Chi-Chi was in bad shape at that moment, but it got much worse; much, much worse.
Our family also had another dog, a male German Shepherd who was a much larger dog than Chi-Chi, that we had previously adopted from the pound. His name was Barron. And to the best of my recollection and objective observation at that time, this is what I remember happened.
Mom would never have had Chi-Chi spayed by a Vet… too much of a risk… in her mind, “you know they lost them (under the knife) all the time”. Plus, it was probably “way too expensive” of a procedure and maybe my parents could also bred Chi-Chi… more little puppies for them “to save and then hand down a verdict upon which PROPER homes could then adopt or buy those puppies”. So, Chi-Chi was left intact, to go through the normal cycle of estrus on a regular basis. And as this happens, Mother Nature induces her spell as an uncontrollable urge in the males surrounding such a female. I vividly remember Barron, so much larger, running around the yard, with constant and obsessive effort to hump and copulate with Chi-Chi during her estrus. It seems very likely that this was the primary factor that lead to Chi-Chi, one day, herniating a disk in her back and becoming acutely paralyzed. We did not live in a house with stairs or significant steps and she was not known for other excessive acrobatic behavior. But Barron was always trying to hump that little dog… always, and there is no damn way that a Lhasa Apso frame could have adequately handled the force, weight and pressure of a German Shepherd constantly trying to hump her. Eventually, the disk exploded, Chi-Chi lost the ability to walk, and on this occasion, my parents could not shift the blame elsewhere. To add insult to injury, now my parents had to enlist the help of a Vet. The first Vet referred my parents to another Vet in Atlanta who could perform the specialized back surgery that would likely enable Chi-Chi to walk once more. The trip was made, the surgery performed and after a normal convalescent period, I believe Chi-Chi made a full recovery or at least improved to ninety or ninety-fix percent of a normal state. Hip hip hooray… everyone and every dog lives happily ever after… unless you repeat the same mistakes over and over and over. I don’t believe the surgeon spayed Chi-Chi at the time of the back surgery. That would have been very rare at best. And maybe, just maybe, somewhere outside the scope of my memory, Chi-Chi was spayed after the back surgery by the “regular” Vet, but I seriously doubt it. Regardless, at some point, I remember Barron again instituting his normal instinctual behavior of chasing and harassing and pinning and humping Chi-Chi, until her back gave away again. I assume at this point my parents did not have any further money to apply to the situation and unfortunately, the damage redone the second time, without surgical intervention, lead to Chi-Chi’s permanent bilateral hind limb paralysis.
Shortly after that event, Chi-Chi became a full-fledged level two zombie dog. Imagine a Lhasa Apso form; a big hefty chest on a small frame with a much smaller, trailing torso and a face that was genetically, smashed only with a moderate whack from a frying pan. Now, take that form and remove all the cute fluffy or silky hair from its body. Add two level tablespoons of fleas, one quarter cup black food coloring, one quarter cup yeast, one half cup inflamed and thickened elephant skin, two teaspoons of urine scald, one pinch of an ever constant dingleberry and two, dragging hind limbs with only a pinch of a whimper, scattered throughout, and finally when all of those ingredients have been mixed thoroughly together, stick the zombie dog in the oven of your house and leave it there, to piss and shit constantly without volition or purpose. Watch it closely through the oven door as it drags itself around and around the oven, trying to get comfortable, trying to find peace, as it constantly gnaws its own epidermis off of its own body in a bloody meal of hope; an effort to somehow, anyhow, terminate the ever constant, severe itch from its un-medicated flea allergy… watch it…..watch it…….watch it….. don’t look away,… watch it… watch it with your own damn eyes, pried and stapled wide open, as it attempts to end its own perpetual suffering and escape the torture chamber of “love” it has been imprisoned within.
I don’t remember how long that went on in my house… how long Chi-Chi slithered up and down the hallway, trailing urine and feces at one moment or the next. I don’t remember how many minutes or hours or days it was that I heard constant smacking as she chewed herself raw. I don’t remember how often I smelled the stale yeast and bacterial ooze and slime that lingered constantly on her skin and on anything else that she made contact with. I only know that I learned to hate that dog. I learned to hate Chi-Chi with an absolute passion. I learn to hate her very existence and every breath she drew. Eventually, any association with her presence elicited only an overriding desire in my mind to see her dead… dead, dead, dead and buried deep beneath the ground, far away from my eyes and my nose and my thoughts. I thought less about Chi-Chi and the reason for her condition and suffering, and more about myself and my way of “tolerating” the “situation”. I thought about how embarrassed I was to have such a creature in my house, how ugly she was, how revolting, how tired I was of stepping in shit or urine, how I could not invite friends over, because they would see what was going on behind my front door, they would see what filth I lived in and how “we” treated animals in the Cribb household. As children do, I would envision any friend, no matter how much understanding they might fake in front of my face, running back to everyone at school and telling everyone about Chi-Chi and her lair.
I kept witnesses as far away as possible. I also distanced myself from the root cause of all of Chi-Chi’s suffering and this madness that swirled about her, because sometimes the truth is almost impossible to accept… sometimes, I think your subconscious makes a preliminary and involuntarily decision about certain information; information, that if allowed to be processed by your conscious mind at a certain or particular moment, might just give your entire consciousness a one-way ticket to oblivion or La-La land forever and ever and ever, where all higher life functions yield to the comfort and simplicity of sucking on your own thumb as you drool all over your collar and the floor and anything else in your vicinity. But sooner or later, sooner or damn later, some of us have to see… we need to see, we must see, because we want to find our way out, we want to escape all of this shit, we want others to escape all of this shit. Somehow, we know all of this shit is a sin and a chosen crime against existence, we know that life and a proper existence must be different. You can see the obvious difference of peaceful existence and harmony in other species. You can see it in the natural world, where man has not corrupted or hijacked the lives of the other animals. You can see it where man has not destroyed every bit of natural habitat for every other creature or life form. You can see it where man has not introduced his bastardized, hypocritical, self-serving, self-centered, willfully ignorant, proclamations and displays of the evil, of the pure wretched evil, of what he calls “love.”
To be continued…