Wednesday, February 19, 2014

If It Weren't For Bad Ideas He'd Have No Ideas At All

Oh, dear. Hick has a new project in development. Of course I am quite positive this Hick-rigged device will result in my incineration. But let's not put the cart before the horse...

We have a beagle named Tank who is getting on in years. He's 49 by the canine calendar. No longer a svelte rabbit-runner, the breakneck flying leaps off the porch have taken their toll on his joints. He whimpers every time he gets up to walk, and when the other dogs bump him or lash him with their waggers. Hick thinks Tank has arthritis, and doesn't like to hear him in pain. Here's a picture of Tank when he was but a pup. A pup making deals with the devil:

Let's remember we're talking about Hick, here. Does Hick want to take Tank to the vet to get some doggy arthritis medicine? We know it exists, because Hick's old-man friend used to take the pills prescribed for his dog. But no, Hick is not interested in getting painkillers for Tank. He has said several times this winter, "Well, I hate to do it, but I think I'm going to have to take Tank and have him put down."


"What? He's a dog. Dogs hurt. They get a thorn in the foot, they limp. They get in fights, they have cuts to heal. They tangle with a porcupine, they have needle ouchies. You don't put a dog down just because you think he's in pain. He gets around. He lays in the sun. He follows your Gator down to the cabin. You think Tank would rather be DEAD than ache when he moves?"

"Well, I guess you have a point. But I could never shoot him. I'd have to have Buddy up the road do it for me."

"You're not going to shoot Tank."

"No. I'd pay to have him put down."

"He's not that bad! Maybe he's just a whiner. He still eats. He gets off the porch. He runs around with the other dogs. Just slower."

Now that we've had a warm snap, Tank has stopped his whining. In fact, this morning at 2:30 a.m., he felt fine enough to stand right under our bedroom window and bay at all manner of imagined intruders and woodland fauna. He's acting like his old self again. Guess that "putting down" business was a bit premature.

Tonight Hick came in from looking for The Egg (which is quite elusive, it seems, having had no hen fruit for a month, then 20 discovered in a secret stash Monday, and now nothing again) and sat down to reveal his new project while I washed dishes.

"We have a heater that I took out of that old water bed. I think I'm going to sandwich it between two pieces of OSB board, and make a heating pad to put in Tank's dog house."

"Uh. No. No way am I going to have one of your contraptions on the other side of my bedroom wall, on the wooden porch of our wooden house, for you to incinerate me as I sleep. I won't even leave a lamp on all night. Why would I want a waterbed heater between two boards ready to combust the minute my eyes are closed?" That's not just electricity-ignorant Val talkin'. Genius called tonight, and I told him the plan, and he said, "That's a TERRIBLE idea!" We're sending him to college to be an electrical engineer, you know.

Right now that proposed water-bed-heater-wooden-pad plan has been tabled. Hick thought for a slim moment that he would just put a regular heating pad in Tank's dog house. "Nah. He would probably eat it."

One thing is certain. I am not going to complain to Hick when my knees are aching.


  1. Good grief. Already the writing ideas are flowing your way. Hick is a fountain that never stops spewing...

  2. Poor, old Tank! What a cutie he was as a puppy and I'm sure he's still just as cute now. I say, if Hick won't get the doggy medication, maybe ol' Val will go and get it for him?? I will have bad dreams thinking of Tank being in any pain....or worse...

  3. I used to care for a lady (and I am not kidding) that was 104. She acted like she was about 70. Her secret? Glucosamine. She also had a dog that I thought was a puppy. I wondered what would possess a woman 104 years old to get a puppy. It turns out the "puppy" was 21 years old and had arthritis. She decided to give it her Glucosamine. As far as know, she and her dog are both still alive.

    I have to say that the waterbed heater is not the best idea I have heard all day.

  4. Birdie is right - Glucosamine & Chondroitin for pets
    Meanwhile, don't complain.

  5. With all of the "out buildings" why is one not for the dogs? Straw, water and warmth when they all lie down at night? Shuck 'em to the barn and then shuck 'em to the Vet!

  6. Sioux,
    Yes, Hick is a leak that can't be staunched. No matter how many towels you throw over him and stomp on, he remains all wet.

    Sometimes, I think Tank is a typical male. He whines like he is the only dog ever to feel joint pain upon arising from his day of laying around doing nothing.

    I will look into the joint meds. My best old ex-teaching buddy Mabel takes that stuff, but I daresay she does not ingest the dog dose. And she is not 104.

    Consulting my BFF Google later this evening. I am looking for a sock to stuff in it. If Buddy comes a-knockin', this old Val is gonna get to lockin'. No free assassin will set foot across MY threshold.

    The dogs have access to the goat shed, and the lean-to at the BARn enclosed with the discarded Save A Lot sign. It is stacked with hay bales, and Tank has been known to tunnel into them. Tank also fits in the chicken house, and has been observed sleeping in there many a time. Yet my sweet, sweet Juno takes the rap for egg-eating. Besides, we have three (THREE) dog houses lined with cedar shavings, right up on the porch, out of the wind, where Tank can keep his dewclaws on the pulse of Thevictorians.

  7. That Hick, such a clever guy. I made the mistake of reading this post to He Who would have saved an item just such as the heater from a water bed. He thinks this to be an idea worthy of investigation. It would work like the elements in the in-floor heating says He Who can't seem to keep our fence upright in the wind.

  8. Didn't mean to offend I was just askin'. I just look back on how much more I could have done for my companion, Charlie. I should have never left him in the house all day long alone while I was at work. I should have taken him to the Vet more often. I should have provided him with a friend to play with or antagonize all day until I got home. When I lived in the country, I had two big dogs. A Lab and a mixed Husky/Shepherd?. Anyway, built a nice dog house, water proofed it and filled it with straw. Every time I checked on them they had scratched the straw out of the damn dog house into the front of it and laid there! I don't think they liked being enclosed. Or else, they were stashing goodies in their house. I don't know and didn't want to know. I just kept putting out dry straw. Indoor and outdoor dogs are two different things. I have not lived in the country for many years. I was inclined mentally to associate with my last companion, Charlie. who lived with me for 12 years in the city within a little yard and the house. I read too many stories of animal abuse and am very sensitive. Sorry.

  9. Kathy,
    Great minds think alike, I suppose...

    Not offended at all. Just letting the record show that Tank has options. According to Hick, Tank would be just fine if Ann would let him in her house to snuggle. She runs out when he goes in. I'm surprised Hick hasn't tried building a "pouch" to strap on Ann, so he can stuff Tank inside.