Last night, I didn’t get any sleep because I was up and down looking out the window, standing on the porch, and jumping at every noise I heard, thinking my child would be home at any minute. You are probably wondering what my twelve-year-old daughter was doing out all night? It wasn’t my bean who was selfishly running amuck. It was my four-legged fur kid, Chubby. Chubs is our nine-year-old pitbull we brought home as a puppy when Jordan was three. I recently realized I have failed to entertain you with any anecdotes about Chubby.
Chubby’s God-given name is actually Hank Jr. You see, we adopted a red pitbull before we had Jordan and his name was Hank. Hank was a handsome red pittie who adored The Bibbed Wonder. I believe that once, maybe twice in one’s life, one has “the pet.” A pet who connects to a person at a deeper level. That was Hank Sr. for Eric. Like Eric, Hank Sr. was a real character. Hank Sr. had an obsession with porcupines. We had him at the vet at least a half dozen times because he could not leave porcupines alone. We took him to the vet on a cold January day with his face and mouth riddled with quills. The vet tech came out to tell us he was in recovery because he always had to be put to sleep to remove the excess of quills; he also told us that Hank had to dig up the porcupine because they hibernate in the winter. Sigh. Hank’s obsession with porcupines eventually killed him. The vet believed he ingested quills after removing 200 from his face and another 200 from inside his mouth. The vet thought that the quills had probably punctured his intestines, and there was unidentified internal bleeding. He passed away a few minutes after we brought him home from that trip to the vet.
Six months after Hank Sr. passed away, Eric heard that a local breeder with a good reputation had a litter of pitbull puppies. He and Jordan went to look at the litter, picked out a puppy, put a down payment on the puppy, and waited until the puppy was ready to come home. I didn’t see the puppy until they brought him home. I was not prepared for another puppy. I felt disloyal to Hank Sr., so much so that I cried when they brought the puppy home. Eric said, “The universal sign of joy and happiness is a puppy, and you are bawling your eyes out!” Sigh. Like it or not, Hank Jr. was here to stay. Jordan is the one who called Hank Jr. Chubby. She would rub his little fat puppy belly and say in her little tiny voice, “Who is my chubby buddy?” Chubby just stuck, and he has been called Chubby or Chubs ever since.
Like Miss Mittens, the kitten with no mittens, Chubby is anything but chubby. He is a lean, muscled, athletic boy who runs the farm and jumps about like a puppy even at the age of nine. Chubby is and always has been Jordan’s boy. He adores her. Wherever she goes, he is right there with her. If she is playing in her playhouse or on the swing set, he can be found lying under the hickory tree watching her. If she is riding her bike or scooter on the driveway, he is running alongside her. If she is in the house, he is wherever she is sitting. He is highly protective of Jordan. We don’t dare raise our voice if she is near. Chubby will get up and stand between her and us with an intimidating look on his face. Not that we ever raise our voice at her in anger, but there is often a lot of teasing and squealing that goes on in our home. Also, no one is allowed to dance but Jordan. Chubby goes nuts if we dance in Jordan’s presence. I don’t think he knows how to interpret the flailing arms and wiggling bodies. He will jump on us and bark until we stop. He is an intimidating character, but it makes us feel like Jordan has another layer of protection.
Chubs adores all children unless they are chasing The Bean or being too physical. He is like a four-legged nanny that gives a warning when the play gets too rough. Our ferrier friend often brings his three children with him when the pony’s feet need to be trimmed. Ultimately, the little girl ends up crying because her two brothers tease her. As she was walking up the driveway loudly crying at the unfairness of life with two brothers, Chubs escorted her safely to her daddy and then went back to the pond to keep an eye on the other children. Chubs is a very good boy unless it is bedtime and someone lets him out.
Last night, Chubs went out with Eric to shut the chickens in for the night. We know we cannot let Chubs out after dark because there is a high probability that he will run the farm’s perimeter looking for security breaches. These breaches include but are not limited to deer, raccoons, opossums, groundhogs, and other small to medium-sized wildlife. The deer he merely chases off, but the raccoons, opossums, and groundhogs are a threat he takes very seriously. Although he is slowing down in his old age, it is not uncommon for there to be two or three dead animals in our yard per week. He likes to lay them under the arborvitaes near the barn. If not promptly removed, he will gnaw on them for days. It’s gross. They must be removed when he is inside napping. Otherwise, he carries them around with his head held high and his tail wagging as he plays keep away.
Last night, he did not return home until 2:00 a.m. We worry about him being outside with the coyotes being near. I’m not sure what he was up to, but he didn’t come when he was called at least a dozen times. He is not the most disciplined dog around, but he is mostly a good boy. I would doze off on the couch then awaken to remember that my four-legged fur baby was not home safe and sound. I would waddle to the front door, look out the window, or go out on the porch to see if he is sitting just at the edge of the porch light. He does that, sits just out of sight, and watches you look for him. That is definitely not one of his more charming qualities. I would shuffle back into the house, growling curses under my breath, and go back to dozing off.
Finally, at 2:00 a.m., he bounced onto the porch and into the house as though he had just had the time of his life. He could have at least pretended to be exhausted but instead bounced into the kitchen and plunked his bottom down, waiting for a cookie. I quietly hissed, “Oh no, you don’t, mister! There won’t be any cookies for late-night shenanigans! Get your ass to bed!” He looked disgruntled but wandered off to snore loudly and twitch in his sleep. I finally fell fast asleep when what seemed like minutes passed, and my alarm was going off at 5 a.m. Sigh.
I got The Bean off to school and informed The Bibbed Wonder I was taking a nap. Now dear reader, I sit writing to you, being annoyed that my dog has created a setback to the start of my day. The next time one bib overall wearing wonder buns puts the dog out at night, he will find his pillow and blanket placed on the couch with his alarm set for every hour on the hour. I do believe that is fair. As always, stay safe, be smart, don’t permit your fur babies to run amuck at night, and keep washing your hands.