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By Jack H. Smith
Three Forks Voice 

Column: Peaches, Bella, and the intruder


March 13, 2019

I had written a column about bullying for this week but decided at the last moment to not run it. It was perhaps a bit too aggressive and I'm sure it would have ruffled some feathers, so I decided to go with something a little more lighthearted.

Some of my favorite times writing are about stories from the past and this is a real gem.

This is the story of a cat and a dog.

While it certainly has some of those random chaotic moments that seem to happen to me far too often and may show some good in the world, but at its heart it's just a simple story of man's best friend and his natural enemy.

A while back, my mom and stepdad decided to get a puppy. It wasn't an easy decision after their two beloved Yorkshire Terriers had passed away.

After several weeks of research, she called me to tell me they had gone to Utah to pick up a "Morkie" named Bella.

To this day I'm not completely sure what a "Morkie" is. Sounds exotic.

As cute as Bella Mia Ditullio is, that is not the best way to describe her. She is a whirling dervish of pure chaos that finds herself in turbo mode about 23 and a half hours a day. She does not sit still. She flies around the house like a dog possessed. If anything is in her reach, she will take it. Nothing is safe. Even though she's only about five pounds, she will take off with the Direct TV remote in a heartbeat. The channels will change back and forth as she scurries down the hallway to hide under a bed.

Before I moved to Montana, my mom and stepdad decided they wanted to go on a vacation to Arizona and were going to board Bella.

I should have just let this go, but trying to be nice, I said the puppy is far too young to be in a kennel for 11 days so I would stay at their house and watch her.

Because it was going to be an extended stay, I had decided to bring my cat Peaches. This was before the days of little Jerusha who would have also made the trip.

I knew from the moment I introduced the two it would be pure chaos and I would instantly regret my decision. Peaches has been around several dogs and made it very clear early on he was not going to put up with any sort of shenanigans. He instantly swats them to show he's in control, girl name or not.

So on that fateful day, I prepared everything to go, knowing that I may not have to watch the dog very long because Peaches would probably eat her.

Things turned out a little bit different than I could imagine. As soon as I opened the door and set the cat down, Bella started to creep close. Rather than confront the dog, Peaches just gave her a strange look and preceded to explore the house.

Every chance Bella would get, she would follow Peaches. He would simply turn around, make a strange hissing noise which would send Bella under the bed, albeit this time not for fun and hiding things like remote controls and socks.

Everything was going fine until the third day when I got home from work and let Bella out.

I found out later that I didn't shut the door all the way. I was downstairs doing some laundry when I started to hear what sounded like a hurricane going through the kitchen.

The noises the pets were making were unlike anything I've ever heard. It sounded like the cat was in heat, the dog was giving birth, and a horse was galloping throughout the house.

I was scared.

Had Peaches killed Bella? Had Bella killed Peaches? Had a horse killed both of them and I was next?

I ran up the stairs and wasn't prepared for what I saw.

What had to be a 100-pound Siberian Husky was running loose in the kitchen. It had escaped through a hole in the neighbors' fence and pushed the back door open.

Peaches was on the table hissing with his tail flared. Poor Bella was on the floor peeing.

Peaches takes a break from the Bella madness.

It was something out of a movie. This could only happen to me. I finally got the dog out of the house and through the hole in the fence. I returned to find both pets hiding.

Day three and four neither wanted to come out of their hiding places and getting Bella to go outside was like trying to convince a Cats fan to root for the Grizz.

Finally, the two came out from their hiding places and what happened still makes me shake my head.

They both take turns chasing each other around the house.

While I thought the two crazy animals were going to destroy each other, they instead were playing.

Granted it's still a pain, but just goes to show, that life isn't always what one expects.

The two pets found that they could probably get a lot more fun out of enjoying each other than fighting.

Probably a good life lesson for everyone.


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