Friends of ours took two pups, reminding us that this was more of a favour to us than anything else. In the end we were left with the saddest, ugliest and smallest of all of Niki’s litter. He looked up at us with his imbecilic bulging eyes and blinked. This was not a dog; this was a cartoon character, an extra out of a Babe movie. He held my attention as he stared into my eyes. And then he smiled. The goofiest, yet the most generous and widest dog smile any dog could give.
“I name you Obie-won-Kenobi” I said to him as he sat on the floor smiling up at me. “Great Jedi knight, fighter of evil, slayer of the darkness. You shall be known for all time as Obie”. As he sat there, smiling, staring into my eyes we made contact. Real contact. “Yes, and I shall call you Boss” came his reply, and he sauntered off into the next room. That night as I put my head down on my pillow I smelt it. Obie had peed on my pillow. “Shit” I was furious. “Obie!!” Down the passage be peered. In the darkness all I could see was his goofy grin.
The next morning, before the sun was up Obie was awake and was looking for me. I opened my eyes and there was the grin. “Hey, Boss, did you like the pee on your pillow?” Goat face had the breath of dead buffalo. “Well I peed on something else and soon you may even find it” I did, it was my briefcase left in the lounge overnight.
Nothing escaped the attentions of Obie. Visitors, handbags, slippers and on a regular basis my pillow. Any attempts at scolding or discipline were met by a wagging body. Obie did not wag his tail, his whole body shook with unrestrained mirth. The body-wag and the goofy smile. “So, Boss, guess where I peed today?”
Not only was the runt a marker of territory on our property, oh no. He found new fields to saturate once he found a gap in the fence that opened up into our neighbour’s garden. Here Obie set about his craft, blissfully unaware that he was being watched by Caesar, the meanest, blackest Rottweiler ever known in the canine kingdom.
One terrible and fateful day Caesar caught Obie in a corner and Brutus, a new addition to the next door household tore into the screaming Jedi. Obie didn’t stand a chance and the Rottweiler’s tossed him like a rag doll.
When I went to see what all the commotion was about Caesar and Brutus were standing guard at the gate and were not about to let me in. “Can I help?” the Witch Woman of the Window yelled. “I want to collect the body of my dog”.
No pleasantries were passed. “What was your runt doing in my yard? Should be more careful, its private property. Serves him right” I scooped up the lifeless broken body of a great Jedi knight and took him to the vet.
Obie was a mess. He was covered in blood, his purple tongue hung swollen and his glass-bead eyes stared lifelessly. “His heart is still beating” announced a concerned vet. “What do you want me to do?” I wanted to put the Great White Knight out of his misery, and was all for it. “Let me stabilize him and keep him for the night”
Suspecting some sort of unfair commercial connivance from the vet, I agreed. Reluctantly I left and prepared for the worst. “Obie is gone” I told a blinking family. Night time descended on the household and the dreamscape in the small hours was of a small white dog chasing Rottweilers across the Elysian Field. Obie the Terrible, I will miss you.