Once upon a time, there was a boy and a girl with cats. One cat, to start, but you know how cats are… they’re like potato chips. You can’t have just one. The boy was Fritz and the girl was me. The cats were Sheba, who I’d had since I was 16, but somehow became “Fritz’s Cat” as soon as we met, Gypsy, a former feral stray who adopted me, and Gracie, who we were only supposed to foster for two weeks for the SPCA until she gained enough weight to be spayed and put up for adoption. I’m not a good foster-mom, because it’s been seven years and she’s still here.
I was working as a vet tech at the time, and had doggie lust. I loved my cats, but I wanted a dog. A big dog, like a Greyhound or a Scottish Deerhound. Fritz, on the other hand, grew up with little dogs. And little dogs make little poops, which is always something to take into consideration. When my brother and niece got a Shih Tzu and Lhasa Apso, and I spent some time playing with their little guys, my mind was changed. Little dogs were cool.
Fritz’s mind, however, still thought three cats was enough, and didn’t really want a dog. But I played dirty. I told him, if we got a dog, we could name him Beavis.
I began the search on Petfinder, looking up dog breeds and rescues, and we decided to look for a Pekingese. It was disheartening how many rescues completely ignored applications and emails… it was as if they weren’t even interested in finding homes for the dogs. Really, who better to adopt a dog than vet tech and her husband, who worked opposite shifts so the dog wouldn’t be home alone more than three hours a day, with tons of dog experience, no kids and a fenced in yard? We should have been the dream applicant!
One rescue, out of New Jersey, realized that, and we were pre-approved to adopt. We just had to wait until the right dog came around. And following (read: cyber-stalking) them on Petfinder showed that they actually DID adopt out many of their dogs. Their roster of available pets was ever changing, which is more than I can say for some rescues.
Then he was listed. Temporarily named “Gizmo,” because that’s what people always seem to name smushy-faced dogs. No photo yet, but he sounded perfect. A tri-colored Peke, just two years old, okay with cats, housebroken, with a sunny disposition (that ended up being an exaggeration, but no one is ever like their personal ads, not even dogs!). I didn’t even see his picture yet, and I wanted him. One slight drawback. He was missing an eye. But that just added to his appeal for me. He tugged at my heartstrings. He was found as a stray wandering the streets of New York City with his eye popped out of the socket, too badly damaged to save. The ASPCA took him in, fixed up his boo-boo eye, and passed him off to the rescue group for rehab and rehoming.
Then I saw his picture and fell in love. His missing eye didn’t look bad… he just looked like he was winking. (I toyed with the idea of calling him Mr. Winky, but realized there was NO WAY IN HELL I was shouting that name across the park.) We met him, and he took to us, flopping onto his back for belly rubs, and we took him home that same day.
And despite what moms and teachers have been warning children forever, there’s still PLENTY of fun and games to be had once you lose an eye. Other than being a little apprehensive of stuff happening on his blind side, every once in a while walking into telephone poles, not being able to catch or understand what happens with squirrels when they run up a tree, he acts just like any other normal dog.
He acts just like any other Beavis. There’s nothing normal about him at all. The name suits him entirely too well. Crazy mound of blonde hair. Protruding lower jaw with jacked up teeth. A vocabulary that consists primarily of strange noises, mostly grunts. Stubborn, temperamental, selectively hyperactive and absolutely insane. I’ve looked, but I can’t find a bunghole. I’m sure there is one, because he poops, and I still can’t find it under all that fur.
But he’s my little Beavis, and I love him.