BY SCOTT MORGANROTH
How do you define the word speed?
1) Watching an Indy Car going 200 miles per-hour around an oval in a matter of seconds?
2) Staying with Auto Racing, how about a bulky stock car reaching speeds of 180-220 miles-per-hour?
3) I can just imagine what it would be like to swing at a 100 miles-per-hour fastball.
4) I wouldn't want to be a quarterback in football knowing that you have a few seconds to throw the football before you get tackled or sacked for a loss.
5) How about those passes from a guard to a forward or center that lead to a slam dunk or easy basket.
6) In hockey, the pace of the game means you better keep your head up at all times or you could be checked into the boards, or one pass could lead to a breakaway goal.
7) A track and field star having an excellent performance in any race.
8) Watching a horse race.
9) Attending the dog races.
10) Going to a rifle range and trying to hit the target.
In the past week, speed took on a new meaning.
I found my Significant Other Gladys a new two-year old 14-pound White Maltese---Cairn Terrier named Sparky.
For those that know my Detroit ties, I'd like to say that I named it after the Tigers late Manager Sparky Anderson. Anderson had white and silver hair but was a gem of a person. He won a lot of ball games, three World Series titles and is in Baseball's Hall of Fame.
But this Sparky has an identity of his own.
The reason I got Gladys the dog is that my 10-year-old Cat Maverick is a subdued animal who is independent. He'll give affection on his own terms in the form of kisses and his famous head butts. I love his head butts and Gladys is proud to receive them. When she gets a head butt, she is overwhelmed with emotion and her smile could be seen to Iceland.
Since Gladys spends a lot of time at home and I'm working a lot, the need for a second animal was necessary.
What I've seen over the past eight days with Sparky is unreal.
When we picked Sparky up at a vet in Coral Springs, the fascination began immediately. Here is a small dog picking a fight with a larger dog. But with all due respect, he was a stray animal who had to fend for himself, therefore, the animal had to develop a feisty mentality.
It didn't take long to learn how fast Sparky was.
That very night, as we were heading out to Walmart at 1 AM, Gladys put the dog in our bedroom and as she had to get something, Sparky darted out the patio door so fast, we found ourselves chasing this animal down. I had to run to get my keys and she was looking for him. Then I was looking for both.
I finally found the dog, got out of the car and as I was attempting to grab him, he darted again. I realized that a man over 200 pounds is no match for an animal this size.
Weight Watchers, here I come!
Gladys finally reached into her bag of tricks and went to the refrigerator and grabbed a piece of salami and lured the dog to her and finally snapped on the leash. Then we put him in the dog carrier and he was done for the night.
After spending over $200 to make sure Sparky was healthy, I told her that she was in for the biggest challenge of her life trying to mellow and train this animal. She isn't lacking time during the day with her latest pet project.
But as the week progressed, the dog got out again and Gladys went back to work to get him. But this time she had help from the rest of the community.
Sparky has now made a name for himself inside the Waterways, Harbor Point, Subdivision.
On Friday, her sister Goldie and nephew Nathaniel came for a visit and spent the night. The dog was running in the house but saw the door open slightly.
Once again, the dog was off to the races. Gladys, her nephew and the rest of the community nabbed Sparky again. This time, however, Sparky, was punished for the rest of the night.
Gladys quickly went to the pet store and bought him an identification collar. We'll have a chip placed in Sparky real soon. Now Gladys has a full time job! Protect her baby Sparky from himself!
If she ever pulls this off, it will be interesting to see if Maverick and Sparky can get along. Stay tuned for that update.
I actually renamed Gladys Thunder--and Sparky--Lightning. This tandem will be interesting to watch. I have a feeling there will be a lot of laughs.
When I think of Sparky, I don't know how long this dog will be around. I really hope the ending of this doesn't lead to him getting hit by a car or simply running away.
But for some reason, I'm not going to bet against My Puerto Rican Pistol Significant Other.
She's done a marvelous job raising three children into quality adults. She has the Eye Of The Tiger to pull the trick again.
How she pulls it off, is anyone's guess. Will salami, bologna, a newspaper, her hand or a cage to get the job done? I'll find out, but my Blackberry will be burning up with text messages as to how she conquers this latest challenge.
But I'd be curious to see how fast Sparky could run the 40-yard dash as well as the length of a football field. I hope one day, I could use my stop watch and find that out.
For now, I'm just glad that we found a young dog and gave him a nice loving home. I just hope that he's smart enough to realize it and listens to his mother!
In the meantime, Sparky is a welcomed addition to my family which is now at four and this Sparky does give me a good reason to recollect my memories of Sparky Anderson. A legend and a hopeful legend.
Scott Morganroth can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and his blog can be seen at http://www.scottsports33.com/.
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