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Floating with the Dictator in Fur
Do you know what it’s like when you get your first dog? It’s as if you were floating, imagining you and your dog, your best friend, who would never leave your side no matter what. So you naturally name this dog Buddy, or Fluffy, or maybe even Cat. But I think that a dog has to have a name that it should be proud of, a name like Jonahbell, or Budweiser, or maybe even Pennsylvania. So, of course, my first dog is named Oswald Kashka, which translates to “power friendly”. He is a Pit Bull. He is a goat. He is a dictator in fur. Or at least he thinks he is. For real, he is the cutest, most evil Bichon Frise there ever was, ever. A spoiled brat is what he is. Crazy in all sense of the word. But he can make you happy when skies are gray. Ozzi can peak your temper by demanding attention at the worst possible times. He can definitely demonstrate how crazy this family is, but most of all, he is there for me when I need him, comforting me with his what-should-be opaque fuzz. He makes me laugh at his smell. It’s the smell of his joy at dog camp. It’s the smell of his exhaustion in the morning, and his frustration when he chews on his pink blanket. It’s the smell of the love that is given to him and that he’s returned back to us. He has let me be free. He lifts me up. Ozzi has helped me float.
I was eleven when Ozzi came into our lives. My mom chose the breed, the exact opposite of what I wanted. I wanted a St. Bernard, or a Husky, or maybe even a German shepherd. Not this puny, little, white, evil, cute, awful… you get the idea. I wanted a dog so I got a dog. It’s better than the hermit crabs, but that’s another story.
My mom chose the breed because she fell in love with it in class one day. One of her professors started bringing in her own little Bichon puppy to class, and she (the professor) would plop the puppy on my mom’s lap. The puppy, whose name is Jazzy, would just fall asleep on her lap, and he would only have to whine a little to get some water. “He is just so cute!” My mom would exclaim trying to convince us, but we kids were already convinced. So obviously my dad, who grew up with big dogs, agreed that as long as it wasn’t a big dog we could get a Bichon Frise.
Even though my mom chose the breed, that doesn’t mean she chose the dog. Nope, instead we the kids of the family chose the dog. It was after school about a year and a half ago, and our mom was driving us to the breeder’s house. When we got there, one little puppy covered in fuzz was running around in an outdoor crate. That puppy was Ozzi. Now as the children of our family, our “job” was to decide if the dog was fun, loveable and easy to have around. He was the only dog that we looked at. He was the dog that was right for our family. I’m pretty sure that if we did look at any other Bichons, he was the only one that could be able to lift us up, to help us float.
The shaggy dictator who lives in our house went from being the cutest most low-down pure-bred dog to the top dog almost everywhere he goes. He went from having fleas and an ear infection when we got him to conquering every mountain he climbs. He went fro—… I think I will spare you the details as you probably already get the point. What I’m trying to say is the first time we met Ozzi, as an over-rated puppy, we knew he was right for us. We knew because of the way we first saw him, peeking over the top of the metal crate he was in, wagging his tail and looking like a living stuffed animal. It was the way he squinted his chocolate-colored eyes at the bright glare of the sun, and happily panted at the sight of visitors who had come just to see him. We knew he was meant to be our dog because he was the one and only one able to lift our feet off the firm ground. He made us float at the plain sight of him.
The morning after we got him, I woke up and asked my parents, “Was it a dream? Did we really get a dog?” They didn’t even have to answer, for low and behold, Ozzi, my dog, toddled into view, and the floating started again.
Ozzi has a schedule and it works. He wakes up when my siblings and I do, watches us eat breakfast and he chases us around the house while we’re rushing around getting together last-minute items, then we’re practically shoved out the door while he calmly waits for us to leave so he can have some peace, after which he goes back to sleep until 1:00. He uses the backyard bathroom multiple times with a handy-dandy little trick I installed on the back door, by tying a bell to a string, he rings it when he has to go. Almost all the time he tries to find ways to get treats, and then after he munches on his blanket till my siblings and I get home. Ozzi watches us while we do our homework, and if we are lucky he will play the piano for us but those are rare moments. Usually I would have to hold one of those smelly dog treats for him while he whams his dainty (and dirty) little paws all over the piano covering the keys with small splotches of grim here and there. Ozzi always bothers us while were watching TV, finding ways to get treats. Finally by bed time he calms down, and goes to sleep. This goes on, and on…
Out of my family of five I think that my dad and I are probably, the most helpful when it comes to the dog. My dad, who works from home, can take care of Oz while me and my siblings are at school. I take care of him more than Riley or Cadence. Riley is always making up excuses of why he can’t take the dog out and forces Cadence to do it instead. Cadence is helpful when it comes to taking the dog out, but secretly I think she’s trying to suffocate him especially when she tries hugging him. She literally squashes his face by smooshing it with her butt. My mom helps with him when she can, whenever she’s not exercising at Red Rocks, not exercising at the gym, not exercising at yoga, and not working. But she does give him baths and that helps his smell a ton.
Ozzi came into our lives and he will be with us for about the next fifteen or so years. He is the dictator in fur, slowly taking over our house little by little, and he’s the only dictator I know that licks people’s feet. He is a one-of-a-kind pooch with the bark of a demon. He is Oswald Kashka. He will forever be in our minds, in our hearts, and on our feet.
Ozzi is my dog. Because of him I am floating.
And I will forever float.