We were all very happy to get Wilbur home with no problems from the police, or Animal Services; once again we had dodged a potential bullet because of Wilbur’s antics. Wilbur always took everything in stride, but he was turning Rhea, and I into nervous wrecks. If there was something Wilbur could get into, he would somehow find a way to get into it.
You might wonder how something as big as a 300 pound pig could keep escaping our notice to get into the trouble that he did. I can only tell you that Wilbur was very smart, and that he was persistent; he also knew when to pick his spot. Wilbur also had this nonchalant way of ambling around the house, to see him you would never guess that he was up to something. He would also wait until you were busy or occupied with something, and then make his move. All in all, Wilbur was one crafty pig.
The pet line up in our household had gone through some changes in the next year. My old dog Dylan had passed away from old age, and Bruno had contracted a mysterious urinary tact disease and had to be put to sleep. After Bruno’s passing Rhea went into a deep depression, and I knew the only way to bring her out of it was to get her a new Rottweiler.
I went back to the Miami-Dade adoption center, but to my dismay found that there were no Rottweiler’s available. I went back again about a week later only to find there was still no Rottweiler’s; but there was a dog who had been there a week before. He looked like a skinny rot, but was probably half Doberman. He was scarred from a lifetime of living on the street, and he looked pretty beaten up. Unlike the other dogs there, he was very quiet, but friendly when I talked to him. I could see on his card that he had been in custody for almost three weeks; that meant if he wasn’t adopted real soon he would be put to sleep. I adopted him, and named him Bobby. I was correct in my assumption that they were anxious to get rid of him, because they rushed the paper work and had him leave with me that day.
I brought Bobby home and tried to pass him off as a Rottweiler to Rhea, but she would have nothing to do with poor Bobby. Bobby became my dog. Within two months Bobby had healed up, and fattened up to the point that you would not have recognized him as the dog I brought home. Bobby became my “bodyguard” because he would always sit next to me on the patio, and make that sure nobody threatened me. This would lead to many spats between him and Wilbur. These spats kept up until Bobby learned that Wilbur wasn’t out to harm me, just to get petted, and loved.
A couple of months later I made one more trip to the adoption center, and got lucky. When I didn’t find any Rottweiler’s in the main section, I “wandered” into the off limits section. There I saw the handlers bringing in a new dog that was a Rottweiler! After I had apologized to the handler for being where I should not have been, I asked him about the new dog. “He is a male, very young, and very friendly, and he needs a new home.”My prayers had been answered! I adopted him, and a week later I brought him home. Rhea was ecstatic! She decided to name him Simon, which had been her father’s middle name.
Simon was basically a puppy, but a large puppy. Like Bruno, and Bobby, he was very skinny when I brought him home; but he soon got fatter, and grew even larger. Simon was the big dog, and he knew it! He constantly used his size to push around the other dogs when suppertime came. He was also big enough that he was not afraid of Wilbur. Wilbur is a lover, not a fighter, but he knew enough not to back down to this young upstart bully. We had many fights out on the back patio with Wilbur, and Simon, going at it like two huge sumo wrestlers; pushing patio table and chairs around, and me screaming at the top of my lungs “Stop it! Both of you go lie down!” They eventually did get used to each other, though like brothers they still will brawl from time to time.
September of that year was the occasion of my fiftieth birthday. Rhea decided to throw me a big party on our large back patio. We had friends and family come, and we had Wilbur, and the dogs. We had music, fire works, party hats, beer, and food. Wilbur, Bobby, Simon, and Princess, all wore party hats, and helped daddy celebrate turning fifty. Wilbur the party animal was in his glory, drinking beer, and wandering around getting food from the other partiers. Wilbur, I, and the others, partied late into the evening until Wilbur had had enough, then he just walked through the house to his bedroom, where he passed out until late the next morning.
When he got up the next day I think he was a little hung over, because he was even more grumpy than usual. I said to him, “Don’t be crabby with me! If you can’t handle your beer, don’t drink it!” Good words to live by, even if you are a pig.
All in all, it was a birthday party I never will forget.