Until doggy death do us part | AspenTimes.com
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Until doggy death do us part

Alison Berkley

My Christmas totally sucked. Duh, I know I’m Jewish. But my family uses Christmas as an excuse to get together and pretend all that red-and-green holiday spirit and forced cheer and bad music and ugly decorations doesn’t make us want to run around blowing up Christmas trees (Oh, relax. I love trees and animals and little chubby kids, I mean elves. I’m just bitter because Santa Claus doesn’t come to my house and I actually have to pay for the damn presents with my own money). My parents have a timeshare in Beaver Creek of all places, a small condo in the quaint highway town of Avon. Forget the whole “Vail Sucks” mantra. I won’t even go there. A friend of mine from Steamboat summed it up best when she said, “You know what we call Vail, right? And A Highway Runs Through It.”Believe me, I had my reservations about packing my bags only to drive an hour and a half to a place that’d likely be more crowded with even lamer tourists than we have here, but I thought better than to complain about having to go to Beaver Creek. (Is anyone else nervous about driving through Glenwood Canyon now that we know there’s a chance you might get clocked by a boulder the size of a bus?)I tried to keep a positive attitude. I figured it would be a good time to be with family and take a week off from my dog Psycho Paws, whose path of destruction has reached new heights.A week ago, I left him in the car to go to a party and he shattered the little triangular pushout window on the driver’s side and somehow managed to squeeze his 90-pound body out an opening that would be a struggle for a small cat.Imagine my surprise when I returned to my car and found him gone, tiny shards of glass all over the front seat, scratch marks dug deep into what’s left of my interior. Panicked, I went through a mental checklist of who might be willing to wander the streets of Aspen at 11 p.m. with a flashlight screaming “Sebaaaaaaaaastian!” at the top of their lungs in freezing cold weather. But before I had a chance to start begging everyone lucky enough to be in my cell phone call log, I found him.He was sitting in front of my ex-boyfriend’s dark apartment, tail wagging vigorously, without a scratch on him, wearing the smile of a Cheshire cat.Needless to say, I was ready for a break from him that didn’t involve shattered glass.I figured I would find a kennel in Vail since the Aspen Animal Shelter is right next to my house and it would be a little awkward to have to look at all the rubble from my front porch after Crazy Canine huffed and puffed and blew the place down.After driving for two hours without a window down I-70 on Christmas Eve, I pulled off in Minturn and drove around in circles for 10 minutes looking for Vail’s Most Expensive Dog Prison, the “doggie day care/hotel” where my parents booked a queen-size suite for our dogs to spend the holiday.I dumped Looney Tunes off with all the paraphernalia necessary: prong/bondage collar, paw cuffs, whips, chains, Valium, and a semiautomatic rifle in case things really got out of control. My mistake, I’d soon realize, was giving the lady my real phone number.Two hours later, I get this hysterical phone call from the Warden: “You need to come and pick up your dog right now. He cannot stay here another minute,” she said, slightly out of breath.”Why? What did he do?” I asked, incredulous.”He tore up the blah-blah-blah and then destroyed my this-and-that. I’ve had thousands of dogs here, but I’ve never seen anything like that,” she said. “What am I supposed to do with him?” I said, trying to imagine sneaking an enormous black dog past the stupid front desk people at Falcon Point in their dumb Norwegian sweaters.She said something like, “If you don’t come and get him right now, I’m going to put a stick of dynamite up his nose and light it.” “Okaaaaaaay, god! I’m on my way,” I said.We made the best of it, strapping the dog to the roof of the car hoping he’d blend in with all the snowboards. We went about our business as usual, getting in arguments over stupid things, going out for Chinese food for Christmas dinner, and opening the presents we said we weren’t going to buy (though I admit that was the fun part).Even though it was like 20 below zero, Armor Dog looked like he was basking in the sun just waiting to tear anyone who came near our car limb from limb. I half expected to find him wandering around town, dragging our roof rack behind him with sparks flying everywhere.Of course I was upset! My brother made fun of it, saying things like, “Do you think his coat would look good on me?” So I called my friend Sascha for comfort and advice, hoping she might know someone with a fenced-in yard or maybe 600 acres for Cujo to play in.”Don’t you find it ironic that he’s just like all the men you date?” she asked. “I mean, he walks all over you, and you just keep giving in.””That is so not helping,” I said.”If you were married with kids, I would tell you to give him up. But he’s all you’ve got,” she said. “You’re stuck with him.”Now there’s something to celebrate going into the new year. To me and Wacko Pooch: Until death do us part.The Princess swears she’s only temporarily bitter and will be back to herself once she gets her car window fixed. E-mail your gentle words to alison@berkleymedia.com.


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