So I dangled in front of Mont Royal metro station this morning for my coffee. Nice spot that. Slanting sunjuices and coveys of interesting people scurrying around. A good place to sit and sip. So I did, and while watching what could have been Gina Davis's drunk-double polish off another beer and hurl invective at innocents, I naturally thought about my mother. And to think about my mother these days is to also think about Louis, her dog.
Louis has a checkered past. He is a German Shepherd that the BC Humane Society caught when he wondered off a reservation and into a supermarket parking lot (the SPCA claims it has no authority in reservations, but they'd been 'tracking' him for a while.) He had not been neutered and had cigar burns on his front legs. After seeing his picture Becky forwarded, my mum shot up there and adopted the kid... the name they'd given him was Roger. So she brought him home and tried to make the transition easy on him, as he was rightfully very skittish. Little did she know to the degree.
Rosie (my mum) would plonk him in a cage when she left the house, just so he could get accustomed. His treats were a few toys, comfy blanket and a pig's ear to keep him entertained. On returning, she found the dog at the door looking very glad to see her. Louis'd chewed through the front brackets of the cage. Impressed, my mum asked Devon (more about Devon in later posts, I'm sure) to fortify the door. He made the door nigh near unbreakable: Louis was now the dog in the iron mask...
Next time she returned, Louis was once again by the door. A little guilty looking perhaps, but free nonetheless. This time he'd chewed his way through the side of the cage (which is some feat), and with an added twist had retreived a book called How To Train Your German Shepherd, and dropped it into the cage for my mum to find. So this is how she discovered Louis' fuck-you style. He'd also started gnawing his way through the walls of the house. One particularly impressive place was around a glass pane... She looked for help from an animal trainer called Gary. This guy domesticates bears, so why not a housepet, right? Wrong. No joy. Louis chewed his way through her seatbelts in her car. Climbed through the cracked windows in car-parks. Followed us into movie stores (a bull in a china shop those episodes). And then there's the fight with other dogs.
The fights came fast, and had everything to being on the end of a leash. If he was off, he'd cajole the other dog into making a break for it to go hunt deer or wrestle with a rope. If on. He'd go for the murder (he sounds vicious, but he's a big softy with seperation anxiety issues. When I lived with him, he and I were actually inseparable, and asides from Ben, my only friend in Cowichan Bay. We'd go rockclimbing together, I'd take him to work with me, he'd try and flush out deer in the woods for me to catch, and look really crestfallen when I didn't leap to it, instead I just stroked the deer as it bounced by.)
So my mum went back to Gary. And Gary says that we've been too soft on him and that, this time, 'NO MERCY. Show Louis who's alpha.' And taught my mother how to wrestle dogs so they defer. So now, whenever she walks the pooch, and he gets into a cocky swagger in front of another dog, she launch herself at him and body-slams him to the ground. This is too much for the tender sensibilities of Vancouver Island people, so she gets scowls and tuts from all the losers that caused the problem in the first place.
I have no idea why a shit-faced Gina Davis made me think of my mother beating the crap out of her own dog.