Monday, July 18, 2005

120 Pounds of Baby

The 120 Pound Baby

I was on my way back from an interview in a not so great part of Los Angeles (that really narrows it down doesn't it) when I saw this tan, skeletal-looking dog running down the street.

She was emaciated with her ribs sticking out and her hip bones poking from her scrawny frame. She looked like she should be a 50 pound dog but she couldn't have been more than 35 lbs. Seriously malnourished. She had a tattered leash still attached to her collar. I stopped my car on a side street and went back to find her.

I followed her into a parking lot but she wouldn't let me get close to her. She would run hide bark and run. I wanted to see if she had a tag or at least get her to a dog shelter. She ate the dog food that I hadn't yet unpacked from my car and drag water from a barbie bowl I found in the trash, but despite my best non-threatening demeanor and skilled coaxing (repeating "c'mere sweetie girl" in a moronically cheery voice) she wouldn't let me get near her. Honestly, I was just happy to see her eat that small handful of dog food.

I went to the people who worked in the weird little office next door to ask them to call a rescue shelter but they said that they would have their janitor chase it off later. They just saw the dog as a pest and despite my request, couldn't grasp the idea of helping it.

On my way back to the car I passed a big, big Rottweiler fast asleep in the driveway of a house. I see that there is a guy nearby. Must be the owner, right? He then asked me "Zat yer dawg, man?" My dog? I assumed it was his but he said it wasn't as he grabbed a big broom. "Dude, whoa, are you going to go at that big scary Rottweiler with a broom?" The Rottweiler lumbered to it's feet and got into a defensive crouch. I had to stop the guy, tell him to put down the broom and get me a rope or string that I could use to put on the dog. Somehow the dog knew that I was there to help her and she slowly moved her huge body over to me. I put out my hand for her to smell and said a little heathen prayer that she wasn't going to attack me. She sniffed me then licked my hand and I very slowly scratched her head and just like that we were friends. An old lady next door gave me an extra leash that she had and the man-tard with the broom looked at me like I was crazy. He asked "You like a professional dog handler guy sumthin?" I shook my head and clipped the leash on the dog's collar. I called her Sugar Girl for some reason which evolved into Baby. She had a choke on her but no tag, and although she looked fed she wasn't well cared for. She was badly calloused on her legs and had a partly healed nasty-looking golf ball-sized welt on her hind leg. I thought I'd take her around the neighborhood to look for a possible owner. Six seconds later, after an "intense" search for a possible neglectful, asshole owner, the big girl jumped right into the back of my car without hesitation. I got the sense that she might be a guard dog that wasn't as ferocious as the owner would have liked and she'd probably been turned out.

I brought her home and introduced her to Ass Breath and Freckle Dick. They were both intimidated by her size and bulk. Ass Breath did not appreciate it when she lifted his entire rear end off the ground with just her snout. She was very sweet-natured and gave me sloppy kisses if I lingered near her face too long. Pant, drool, pant, drool, pant drool, repeat. Did I mention that she drools? I was dodging drool puddles that formed on the ground. If my dogs were any smaller they would have been in real danger of being immersed in a drool puddle and forced to swim for their lives. She probably hadn't been bathed in a few years, so I gave her bath and washed off tons of dirt. During the first three shampooings the suds were entirely brown. I think I used 2/3rds of a giant shampoo bottle.

Into the evening the Drool Festival continued. At one point in the early morning, I rolled over and felt something warm and sticky on the bed sheets. I was actually relieved that it was drool. It couldn't have been me as I hadn't had any provocative dreams. Had I? IF only I had a Rottweiler to blame when I was 13 years old and having "nocturnal emissions."

Nocturnal Emissions is such a great name that it almost makes me want to learn an instrument and form a punk group just so we can call our band Nocturnal Emission. Coming soon to a venue near you.

Anyhow, Baby, (No, reader I'm not flirting with you, that's the dog's name remember? *winks, licks lips*) was a bit wobbly and clumsy and kept stepping on my foot. But she was a real sweetie in temperament. She even tried to romp around with my dogs. But that would be comparable to me trying to wrestle a cement truck. I googled Rottweilers to find a rescue place just for that specific breed instead of some run-of-the-mill dog pound or shelter where they put the dogs down if they aren't adopted. During my googling, I discovered that Leonardo Dicaprio has a Rottweiler who is also named Baby. I swear that I named her before I knew this. I didn't name her after his dog because of some latent homoerotic obsession with Leo. *faux swoon*

I found a Rotty rescue place and called them and they agreed to take her the next day if I could bring her over. When she told me they'd take her it was as if a huge slobbery 120 weight had been lifted from my chest. I was reluctant about driving with her alone in the car as she tended to stand up and not lay flat in the back seat. But my goto friend was working that day and I wanted her to see the vet ASAP as she looked as if she might be pregnant. I used some leftover meat (Sesame Ginger Marinated London Broil) to get her back into the car. As I feared she remained standing and I finally had to shut the window so she wouldn't constantly bonk her head. So I'm following these elaborate multi-freeway directions that the Rescue Lady gave me. Take the 10 E to the 110 N to the 5 to the 101 to the 134... It would have been enough of a challenge just getting there with my "directionally challenged" mind. Baby began to poke her head up into the front seat to nuzzle me. I had to be careful not to stop short or she would go lurching forward. That proved impossible and I had to brace her so she didn't slip each time a car stopped short in front of me. It was even more fun when she decided she needed attention and began prodding me with her head, so I would pet her. Then, wanting to be close to her new buddy, she proceeded to climb into the front seat. Not the front passenger seat. My seat. Now, although it's true that I am a master of the Electric Nunchucka and one of the Most Feared Pirates on all the 7 seas, I am not a big strong guy who can move a Rottweiler with one hand. I am amazed I didn't hit another car with all the swerving. I tried to pull the car over to the side of the road from the middle lane but cars were shooting past me on both sides and nobody would let me in. Fuck you people who don't let other people into their lane. I finally reached around her and hit the hazard lights but still nobody would let me pull into the right lane. I was sure that I was going to bash into another car and get into a huge car wreck. I was sweating like mad and frantically pushing at her. I needed both my arms but couldn't exactly take my left arm off the wheel at 65 mph. That's when things got really scary. She shifted her weight onto me and her leg threw the gear shift and car into neutral. Oh fuck me! Fuck me very much. I tried to keep her from mashing me against the driver-side door. A car crash felt imminent and I must have used whatever adrenaline rush that the fear gave me to push her into the passenger seat and throw the car back into drive. She was slumped in the passenger seat. I pulled over, put her into the back and stuffed a big 40-pound dog food bag to block her from doing that again. From there the place was mercifully nearby. I pulled into the lot, met Betty the Rottweiler Rescue Lady and we lifted Baby into the back of her truck I said good-bye and Betty took Baby off to see the Vet.

Reflecting on the joy-ride over I had two thoughts. First, I thought if I been killed in that situation but my wife and family would have an exceptionally hard time explaining how it happened."Krankiboy was... killed by a Rottweiler... in a traffic accident... while rescuing her." Huh? Would the dog have been charged with vehicular manslaughter? That would be a shame because Rottys have a bad enough rep as it is for biting and attacking, they don't need to add reckless driving to their resume.

Well, kids... I got me a call from Rescue-lady Betty yesterday and she informed me that Baby is with a kind foster family with big ole yard. The family's old Rottweiler had recently died and Betty was optimistic that they might commit to adopting Baby.

Thanks for an interesting few days, Baby. In all the chaos, Penny and I forgot to take a picture to remember her stay with us. But if you envision an enormous arthritic female Rottweiler and then garnish it with six quarts of drool, you'll get a good mental picture of Baby.


Sponky said...

Aw, that's such a good story Kranki.

I don't get how people can be assholes to dogs.

BEVIS said...

I agree that it makes for a lovely story. I'm not a dog-person myself (as in, I am neither a person who adores dogs in an overly-affectionate way, nor am I some kind of man-dog hybrid), but I have no problem with them.

On the other hand, I am a cat person. Which is to say that I have cats, I love cats, and I share a special affinity with cats. I am not some kind of man-cat hybrid, either.

However, despite the fact that I love cats and feel very little towards dogs (but I repeat that I don't hate dogs!), your story made me feel strangely close to Baby. I hope she is well and happy with her new family.

It's a shame you gave up on skeleton-dog so easily! :)

Hopefully Betty wasn't yankin' your chain.

And Sponky, I don't get how people can be cruel to cats or dogs. neither deserves cruelty.

If shown love, both will show it back.

I am the Cat Whisperer.

fluffy said...

Yay Kranki! Baby will be so happy in her new home.

Sponky said...

Bevis, I didn't mean to imply that cruelty to cats and not dogs is acceptable.

Hell, I don't even kill cockroaches or mosquitoes.

Desci said...

Aaaw, puppy! My parents have a rottweiler, we all adore him. That 'Hello Rottweiler' pic may or may not be stolen, printed out and used as part of my brother's birthday card for this monday ;)

Bryan said...

You had nocturnal emissions at 13? I started at 15. I still remember it like it was yesterday. Oh well, I guess it's different strokes for different folks.

angela said...

I love this story. I'm glad you both made it off the freeway alive.
In other news, K got a puppy! She put pics up on her blog, and I'm playing puppy nanny until I get gainful employment again.
Maybe I'll go play animal rescue today.

kranki said...

Please email me some puppy pix or a link to them.

jon said...

I was searching for dog rescue info and found this post. I agree totally!