Bottled-up insanity.

The worst thing I ever did was force my mother to return our puppy.

Okay, that’s not the worst thing, but I’m striving for a PG rating here, so let’s go with it.

When I was in kindergarten, my parents bought me a boxer puppy. I had named it Sox because I believe its paws and legs were white like stockings. I also think I added the “x” to the end instead of the “cks,” which is strange because at that time in my life, I was a five-year-old girl from Arkansas who didn’t know who the Sox were, red or white.

This puppy was terrifying. I know, you’re rolling your eyes, but this thing was insane. And I love dogs. I even got bitten in the face by one when I was three (rude), but that in no way deterred me from them. I wasn’t scared. I just wanted to love them like Elmyra from Tiny Toons with roughly forty percent less force.

But the three days I owned Sox, I was in utter terror. I would come home and my mom would send us outside to the backyard, me in my uniform jumper, Sox in his…well…socks. And the first day wasn’t bad because I didn’t know the murderous glee this dog was holding inside. You can’t be scared of bottled-up insanity. But you definitely can be when it’s running at you like a bat out of hell. And there he’d come, lunging at me with every maniacal gallop. And let’s face it: boxer puppies aren’t small. And kindergartners aren’t big. It was a terrible combination. And the worst part was when he’d attach his giant jaws to the edges of my skirt, and I’d twirl faster and faster and faster until he couldn’t hold on anymore and there he’d go, flying through the ether, those murder eyes memorizing every curve of my face.

But I didn’t have long to watch him soar because I’d be high tailing it back to our kitchen’s glass sliding door, the relief washing over me that I was this close to freedom. Only to find that it was locked. And I as beat on the glass and waved my hands around my face, my mom would smile and nod at me with our house phone in the crook of her neck, her finger pointing to the fact that she would rather engage in a three-hour long phone call than scrape my remains off the back patio.

But like I said, the first day wasn’t so bad because I didn’t know the outcome yet and had pretty high hopes that spending time in the backyard with my puppy wouldn’t result in some sort of violent nightmare.

It only took two more days of this until I was ready to ask my parents to return their love for me to the lady who was nutty enough to raise these ferocious beasts. They did. And a few months later, my grandparents bought me a tiny black toy poodle that could fit in both of my hands and only showed her disdain for the world with a quick sniff of her nostrils and a belittling glare.

I still miss Sox. I really like boxers now that I’m practically the size of a full-grown human. I said prayers for him for the longest time until I realized he’s dead now because you know, it’s 2023, and I’m no longer in kindergarten. But I feel good knowing the God I serve already planned his journey, and I hope Sox got to spend the better years of his life with a masochist who thoroughly enjoys torture.

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