Well, you see . . . Flash has this thing about getting in the car. Once upon a time he used to like it but now that I won't let him sit in the front seat and hang his head out the window it's a different story. Don't think I'm awful, but when he was a puppy he jumped out of my arms and out the window of our moving car. Since then, I've never trusted him to be smart enough not to fall out and I just don't think I could handle it if I ran him over. So I don't let him hang out the car window. And he hates that.
So....Friday we have an appointment with the vet. It's just short of a 20 minute drive. And the dog howls the entire time. I am not even exaggerating. The. entire. time. Even better, my four year old decided to "sing along," so we got the full stereo effect. Big E and I could not stop laughing.
My daughter, however, who had her ears closest to the canine symphony, was less than impressed, as you can see by the photographic evidence I captured that day.
As horrible as this excursion was, this still wasn't as bad as when we had to take him in last summer. He'd slipped a disc in his back and I thought he was dying. He wouldn't move and the howling started at home. I hauled his 50 plus pound beagle butt into the van and he continued to serenade us with the music of his people as I pulled out of the driveway. Lucky us, there was summertime road construction on the highway and no way to evade it. Even luckier, we managed to be first in line for the wait for the pilot car. Yep. We had to sit, looking at the highway worker holding the stop sign, for 15 entire minutes. Like that's not awkward enough without Flash baying like he's on the scent of the world's largest rabbit. The poor guy didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Honestly, neither did I. About ten minutes in, or maybe it was only two, either way, it felt like we had been sitting there for hours, I let my then nine year old son walk the dog along the side of the highway in a construction zone. Because, you know, at the time it seemed safer than leaving me in the car with that insane beagle.
Like my sister says, "that dog is a mess." And oh, my goodness, he is. He is a mess. A giant food stealing, stinky eared, gets up on the furniture when he's not supposed to and drives my mother crazy mess. But he's almost 14 years old and I think his days are numbered. He's totally deaf and mostly blind already. But he still follows me from room to room and sits at my feet. He whimpers until I pet him and if he gets out, I'm worried out of my mind until he comes home. He's my dog and even though I hate to admit it, I love the smelly, bratty beast that he is.
One day, long from now, my kids will recall their childhoods and tell my grandchildren of that crazy mess of a dog that howled the entire way to the vet. Every. single. time. And they will laugh and they will smile and they will know that they share something that only their mother and their siblings can fully understand. And they'll laugh again and tell their children that "Flash was a good dog. . ." most of the time.