As Wilbur approached his second birthday his appearance started undergoing a transformation. He grew what I can only describe as tusks. He had two large pointed teeth come up from his bottom jaw, one on each side of his jaw that looked like mini elephant tusks. He also had two tusks like growths that came from the front of his lower jaw and grew back toward his neck; I call these his “side bars”. These side bar tusks have had to be trimmed once a year so they wouldn’t dig into his neck and cause him extreme discomfort.
Together, these tusks give Wilbur a kind of sinister look, but he has never used them to attack or hurt anyone, or the dogs. The only time I have had to look out for them is when Wilbur wants to show me love by rubbing up against my leg. He has accidentally scraped me a couple of times when he wanted me to pet him and I wasn’t paying attention. Wilbur has never had a mean or aggressive bone in his body and he has always been very affectionate.
Wilbur is also very smart, and I do mean VERY smart. This intelligence, coupled with his stubbornness, and his spoiled rottenness, can lead to trouble. I say this because Wilbur can be very sneaky when he wants something. The thing that makes Wilbur so bad besides this sneakiness is his persistence. When Wilbur wants something, like getting in the house, or illicit food, you have to either bar the doors, or watch him constantly because Wilbur will not stop until he has got what he wants; and if he doesn’t get what he wants, he is not above tearing up the patio to show his displeasure, call it throwing his weight around if you will.
When we bought our house in Homestead, all of the interior walls and ceilings throughout the whole house were painted white. After a year and a half of all white all of the time, Rhea decided we needed some color inside the house. She had just got hired as a bartender at a tiki bar in Florida City, which gave us some spare income. We picked out colors, and bought some latex paint on sale at the Home Depot. We brought the paint home and we went to work.
We were painting the living room ceiling and walls, when Wilbur managed to pry open the back patio doors with his bottom teeth. As soon as he walked into the house he smelled the paint and made a bee line for the nearest can. We have already talked about Wilbur’s love for the smell of gasoline; well we found out that he has the same fascination for house paint. While we were distracted painting the ceiling with a fresh coat of white, Wilbur walked over and dunked his snout in the paint can! Rhea saw him and shouted “get away from there” which startled Wilbur and made him back away from the can. Too late! Wilbur’s snout now had a fresh coat of white paint on it. I got a moist rag and washed most of the paint off of his snout, then kicked his butt back outside. However, he now knew that we had “yummy” paint inside, so he bided his time, and waited for his next opportunity.
This opportunity presented itself the next day after we finished painting Sean’s bedroom. Sean decided he wanted to paint his bedroom with his favorite color, a deep forest green. After we finished, we still had half a gallon of green paint, so in order to save money Jeff decided to mix some white paint with the green to paint his bedroom a light green. Rhea and I left to buy some more paint and left Jeff alone to paint his bedroom. After painting for an hour or so, Jeff thought he would take a cigarette break on the back patio.
Out back while Jeff was distracted lighting a cigarette, and grabbing a beer, Wilbur slipped into the house unnoticed. Wilbur in his nonchalant sneaky manner ambled down the hall to Jeff’s room to find the door had been left open. Wilbur went inside, found the can, and the roller tray filled with paint, and he had a grand old time! First he stuck his snout into the paint, then he knocked the can over on to the bedroom carpet, then he flipped over the roller tray. Now that he had a nice puddle of light green paint in the middle of the carpet he rolled his entire body in the puddle!
Rhea and I came home from the store to see Jeff relaxing on the back patio. “So, how goes the painting?” I asked, “Are you done yet?” “Nah not yet, I thought I would take a little beer, and cigarette break.” He replied. I looked around the patio, “Where’s Wilbur?” I asked him. “He was just here a second or two ago….” We ran down the hall to Jeff’s room and there he was, sleeping in the middle of a huge green spot in the middle of Jeff’s cream colored rug, covered head to toe in light green paint!
Rhea almost fainted, and I blew my stack. “Wilbur! Get your piggy ass outside NOW!” Wilbur got up with a start and ran down the hall, through the living room, and out the back doors leaving little light green piggy hoof prints behind him on the white tile floors.
Wilbur looked like some punk rocker gone amok with a tattoo gun. I took the hose and sprayed down. I managed to wash some of the paint off of him, but Wilbur’s skin was a nice light green for almost two years before all of the paint finally wore off. The rug in Jeff’s room had to be torn up and replaced, because no matter how many times we washed, and shampooed it, we never got the paint out.
You want to talk about the times that try a man’s soul? After this last escapade I was seriously considering having a block party with Wilbur as the main course.
Next: Wilbur “talks” to me.