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by Kai Rebel 6 months ago in dog
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The Great and Terrible

Photo by Justin Veenema on Unsplash

We got her after my Grandmother passed away. She was a black and white ball of pure terror. My older sister got her to be more specific, to comfort my mother in her grief over losing her mother so suddenly.

My mother wasn't very interested in having a puppy, especially this little monster that had no training or any type of cuteness to her. She called her “Jurassic” as in the fucking dinosaur from Jurassic Park, she was like a mini murderous T-rex.

She walked about on her little legs like she owned wherever her paws touched, and she hated everyone. She’d jump out from wherever she was resting and just bite you for no reason. She'd tear up anything left unattended as if in a frenzy, and poop and piss wherever she felt was most appropriate.

I adored her personality.

My sister had found her in the countryside after she'd been abandoned by a farmer who said she was 'bent'. A cross breed between a hunting dog he had, and whatever her father was, he didn't know for certain, but she was a bit too much for him to handle and he didn't want her.

So that's how she brought Demi home, bad idea? Yes, probably.

She didn't like to be held even as a puppy and you couldn't play with her or tease her in any way or she'd attack you. We came up with her name because it was like a Demi-God, she was half hunter and half-crazy.

My mother lost interest in her very quickly as did my sisters, because her personality was very prickly and she wasn't lovable at all. No one fed her other than me, so she became my responsibility after that.

I made sure she was clean and even did her version of playing, which consisted of having my fingers roughly chewed and her climbing onto my back to try to bite my head.

Concerning yes, she seemed determined to fit my head into her mouth, and as she got older she kept trying. She started exhibiting behaviors around me whenever my sisters or other people tried to get close to me.

She'd force them away and climb onto my lap or just started growling at them to warn them off. I learned not to touch her or get behind her when she was eating, and that she hated being patted on the butt.

I learnt not to put my hand anywhere near her bowl, even to add more food when she was eating. If she left any food behind, it was hers! She'd physically pick up her bowl and move it away if I tried to take the food.

It was funny to watch as the damn bowl was bigger than her head, she’d totter a few steps away, barely able to carry it. I learnt she was intelligent and could understand through inflection in tones, what I felt or meant when speaking to her.

If I was sad she's be subdued and sit with me on the stairs at the back of the house and just be with me, If I was happy she's move at the speed of light and just prance about being cocky as shit.

Whenever I called her she’d come running like a bat out of hell, but one morning she didn’t come, so I went looking for her.

Rain was falling, and I wanted to take her inside, but she never came.

When she was a puppy she was afraid to go on the roof with me when I went to smoke weed, so I’d sit on the steps leading up, and she’d get behind me draping her paws over my shoulder and bite my hair or lick my neck.

When she got bigger, it became difficult to let her, when one day her entire mouth fitted over my skull and she didn’t want to let go. I understand she was playing and she never tried to bite down ,which would’ve harmed me, but she had grown strong enough to over-power me and I didn’t want to chance becoming a cautionary tale.

As for her breeding, it turned out that she was half pit-bull when concerning spots begun appearing all over her white belly and I thought she had doggy cancer or at least hyperpigmentation, only after all the tests to be told she was just half pittie.

Not sure how that works but…I’m not a vet, don’t ask me the specifics.

I digress…

I went out in the rain looking for my baby, I looked under the stairs where she liked to sleep, I checked in the porch where I left the gate open so she could come and go as she pleased. She wasn't there.

I even checked with the neighbor who hated her guts because she stole one side of every shoe he owned, and to this day! We don't know what the hell she did with them, hilarious by the way.

He hadn't seen her either.

I checked the roof last, because she didn't go up there because she was scared of heights back then, it was the only thing that scared her. I took her up there once when she was a puppy, and she whimpered and cried, burying her head into me until I went back down with her.

Still I went up there to check and that’s where I found her.

She was lying on her side facing me, with the rain beating down on her. I thought she was dead.

She just laid there with her eyes closed, when I got closer though, she opened her eyes and looked at me and I was so relieved, I picked her up and ran down stairs with her in my arms.

I remember telling my mom she was sick and she called the Vet who was a family friend and he came over and gave her a shot, he said she had Parvo, or the Parvo-virus.

For days she was sick in the kitchen, I’d cut a box and stuffed it with a blanket next to the refrigerator and did all I could do to make sure she was hydrated. When she went to the bathroom it was while lying on her side unable to move.

For two days she peed and pooped on herself, unable to even lift her head on her own. I fed her liquids and cleaned her with toilet paper, afraid she would die. Sometimes when everyone was asleep, I’d sit with her in my lap just, holding her.

On the third day she started responding when I called her name, her tail thumping weakly up and down, then trying to stand to go outside to do her numbers, and even trying to get up to eat, which I took as a good sign. I think in those days when no one else cared for her she truly became mine.

After that our bond was unbreakable.

When I left for work, Demi sat at the gate crying and whining, and when I came home she’d be lying right there waiting for me. She became friendly with a lot of people in my old neighborhood, mainly those I smoked with and my cousins, mainly males, she like men a lot. And she hated women with the same passion.

In 2017, Demi saved my life.

There was a tropical storm and I had resigned from my job days before it hit. I let her out to do her number after I’d tied her in the porch to keep her from running around in the rain, she’d grown and was no longer afraid of the roof so she would run back and forth until I came out to play with her.

Sometimes at 2:00am I would be outside, whisper shouting for her to get of the damn roof, as no one in the house could sleep with her prancing back and forth over our heads.

My dad had left earlier in the day to go home before the storm hit, Demi and I were at home alone, I in my mother’s room which was the safest part of the house. I believed I was safe at the time, since it was pure concrete overhead in-case high winds ripped the roof from the rest of the house, I would at least have shelter.

Demi had been tied up in the porch until I let her out.

Now, overlooking that part of the house, was a small cliff where the retaining wall had never been completed. It had always been ominous to me but I never worried about it. In retrospect, I should’ve though.

I settled down wrapped in blankets to watch a K-drama, I can even remember that it was One Thousand Miles of Peach Blossoms.

Demi was barking, viciously and madly. I knew my dog well enough that when she barked like that, either someone she didn’t know was in the yard and about to die, or something was wrong.

She was barking from right under the window where I was lying down. I got up and went through the kitchen to try to get her by the back door, but she kept running away no matter how much I called. So I went to the window to look and she jumped up placed her paws on the sill and let me touch her head before she was off again.

I shut the window, and lay back down on the bed since I figured she’d be playing outside for a while but, Demi started going crazy outside the window. I remember her barking like that only once, they’d been a snake outside and she’d attacked it as it tried to enter the house through a drainage pipe on the side of the building.

I honestly thought someone was out there and she was trying to warn me that there was danger. I remember jumping off the bed closing my laptop and putting it on the other bed for some reason, I can’t say what it was. I wanted to go to my room and get my phone in case I needed to call for help.

Then I remember hearing a cracking sound, like something breaking and I didn’t know what it was. It was close to the sound of ice cracking under pressure. There was this loud crack! Like… a piece of bark snapping.

Almost like the sound you hear when a thick branch breaks under you. Sharp and loud. I heard her whine, this... high pitched sound that ended abruptly.

I remember the cold feel of the doorknob in my hand, and how I didn’t even open the door, before everything came crashing through the windows. The small cliff overlooking the house and mainly my mother’s room had fallen and turned into a landslide.

It felt as if the entire house shook as it fell, the debris came rushing through the window and onto the bed I’d vacated seconds before. There was broken glass stabbing into the pillows, mud and dirty water poured in spilling over onto the floor and rocks smashed down, where I would have been on my laptop, if I hadn’t moved.

Demi had saved my life.

I remember watching the carnage unfolding before my eyes, the window pane warping inwards as the weight of everything pushed in flooding the room, I remember realizing I couldn’t hear her outside the window anymore.

I got out of the room quickly leaving everything behind, running out the backdoor… to see the Air-conditioning unit ripped from the wall and half buried near my feet where it had been pushed. I couldn’t take more than two steps in that direction.

I couldn’t dig fast enough to get to her even if I tried, I screamed and screamed for her but… she didn’t come.

Remembering that day, I cry as I write this, I remember calling my dad and begging him to come back, Skyping my mother to tell her what happened calling my sisters to tell them I thought she was dead. I imagined the rocks and stones crushing her, the mud suffocating her as it all came down. What was worse, only half of the cliff had fallen, the rest hung there waiting to fall like a head-stone.

Through it all, they blamed me, “Why did you let her out in the first place!”

They said, it was my fault she died like that. They were all horrible to me. She was my dog! I took care of her and loved her me! Not them. But she always tolerated them because they were part of my family.

But they were so terrible to me that day. My dog had saved my life, and now she was gone because of me.

I sat in the rain until help came, numb and cold, just starting at the mountain of mud and rock sitting atop the house mocking me. At some point my cousin who lived a few house away came with some people I knew to help me clear the room of anything that could be saved.

My sister’s boyfriend was there telling her he, “Couldn’t believe Demi went out like that.”

The rest of it was all a blur to me.

My Cousin came to sit with me in the porch sometime later, I remember him asking me if I had to get another dog what kind I wanted. I got angry and yelled at him that I didn’t want another dog. I wanted Demi. It had to be her.

And I swear… God himself heard me.

Demi came running around the side of the house, wet and filthy, covered in mud and straight up the stairs to me. I cried so hard. I just picked her up and took her into my room, mud and all. Someone said she was the Luckiest fucking dog ever.

Afterwards I figured out she been on the roof above the window, barking as loud as she could at that wall of mud when she heard it breaking. My dog who runs like a chicken if she sees anyone holding a cup of water and hates baths, stood in the pouring rain, barking at the cliff because she knew I was under it.

It was ironic to me much later on, because I had resigned and I was sinking into a deep depression and was suffering from suicidal thoughts daily, I asked God every day to just, “let it be over” and if not for my dog I would’ve died as easily as that. That was pure irony.

It’s now 2021, on the cusp of 2022, Demi ‘The Great and Terrible dustbin Terrier’, as my brother calls her, don’t ask me why. Demi lives with my father and is as happy as a pig in shit.

She has land to roam and lives a life of leisure, she had many children who now have their own children making me a great grandmother and her a grandmother.

I see her often and we just sit somewhere in the garden where she leans her head on me and sleeps, or reverts to being a puppy who only shows her belly wanting to play while kicking her legs in the air. She still chews on my fingers but is always careful as she knows she can hurt me.

Have no fear though, she’s still raising hell and destroying everything in her path including but not limited to, stray cows, the neighbors chickens, whenever they wander onto my Dad’s land, and recently, she took her children on a hunting trip where they slaughtered two sheep and feasted until they got caught, resulting in the owner chasing her all the way home with a machete.

Have you ever seen a grown man cry over dead sheep? Ugh! She’s a pain in my ass. But she's still My Demi Baby.

And… I wouldn’t change her for all the dogs in the world.


About the author

Kai Rebel

It Will Be...What It Must.

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