’t moving and he was afraid he was going to die in the car. He took him down to the Greenville vet, who, astonishingly said, if you don’t have $150 dollars, I won’t put your dog down. I said to tell him I can get it on payday which was three days away. The rat-bastard of a vet said Nyet, fuck you and get out of my office. Well, he may have not said that, but I can bet he probably was thinking it.

So I was looking up vets when I found: http://www.petmedmobile.com, Richland Creek vet. They said bring the dog down and they would see what they could do. I don’t believe in the divine but, these people were as close to it as probably one can get. Doug brought the dog to the vet to have him put to sleep. When they got there, the dog, with his last bit of strength, got up and wagged his tail. The vet had decided that Andy had a chance. They quoted a price far less than the other vet, but still not what I could do. The vet said, well, we could care for him, and provided some basic meds and instruction and charged a c-note. We took Andy and his crap home.

Now I’ve looked up Parvo on the internet, and the one thing that really does a dog in, is not the disease itself, but the way it weakens the dog and causes the dog to not be able to take in nutrition and water. He had antibotics and a fluid bag at the vet. They sent him home with meds and instructions, and I proceeded to nurse this dog by giving him water/pedialyte every two hours, and meds every hour. I did this for two days straight. Andy seemed a bit better. He had more strength, but still was sleeping a lot and didn’t move. After the two days, I had took it upon myself to make up some form of Dusty Treatment. I figured he wasn’t getting food, so I got the fortified pedialyte, some Ensure for Old Geezers, and a can of Alpo. I started shoving about 10-20cc’s of a food/goo concoction down him every hour, water every two hours. About the end of the third day, Andy had starting walking again, albeit about the 4 feet to his little dog bed.

I did this whole deal, for about 5 days. He got stronger and stronger. By the end of the week, he was eating on his own and walking around. By the sixth and seventh day, he was wagging his tail and pooping in the house.

My boy beat parvo.

He’s been a special little dog since then. They are all special, but he was a fighter and survivor. And apparently an escape artist. He would play with Easley for hours. He would plan and execute escape schemes:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PuB5hHMtowQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Kjc6QWoOoQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MLrkDXpqC78

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ypH755A__qQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzFYugqD2cQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_h5_HFHY0s

He chased cats, and got hit by a car – this driver stopped and was panicked, but the dog was only bruised, sprained and scraped. He guarded the house, and went nuts for squirrels. He bit the drunk neighbor who was messing with our fence at the new house. He would find and exploit the holes in the 6 ft fence surrounding this two acres property we are on now.

He went and killed the neighbors 4 lb, 300 dollar dog. This was another big crisis. He had killed another dog. I think. We are not for sure he did it, but the neighbor said he did. He bit it and took off and it died in the night. I was heartbroken. Most of my brain knows what a responsible dog momma should do. Dogs who kill other dogs should be put down. I was crying, and I offered to put my dog down and pay for their  dog. The neighbor gave Andy (or as Doug would now call him, the Assassin from Gaston) a second chance. She was a stay at home, I guess mom, who lived in the single wide across the street. She had 5 kids, whom she was homeschooling, yet she had this $300 dollar dog. I had went over there to see how they were doing. When she let Andy off the hook (she had been in my shoes a while back with one of her dogs) and just wanted $300, I was overjoyed and swore that I would protect Andy and keep him safe and IN THE FREEKING YARD. I gave her my number to let me know if she ever saw Andy out again, and $200 more dollars because apparenlty Malteese prices have skyrocketed, and she bought another dog that week and named it the same name as the dead dog. Creepy, but who am I to judge.

I took 600 ft of chicken wire and lined the bottom of our 6 ft fence. It seemed to keep him in. For a while. He found that he could squeeze under the gate. One day before he died, I had gotten pavers to block the gaps in the fence. I was too lazy and it was raining hard, so I didn’t go out there to fix the fence. The morning he died, I had put down one or two pavers at the gate, but decided that would be enough to keep him in until I get home from work to finish the job. I was too lazy to sit there and put more down. I wouldn’t take the time to do it.

That morning I got a text from Doug saying they found his body in front of the fence. Speculation was that he was on his way home.

I didn’t even get to say goodbye. I don’t know if he suffered. I don’t know how long he was lying there conscience and scared. I don’t know if there was pain.

Doug buried him in the backyard before I got home.

Today. I’m going to put flowers on his grave.