Admiral's Log 5...
First: apologies to my sweetheart. She saw the 1st draft of the last log I posted (to another site) and told me she didn't like it - that it was too serious. I rewrote it with David and posted it without showing it to her beforehand. She read it when others did and was hurt by it. Sar felt that I had depicted her as impulsive and irresponsible. That was not my intent and in fact, I learned later that David had embellished the facts and I had taken him at his word. Sar IS impulsive but she is not irresponsible and for that, I apologize. David also apologizes and I feel certain Sar will deliver payback in her own inimitable way.
People frequently ask me why Sar is always accompanied by 2 large dogs. The answer is simple. I insist that they accompany her everywhere. They act as bodyguards as well as companions. It's either that or hire someone to follow her everywhere. Here's why:
I've had a number of duty stations over the years and in the course of moving around the globe and moving up in rank, I've made a number of friends and numerous acquaintances. I've also come into conflict or disagreement with a few that were unhappy with my decisions or orders. Two of them were mustered out of the Navy courtesy of my orders and thought to get even with me by attacking my wife.
We were billeted in south Florida at the time and I was traveling quite a bit. I'm deboarding a puddle jumper at one of the smaller airports when my aide rushes over and tells me the police are at my house.
A little background here: Our house was in a heavily wooded area with a big yard. There was a peacock farm on the next lot - about a half mile from us - and Biscayne Bay was on the other side. People often dropped off unwanted pets there. One of the pets that made its way into our yard and stayed was an iguana. This wasn't a little Cayman lizard. This was a full fledged iguana which Sar immediately named Iggy. She encouraged the small reptile to come down out of the ficus trees and "sun" itself on our patio or on top of the clothes dryer! It didn't take Iggy long to grow into a 4-foot long reptile with jowls. That thing could RUN on 4 short ugly legs. Sar even had a "doggy" door installed from the garage to the laundry room. Damn thing was so big a full grown man could have crawled through!
Of course the creature thrived. It was cold blooded but didn't seem to mind that Sar regularly pinched its nose (?) muzzle (?) and petted its ugly hide. It was particularly fond of cracker jacks, toast and jam, macaroni and cheese and left over pasta. I think Sar kept it around because it also ate vegetables. One day she discovered 2 big eggs in the yard and Iggy guarding them. News flash! Iggy was renamed Juana the Iguana.
So here's this 4-foot long reptile following her all over the yard, banging its snout on the kitchen door for more of Sar's special iguana food - it also liked Butterfinger bars and chocolate covered raisins - neither of which you're likely to see written in iguana books. Ok, getting there.
One day Juana tosses her cookies - literally - and Sar puts a leash around its neck and pushes and pulls the large critter until it climbs into the backseat of her little car. Off to the vet. Between you and me, it was so damn big she could have put a saddle on it and rode it down U.S. 1. The vet is a long suffering friend of ours that has mended everything Sar has brought him: a baby owl, countless birds with broken wings, squirrels. A peacock hen that was smart enough to fly into our yard but too stupid to fly out - you don't want to know anything more about that episode. Raccoons, possum, cats, dogs, a goat, snakes, whatever. This woman never had a pet before she married me - except for those damn cats that came with her when we exchanged vows! Apparently I promised to love, honor, and cherish her, and---- change the kitty litter.
So she's coming home from the vet and pulls into the driveway and one of the stalkers is up a gumbo limbo tree that is on the side of the driveway and jumps down when she gets out of the car. He has a knife. Sar yells hi like she knows him and lets Juana out of the car. Juana is high on whatever the vet shot her up with and gets up on all fours and heads toward the guy. He yells bloody murder that a crocodile is going to eat him and tries to run away and trips over his own feet. The iguana is stoned and collapses on his arm and doesn't move. The stalker is too scared to move. Sar calls the police.
When I get to the house, the guy is in the back of a police cruiser. The iguana is passed out on the front lawn. Sar is entertaining 4 policemen in our kitchen. They're eating key lime pie and drinking coffee. I convince them to leave Sar's name and the iguana's involvement out of their police report. We don't need the publicity. Before the police leave, the iguana is banging on the kitchen door. Apparently it also likes key lime pie.
I have a serious discussion with the police about Sar's safety and they steer us toward reputable dog breeders. I want her to have a pair of attack trained German Shepherds or Dobermans. She falls in love with a 10-week old Rottweiler. I tell her no!
So after the Rott has been with us a few weeks, a friend of hers brings her new BullMastiff puppy over and later Sar checks out the rest of the litter. She tells me she wants one and picks out the biggest in the litter. I tell her no.
She named the Rottweiler Brix and the BullMastiff Rox.
While they were growing up, she had 2 attack trained Dobermans to guard her. She learned how to train dogs while her own 2 were learning. A few years ago, both dogs died of old age but before they died, they kept her from serious injury when the other stalker caught up with her. When he attacked, also with a knife and in a public park where she was jogging, the Rott lunged for the man's jugular, the BullMastiff went for the groin. Sar calmly called the police.
We went back to the original breeders and acquired another Rott and another BullMastiff, her current dogs and personal bodyguards. SweetPea and BullyBoy are not only attack trained, they're also "companion dogs." Sar uses them to assist in the training of dogs that will aid the disabled. She teaches them to retrieve items that were dropped, open refrigerator doors, cabinets, pull wheelchairs, all sorts of things a disabled person might need. Her own dogs are trained to protect, attack if necessary, and assist. For that, they are registered with a national companion dog clearinghouse and if wearing appropriate vests, can go anywhere with her, into stores, banks, restaurants, etc. And you guessed it - they eat what Sar eats.
Closure: To my everlasting relief, Sar didn't give me an argument about leaving Juana in Florida when we were transferred north. The beast was donated to the Miami Zoo when we left. They promised to keep a bowl of cracker jacks in her enclosure and to make mac and cheese for her at least once a week. Sar made them put it in writing and got the document sworn to and notarized in front of a judge.
With this post I have fulfilled my debt for losing a bet with my birbantella. I salute all of you that write and do it so well. It was a challenge for me and I thank you for your generous and kind words.
Ti amo Adora, mia prezioso. Siete la luce della mia vita.