Lil' Doggie

Cherry-Eyed Charlie

We're taking care of Cheyenneh's little chi-weenie, Harley. Apparently when you move to Hawaii, your dog has to be really special as it's expensive to quarantine, vaccinate, and get their bloodwork done if you want to move them with you. I know two families who own dogs because their owners didn't want to go through the trouble.

When Chey and Quinn moved, they put the best dog in the world (besides Lulu), Tyson, in quarantine. He came out even better, but it was expensive and he got fat. Or so Chey says. They'd just bought Harley, so he would have had to be in quarantine during his whole puppy life. We got him instead. He's in Charlie-quarantine, as Charlie has taken over as his new Dad. Harley follows Charlie around and sits on his lap so much that we started calling Harley Charlie. Little Charlie anyway. Or Little Chachi.

He's just the weirdest little dog. He's supposed to be chihuahua, but the breeders who sold him also bred and sold dachsunds, too. People ask what kind of dog Harley is and we used to say what Chey told us: Chihuahua. "That's not a Chihuahua!" people said. "He's too big. He's cute, but funny-looking."

We took him on hikes around Mt. Hood. He'd hike better than any dog we ever had. Lulu the bulldog won't go around the block without a fight, so we love taking Harley. A woman saw Harley after one of his hikes and ran over to see him. "What a great little dog!" she said. "What a cute Chiweenie!"

So that's what he is, whether or not his papers say so.

For election day, I was going to give him the gift of getting neutered. I found a coupon, made the appointment, and dropped him off.

Then I got the call. "Did you know Harley only has one testicle?" the Vet said.

I did, but I was hoping I was wrong. Don't these things work themselves out?

"We can't neuter him on the coupon, unfortunately," the Vet explained. "We do so many on these days -- we don't have the time. It's a complicated procedure and it'll cost a lot more. We have to get that other one out of there.

"Also," she said, sounding more expensive as she spoke, "We can take care of his cherry-eyes at the same time since he'll be under anesthesia. The undescended testicle surgery starts at $450. The cherry eye surgery will be more."

I picked up the little, drugged up dog and took him home. He was so much easier while groggy. At 8:00 PM Obama was elected and there were fireworks outside the window. Without the drugs, the little dog would have gone nuts, too. Maybe his other one would have dropped, though.

I know it'll cost more, but you can't be cheap about everything. My daughter is just a kid. She doesn't have extra money for expensive neutering. She not only picked a dog that had an undescended testicle, but one that developed a couple of cherry eyes.

I tried to be cheap -- I found a coupon. But as Suze Orman says, "People first, then money, then things." Little dogs, I would say, are almost as important as their owners.