Don’t make the mistake of treating your dogs like humans, or they’ll treat you like dogs. ~Martha Scott
We had a birthday at The Fairfield House yesterday. The original devil dog, Buster the beast, turned lucky 13. Lucky, I say, because he’s still alive. I can hardly believe he’s been with me for over a dirty dozen years, it only feels like an eternity. Buster is a wheaton colored cairn terrier but considers himself a pit-bull. Anyone that knows cairn terrorists, knows that a pit-bull would be so much easier.
Don’t be fooled by that lovable face, he’s a killer. Years ago, pre-Fairfield House, he confronted a skunk every other day. I did everything to rid him of his not so sweet smell of success: tomato juice, special ‘guaranteed to work’ shampoo from the vet, perfume … I got so desperate I even bathed him in Massengill’s Vinegar Douche. None of these methods worked. However, the wall paper I hated peeled effortlessly off the walls. On one of the last, hot muggy, hazy in skunk stench days of summer, someone was pounding on my door. I opened it to an angry neighbor pointing at my dog. “There’s a skunk head in my back yard!” he yelled. I stood there in silence wondering where the rest of the skunk was. Maybe this is why I can’t get rid of the smell. Perhaps it’s behind my couch or under my bed. Then I thought of The Lord of the Flies and pictured Buster proudly displaying his skunk head on a stick in front of his dog house. Then I thought of him changing his name to Buster Boone sporting a skunk skin cap. I must have started to hum Buster Boone was a dog. Yes a tough dog. With an eye like an eagle and as broad as a mountain was he. Buster Boone was a dog. Yes a tough dog. He was brave, he was fearless and as tough as a mighty oak tree. From the skunk-skin cap on the top of ol’ Buster to the end of his rawhide bone. The rippin’est roarin’est fightin’est dog the frontier ever knew. Buster Boone was a dog. Yes a tough dog. And he fought for America to make all Americans free. What a Boone. What a wonder. What a dream comer truer was he.… my neighbor seemed more infuriated. Buster had gone green and saved the town from that rootin’ tootin’ air pollutin’ skunk and all we got is grief. Holding back my laughter, my face contorted as tears streamed down my cheeks, I asked if he wanted me to remove the remains of the decapitated skunk from his yard. At that point I was considering having it mounted and hung over my mantel. He didn’t. He just wanted me to know what kind of dog I had. Oh, I know. That’s why I love him so.