The Full Nelson

Well..... if there is going to be a fourth Angel From God, it might as well be the dog who is so nuts that his owners had to put him on Prozac. When Baby Face Nelson's owners brought him to my house, I could see the relief gush out of them. Two adults and two teenage children vs. the 15 lb. Baby Face Nelson. These folks never knew what hit them.

I had received several impassioned emails urging us to make room for Baby Face Nelson, whose antics appeared to inspire legends. At the tender age of one and a half, this spirited Eskie had driven his owners insane.....and the only plausible recourse seemed to be drugs.....for him, not them. After a careful evaluation by the family vet....Nelson began prozac therapy. Now....I hate to seem smug.....but I have seen some really, really tough dogs in rescue, and it takes A LOT for an Eskie to convince me that he is a tough guy. So when I saw Baby Face Nelson drag his owner up the stairs, I thought "he's going to have to do better than that." And, when he took one look at me and began a deafening chorus of staccato barks to put me in my place, I thought to myself, "Puhleeeze, I have been to Somerset, Pennsylvania with Perry Winkle that."

And then, Nadia burst out of the closet in time to prove to Baby Face Nelson that there was only one big mouth bitch in this house, and the job was hers. The new houseguest settled right down. This gave me the opportunity to prune more behavioral information from his owners. The litany of quirks was endless. He chases the vacuum. (Ah, well, Nikita will not surrender his Electrolux fetish). He nipped a kid in the leg. (Ah, a takes a tough dog to out-toot Toot). He barks like a machine gun. (Well, my money is on Nadia in that contest). So, I said, "Frankly, he doesn't sound that tough to me."

Even in her closet, Nadia usually has something to say...

Toot occasionally has an unfortunate lapse of judgement.

I told these folks a story which I am sure left them wondering why I wasn't on Prozac. "You know, last night I was exhausted when I got into bed at midnight. I was wearing my satin pajamas -- I always wear satin pajamas because they don't hold the dog hair. And I was just falling asleep when a cold, clammy wetness startled me awake. I jumped up to discover Toot had peed in the bed. Is there any chance that Nelson pees in the bed?" You least one documented incident of bedpeeing.

Baddabing, Baddaboom. Nelson is the bleedin' Angels From God all rolled into one. How lucky can I get? And, a smart ass too. His owners describe him as so smart that he skips ahead in obedience training, annoyed that they can't keep up.

I don't know if Baby Face Nelson is a tough guy, but he certainly is a fruitcake. Nelson is a mix of those two great sardonic wits of the 21st Century....Snoopy and Woody Allen..... a master strategist with passive aggressive tendencies. Take toys for example....he came fully loaded and his favorite appeared to be a yellow plastic truck axle with big black tires. A rolling toy. After three days, the Angels From God had stopped rolling Nelson's toy. When he was absolutely certain of their disinterest, Nelson dragged it into the bed and shredded it. A subtle, yet decisive strategic move. The Angels From God SHALL NOT have dominion over Nelson's toys.

Nelsie waits while Nikki and Toot administer a critical Eskie examination.

P.T. Barnum would have made millions on this dog. The jumping skills are awe-inspiring. Like a marionette with strings attached to its back, Nelson levitates to human eyelevel. Not once, but in four part series, before he needs to take a breath.

And, this jump technique is what facilitated the row that occurred recently when pizza was delivered to the apartment. I have no idea who ordered it, but since it was here.....I dove into a carbohydrate cesspool. The pizza was was situated on top of my bar height dining table. I was situated on the chair in front of the pizza. The dogs were situated on the floor....without access to the pizza. Ah....the beauty of dog free, bar height dining.

That was when Nelson joined me for dinner. He tapped me on the right shoulder once, then twice, and then a third time. Nikita panicked over Nelson's proximity to what was rightfully his pizza. His jaw dropped open as he watched Nelson fly into the air effortlessly, attempting the ol' "snatch and grab." Not to be outdone....Nikita copied Nelson's form perfectly. Nikita up....Nelson up.....Nikita down....Nelson down. The choreography was flawless, until Nikita decided to speed up, and he went airborne a couple of seconds too soon. Nikita and Nelson collided in midair. There was a loud "thud" as they bumped heads, and than a "whop" as they crashed down on Toot. I heard the squeal of surprise, followed by the roar of revenge as Toot emerged from the tussle with a mouth full of Nelson's pantaloons.

...the usual pizza enduced melee ensued...

  My Heart Bandits cohorts were so convinced that Nelson was here to stay, that the ever skeptical Ann Harris suggested a new email signature line...."Denise and the Angels From God, Nikita, Nadia, Nelson, N-Toot." Diane Gonzalez just shut up and hoped I would come to my senses. Audra Eckes supported me, as she does all my adoption attempts, as any good friend should. But it was Lilly Chan who staged the "Intervention." If there is one thing I hate, it is a person afflicted with common sense. Lilly had the nerve to point out that four dogs in a rental apartment was absurd, (as if three dogs is perfectly normal), and that keeping Nelson would not be fair to him when he could have his own family. Then, I believe she called the Angels From God to enlist their support, because, they turned on Nelson and the poor boy got no peace until the day I drove him to New York.

And so, Lilly welcomed Nelson into her Eskie Spa....where space and steamed chicken abound. Nelson repaid her with a flatulent condition that would have cleared Yankee Stadium.  







Nelsie now has a home of his own in Maine. Read about it in. Nelsie's Adoption Story.

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© 2001 Eskies Online/Denise Gareau