Friend and fellow Author P.L. Parker is sharing about her amazing childhood friend, a little dog with a big heart who didn’t know he was small, and giving away a copy of her featured romance. More on that below.
…And then there was Spike
He was already 2 years old when Grandma and Grandpa found him for us. Scrawny and ugly, dirty brown and unkempt, he was a far cry from Sandy, our beautiful little Chihuahua who’d recently died of kennel cough. He had the large soulful eyes and a baby face and his name was Spike, a strange name for a little part Chihuahua/terrier who barely weighed in at 5 pounds. He was scared and mean, having spent the first two years of his life beaten and tied up in a dark basement, maturing without anyone to train him or give him love.
The first few days, he hid under a chair and as we walked by, he’d jump out and bite our ankles and then dive back into his hidey-hole. Finally, my dad got disgusted, put on a pair of leather gloves and dragged him out biting and squealing. Dad sat him on his lap, talked soothingly to him, petting his back until he settled down. One by one, Dad had us come over slowly, put our hand out so Spike could smell it and then, if Spike was willing, we could pet him. After we’d all introduced ourselves, it was if Spike said “okay, these are my people.” He got down off of Dad’s lap and found his food bowl. That was the beginning of our life with Spike. Once the good food and lots of love kicked in, Spike’s coat turned into a beautiful light golden blonde.
He was gutter smart, not the fancy trained pet who did everything we wanted, but he was so smart—and he adored us kids. I could dress him up in my doll clothes and he’d wear them proudly for as long as I wanted.
I had a special connection with him. I could just tell him things and he would do it. I had a pet hamster once and we were playing in the back yard. Mom called me in to do something. I told Spike to keep the hamster in the back yard, went in the house and promptly forgot about them. Hours later, near dark, Mom asked: “Anybody seen Spike?” Oops. I ran outside and there was Spike still herding the hamster around the back yard. I apologized and picked the hamster up. Spike glared at me as if to say “you idiot,” and then marched into the house and ate his dinner.
There was a human trapped inside that little body. He was a hunter, a protector and from his point of view, a German Shepard. There wasn’t a dog in the world he wouldn’t take on, much to our dismay. I can’t count the amount of times he’d slip out of the house and come back so chewed up, we thought he was dead for sure. On one such event, we didn’t think there was any hope. Spike crawled under a chair for days, not eating, not drinking. (I should mention here that Spike’s favorite food was chocolate and back then we didn’t know how dangerous it was for animals.) Worried about the little guy, Mom went out and bought him a whole box of chocolates and hand fed him. He gobbled them down and then he was fine.
He always went everywhere with us. He would sit over the front seat so he could watch out the window and even when Dad had to slam on the brakes, he never fell off. Our female Siamese cat Tammy was his close companion and she went on vacation with us as well. We never worried about her running away, she was always two steps behind Spike. On vacation to northern Idaho one year, it was so hot, we stopped along the river and we all piled out and into the water. Spike waded in and right behind him was Tammy. They flopped down in the water next to us for as long as we stayed in. Tammy was Spike’s baby and when she died we all, as well as Spike, mourned her for a long long time.
As I said, he loved us kids. One year at the lake in Yellowstone Park, my sister and I were about waist high in the water. Spike was on the beach with Dad so we started bobbing up and down, acting like we were drowning. Spike grabbed Dad’s pant leg and tried to drag him into the water. Finally, he jumped in and swam out, to save us I am sure. When he got to us, we jumped up and laughed saying “Ha Ha Spike, we fooled you.” He was so mad. He swam back to shore, shook himself off and then stalked to the camper where he stayed the rest of the day.
He loved to hunt and no one can tell me a Chihuahua isn’t a hunting dog. If Dad got his shotgun, Spike was on his tail begging to go. We were out pheasant hunting one day and two hunters came by with their fancy, expensive hunting dogs. They’d just come through a field and hadn’t flushed anything. Dad laughed, told them their dogs were worthless. Didn’t make them happy. He put down Spike and told him to flush. Spike ran to the brush, paced back and forth and then froze, looking over his shoulder at Dad. Dad gave him the go to flush and the little guy dove in. Three pheasants flew up. Spike bit on the tail of the rooster and wouldn’t let go. Needless to say, the other two hunters loaded up their dogs in a huff and drove off. The rooster was so big, he flew off with Spike on his tail. We thought we’d lost him, but he ran back a little bit later. Even when he was so old he couldn’t keep up, Dad would put him in a front pack and take him along.
My oldest sister moved out but came home to visit and when she did, she had this nasty part Siamese cat who was really mean. One day I was sitting on the couch and Spike was next to me and the cat was ripping at a chair, biting people as they walked by and just being a brat. I looked at Spike and said, “Go over there and shake the crap out of that cat.” He looked at me as if to say “really?” Then he got down, went over to the chair, hopped up, grabbed the cat by the scruff of the neck and shook the cat hard as he could. He got down, came back, sat by me and yawned. Across the room, my Dad was sitting there with his mouth hanging open. He said, “How’d you get him to do that?” I said: “I told him to.”
I have so many memories of that little dog. You might think these stories are fabrications, but believe me they’re not and these are just the tip of the iceberg. As I’m sitting here writing this, I begin to cry, for the loss of the little friend of my childhood and for the wonderful times gone by. He lived to be 18 years old and by that time, he’d lost an eye to a tumor and was somewhat senile, but he never failed to get excited when one of us kids would come home. Somewhere out there, a little dog is just waiting for us to come home—and he’ll be so happy when we do.~
***Wonderful story. I loved learning about this amazing dog, Made me tear up.
A pic of what Spike might look like in color. He was a Deer head chihuahua.
A bit from the author:
I am a dreamer, an avid reader of fiction, a sometimes gardener and an inept crafter. I live in Idaho, with my husband, three sons, daughter-in-law and little granddaughter. I love to travel, but always return to my beloved Idaho. For many years, I performed and taught dance but as time passed, I decided to try my hand at a new endeavor – writing. I enjoy life and all its promises
***PL Parker is giving away a copy of The Breeder Slave to one of the visitors leaving a comment.
He was her salvation…or her destruction.
The galactic war between the Chiagan-Se and the treacherous Deg’Nara wages on. The human females Leah and the Irish lass Moira are captured and then abandoned, forced to fend for themselves on a barren planet light years from all they know. Their only hope is Sulas, a fugitive breeder slave, who wants nothing to do with them. Survival is chancy at best, but together, the three embark on a perilous journey to rejoin the Chiagan-Se rebels. But can they survive?
“He wants one of us to find his pet,” Leah grumbled. “Like we haven’t got better things to do.”
“Well, I cannae leave my post,” the petite redhead retorted. “I need to keep track of any emissions from the Deg’Nara encampment.”
“I wouldn’t even know what to look for,” Leah grumbled. “Could be a two-headed dog for all I know.”
Sulas regarded them with curious intensity, as if he understood their conversation, which was ridiculous since he didn’t speak English.
“You will need to search for the creature,” Sulas nodded in her direction. “I don’t trust Eschel. He needs watching and Moira has her duties.”
Leah snorted, disgusted. “And what kind of creature am I looking for? I don’t recall him mentioning that.”
Eschel favored her with a wide grin. “She’s a Zostarian….”
Sulas coughed and then turned away.
What’s with that?
“…a young female, practically an infant,” Eschel continued. “I call her Zozzi though she answers to anything. She’s very affectionate and sweet but she hates the Deg’Nara. I suspect she is hiding in the rafters of the storage compartments.” He turned back to the command console. “Just call her name and then say dostia ka.”
Looks like I’m elected to lead the hunting expedition! “And what does dostia ka mean if I might be so bold as to ask?”
“Come here…close enough. She’ll understand.” He spun on his chair. “She’s been hiding for some time and probably hungry by now. I suspect there wasn’t much for her to eat in the cargo hold.”
“Any chance she’s a meat eater…like maybe human meat?” Better get that cleared up before I find out the hard way.
Sulas ignored them, staring at the holographic star chart as though his life depended on it.
“Zozzi eats what I eat,” Eschel said. “But she prefers plants and bugs.”
“Oh great, plants and bugs.” As an afterthought. “What kind of bugs?” Bugs came in all sizes and she herself might be considered a bug in the right environment.
“She will not hurt you,” Eschel grinned again. “She’s a female and much less aggressive than the males can be.” He whistled, the shrill sound long and annoying. “You don’t want to mess with the males.”
Leah sighed, a scrap more relieved but still nervous. “So all I do is go into the cargo hold and call her name and say dostia ka? And then she’ll come to me and it’ll be fine?”
“It will be fine,” Eschel agreed. “But hurry, she’s probably scared…”
Sulas coughed again, the sound suspiciously akin to a chuckle.
“Okay, okay,” she groused before switching to English. “Moira, I’m depending on you to save me if anything happens. I have a weird feeling about this little episode and I don’t trust these two as far as I can throw them.”
Sympathy etched Moira’s baby face. “I willnae fail you,” she vowed with solemn resolve. “If you scream, I will come.”
“Just you remember you said that!” She inhaled a deep breath. “It can’t be that bad. Here I go. Dostia ka Zozzi!” she trilled as she strode down the passageway towards the cargo hold. “Dostia ka!”
The panel to the cargo hold slid open. Leah hesitated, allowing her eyes to adjust to the murky dimness of the cluttered space as the musty smell of old storage bins wafted through the door. She took a cautious step forward. “Dostia ka Zozzi!” she called.
“Zozzi. Dostia ka! Woohoo!”
Still nothing. Wonder if I’m getting treated to a good old snipe hunt—Chiagan-Se style!
She inched forward, noting the dark corners and concealed areas where the creature could secrete itself. She shivered as tremors of anxiety traveled up her spine. It’s just too dark and quiet in here!
“Dostia ka, Zozzi!” she sing-songed. “Dostia ka!”
Her voice sounded tremulous even to her. “There better be something in here or someone is in sooo much trouble!”
Overhead, she heard what sounded like the flutter of wings. Did the creature fly?
“Zozzi, dostia ka!” Head tilted back, she scanned the darkness beyond the rafters.
Another flutter of wings. “Come out, come out, wherever you are!”
A soft chirrup—like a squirrel.
“Come on, baby,” she crooned, making smoochie noises. “I won’t hurt you.”
A black shadow erupted from the darkness. She caught a glimpse of bat-like wings and a wide open mouth lined with a double row of needle-sharp teeth before the creature landed on her head. Hissing and growling the mini-monster attacked entangling itself in her hair.
She screamed like a banshee, tearing at the little bastard. Leathery wings covered her face sticking to her skin like strips of psychotic Velcro. If she pulled one wing free, the creature clutched her with tiny claw-like feet as it wrapped the other wing around her. It’s trying to suffocate me!
She screamed again, rotating in a stumbling spin as she grappled with the hellish fiend. It wouldn’t let go!
Amidst the screaming and growling, she heard the cargo door slide open.
“Lord save us!” She heard Moira yelp. “I’ll go for help!”
“NO!” Leah screeched. “Don’t leave me!”
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