Monday, May 8, 2017

Possum - True Story of a Good Dog


a true story
Charlotte Orr 

 I was on my way home from work one afternoon and had to stop and get a loaf of bread. I stopped at this convenience store real close to where we lived. I went in and the man who ran the store had a puppy. The pup was so darn cute. It was love at first sight for me. He was so loving and playful. He was a mixed breed but looked like a Catahoula. He had one brown eye and the other eye was half brown and half blue. Asked the man, what is his name? He said we call him Possum. The pup looked like a possum because he was all legs and belly. The man asked if I would like to have Possum because he could not keep him. He was moving to a smaller place. He had more dogs at home that he also needed to find a home for. Yes, I would love to take him but I would need to talk to Dale, my husband, first. I would let him know later. I go home all excited, I could hardly wait to tell Dale all about the little puppy I found and wanted. I was so disappointed because Dale said we did not need a dog.
      The next night, Dale's nephew, Vance and his wife Linda, were coming over to watch the fights and eat supper with us. After we finished eating and Dale and Vance were watching the fights, Linda and I cleaned up the kitchen. I told her all about the puppy I wanted. I went to Dale and asked him again if I could have the pup. He tried to look around me so he could see the T V and said yes, if you will please just get out of the way so I can watch the fight. Before he could change his mind I grabbed my car keys and told Linda to come on. Off we went and got Possum. By the time we got back the big fight was over. I took the pup over to Dale and told him the man at the store called him Possum, do you want to name him something different. Dale said, no he looks like a possum to me. After we all visited a while Vance and Linda went home. After they had been gone for a little while Dale asked me why did I get the dog after we agreed that we did not need a dog. I said, well honey I asked you again and you said if I would get out of the way so you could watch the fight I could have him. So he is ours now. Dale looked at me and said, I guess I had better pay closer attention next time. Then we got on the floor and played with Possum.
     The next morning I took Possum out in the front yard and my nextdoor neighbor was out looking at her flower bed. She saw me and came over to say hello. I showed Possum to her, she took one look and told me you had better get him to the vet, he has hook worms and they will kill him. I asked her how can you tell. She said, look at his tongue and gums, they are pale and not a healthy pink like they are supposed to be and he is all belly. I did not have a vet so she told me about hers.  As soon as the vet's office opened Monday morning I made an appointment for that afternoon. The vet looked at Possum and said he has hookworms and he needs a blood transfusion. We had to leave him over night.
     Around 4:30 Tuesday afternoon we went to pick up Possum. The vet came out to talk to us and said everything went great. He had one of the ladies bring Possum out to us. When she brought him out he was wiggling so hard she almost dropped him. She said he sure knows who he belongs to, when he heard your voices he went nuts. Dale took him and Possum was so happy. He was wiggling and giving Dale kisses everywhere he could get to. Needless to say, he really won Dale's heart when he did that. I guess he knew he had my heart and needed to work on Dale.
     One weekend we were heading to Odessa to show off our new family member. We had been on the road for a couple of hours when Possum got restless. He would get in my lap and look out the window then go get in Dales lap and look out his window. This went on for a few minutes and I told Dale you had better stop and let him out, he needs to go to the bathroom. Dale said I will in a little while. After a few more minutes of him going from one window to another he went to Dales window and while looking out the window, wet all over Dale. I laughed so hard my sides hurt. I was so glad it was Dale and not me. Dale looked at me and said, he told me he needed out but I would not listen but you can bet I will next time.
      Possum loved water. One summer we bought him a kiddie pool. He would play, lay, and stand in that pool so much that we had to let him play for a while then pour out the water. He would stay in it so much that he would get bad sores on his paws.
       We decided to get a water sprinkler to water our grass one weekend and took Possum with us. On the way we needed to get gas for the car and lawnmower. Possum was hanging his head out the window and the man on the pump next to us was talking to Dale and saw Possum. He looked at Possum then said to Dale " did you know your dog has one blue eye and one brown'? Dale ran over to the pickup window, grabbed Possum's face and said "no I didn't, come here boy and let me look".  The man looked at Dale, put his gas pump back and took off. I told Dale that was mean but could not help but laugh after the man left.
       When we got home we mowed the yard then set up the sprinkler to water the grass. When Possum saw the water sprinkler he took off after it. He chased that sprinkler round and round. When he got tired he would put his paw on it till he rested then would take off again. We finally had to take him in the house so we could water. Then he just sat at the patio windows and barked at the darn thing.
         Possum was a medium sized dog, weighing 42 lbs. He was the best minding dog except when it came to water. We could call him off a rabbit but not water. One day Dale and I were going somewhere, don't remember where but we were taking Possum with us. We took him with us a lot. He was our baby. Anyway out the door we three went. As Dale was locking the door we heard a woman screaming. We looked and saw Possum running straight at our neighbor across the street. We called and ran after him but he would not come. Then we saw the water sprinkler the woman had going. We ran over to her yard as fast as we could yelling he won't hurt you he just wants your water sprinkler. Sure enough as soon as he got to the sprinkler he started chasing it. The poor woman was scarred to pieces. We told the woman how sorry we were.  Said she was so afraid he was after her and sure was happy it was the sprinkler that he was after and not her. She laughed at Possum and we told her that from now on we would have Possum on a leash or we would make sure no one had their water sprinkler on when we brought him out front. Told her again how sorry we were and she told us not to worry, that he was an OK dog. She had to turn off her water so we could take him home without having to pick him up and carry him.
       One day my mom called and wanted us to come for the weekend because some of my other brothers and sisters were going to be there. We went up on Friday night and the next day Dale was outside playing ball with Possum. A lot of the guys wanted to play football. They threw the ball and one of my nephews ran to catch the ball and so did Possum.  Clifton and Possum got to the ball at the same time. Clifton had to go low to catch the ball and Possum went high. Those two smacked heads together so hard we heard it. We ran over to Clifton to make sure he OK. He got up laughing and saying he was fine. He wanted to know if the dog was OK. Both were Ok but Clifton had a big knot on his head. We kept an eye on him to make sure he was fine.   It was such a beautiful day everyone decided to go to the river and go fishing. Mom and dad got poles for everyone and we dug worms from the field. Off we went to the river. Dale never was big on fishing so him and the kids played with Possum. Well like I said, Possum loved water. They would throw a stick in the river and Possum would go get it and bring it back to them. The kids thought that was great. Then they got this bright idea to throw a rock. They said he won't dive after a rock. Possum sure surprised us all. He dove in and brought up the rock. Someone said they did not think it was the same rock so they found a rock that they would be able to tell if he brought up the one they threw in. Well in went the rock and Possum right after it. Up came Possum with the rock they threw in. Every one thought that was amazing. How could he tell which rock to get. Poor Possum, the kids did not get tired of throwing sticks or rocks but he did but he would not quit. They thew in a stick real far and off Possum went to get it. Dale and I were watching Possum swim back and he was so tired we thought Dale might have to go get him but he crawled out of the water and we told the kids they were going to have to let Possum rest or they were going to drown him. To this day whenever we see Clifton he brings up Possum and playing football and the rock diving.
       We were so lucky to have had Possum in our lives. We got to enjoy him for 6 years. Wish it could of been more but it was not meant to be.  Dale and I have had a number of dogs in our 43 years of marriage and we loved them all but Possum has and will always have a special place in our hearts. We lost Possum one day in March and a few weeks later I found out I was pregnant with our first child. It was so hard losing Possum but being pregnant gave me something else to focus on. I wish for any one who is an animal lover that they get to find a special pet like we did. 

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