That's Oliveah, our Lab-mix, posing on Halloween night in her Lady Bug costume. There is a head piece to this costume, a hood with two antennae. Try as she might, Gretchen my daughter could not get to her keep the head piece on long enough for a picture to be snapped. Surrounded by a Pilgrim teddy bear and a Winnie the Pooh Trick-or-Treat bucket, the green flash glow in her eyes was reminiscent of the dogs in The Omen.
....Liv or Livvie, as we call her came to us in 1995. Like all four of our pets, she has a story. My wife's best friend, was not particularly a dog person, she preferred cats. Her youngest daughter had taken a summer-placement job at our local police station. As it turns out, an abandoned dog was brought in to be turned over to the pet control department. Working when the dog was dropped off, Erica fell in love with he dog.
....Talking her mother into, they adopted the dog and named her Deja. She was long-haired mongrel part-Lab and part-unknown. The dog was in their home for about two weeks when Elaine said to Erica that dog sure is putting on weight. A trip to the Vet found Deja to okay. When asked if the dog was pregnant, the veterinarian said no and suggested that they put her on a special food, which they just happened to have in stock and sold to dog owners. By the way, this product could only be purchased through pet hospitals and Veterinarians. Can you say collusion?
....On our advice, she did not add to the Vet's coffers. As it turns out, he could have used the dough to put toward a refresher course at Veterinarian School. Perhaps he skipped class on the day his class covered "Puppies and Where They Come From." Two weeks later, it was surely a canine version of immaculate conception, Deja gave birth to five bouncing puppies. Red-faced, the Vet offered to check them out for no charge. The Vet and his two assistants were not the Magi and they had followed no star to find their way to the examination room.
....A clean bill of health given to mother and her pups, they did not fail to mention that they had a special puppy food which was highly recommended for puppies, and could only be purchased through them. Elaine and Erica were not confident when it came to their knowledge of nutrition, and kindly declined.
....It just so happened that night while I was watching some BBC reruns of Monty Python, that they ran the "Dead Parrot" episode. I wondered what would happen if someone showed up at that Vet's office with a dead animal. "Ah, nothing to worry about. It's a sleeping disorder caused by not eating Dr. Good's Pet Food. It just so happens that we sell it to the public."
....My wife and daughter were given first choice to pick from the litter when they were weaned. So it was that "Oliveah Taylor Ashley" came to live with us. As it turned out, they chose the friskiest most rambunctious one of the five. Elaine kept one of the puppies to be a companion for Deja-mom and found good homes for the other three. Brother Caspar and Deja dropped in from time to time to say hello to Oliveah. Deja was spayed, no one wanted any more puppies, thank you. Wisely they found a new Vet and have had no problems or mis-diagnoses. However, some things never change, it seems every Vet around here has a side business selling "special" pet foods.