D4 – 5 November 2013

Posted: November 5, 2013 in Dialog, Prose
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,




5 November 2013

“Good morning, Chuck. Hi, Sandy. How are you feeling today?”

“Well, I haven’t had any heart attacks, so that’s a good thing.”

“I guess every morning you wake up is a good day, right?”

“Yeah, I was just thinking, August 24 was five years since I got out of hospital from my last heart attack. My first happened the month earlier, on July 4. I remember, my friend Dave was going to pick me up for a routine doctors appointment. I  lived on Cooper then. I waited for him at the curb and that’s the last thing I remember. No sun, moon, stars, nothing until August 24. Dave said when he arrived they were taking me away in an ambulance. I don’t know how many heart attacks I had in the hospital. They told me I died nine times. It was the smoking that did it. I was going through three packs a day, and I was a big drinker. I still have dreams about smoking and I’m disappointed when I wake up to find that I can’t have one. The drinking was no problem. I just quit.

“Thinking back to that place I lived. It was the Cadillac of apartments, so that’s where all my friends liked to hang out. There was  a table up against the window. I had a cushion there for my dog. She was a Schnauser Terrier mix, mostly dark-hired with silver tips.  I called her D4, D for dog. Anyway, she liked to sit in the window, usually facing us to keep an eye on what was going on. Dave turned the other way for a second, then he bent down to kiss D4, only she had turned around to look out the window. He kissed her square on the ass. We still tease him about that, ‘Hey Dave, want another kiss from D4?’

“She was a great dog. I built a set of stairs for her so she could climb up on my bed. She usually slept, curled up with me. One night she woke up, ran down the stairs and hid under the bed. I reached under the bed for her, she was shivering. I turned on the light and noticed that she had peed on the bed. I knew that was the end. The next day I took her to the vet and he put her down. I guess I could have kept her for a while longer, a few weeks, maybe a month,  but once they’ve lost control of their bowels, it’s a sign that they’ve got more problems. I didn’t want her to suffer.

“Andre was a good friend of mine, he used to pan where Silver was. He had a dog…”

“That was the dog that Weasel got, wasn’t it?”

“Yeah, that’s the one. Then after Weasel died, Bearded Bruce had her for a while. Shortly after that, they put her down. She should have been put down a long time before that. She was suffering from cancer, had a big lump on her side, must have been in a lot of pain. That’s irresponsible. There’s a woman who wants Sandy after I die, but I’m not going to let her. She had a dog, a lab it was. It could hardly walk, couldn’t climb stairs. That’s no way for a dog to live.  I told her, ‘For the dog’s sake, you should have her put down, she’s in pain.’ No,’ she said, ‘I couldn’t bear to be with out her. I’m going to keep her as long as I can.’ That’s just plain selfish.

“My son had a dog ever since he was twelve. Of course, it was his dog, but I took care of it.”

“Your son, Chuck Junior, had a dog a short while ago.  V he called her.”

“Yeah, he only had her a short while. He said he let one of his friends take her for a walk and she ran away. I don’t believe that.

“I’m going to phone Joy today. Do you know if she has a phone now?”

“Last I heard she had a phone, had her service hooked up, along with internet that Big Jake saddled her with. He’s getting out in three weeks.”

“Is she going to take him back, after what he did to her?”

“She mentioned taking care of him while he has his hip replacement, but I can’t see that working. There’s still a restraining order preventing him from being anywhere near her. I think that was part of the reason he went back to prison.

“If Joy doesn’t have a phone, you can always call Mariah upstairs.”

“I’ll try to call. She’s a good girl. I like her.”


  1. I thoroughly enjoyed that. The pinch ofhumor helped , gave it life I think (: thank you.


  2. The lives of dogs on the street is disturbing concerning their welfare. Your stories ring true and I look forward to them. Thank you.


    • Generally, the dogs are treated extremely well, like members of the family. Weasel was an exception. He was on crack most of the time. He’d often leave Blackie in someone else’s care for long periods. Many people told him to take her to the vet, but he wasn’t good at taking advice. I’m glad that you look forward to these stories. ~ Dennis


  3. Ben Naga says:

    Connections are important.


  4. littlevoicetalks says:

    I love these conversations Dennis. The real deal. So genuinely moving and they speak volumes about ‘living.’ I am always touched by the humour, sadness, humility, tenderness, real-life, struggle, joy andmovement of all these wonderful souls you bring to your blog and give a voice to. xx


  5. Aussa Lorens says:

    Loooove this. I work at a psych hospital so this sounds sweetly familiar.


    • My wife works with Alzheimer’s patients. I’m sure that your experiences and hers are very similar. Most of my friends have some mental disability, unfortunately because they are homeless, they don’t receive the treatment or the medication that they need. Thanks for visiting. ~ Dennis


  6. illyipstick says:

    Your posts are magnificent. I live in Ottawa and just wow! You are in inspiration Dennis.


    • Thanks so much. I’ve read many of your posts and I identify with them. We each have our own journey of discovering who we are. You are very brave and have the power within you to accomplish whatever you want. ~ Dennis


  7. leamuse says:

    Years ago, a friend who does major animal rescue asked for my son’s phone number. At the time I didn’t think much of it. Half an hour later, he shows up at my house with his “baby” girl, Jilly. Jilly was found with a crushed leg and my friend spent a fortune repairing it. She is very particular where her “children” go. She knew Joseph would as well. If Joe is not at work, Jilly is with him. However, now he has to lift her into bed with him and he spends more and more of his income on Jilly. He knows their time together is coming to an end and wants to hang on but could not bear it if she were suffering. The vet keeps an eye on her and says she is not suffering but will let Joe know when it is time. My heart goes out to him as I know this loss will be great. Did I mention, Jilly is a Pit-bull. Yes, they respond to the love if it is given. Joe gave Jilly a home and she gave him much more!


  8. I know many Pit-bull owners. Their dogs are very well behaved. I’ve heard a saying, “There are no bad dogs, only bad owners.” I had a King Doberman, named Tiffany, who was the sweetest dog anyone could imagine. She was very obedient to commands and was a good guard dog. My wife never had to worry, as long as Tiffany was with her.

    Sadly, Tiffany developed a tumor and had to be put down by the vet. We both bawled our eyes out on the walk home. My heart also goes out to Joe. ~ Dennis


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