by Barbara Murray
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You've heard the old saying, "That's a trip," which I've always taken to mean different, strange, out of the ordinary. Something unusual might be called a trip. So, that's why I named this dog Tripper. I usually just call him "Tripp." He definitely deserves his name. He's the king of odd behavior.

I met him at the Franklin County Humane Society about six years ago. I was doing some volunteer work there when he came in with his twin brother. Both of these poor dogs were strays and had no doubt been foraging alone. Both were covered in burrs, some of which were down into the skin with infected sores around them. Both had matted hair and were a horrible looking mess. Shelter employees cleaned Tripp's twin with no problem. He was a sweet loving dog.

Tripp, on the other hand, threw a fit. He bit everyone that came near him. He was labeled out of control and a biter and was going to be euthanized.

I adopted him and brought him home and although he's clean and healthy, his behavior has changed very little in the last six years, regardless of what I or anyone else tries to do with him.

Tripper, looking proud after getting groomed.If I try to get him to do something he doesn't like - a bath and grooming especially - he bites me. His hair gets completely out of control if it's not cut regularly, down in his eyes where he can't see, which only makes him more aggressive. It has to be trimmed. It often requires a muzzle to get it done. Once it's finished he's proud and strutting, like in the photo at right. And he's cute!!

When he wants to be petted, he decides when I should stop. If I stop too soon, he bites me. If I pet him too long, he bites me. He'll hike his leg and pee on you if you pet another dog in front of him.

He can be so sweet but you never know how long the sweetness is going to last and when he's going he turn on you - bite, pee, or both.

Tripper initially seemed to idolize Chance, following him around, doing whatever Chance did. They became fast friends and when together wrestle and play like pups. However, if you put any sort of barrier between them, they both growl and jump at each other like it's going to be a to the death contest.

I discovered this when one of them went into a different room and a half-door was closed between them. They both fought the door viciously trying to get to each other. When they did, all the aggression disappeared immediately and they went on their merry way.

This has happened multiple times, making me think they wanted to be on opposite sides of the door from each other just so they could act crazy vicious. Who knows!

I do know I gave Tripper the right name. After six years, he's totally unpredictable.

I've always been concerned about what would happen to my dogs if something happened to me. I could reasonably expect that each one would be loved and cared for, except Tripp and Moose, (a story for later.) Recently, I made a will and provisions for my dogs and I do have someone that will keep the mean little thing if necessary. So, I know that Tripp will go on to torture someone else with all his "personality."