In my last post I established that my Aunt Carrie is a dog lover, so now I feel justified in telling the story about the time she conspired to commit pet murder. If you read my post about my grandmother’s dogs, you will understand her motivations; if you missed it then suffice it to say that Nanna has a habit of bringing home the dregs of the canine world and deliberately encouraging their worst traits until they become truly insufferable. We are all dog lovers, but there are limits.
Nanna’s dogs have caused a significant amount of family tension over the years, and it culminated in Carrie hatching her master plan the time my grandmother fell and broke her foot.
Mom had rushed out to the hospital because it is never a good idea to leave Nanna alone in such a situation: At best she will shamelessly lie to the nurses about her diet and exercise habits, and at worst she will panic and start raving about how she won’t live through the night. So Mom showed up and started trying to figure out exactly what had happened and make sure the doctors had all the information they needed and convince Nanna that a broken foot was not a fatal injury, and in the middle of all this she got a phone call from Carrie.
“I’ve got it all figured out,” Carrie announced.
“Well I’m glad somebody does,” Mom said, watching Nanna harass the nurses.
“This is our chance to finally get rid of those dogs.”
“I’ve thought it all out and I know exactly what to do,” Carrie said calmly. “You just get some antifreeze and leave it out in bowls around the house, and they drink it and it poisons them. It’ll be easy.”
“Is that Carrie?” Nanna called from the bed. “What does she want?”
“She wants to know how you’re feeling,” Mom said, lying with the ease of a practiced diplomat. “Carrie, I’m going to have to get back to you about this.”
“It’ll work,” Carrie promised her. “I’ve researched it online. All we have to do is drive up there.”
When Mom told me this story she said Carrie had gone temporarily crazy, but I bet she was a little bit tempted by the elegant simplicity of Carrie’s solution. We missed our opportunity, though; Carrie had relented by the next day and the hospital staff was quick to realize that their lives would be easier if they got Nanna back home as soon as possible.
I guess we did the right thing by abstaining from pet murder, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t think wistfully about antifreeze whenever we visit Nanna and have to step over her little darlings’ attempts to mark their territory.