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Saying Goodbye to a Horrible Dog

How many people have a dog who has spent the night in jail? We do. Did. The Gahanna Police called and begged me to come get Turbo off their hands. He was howling in their quarantine room and they couldn't stand it any more. Turbo. That is our family dog. The kid's Grandpa called him "Turdo" and when we tried to correct him we realized he knew the real name. It wasn't a mispronunciation.

We put him down today. We cried and shared stories about what a horrible dog he was. Truly. He ran away. He nipped at a jogger. (Thus the overnight in jail and three months in exile until we could sneak him back into the state.) Twice we tried to give him away and the kids cried so much I went back and got him during the "probation" period. He wouldn't eat dog food but could hear the crackle of a potato chip bag from a zip code away. He loved Chicken McNuggets and recognized Golden Arches.

He had the dog version of detachment disorder. He wasn't "warm and fuzzy" he would more accurately described as "tepid and prickly." He didn't like to be held, petted, or cuddled. Unless food was involved.

He tore an ACL while hiking at Hoover Reservoir and I had to carry his 50 lb self (those damn potato chips) a mile back to the car. The vet told me surgery would be $2000 and I decided an old dog didn't need a new ACL.

Somehow over the years "horrible" became an affectionate term.

He became the "clean up" dog at our Eastchester pool parties - making sure not a scrap of hot dog bun was left in the grass. We would drop him off at the end of our street and let him race the car home. We always let him win. He fought wild raccoons and had an uncanny ability to find skunks. Skunks 3 Turbo 0. Absent the bait of food, skunks, or a jogger he wouldn't be described as "high energy." Jordan called him a rug with legs.

We have predicted his demise a half dozen times over the last few years. Every time he would spring back to snag one more chicken nugget. Today he didn't. The chicken nuggets got left on the back seat when we carried him into the vet.

To those who loved him, he was perfectly lovable. And today we say goodbye. Gahanna PD and our former neighbors, let the party begin.


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