When I was thirteen, my great-aunt Elsie died. She left her house to my grandma. It was a large house with a downstairs. It sat on a large fenced-in piece of land. The last of its kind on Monaco Blvd. It was surrounded on two sides by apartment homes, but my great-aunt had refused to sell to developers. I remember exploring the house and the grounds. There was a mysterious workshop/garage that I was never allowed to go in, but I would peek through the dusty windows. There were all sorts of strange odds and ends in the shadows. I could just make out their shapes, but could never tell exactly what they were. I longed to go into the garage and explore, but I had to content myself with hiding under the grape vines under the large white trellis.
When my grandma moved into the house, my mom and I decided that Grandma needed a watchdog. We adopted a small cur with strange yellow eyes. He seemed friendly when we met him, but we soon discovered his true nature when we gave him to Grandma. Grandma, of course, fell in love with him. She named him Tex and tied a red bandanna around his neck. He loved to chase the cars up and down the fence along Monaco, but could never figure out that he couldn’t catch them. He would race frantically along the fence barking ferociously. He also menaced any unfortunate pedestrians who happened to walk along the sidewalk on the other side of the fence.
When Grandma took Tex to the vet, the vet took one look at him and declared him crazy. He told Grandma Tex should be put down, as he might prove to be dangerous. Tex never seemed dangerous to me. He was a little crazy. I had to be careful about leaving things (like my math book) where he could reach them. He once ate an entire page of math problems. I literally had to go to school the next day and tell my teacher that my dog ate my homework.
And he was incredibly protective of Grandma. He didn’t like anyone going near her.
One day Grandma was out working in the garden she had started in the front yard. She loved flowers and was planning on laying out a huge garden. She was bent over pulling up a weed when Tex noticed some pedestrians approaching the property. Barking wildly, he rushed along the fence to take care of them. Unfortunately, he did not notice my grandma bent over in front of him, and he knocked her down.
She had injured her knee and couldn’t get up. She began calling for help. Luckily, one of the neighbors who lived in the apartment next door heard her and came to help. Tex wouldn’t let him near my grandma. Grandma tried to explain to Tex that it was all right, but Tex, ruff standing on end and lip curled, stood in front of Grandma and growled menacingly. Tex wouldn’t move when the paramedics came. My dad finally had to come get him. My grandma lay on the ground the whole time.
Poor, old Tex was put down after injuring my grandma. Seeing his aggressive behavior, my dad didn’t want to risk anyone getting hurt, and he didn’t want Tex running over Grandma again. Grandma and I missed Tex. Grandma would often reminisce about Tex’s curious habits. She would say, “Do you remember when Tex…? And she would recount some strange thing he did. She always ended her story, “He sure was crazy. But I loved him.”