Young David the Destroyer

Christmas 2000

Like previous holiday season for five years, I spent the 2000 season in a combination of hospitals and nursing homes. First I would become sick with MRSA. Then the emergency room

I asked my wife for a rat. I got a shepherd mix with pointed but floppy ears. I understand German shepherds are highly intelligent. I haven’t noticed that trait in abundance. He has love and energy in abundance. Intelligence? Not so much.

David’s ears are pointed, but they usually flop. They stand up when excited. For the size of his tiny puppy body, his feet were huge. I’ve raised puppies previously, but none with his energy. Even today, I can not keep up with him.

Shepherd mixed with what you might ask? I was told he was mixed with sneaky neighbor boy dog. Once I learned German shepherds are thought exceptionally smart, I decided he was half shepherd and half dumb.

David T. Dog is all black, so I named him after a friend who often wore all black: David Ballew.

“But that is a people name.’ argued my daughter Aybreyahna

I reminded my daughter of her past naming convention. When we’d first moved to the farm, my daughter named our next door neighbor’s cat Aybreyahna. Then every stray was named Aubreyahna. Then every turtle, lizard, and other wild critter was named Aubreyahna. The wold ones were Outside Aubreyahnas. The domestics were inside Aubreyhana. She argued she was twelve years old at the time. I argues I was twelve that moment. She agreed dad was a child and the name stuck. He was alternately David King of the Jungle like George of the Jungle and David King of the Wild Frontier like David Cricket. Either way, he was David King of my Heart.

The physical rehab facility was very accommodating. And so should all facilities that offer patient care. Study after study show dogs are medicine. Puppies are extra sweet sugar coated medicine, even when they are hellions. Puppy David was a hellion from day one. If he was not destroying something, it was because he was asleep. But the nurses loved him. The techs loved him. The other patients loved him. I loved him. The doctors did not love him but the doctors there were assholes. The wife and kids did not love him, but by that time the wife and kids were assholes.

That Christmas, those asshole doctors gave me only three hours to leave the facility. Something about my certain death if I missed my IV antibiotics. Obviously the doctors had not reviewed my medical history. Somehow, I’d become immortal. With each of septic shock, they predicted my death. Instead, I just got increasingly odd. Excessive use of anesthesia will do that.

I went home to the camper to find my wife’s mental illness seemed contagious. The kids and David had all gone nuts. The wife and daughter had full blown fist fights. My son Drew refused to go for Christmas dinner. David slept with a pile of shoes and other items he destroyed. The wife decided we would go to dinner without my son Drew. I would have no part in leaving my son alone on Christmas day. But content to spend my few hours at home with my son was not good enough for the wife. After much screaming from his mother and begging from me, my boy gave in.

After dinner, the wife dropped me off at the nursing home. I did not see the further destruction caused by leaving David alone.

More soon!