Mar. 25, 2017

King Von Kong

When our dog, AJ, of 16 years died, we discussed getting a new puppy. My ten year old son requested we get a “Scooby-Doo.” The family talked about it for a few months before deciding on a dog. In the end, we finally decided we’d get a Great Dane.

My sister, Barbi, who was living with us at the time, and I went and picked him up Easter morning as a surprise for my son, Reese. This puppy was already big. He was the size of a small black lab at six weeks old. Because of his solid black fur, we named him, King Von Kong and called him Kong.

While Barbi ushered him around to the back door, I came in the front. We knew Amber and Reese would already be awake and we wanted to surprise them with the puppy. I truly use that term loosely. Kong came in slowly, unsure of his new surroundings.

Gizmo, the new “alpha dog;” dog since AJ’s passing, was a Shih-Tzu and still a puppy himself. He tried to boss Kong around even though Kong was about six times his size. Kong started to back out of the house until we assured him it was okay to continue on. The kids hearing the commotion came to see what was making all the noise.

“What is that?” My daughter, Amber, demanded.

My son gasped in delight and ran to the puppy. “What’s his name?”

“I thought we’d call him Kong,” I answered, “On account he’s going to grow to be really big.”

“Bigger than this?” Reese squealed.

Amber rolled her eyes and went into the living room. “Great! We’re going to be living with a horse now.”

Although she acted put out, I knew she was secretly enjoying the new puppy. She was fifteen years old at the time. It was her job to be disgruntled and disgusted with anything Mom and/or Dad did. Buying groceries or buying a new puppy was enough to warrant a tone of displeasure from her at any time.

Reese brought him into the living room where his sister was seated on the floor in front of the TV. Kong promptly went over to her and sat on her. Amber, disgusted by this oversized beast of a puppy getting in her way of the TV, got up and plopped down on the couch. She watched while her brother and aunt played with Kong in the middle of the floor. Gizmo was in my lap, making his claim and letting Kong know I was his human and to keep his distance.

“I’m going to teach him to eat Reese and Tyler,” she said of the new dog (Tyler was Reese’s friend).

Barbi and I laughed because Kong was certainly going to grow and be big enough to do it: eat Reese and Tyler.

“He’s my dog,” Reese informed his sister. “We’re going to teach him to eat you!”

So became the tradition: anytime Amber sat on the floor, no matter how big Kong grew, he thought that was where he was supposed to be. Amber was only 90 pounds soaking wet and Kong grew to be six-two on hind legs and 185 pounds. Nonetheless, he believed his place was in her lap. Whenever we saw a black mass with huge jowls and a stream of long flowing red hair coming from under his tail, we knew where she was.

Tyler came over to meet Kong the following day. As he and my son sat on the floor playing and watching TV, Kong came into the room. I suddenly felt the couch shaking and turned to look at my daughter who was sitting at the other end. Amber was laughing so hard, her face was red and she couldn’t breathe. “What is it?” I asked as Amber slapped her hand on the couch and then pointed at Tyler.

Kong was sitting next to him, both of their heads even in height, and he was nibbling on Tyler’s ear. When Amber was finally able to catch her breath she said, “See? I told you I was going to teach him to eat Tyler! Reese, you’re next!”