Vicky, the Bald-Bottomed Yorkie

As previously mentioned, one type of event my mother attended in search of equestrian Attire so we could take riding lessons was dog shows.  Dogs are a massive deal for white Kenyans. But like the purebred dog-owning community in Kenya at the time, the purebred dog community was rather small, insulated, and, I hate to say it, inbred.  The people seemed fine, mostly, but the dog scene was kind of a mess.  Like 19th century European royalty, it was hard to find even one ideal specimen, and half of them probably had hemophilia.  There were a lot of snaggle teeth, curved backs, crossed eyes, and personality disorders.  But they were still dogs and therefore cute and cuddly.

My parents are huge dog lovers.  They pretend not to be because dogs are “impractical,” “expensive,” and they “poop.”  But then they keep telling you about the German Shepherd they had before they had kids, and you start to realize they might trade you for a resurrected Gidget, because she spoke better English and potty-trained faster, and also, like Jesus, a resurrected dog would be Highly Evangelical.  I hear how they took Gidget all over the world with them, including on a ship, and lived in tiny apartments with her, and I think to myself, are these the same people who stopped flying because the TSA made them take off their shoes?

So we all went to this dog show in Nairobi, ostensibly so my mother could hunt for Attire from all the white Kenyans.  We watched charmingly deformed dog after dog parade their stuff.  Honestly, my sister and I were thoroughly enjoying the experience with no thought of coming out of there with a pet.  Seriously.  We were admiring some misshapen pugs when it dawned on us that we had lost our parents and maybe we had better find them.  We wandered among all the white Kenyans and their incestuous dogs until we found my extremely practical, unsentimental, never-ridiculous parents covered in Yorkshire Terriers and inking a contract for a soon-to-be-born Yorkie puppy.

Laura and I began jumping up and down for joy, chanting, WE ARE GETTING A PUPPY!!! WE ARE GETTING A PUPPY!!!  and trying hard to ignore the unsettling feeling that our parents were suffering marked, rapid cognitive decline and we would soon be left to fend for ourselves and a genetically compromised Yorkie in a country without potable water.  My parents informed us that the dog would be named Miss Vicky, and they planned to get a boy next and name him Tiny Tim, at which point they would fully enter the white Kenyan pure-bred dog scene.  I stared at them as if they had just popped open a beer.  They tried to explain the origin of these names in 1960’s pop culture, but we were far too bewildered to process the additional information.  Incidentally, the ambition and complexity of their plan completely undercuts their later claim that they got Vicky for us as a gift.

The day Vicky arrived, I was so excited I could barely stay in my seat on the bus ride home from school.  All the kids were, in fact.  We all knew my parents had picked her up that day and massive amounts of cuteness awaited our arrival.  The bus pulled into Brackenhurst (the conference center where my parents were in language school), and my parents were there, holding a tiny ball of fur that was squirming to be free.  We bounded off the of the bus and seized upon her, practically smothering the poor thing.  Once set alight on the ground, Vicky tore off like a psychotic energizer bunny, frenetically running from kid to kid to kid.  She was a blur of black and tan, like a hairball tossed by a blowdryer.  I loved her immediately, and not only because she made me a massive celebrity for the day.

But my parents’ dreams of being white Kenyan Yorkie breeders never materialized.  For one thing, it turned out that Vicky was very likely a reincarnated version of my Great Granddaddy Turner, such was the insolence and obstinance of her personality.  I have no doubt she would have put firecrackers under our beds like he did to unsuspecting houseguests had she had opposable thumbs.  Thankfully, her only real weapon was her power of bodily waste management, which she used to its fullest potential.  In fact, I don’t think Vicky ever completely potty-trained.  My parents tried everything, and their capricious strategies probably made things worse.  They did newspapers, taking her outside, a doggy door…She was still evacuating in inappropriate locations well into her adulthood.  One time, she pooped on a bunch of water color paintings my sister had done and foolishly left out on the floor to dry.

In addition to an apparent personality disorder, Vicky was not exactly a Westminster-quality physical specimen, even by Kenyan standards.  Full-grown she was several pounds larger than most Yorkies.  She also had a curved back and butt baldness, to use the medical term.  She mysteriously had very little hair on her back half.  I think my parents eventually found some kind of treatment so that her a** was not completely denuded, but she always had a reverse-mullet-look about her, not exactly a dog-show-winning hairstyle, especially for a Yorkie, which is basically the sorority girl of dogs.  They are supposed to be prissy little things with flowing, silky hair in which you can put big bows.  Vicky was like the charity case the sorority admitted to prove they weren’t all shallow b*tches.  She was plus-size, had bad hair, and also enjoyed eating cat poop.

If Vicky were one of the girls on the Lawrence Welk show 

So Tiny Tim, sadly, was not to be, and neither were the dozens of litters of adorable Yorkie puppies or our family’s formal entrance into white Kenyan society.  My parents got Vicky fixed, and my mother settled on playing bridge once a week with some British ladies who did not mind that she was “bold.”  Vicky became a beloved pet who slept under our covers and pretended to hate Tigi the cat.

Every night, our family had devotions and ended by singing a praise song.  Anticipating that my mother would soon get up and dump Tigi off her lap, Vicky would become very agitated during the singing and start howling and barking.  When Mom put Tigi down, Vicky would viciously chase her from the living room.  But it was all an act.  We heard from our housekeeper that when we weren’t around, Vicky and Tigi slept together in a beanbag.  In addition, it soon became apparent that Vicky enjoyed the singing on its own and may have had aspirations of super stardom.  She sang her little heart out every night and sometimes forgot to chase Tigi altogether.  

All this goes to show you that sometimes when you are looking for Attire and a career in dog inbreeding, you get a very talented singing Yorkie with a bald butt instead. 

Please apply this to your life in any way you see fit. 

This pic is too blurry to get the full effect of Vicky’s butt mullet. Apparently, I cut my hair to match.

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