If you’ve happened to peek at this space, you know I’m an animal lover and are probably quite familiar with the newest four-legged addition to our family – Steve Rogers, Captain America.
He’s a rescue and a Chihuahua, so his arrival in my world accomplishes two things.
One, an animal who needed a home gets one that he can live happily in forever.
Two, he has helped fill a void for my wife and I, who lost our 17-year old Chi a year and a half ago.
Now at this point you’ve probably had your heartstrings tugged and are saying things like, “Awww,” and “How sweet.”
And I am a lovable little fellow, and therefore appreciate that reaction.
But in the interest of full disclosure, I need to share something with you:
I’m pretty sure Steve is possessed by demons.
There really is no other explanation for his frequent and horrific outbursts.
Remember the movie “The Omen?”
Remember the movie “The Exorcist?”
Now imagine Damien Thorn and Regan MacNeil getting married and then having a dog-child.
You know what you’d get?
Beelzepup, aka Steve Rogers. Captain America.
As is the wont of his breed, he yaps and he yaps a lot.
We knew this before we got him, and I’m fine with that. Sure, it’s startling when you hear a shrill, blood-curdling bark for no apparent reason – sorta like canine Tourette Syndrome. But hey – I unleash a similar scream when I get a call from a number I don’t recognize.
Then, though, he gets this evil look in his bulbous eyes and decides to attack.
Bane, our big, beautiful Maine Coon-size cat, will be minding his own business when suddenly Steve will leap from the couch, jump directly on top of Bane and take a huge bite of hair while making this unnerving hellhound-like noise.
Bane is so sweet and gentle he lets Steve get away with it, although occasionally he’ll throw a roundhouse when the tiny terror goes after his ears.
Thor, our other cat, was smart enough to rough Steve up early on, so he is rarely on the receiving end of Steve’s evil actions. Steve has learned to try a take a quick bite out of Thor’s butt, and then run away.
However, our 10-year-old dog, Charlie, can’t escape Steve’s wrath.
Any time Chuck so much as moves, Steve charges him and starts biting his legs.
Even when Charlie takes a break in the backyard and lies in the sun. Steve will run at him at full speed and dive into his chest, teeth-first.
Charlie has the sweetest nature of any dog I’ve ever known, but even he gets agitated by Steve.
The other day, I’m pretty sure I heard him call the little one an asshole.
And then there’s me.
Steve will be laying on my lap, sleeping the sleep of angels, and then suddenly jump into action and start gnoshing on me.
He went hard after the bird finger on my right hand just last week, and yesterday while I was working on this very column he chomped down on some love handle spillage on my left side.
It hurt like a mother.
My wife and I are peaceful people, so we don’t strong-arm our critters. And when it comes to Steve we try to correct him by sternly chastising him or, sometimes, sending him a terse text message.
He tends to mind his human mama much better than me, although he has tried her patience as well.
To date, however, he refuses to follow any of my orders. Yet just when I’m about to lose my temper, he’ll start wagging his tail and licking my face and being a precious little creature.
And he’ll stay that way for about five minutes … and then try to bite me.
Hopefully, we won’t have to resort to an exorcism; perhaps as he loses his puppy energy, he’ll give up the dark arts.
Meanwhile, I’ll just deal with his craziness as best I can.
After all, I do love the little devil.