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I met Oni in my living room when she began barking when I got home from work. She’s a little white dog, short haired and beagle like with bulbous eyes. I introduced myself as the owner of the house she was defending and my dad preceded to tell me about Gene stopping by with a cock & bull story that involved the dog staying the weekend. Gene had introduced himself last summer when he stopped by to borrow a needle and thread as he had ripped his pants walking to work. He broke my needle & dad gave him a pair of old workpants and apparently they became buddies because apparently he dropped off Oni to stay the weekend because he didn’t have anywhere for the dog to go when he was at work.

I decided to give Oni a chance because Myrtle had been having a fit just a couple of days ago, with her breathing really labored for a day and a half. Scary. Thought we might have to put her down. She has a leaky heart valve, 5 thousand dollars just to diagnose the problem. We’ve decided to just enjoy her company while it lasts. But I thought another dog would be good for Dad just in case.

Harry asked me what’s up with the dog’s name “I thought it was Mya?” By then I’d been calling her Oni all evening and didn’t take much to Mia so we left it Alzheimer’s induced. Oni is a Japanese ogre and she’s a little thing so I liked the irony.

She has the bark of a big dog and she likes to go at it. Joggers, pedestrians, but she’s at least pretty much stopped barking at me. She has the haunted eyes of a survivor of immense cruelty. She’s got a beaten dog’s slouch and wariness. She’ll hole up in the doggy bed in the corner behind gramma’s rocking chair for up to like 12 hours.

I tried to be gentle around her. She’s a lap dog and little enough that I like it. She likes to be in the chair you want to be in and her little tail starts wagging when she sees you looking at her in your spot. Like she’s getting one over on you.

On maybe her third morning with us she was sitting on the Lazyboy when I got up and I wanted to sit there watch some cnn while the coffee brews. I gently tried to scoot her over to the side of the big chair to sit next to her. Her leg must of gotten caught in my robe or something because all of asudden she’s screeching like I was killing her. She cringed back from me when I tried to approach so I couldn’t really see what was wrong.

I felt terrible. She couldn’t walk before I left for work. I got home late, she’d laid around all day, could barely walk when she was made to go outside and pee. Too late to call the vet. The next day she’s fine. I was so relieved. I thought I broke her leg. It seemed like maybe her hip popped out.

But worst of all she’s way wary of me.

Weeks later, I am letting Myrtle out after first getting up. I step in something squishy, ahhh dog shit. I put out Myrtle and clean up my foot and throw the rug outside. I go to Oni and try to get her to go outside. She kind of cowers a little. I decide she is going outside, I’m suspecting Myrtle, a long time occasional shit-hound of no small renown, but the new dog was suspect and needed to go out. I go to shoo or maybe even scoop her up and out a little and the dog pisses herself, hugely. I literally scared the piss out of her, and on my brand new futon.

“Fuck”, I’m yelling a bit now and waking people up. I shoo out Oni explain my lunacy to Harry and the Popster while I wrestle off the mattress cover. Harry’s offer to wash the cover is the only thing that brings me out of this low grade murderous rage. All within minutes of waking.

So John and his two dogs an Australian Shepard and an Australian Cattle dog named Shadow and Smokey. Great dogs, glad to see them. Oni not so much. She’s a snapper so I made sure she had her shots before John’s dogs came. It turns out Oni is the one ends up with the bleeding ear. Had to pull her off the Australian Shepard. She just took a hate to that dog and it was go go go more than once. Oni lets the frail little dog with a heart condition get over on her but she throws down with the 75 pounder.

John’s big on nicknames for dogs. Shadow he calls Fat Dog and Smokey he calls Doo Doo. Myrtle he started calling Turtle Dog enough to where my dad’ll call her that sometimes and he hates that nickname. We also call her Princess Mildred. Well Oni he started with Odie like Garfield’s pal. That evolved to Odious (she does need a bath) and ultimately to Odious P. Dog. Harry points out she really might know how to come when you call her but we keep calling her something else every few days.

She’s a pistol. And an occasional furniture pisser. She let loose once more on the chair. My dad pointed out when she did that one I was walking toward her. I try to be gentle around the dog I really do. She’s curled up next to me right now. Sometimes like I said her little tail wags when we make eye contact. She’s a pretty good winker, sleeps in my bed most nights. I still have to be vigilant not to terrify the little thing.

The last incident I was sleeping in another room when she pissed in Harry’s bed. He got up to use the bathroom and came back and she had pissed the bed. I told Dad she had to go. We debated the possibility of a UTI and I offered to pay for a vet visit but Dad said no, we can’t be puttin’ up with that. He took her to the Humane Society but it was a Saturday and they only take dogs on Thursdays and Fridays so she got her reprieve from the governor.

I told dad to make a vet appt. and if it was a UTI maybe she would be alright. Now I’m thinking its behavioral. She just gets scared to go out holes up on a piece of furniture til she can’t hold it anymore and then bam. I thought that right off but didn’t think there was much I could do about it. Then I remembered how food focused she is. She’s a beggar dog for sure. So the night before last I got her to go out for a little piece of ham. She was glad to do it. So now I think Oni just might make it.

Categories: dogs
  1. foggytown
    October 8, 2009 at 1:01 pm

    So Odious made it through another week, glad for her. And with her attitude, each week is really bonus time. I know she has a kernel of sweetness, but it can be hard to keep that in mind as she pees on the furniture. A beaten dog that is so moved by attitude can really be a trial. But really it can be a Tao like exercise, to learn to be gentle when you are mad and to move slowly and gently, with such obvious consequences when you mess up.
    While I am glad that she has made it thus far, no one will hold blame if that time draws down. I know it would be much easier if she were not so sweet. Good luck with her, and Fat Dog holds no ill will.

  2. Mike
    October 8, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    Oni, however is ready for a rematch, anytime anywhere. If her little teeth could get through Fat Dog’s coat it would be a different dog leaving a trail of blood.
    thanks for the comment, i’ve got my fingers crossed.

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