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"If only I could have a puppy

I'd call myself so very lucky

Just to have some company

To share a cup of tea with me"

"The Puppy Song"

~ Harry Nilsson ~

Saints and sinners, yours truly received a manila bubble envelope from one of my exes this week.

I figured she was sending me something for my birthday, and the envelope said "Handle With Care" and "Do Not Bend."

Knowing that she is fond of sending me yearly pictures of our dog, Rebel, I presumed this was just another picture of our lovable pooch.

Little did I realize upon looking at it was the words that were on the lower right-hand side of the picture. "4/15/1996 - 6/19/2008 - Rebel."

I got upset right away and then I found the letter that was hiding behind the picture.

She explained that Rebel had gotten quite sick very fast and she couldn't let him suffer anymore. She further said that they weren't sure of what was wrong because he had so many different symptoms.

One of the last things Rebel did was give her a kiss on the cheek before the vet arrived at her house.

I know that she is very sad and upset over his passing, but I hope she remembers all of the good times that we both have had with him.

We first got Rebel back in February 1997 when I saw an ad in Trade Talk. I asked if she wanted to go take a look at a black lab/Austrailian Shepherd mix.

So we made the road trip out to Oxford and parked at the top of the Ames Shopping Center, waiting the arrival of this unknown canine.

I kept telling her that the decision has to be mutual just in case there was something wrong about him. If he looked abused or was mean and aggressive, we didn't need that hassle.

Soon enough, this big rusty pick-up truck with a wooden chicken coop set in the back of it pulled up. We looked at each other and muffled our laughter as we got out of our vehicle.

This burly farmer's daughter, overalls and straw hat, came rumbling out of the front seat and said "Is you the two who wanna see the dawg?"

No sooner when I answered "Sure," she yelled out "Ra-a-a-bu-u-u-l-l-l-l" and this big black and white dog leaped out from the front seat and came charging at me.

Just like Dino leaping upon Fred Flintstone, this dog pounced upon me, knocked me onto my back, and began licking the side of my face.

My ex, who was laughing hysterically, had the nerve to ask, "So, what do you think?"

My obvious response is "We'll take him! We'll take him!" With that being said, the farmer's daughter tossed us his chain, tags and bag of treats, got into the pick-up, and left the shopping center.

We made our way back to our house in Coatesville, and Rebel went absolutely nuts in his new household. He ran around the entire front yard, back yard and every room in the house.

Not only did he venture into every room, he also "marked" his territory with a healthy squirt or two. My thinking is "Oh great, he's got the bladder of a thimble and we just got ourselves a tinkling machine." Little did I realize that this was just a one-day problem.

Rebel wasn't just my ex's best friend, but he became my best friend as well. He loved going to the park, catching the frisbee, and that refried beans were better for me than they were for him.

One day I came home from work, shut the security system off, and Rebel was nowhere to be seen. I figured he was having a good doggie dream upstairs.

I made my way through the dining room and towards the kitchen. Looking at the kitchen floor, I saw little scraps of paper all over. Sure enough, I found Rebel, laying on his back, darn near passed out with his belly all pooched out.

It seems like our boy had himself a little feast of 23 packages of Pupperonis, Snausages and whatever snacks my ex didn't bother to put high enough on the counter for him not to reach.

Looking down upon him, he looked at me, and if he could speak, he would've said, "Oh please open the back door." To put him out of his misery, I opened the back door, and he slowly made his way outside.

He went all the way down to the bottom of the yard, and well, use your imagination. When my ex came home from work that day, I told her that Rebel left her a BIG present at the bottom of the yard. Needless to say, his snacks were placed a lot higher on the counter from then on out.

There are plenty of Rebel stories I could write, but I'd rather share them for those who ask me in person. He truly was man's best friend, and I will and have missed him dearly.

Saints and sinners, tune into Channel 10 this coming Tuesday, July 22, at 11 a.m. Yours truly and my friend Phyllis Feulner will be in the audience during the "10! Show." See if you can spot us acting all crazy, and hopefully we'll be coming back with some free giveaways!

Tomorrow night, "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" is at the Colonial Theatre. If you haven't seen it, leave your inhibitions at home and check out this cult classic. Need I say more ... besides clapping my hands, stomping my feet and slowly chanting "lips, lips, lips." Wish I could be there, but I'll be playing bodyguard at the Kenny Chesney concert. Ye-e-e-h-a-a-aw!

Dennis J. Wright is brave, crazy and mostly young at dwright@phoenixvillenews.com.

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