Excerpt Two from Letters to Elisha Hamilton
The older son has fell into the clutches of the United States Air Force, but we somehow manage to get messages delivered.
On the way up here, Alma had called several times, telling me her current location. At some point, she mentioned fleas. She had seen a couple crawling on the dog’s head, but after looking closer, she found lots more. Her cell phone crackled out the ruinous news.
But she felt bad and promised she would find a vet before stopping by the cave.
We also talked about David adopting the dog, but that was to be wait-and-see. So far, your mom didn’t know anything about a dog.
I confessed the truth after sister left Memphis, and until she arrived, I got the cold, cold stares.
But just wait till you see this little dog, darlin’.
Somewhere along her route, she stopped and purchased a product that promised to kill fleas (reminds me of the hammer-and-ants story). By the time she got here, the fleas were half-finished absorbing the costly merchandise. They were also busy whooping it up and partying merrily, so fleas, dog and cage went outside the cave to live on the deck. There it stayed for several nights while we waited for the parasites to pass out or move, but they hung tough, so I got flea powder to dust him and the cage, too. That turned out to work a lot better.
The last night that he slept outdoors, a few stubborn ones were still around. The next day, David couldn’t find any, which was good for the dog, because overnight temps were expected to drop to near freezing. So Buddy came inside at last. But not knowing his pooping habits, we kept him and the cage in the kitchen.
Night number one went by without problems.
Night two, he whined like a dog so I hollered like my dad.
“Shut that noise up!”
The next morning, I learned why he had howled. Mister Dog went and broke all of the rules by crapping inside his cage. How lovely.
Okay, everybody. Back out on the deck!