Chapter 16

I get ice cream for my dogs all the time.

It started years ago when I used to go to sister Patty’s house in West Park with our family’s Rottweiler, whose name was Chavez. I always took Patty’s Rottie, whose name was Wellington, and Chavez for a walk.

We would all walk to the Dairy Queen on Riverside Drive. It’s a Cone Zone now, but back then it was a DQ. I used to do that every weekend without fail.

One Saturday, as we were walking past the Shell gas station on our way to the DQ, I spotted a pack of guys walking towards us. They were a gaggle of them, seven black guys, coming my way. I began to get a little nervous.

“Shit,” I thought.

As we got closer to them, they started being obnoxious and making cat calls. I had two thoughts going. One was that I shouldn’t make eye contact with them, and the other was, at least I have my dogs with me. But, when I looked them over sideways, it didn’t seem like the guys had even noticed the dogs.

Finally, when we got closer, they focused on the Rottweilers and the Rottweilers focused on them. They stopped and I stopped, and the dogs stopped and started to bristle. Then, just like that, they all split.

“Thank God,” I thought. One of them yelled back, “That’s some well-guarded pussy.”

“You guys are getting extra ice cream,” I said to Chavez and Wellington. My dogs love ice cream. “You’re getting a sundae, in fact, one big one for each of you.”

Dogs, they know, they know. They have a sixth sense. They don’t like anything that the other five senses don’t add up to.

If you have something to worry about, then you have something to worry about. If you don’t, you’re fine. If you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to fear from dogs.

We had a Wolf Black Lab who was my life. He was the sweetest thing ever and I just loved that dog. His name was Blue.

One night we ordered Chinese. The only time I ever saw Blue go after someone was when the deliveryman came to our front door. He chased him right back to his car. He barked at the car all the way down the street as it sped away.

He never before or ever after did anything like that. The deliveryman obviously had bad intentions. If someone comes to the door and there’s ill will, or there are bad intentions, the hair on dog necks goes up.

A woman’s intuition is strong, but a dog’s is even stronger. They know when the feeling is just not right. There have been a few times in my life when things have not been right. Every time I’ve had a dog with me for protection.

We usually have five or six dogs in the house, so you would have to be out of your mind to try and come and rob our house. You would have to be absolutely nuts. Cats will offer you up as a sacrifice, but a dog, it’s all about save and protect.

Brian found a Rottweiler who needed a new home. He was going to move it to one of his cousins. But, he private messaged me, “My cousin’s not responsible.” After that I put the dog up on Facebook. I had a client who had been pestering me for a Rottweiler, so I tagged her, and she came back to me. “When can I meet this dog?”

“Let me find out what the scoop is,” I told her.

They had just built a house in Olmsted Township. The dog was from Olmsted Falls, and he loved children and other dogs, so everything was all right there. Brian called me and said, “I think I’ve got someone else who wants that dog.”

“Well, if the meet and greet doesn’t go well, you can have your shot, but remember she was first,” I said.

In the end, my client was wealthy, they had a good home, and they had put down their own Rottweiler a couple of months ago. They loved the new dog, the new dog loved them, and it all came together.

Sometimes we take dogs in ourselves, especially if we find them on the street. We found Gretel that way. Brian brought her in and when I saw her, I said, “That’s it, I love her, and she’s mine. She’s not going anywhere.” We kept Gretel, although that can be a problem.

One big problem at our house is dog hair, which is a problem because I’m a clean freak. Some dog lovers believe if you’re not covered in dog hair your life is empty, but I’m not one of them. In the years Brian and I have been married we have had six Dysons. The last one broke when I accidentally dropped it and watched it fall down the stairs, bouncing on the runner one step at a time on its way all the way down.

“Fuck,” I thought, as it broke apart.

I went on Facebook and asked, “I’m really tired of giving Dyson my money, what do you guys got?”

In the meantime, we bought an Electrolux. That vacuum cleaner was the biggest joke. I hated that piece of shit. Even Brian hated it. He used it once and was cursing all day about it. I took it back to Best Buy and told them how much I hated it.

We bought a Miele. Some people think not wanting to scare the dog is the perfect excuse for not vacuuming. Not me. I love my Miele. It’s been a godsend, especially since I love to vacuum.

The other problem we have all the time is nose prints all over my glass, which is mostly the doors when they press their noses against them.

Whenever I come home from the grocery store, or the pet store, and am bringing in bags of food, they gang up on the glass. Sometimes I think they must think I am the best hunter in the world, judging by how much food I bring home. There are the two of us and usually five or six of them. That adds up to a whole lot of food, and a whole lot of Windex, too.

I wonder where their sixth sense tells them I’m getting all that food and ice cream from.

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