My Dog Won’t Teach Me Spanish ….and other educational issues

I have always been a cat person. We had them as kids. Lots of them. I had them with my ex-husband. Lots of them. Then one day, while I was living in my little house raising my little child, with my one little cat Henry, he died. The cat by which I measured all other cats passed away. I had other cool cats in my past, namely Ben and Abbey, but Henry had a special place in my heart.

I was still grieving the loss of Henry when I was approached by a friend of a friend. She was fostering a kitten, that had somehow crawled up on a porch, had been diagnosed with distemper, and that they did not suspect would make it through the night. They had no idea where the other kittens or the mother was. The short story (stop laughing at me) is that she lived and I took her. We named her Lucy. She was the worst animal I’ve ever owned, and at some point we gave her a middle name, “Fur”, so that we could call her Lucy Fur. People looked at us funny if we called her Satan or said she was marked by the Beast. So we stuck with Lucy Fur. Eventually, I was actually able to convince an old woman getting ready to retire that she should take Lucy Fur, even though she was an evil pain in the ass. She did. That was the last cat I owned.

Stay on the train….this is going to take a minute.

uno1Then we got a dog. Enter Uno, the wonder dog. He was 1.5 years old when we rescued him. My daughter wanted to change his name to Sparkle, Glitter and a few other things that appeal to 6 year old girls. So we stuck with Uno. And I fell madly in love with him. That was nearly 13 years ago.

Uno is an old man now. He’s led a charmed life. He pretty much is in charge of our house and knows he can have anything he wants. I actually started weeping one day, thinking about how his time with us would be up soon. No, he’s not sick. He’s old. And we all know that all dogs go to heaven. I lost my mind with grief over a dog who is still alive. Having ovaries can suck sometimes.


Enter Bella. She’s beautiful. She’s smart. She’s a people lover. She cannot hold her licker. And she is a serial killer. She will annihilate anything living that comes into my back yard, and like Cheryl’s dog Shelby, she has a kill list that is rather extensive and includes skunks, rats, and birds. She will be the sweetest dog you ever met, unless you try to cross me. Then she will rip the pants off your body and I’m not sure what happens after that. The Consumers Energy man was able to escape before she completely disrobed him.

I had to take her to obedience as a condition of adoption. Turns out my border collie was dumber than a box of rocks. Border collies are smart dogs! It was one of the reasons I chose her! Uno is a border collie mix also, and so smart I can’t believe it. But she would not listen to anything I said and soon, the dumbest dog in the class was following commands while mine was still looking blindly around for something to kill. The only thing she seemed to know was the name we gave her, which came from about a week of calling names out to her until she responded. I wanted to name her Rosie but she refused to respond.

So one night, I made Gracie go with me so she could see what was going on. She observed silently for a while before she looked down at Bella and said “Bella, sentar”. The damn dog sat down! What? Are you kidding me? My dog speaks SPANISH? I asked Gracie what made her speak to her in Spanish, and she said that since they had found her wandering around Mexican Village in Detroit, she thought perhaps she had come from a Spanish speaking home. This explained everything….except that I don’t know any Spanish. Except taco and margarita, words that will do nothing but get me a great meal.

So…I’ve had to teach Bella English. She now knows it and is responsive. But she’s still a serial killer that can’t hold her licker. I’m actually kind of okay with the killer part, it keeps pests out of my yard. I’ve asked her not to kill birds, but she looks at me as if to say “No speaka English” whenever I mention it.

Only now I need to learn Spanish for school. Ugh! I’m too old to learn another language! Turns out Bella barely remembers Spanish nearly a year later, so enter my 15-year-old tutor Catie. You need to know I haven’t even started taking Spanish yet, but am engaging a tutor ahead of time to try to give me some sort of educational edge. Going to college at this age means that I not only want to pass, but WITH HONORS and I fear Spanish may be what screws up my GPA. And since Catie is way smarter than most adults I know (and every single one of my ex-boyfriends, I might add), and she works primarily for Cheetos, she was the perfect person for the job. The more time I spend with her, the more I realize just how much more mature she is than me. We were making flash cards last week, and I told her I wanted to learn a few animals too. So she made a card with “dog” and “cat”. But I said no, I need something more interesting. Just so you know, a perezoso is a sloth. The best thing is that Catie didn’t even roll her eyes at my request. She might have suppressed a giggle, but no eye rolling, which I kind of deserved.

My guess is she reserves that for her mother.

Adios, mi amigos. Hasta la proxima vez.


2 thoughts on “My Dog Won’t Teach Me Spanish ….and other educational issues

Add yours

  1. How cute..who would have thought. Smart animals and while I am partial to cats myself, I have lived with a dog or two in my life. The last dog we had passed at the age of 14….havent been able to bring myself to get another one.


  2. We do love our pets, don’t we? I’ve never found it any easier to lose one type over the other. Losing Henry broke my heart. But I somehow always find a way to fill that hole with another shelter animal to give a great life to!

    Thanks for looking!


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