Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Sunny Delight

I grew up in the country, and my brother and I kept a variety of indoor and outdoor pets over the years – dogs, cats, birds, fish, hermit crabs, iguanas, and random animals we would “rescue” from the back yard or street, like toads and turtles.

Our inside dog, Oscar, was a tiger-striped Dachshund/Terrier mix.  He was a sweet, gentle pup, and we would leave him to roam the house while we were not there, as opposed to being crated or put into the laundry room.  And we went several years without incident.

I was sick one spring day during middle school, and my dad stayed home from work to take me to the doctor.  We were gone for a couple of hours, and when we returned we discovered a trail of canary yellow feathers down the main hallway.  The only animal with yellow feathers in the house was my brother’s parakeet, Sunny.  Was.  As we made our way to my brother’s room, we found the small birdcage face down on the floor, minus the bird.

Oscar had managed to knock over the table on which the birdcage sat, and the rest was history.  After half an hour of searching the house with no luck in finding Sunny, we opted to go to the source.  My dad [the cop] interrogated Oscar about Sunny’s whereabouts, but all Oscar did was lick his chops as a smug response to his shameful deed.  I felt absolutely terrible for my poor brother and his ill-fated, featherless birdie that was most likely inside of my dog’s stomach.

We had cleared the crime scene evidence by the time my brother returned home from school, and my dad and I decided that we would talk to him together.  My dad took the lead, “Brien…it appears that Oscar…had a Sunny Delight.”  Well done, Dad.  Two days later, our suspicions were confirmed in the front yard.  Amazingly, Oscar hadn’t even chewed up the parakeet – he had actually swallowed her whole, as evidenced by her being in one undigested piece when her journey to the great beyond finally ended.

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