The title above refers to neither the old TV show nor the new Johnny Depp movie, though some (particularly male readers) might find the subject of this post equally ghoulish. You see that dark shadow between Gimpy's hind legs in the photo below? This time next week that'll be gone.
Yup, I've made the appointment. The deed will be done a week from today, which happens to be the two-month anniversary of his joining our family. I knew when Gimpy arrived that neutering lay in his future, but I wanted him to get to know us and love us first, so he wouldn't associate missing body parts with Levi and me.
So far Gimpy has shown none of the bad behaviors I've learned to expect of fully intact male dogs, but I want to stop those urges before they begin. The one that worries me most is the sudden eagerness to take whatever drastic measures are necessary to escape when any female dog in the neighborhood is sending "ready" signals.
Our '80s dog, Radar, broke out several times and ran away in search of romance. When we got better at preventing his dashes out the door, he would sit for hours at the window, looking out, crying, his chin quivering in misery.
Nope, that's not the life I want for Gimpy, and I can't depend on the high fence around our yard to keep him home and safe under such powerfully tempting circumstances. That fence didn't stop Kadi's tenacious suitor.
Kadi's veterinarian had told us to wait until the first time she was "in season," then have her spayed right after that. But Kadi was a good-lookin' little girl, and I saw the big Blue Heeler that had begun to hang around, crouching low on the other side of the fence, an intense, determined expression on his face. I wasn't worried, though, because I thought Kadi was safe inside that fence.
And then, early one morning, I got a phone call from my next-door neighbor:
Neighbor: Are you aware that there's a big, strange dog in your backyard with Kadi?
Me: Ohhhhh, nooooo!
Neighbor: They're not doing anything, just lying side by side in the grass.
Me: Ohhhh, lord, please tell me they're not smoking cigarettes.
No sir. Gimpy will not be climbing that fence if I can help it.