Puts all heaven in a rage.
A dove-house fill’d with doves and pigeons
Shudders hell thro’ all its regions.
A dog starv’d at his master’s gate
Predicts the ruin of the state."
William Blake, Auguries of Innocence
The SPCA folks suggested I take him for a walk so I could get to know him a little better, kind of like kicking the hubcaps on a used car. My first impression was that he was an independent and alert dog. A very focused dog with a fair amount of interest in the fairer sex.
At one point, a man was taking a large dog into the SPCA. The large dog made a lunge for Buster. What did Buster do? Buster looked at him, took a tiny step towards the dog and then dismissed him. Probably because he was in a hurry to get down to his sniffing-pee-and-poop-fairer-sex business. Also, I think Buster sees himself as much bigger than he really is. Buster’s approach to the big dog reminded me of the story about an ant who was trying to make love to an elephant. The elephant, at one point, grunted, or made some such noise, and the ant said, “Suffer, baby, suffer.”
Last week, Buster was given a medical once-over. He was inoculated, donated his blood for tests, had his ears checked and was de-manned. We’d signed a contract at the SPCA, that said we had to have poor Buster’s bong-bongs sliced and diced.
When we brought Buster back home from the vet’s, with a bottle of ear medication to be squirted into his ears, he was sore, partially buzzed and emotionally distraught. The first day we applied the medication to his ears was an eye opener. We learned Buster doesn’t like anything going into his ears. No friggen way. He went hairy ape. I had mentioned to Sue earlier that I thought there was a suspicious look in Buster’s eyes. We can only guess at why, as we have no idea of what happened in his previous not-with-us-history.
I had to throw a large towel over Friday, grab him and pray that his snapping teeth were at least a few inches of cloth away from my fingers. Then I ran for my life, before I tossed him and the blanket into the cage and then slammed the cage door shut. My final act was a prayer of thanksgiving that I wasn’t bleeding profusely. If I wasn’t. Then it was like a movie director shouted, “Cut! Great job, Friday. Let’s see if you can put as much energy into our next movie clip where a novice pet groomer has to clip your pointy nails.”
Oh, as a sidebar, do you want to know what animal made me bleed the most? A rabbit, who I swear was the rabbit in “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”.
Anyway, Buster had shown only friendly, friendly, friendliness up to the ear application. He’d lie on top of us, nuzzle us, would purr if he could, and was oh, so tremendously joyful to see us whenever we were away for a few minutes. Buster poured out his love, a canine love child. Peace and joy, my son. Handing flowers to the dog catcher. That was our Buster.
When we returned to the vet’s office, so he could check out Buster’s stitches, we figured Buster would be throwing convulsions. But no. Buster Bustered us. He couldn’t wait to get into the clinic. He even scratched at the door and tried to push it open. Which got the receptionist to saying she’d heard the scratching and had been expecting to see a dog walk in on his own accord.
When inside the clinic, Buster was so happy. Sniffing everywhere. Applying a joyful whiz on the reception desk leg. Jumping up on the lap of the receptionist and giving her a gorgeous wink, wink. And when we were in the examining room, Buster excitedly sniffed under the doors as he tried to smell the next room, where other pets were waiting for their doctor’s appointments.
But it was educational to see how carefully the doctor approached Buster. He definitely looked nervous and admitted that Buster didn’t like their ear drops, nor their nail clippers nor any of their syringes with their multi-sized and pretty coloured pointy spear tips.
I have another Buster theory. I think that Buster knows his boundaries. He’s happy because he knows himself. He treats others with respect and expects the same treatment in return. Fool around with his person and he is finely tuned to defend himself. Fully committed.
I am beginning to wonder about this training program. A few times I’ve thought I’ve seen Buster eyeing the treat container before he walked to the door and began his scratching. Who’s training whom? Are we being Bustered?
Oh, and he likes to chase snow ploughs. Sue can tell you that. She was left standing in the road with a broken leash while Buster roared after the snow monster. Sue was Bustered.
My vision may vanish, my dream may go wrong;
My wealth I may lose, or my money may spend;
But I’ll worry along, if you give me a friend.”
Anonymous, Give Me a Friend