This is the story of how my doggie got a pink patch on his left butt cheek. Forgive me for making all of you my victims, but it's quite a tale.
If I'm going to go back to the origins of this, I'd have to start with the pillows. In my single days, I thought it would be the very last word in cool to have six enormous pillows in tasteful colors as my livingroom furniture. The fabrics I chose were fantastic: flocked damask in earth and green tones, with heavy ecru jaquard backing and some black braid piping on the seams. The stuffing took some time to master, as I hadn't quite realized how heavy the average human is and the effect this would have on pillow loft. Once I discovered shredded foam, I was rocking out loud with the bohemian hipness of my livingroom decor.
Fast forward to the advent of my Best Beloved. Papi didn't quite see the appeal of sitting on the floor on huge pillows, or even the romanticism of a chaise lounge. He didn't even think much of my easy chair, although he does admit it is comfortable. He did see one application for all my carefully sewn and cherished pillows; they made good beds for our new dog, who needed a place to sleep in every room of our new home. Pippin (Muffin Puffin de Dogilillo) happily jumped on each pillow and did the turn-around-three-times thing and settled down to nap in whatever room I happened to be. Then we got a sofa that cost us negative twenty-five dollars -- someone paid Papito to take it away -- and we could take dominant upright positions while Pippin existed on his very small doggie level. We were happy.
Until Pippin discovered the joy of chewing up whatever we were careless enough to leave around the house at very small doggie level. I have lost, among other things, three pair of nice shoes -- I should tell you the shoe-buying stories -- and two books belonging not to me but to a dear friend, and one red pen. I have never liked or used red pens for grading, but Papito likes them for drawing pictures of plans for house and garden. So Pippin absconded with that pen and made a glorious mess with it on his pillow. The ink dried and made a deeply red inky spot, but I was unmoved because my carefully sewn and cherished pillows were become dog beds.
Somewhere in there we had also acquired two rabbits. Both Pippin and Peter, the male rabbit, were black and white furred and looked like soccer balls. I say "were" because Peter has gone to Bunny Heaven and now Pippin is the only FIFA-themed pet. But while Peter was alive, he and Pippin formed an uneasy alliance and were both tolerated by Lily, the chinchilla lop. Since Peter died, Lily has lost all sense of her own place in the world. The backyard belongs to her, and all who enter it are her subjects to be dealt with as she sees fit. Which means that our very small dog is being dominated by our even smaller rabbit. She has also learned a rudimentary style of soccer, but that's another story.
Lily, in her overweening pride
, decided one day last week to conquer the house, or at least the kitchen where Pippin keeps his food and his favorite bed. Now, how do most mammals conquer turf? Well, bunnies have one method, called "chinning
", that has bunny using scent glands under her chin to mark her territory. "Chinning", however, is not always sufficient. Sometimes, we have to go with the backup plan. So Lily had herself a goodly go on Pippin's favorite pillow.
Ask me why the dog then sat on the pillow and I will tell you: I don't know. But he did and he planted his left cheek on what had once been a dried ink stain. Once. It was then a re-wetted ink stain. Add to that this little factoid, that urine is a mordant, a dye fixative. Pippin permanently dyed that patch of fur a lovely vamp red. It did not come out in the shower.
Now, I am in the position of deciding what to do with a dog who has a little late-eighties punk thing going on. I could take him to a groomer. That's money, though. I could use the electric clipper and cut the hair myself. I could dye the rest of the dog red to match the patch, or dye him black so he's sporting a Toto look. Or, I could, as my husband suggested, dye the other cheek blue, and then Pippin looks like a Perro de Futbol who is supporting Costa Rica in the upcoming World Cup games. And Costa Rica needs support. They're playing Germany -- THE HOME TEAM -- in the very first round, first game. June 9.
This is not an easy decision.