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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Matters Familias - Balls of Steel last night I was all freaked out and complaining about that damned Murphy whose law just plains sucks eggs.  You know, the one that says if it can go wrong it will?

I was visiting the boyfriend in town and called my dad to see what was going on.

"Dee, Versace is gone.  I've looked everywhere."

Versace, for those of you who don't know, is my daughter's precious little puggle (cross between a pug and a beagle).  The ex-husband decided he didn't want to deal with her anymore after my daughter got an apartment, so I went over to the house on my last visit to Los Angeles and got her and brought her home.  My daughter loves that dog more than anything or anyone else.  So on the few occasions something's happened where we thought we'd have to make that dreaded call and tell her something awful has happened have been truly horrifying times.

Last night was one of them.

My dad lives on 400 acres in the country.  There's a fellow who lives  behind us who raises cows, and he and my dad have an arrangement.  If he'll come and cut the pasture and make it look all pretty like a golf course, he can keep the hay and use it for his cattle.

But Versace loves to chase cars.  So we have to keep her inside if anyone's driving around outside.  So back to the story.

"I'd waited until I was sure Robert had left and then I let her out," he said.  "But a little while later I heard the other dogs making a big racket, and went out to see what it was."

Turns out all the dogs were frantically barking at a big-as-all-get-out water mocassin.  My 85-year-old father, who cut down a pecan tree all by himself last year, got a stick.  Not even a big stick.  Just a stick.  And beat that three-foot-long, four-inch-diameter, mean-ass water mocassin to death.  A little stick maybe two feet long.

"I felt bad for the poor snake," he said.  "But I had to do it."

The closer he gets to his own mortality, the more he hates taking a life -- any life.

I'd have been scared silly.

Then he noticed Versace was gone.  And that's when I called.  We both knew what had happened.  She'd been bitten and run off to die somewhere.

"I'll be right out," I said, along with a few rather horrible profanities under my breath, and drove pell-mell out to Daddy's.  We called and called and called.  Nothing.

I was supposed to have taken her to the vet this week for all her shots, her worming, and her rattlesnake vaccine.  This was a water mocassin...but still.

I was heartbroken.  And exhausted.  I went to bed.  I ranted about Murphy's Law on Facebook for a bit and then turned off the light and went to bed.  I was in that twilight where you're not really asleep but not awake either, when I heard something running into the room and jumping onto the bed.


She waggled her butt and smiled and licked my face.

Am I dreaming?  I stumbled out of bed and went downstairs.  I crept into Daddy's room.


"She came to the door a few minutes ago.  I was so glad to see her I gave her a whole can of cat food."

Canned cat food is Versace's guilty pleasure.  He usually curses at her and kicks her out of the way when she tries to horn in on the kitties' food.

I took her today to get those shots.

How do you spell relief?  W-o-o-f!