OPINION COLUMNS

Every beagle needs a monkey

By Jimmy Alford | Published Saturday, November 17, 2012

Nicole found a flea on Chloe. That’s right, one flea. This, of course, spelled disaster and chaos.

“I know you grew up in the country, and dogs out there have fleas, ticks and whatever, but Chloe will not,” Nicole said as she was carrying Chloe to the tub. Chloe, meanwhile, was staring desperately at me. She didn’t know what she’d done, but she was heading toward the wet place of doom.

Jimmy Alford

I shrugged and said I totally agree that Chloe shouldn’t have fleas, mainly because I don’t want to be bitten by fleas. I apologized to Chloe as I left to buy more flea and tick medication and flea shampoo. At least for Chloe, out of disaster and chaos comes something positive.

She got to meet her new best friend when I came back.

I find WalMart overwhelming. It is my least favorite place to be. The noise and hustle and traffic are too much. I have to dodge sour-looking soccer moms and blankly staring dads as they pinball their way down aisles. I witness more anguish and frustration at WalMart than anywhere else.

My mind was on Chloe, though. I could see the scene now. Nicole is furiously scrubbing the poor beagle, while clinging to her coat to prevent escape. It reminds me of one of those prison movies where the guards are spraying down the unlikely hero with a fire hose. Chloe, inmate No. 834913, is helpless at the hands of Nicole, the warden. I felt sorry for my dog.

I find the Frontline medication, of course it’s all stacked haphazardly on the shelf. I have to dig through 20 or more boxes to find the right kind for my dog (oddly, most of the boxes were for dogs 80 pounds or heavier). Then came the flea shampoo. I see the ones that are scented, and other scentless varieties. I was about to make my selection when out of the corner of my eye I spot dog toys.

I swear there are more varieties of dog toys than dog breeds. I figured I should bring Chloe home a toy to help her cope with the prison scene. I settled on a monkey, because all beagles need a monkey… right? This toy has long arms and legs and squeaks. I make my purchases and escape from the rollback capital.

Nicole looked knackered when I got home. She was sitting on the couch watching another hair-raising episode of Honey Boo Boo. Chloe looked no better, sitting on the opposite end of the couch with her head resting on the arm. There was more tension on the couch than on the TV screen.

I handed Nicole a chocolate bar for her effort and gave Chloe her new friend, the monkey. At most, I figured she would play with it a little, but I was wrong. She carries that thing all over now, plays with it, sleeps with it and eats with it.

Nicole felt better. Chloe forgot all her troubles and I forgot to go back and buy the flea shampoo, much to Chloe’s relief.

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