Now about that squeaking.
Brutus was pretty much in heaven while we were at my parents' house. There were lots of people to pet him and scratch his head and a whole new backyard full of freshly planted flowers to pillage and destroy.
The little dogs had to be put in their pen whenever he was inside because they kept trying to pick fights with him. I really felt bad for them; they're used to being the figurative "big dogs" around the house, and then suddenly in walks this young punk who's ten times their size and he thinks he owns the place. They looked on helplessly through their brass prison bars as this uppity usurper ran free and chewed up all their favorite toys.
Those poor little stuffed animals didn't stand a chance. They just weren't built to undergo the kind of strenuous torture that Brutus is accustomed to inflicting upon his playthings. I'd find a plush carcass here, a disembodied eyeball there...my mom's dogs must have been in a living hell, watching all their fluffy friends being gutted and their cottony insides discarded all over the house.
The one survivor was a little rubber frog with a squeaker inside. It seemed Brutus had found his chewy, green soulmate. There was so much squeaking. I can't even begin to describe how much. In the beginning was the squeaking, and the squeaking was with Brutus, and squeaking was Brutus. Time lost all meaning; there was only squeaking. The very word squeak began to lose meaning.
See what I mean?
Sunday morning as we packed up the car, I sent up a grateful prayer that the squeaking was finally over. We gave Brutus a rope bone to play with in the backseat and set of on our merry, squeak-free way. It wasn't until we were just outside of Raton, New Mexico that we heard it: The Sound Who Must Not Be Named.
Sarah nearly drove us off a cliff in a fit of squeak-induced rage, but we managed to make it out of there alive. I roughly deposited the stowaway in the glove box until I could clear my head and decide what to do with it. One thing was certain: My dad was behind this. He'd been making jokes all week about sending that wretched thing home with us, but I never imagined he'd be heartless enough to actually go through with it. I guess I should have known never to trust a man who thinks Beanie Weenies should have their own food group.
Everything in me wanted to cut off the little green legs one at a time, fry them up in a pan and feed them to a feral cat, but one look from those sad brown eyes in the backseat and I knew my fate was sealed. I could never destroy the frog, because with the frog goes the happiness of my second favorite guy ever. I'll just have to learn to live with the squeaking. Heck, maybe someday the squeaking and I can even be friends.
You win this round, Dad.