Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Naughty Pet Stories—The Best Kind (When it's Not Your Pet!)

"Today I noticed a wet spot on the rug and thought, no. No, Pika wouldn't do that. She's been house trained for years. She's a lady." 

"What else could it have been?" I asked my friend who'd called.

"Oh, that's what it was! She peed all over the place. My neighbor told me she has this light. You shine it on the rug and it lights up if your pet has wet on the carpet. I'll send you a Snapchat photo of what I saw."

In which Pika is hardcore busted.

The carpet had to be completely replaced. 

Turns out Pika didn't like to piddle in the cold snow.

I've been framed! I need my lawyer!

Snapchat is one of my favorite things. I like it so much that I had to delete it. The number one thing I miss most is the naughty antics of other people's dogs. But I had to get on with my life. 

I adore pet stories. Especially when it's someone else's pet. My BFF and her Jack Russells help me resist driving straight to the pound and filling my backseat with canines. 

I'd like half a dozen hairy barkers please, and a few cats!

Rocket belongs to my bestie and he's one hell of an excellent mouse hunter. Now I appreciate dogs who aren't above mouse hunting. They refuse to let cats corner that market. You wouldn't think I'd be so callous about mice. As a kid I had a pet mouse who lived in a bird cage that dangled from my ceiling. I used to keep the door to the cage open so he could walk along the top of my bedroom curtains. 

There are grand advantages to living with your grandmother.

These days I live in a house in the woods and I do not want mice on my curtains or in my house at all. My own dear and partially rotten dogs were mouse hunters like Rocket. Only they weren't any good at it. I had two. Radar the Brittany Spaniel and Tex the Beagle. They'd race across the yard with noses to the ground, rooting through dead leaves or clumps of grass, or in the winter, snow. 

They'd find mice too. Especially in winter. Sort of. They just never knew they'd found any. Many times I'd stand beside them while they both had their heads buried under snow coughing and snorting, shivering with the thrill of the hunt. Blind to their success as they rooted. The mouse would race out of her ruined home, running across the white snow. Occasionally a bird of prey flying overhead would swoop down and BAM

Tragic really, unless you live in the country and see ticks and plague when you look at mice—rather than pets or Angelina Ballerina. 

"Tex! Radar! Look! Look! They're getting away!" 

But they never looked up. Mostly the mouse would simply move to a new home and birth thousands of rodent babies safe from my dogs. So while technically they were mouse hunters, they sucked a bit in the follow through. 

Rocket didn't suck.

One fine day Rocket's spidey senses alerted him to the unwanted presence of a mouse in the garage. Game on. He whirlwinded through bikes, shovels, rakes, and gave chase. The mouse hid inside a cardboard box. It didn't stand a chance. Snout snapping, Rocket tore his way through the box with a fury known only to little (but enthusiastic) dogs. 

When BFF managed to grab onto Rocket, his enthusiasm had mysteriously vanished. Breathing hard through his nose he hung his head and drooled. Assuming the mouse was inside the jaws of death per usual, she attempted to pry open his mouth and get it out. But Rocket's jaws wouldn't open. His teeth were clenched firmly together. Suddenly he looked woebegone and miserable. 

BFF realized he wasn't clenching his teeth. They were glued shut. The cardboard box had been made of cardboard and glue. Rocket got enough paper fiber and glue in his teeth that it solidified and stuck them together.

Off to the Vet with Rocket.

Don't worry. He was fine, but Rocket's Vet probably owns at least one vehicle thanks to the proceeds of BFF's Jack Russells alone.

Is there a special glue to unstick a dog's teeth? Does that happen often? How many times in a week do you suppose a Vet gets a dog with his teeth glued shut? 

Once I had a high-maintenance Golden Retriever named Max. One day he ate a brand new leather leash and collar with the metal clip and buckle. The Vet had to go in through the wrong end of the dog to get it out. Surprisingly that wasn't as pricey as you'd think.

When I was a kid I wanted to be a Veterinarian. The truth is that the only reason I wanted to be one was so that I would never run out of new dog stories. I'd have made a horrible Vet. There really isn't enough money for me to ever go up through the wrong end of someone's dog. 

Sorry, folks. There's no way to get that leash out. You'll need to put Anubis's affairs in order.

When I was a kid my grandmother had a pet monkey named Gomer. He was the smartest one in the family. No disrespect intended. They're pretty clever people, but I don't think a single one of them is capable of picking open any lock known to man. That monkey had infinite patience when it came to combination locks or those little key locks.  

Returning home we'd find he'd escaped. There'd be toilet paper unrolled and pillows unstuffed, and pretty much anything done to a home that puts joy into the heart of a evil little monkey.

I always called Gomer a Boomerang Monkey because anytime we gave him away, he came back.

If Google and my memory are to be trusted, he was probably really a Capuchin. Think organ grinder monkey. Maybe a bit shorter. Naked. None of us kids were brave enough to attempt putting clothing on that monkey. 

One day he escaped and after terrorizing the house, he apparently got tired. Because he leaned against the bottom of a bed and tied knots in the fringe decorating the edges of the bedspread. Giving it his all he tied knots in that fringe right around his own neck. Lots of knots.

Gomer had to be wrapped in that bedspread and taken to the Vet just like that. Can you imagine the Vet? There is a shrieking monkey wrapped up and tied inside here. Your mission is to free him without losing a finger. I assume they tranquilized him because when Gomer got upset there was a blood sacrifice and he took no prisoners

You cannot reason with a Boomerang Monkey.

Gomer didn't like his cage, and a good deal of the time he didn't have to be in there. We lived next to a park and Gomer adored perching on top the fence and watching the world go by. A monkey on a fence in the Mid-West attracts attention. If people happened upon him they'd usually rush him squealing, "Monkeeey!"

Gomer would lose his mind. If he got off his leash he'd race up a tree. Sometimes he'd pick a tree in the park or one down by the river. I do recall family taking turns at the bottom of a tree trying to coax him down. It could be my imagination that he sat up there flipping us the bird. But it's probably true that he'd learned that much sign language. 

If Gomer couldn't behave himself he'd have to go to timeout in his cage. Once in there he'd sing sweet chirpy monkey songs of repentance. If you fell for that crap and scooted too near his cage he'd grab a couple handfuls of hair and scream monkey shrieks of I have just taken a child hostage, dammit! You best let me out!

Monkeys have wicked canines and a fierce bite. 

Voldemort's followers had the Dark Mark in Harry Potter. My family had monkey scars. Woe to the person holding the monkey's leash when someone ran toward him shouting about the cute monkey.

Gomer would lose his crap. If you didn't let go of that leash, you'd lose some flesh. 

Yet the only time he ever bit me was that one time I sat on top his cage.

Never ever sit on a monkey's cage.

There are absolute truths in life and that is one. I used to tell my kids Gomer stories when they were little. The moral of the story was usually that monkeys don't belong in cages. They belong in the trees of their homelands. But I'd always end my tales with, "Never, ever, sit on a monkey's cage." I think it has served them well in life. 

The only strange pet my kids had was one pet snake. I called him Houdini because no matter what my son did to his cage he'd escape. Snakes don't really bother me, but seeing that thing slithering down the hallway would give me instant hot flashes. 

My son tried everything to make the snake tank Houdini-proof. That ended up causing my strangest conversation with a Vet.

Yes, hello? I'm wondering if you could tell me how to get duct tape off a snake?

One surefire way to piss off a snake is to soak him in water and "gently" peel duct tape off of him. Nothing says I love my kid more than doing stuff like that. 

By the way, I could hear the Vet laughing while they explained
S.R. Karfelt
Author & Monkey Cage Sitter Survivor
what to do. Fortunately my ten-year-old couldn't. The snake was fine too. Naughty pet stories are only good if they have a happy ending for the pet. They don't have to end so well for the kid who sat on the monkey's cage. People need to learn respect, don't they? 

Since I never became a Vet (much to your relief, I'm sure), and I had to give up Snapchat, I'm running dangerously low on naughty pet stories. If you have a good one, this is the place to share it. Let's put some fun content on the internet—even if yours demanded a blood sacrifice too.

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