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Inspirational Reads


November 16, 2009

I'm not really here today, True Believers. I'm spending the day in a small room with twenty-four other people as we hold our quarterly meeting with our client. They are feeding me, but let's not forget what Milton Friedman held near and dear: There's no such thing as a free lunch. So, I probably won't be getting around to your blogs today. I'd apologize, but I'll be too busy spending the evening massaging my poor, sore buttocks. The chairs in the main conference room ain't so comfy, if you know what I'm saying. And if you don't, well, they make my ass hurt.

In lieu of telling you more about my backside, I thought maybe I'd tell you about my dog.

When I was in the fifth grade, we adopted a shelter puppy. She was pure mutt, a mixture of Yorkshire and Scottish terriers. From the moment my mom picked her up out of the kennel at the animal shelter, she loved our family. My mom named her Megan. She named her litter mate Mandy and my aunt adopted her.

While Meg was a pure, loving dog from the moment she came home, she also eight pounds of crazy stuffed into a two pound sack. She was a good kind of crazy, though, except when it came to not being on a leash or a chain. Then she'd go batshit and run as far and as fast as she could, not caring about me huffing after her. We always found her. Except for that one time. However, when we woke up the next morning, she was in the garage--wet, muddy, exhausted...and still batshit crazy. We were glad to see her and pissed that she took off, all at the same time.

It was this batshit crazy streak that led us to call her Nutmeg from time to time.

Obviously, she loved to run, and she was fast. I'll give her that. Her true talent, however, was in her leaping ability. Whenever someone came home, she would dance on her back legs and paw at you with her front. However, whenever someone from the extended family--my aunt, my cousins, my grandfather--came to visit, Meg would leap out of her skin. She'd jump shoulder height because she'd be so excited to see you. This amused my grandfather to no end. "Leapinist damned dog I've ever seen," he'd chuckle.

Like any true dog, she was a good companion. Whenever I would come home from college, she'd be there to greet me. She'd always climb up onto my lap when I'd sit down and hunker up next to me in bed when I'd finally crawl in it at night. I'm not sure, though, if it was true canine love, or if she just wanted a nice warm ass to snuggle up against at night. See, my mom and dad had a waterbed while I was young, and my mom would yell at Meg when she would get up on the bed and walk around while my mother was trying to nap. So, Meg became adept at scooting herself around to get up right next to you, to maximize the amount of warmth she'd siphon off your body.

One night, I came home from grad school for no particular reason other than I needed to escape South Bend for a few hours. I was having one of those tough nights where I was struggling to get over the Ex-, and booze and porn just weren't cutting it. This was a long drive through the night with the windows down and a mix tape of emotionally dark music from the 90s kind of night. Around two am, I found myself on familiar roads and, with fatigue setting in, I made a couple of turns and I was soon creeping down the tree-line avenue that my parents' house rested on. I still had a key to the house, so I crept inside as quiet as possible and decided I'd sleep on the spare bed downstairs.

Meg was there to greet me, her tail wagging more slowly than usual, her old bones creaking as she followed me to the pallet. I took off my shoes and helped her up onto the bed, fearing that she was too old to make the jump. I pulled a blanket up over myself, curled up, and felt Meg take her usual position right behind my legs and under my ass. She hated it when you farted on her--again, much to my grandfather's amusement--and yet this was her preferred sleeping position for the night.

As much as she hated you breaking wind on her, she loathed water. She hated bath time, she hated to be left in the rain, and she hated being squirted with the hose, which was her usual punishment for crapping on the floor. Outside and squirted with the hose. When I was in high school, we got a pool, and Meg wouldn't go near it. Except, she liked to sleep on the deck beside the pool in the sun. Unfortunately, this is where she met her end.

I don't remember how old she was when she died. She was about thirteen or fourteen, but like I mentioned, she was slower, didn't jump so well. She had grown a bit surly in her older days. She didn't like kids nearly as much as she had when she was younger. When we brought my daughter down to her grandparents house, Meg pissed on the floor where her jumper was and Cookie's socks became soaked in dog piss. I wasn't exactly happy, but I also wasn't going to beat the dog nor squirt her with the hose. I thought of it as a canine equivalent of an old man bitching about you playing on his lawn.

Anyway, my mom threw the dog outside because she was going nuts over squirrels in the yard--her hatred of squirrels in the yard was only surpassed by her hatred of cats in the yard. So, Meg went up onto the deck to sleep in the full midday sun. However, when my mom went to get her later, the dog wouldn't come, and she couldn't be seen. My mom feared the worst. My dad came home that night and looked around the pool area for her, and couldn't find her. They figured she had run off, but feared the worst...

Since it was early summer, the thermal cover was on the pool, obscuring the water. I won't drag it out, but Meg probably climbed up onto the deck, had a heart attack, and fell into the pool. It was, without a doubt, the most ignominious way in which my dog could shuffle off this mortal coil. My mom, ever the lady, made my dad go out and pull back the solar cover, and there she floated upon her watery grave. My dad rescued her and buried her out behind the garage, in the same area where my first cat Katy was returning to that dust of which she was originally formed.

The other day, when I was having a particularly rough afternoon, I laid down to take a nap when my wife came home from work. As I pulled the afghan up over myself, I began to drift off to sleep and, for the first time in years, I had a sort of waking dream about nutty old Meg. I dreamed that she was there, beside the couch, looking up at me with her liquid brown eyes, waiting for me to fold my legs up so that she could take up her position under my ass. It was kind of odd, but in a happy sort of way. I patted my hip once--the sign to welcome her up with me--and then fell into that blissful couch sleep that I coveted so much.

Oh, and I never swam in that pool ever again.


mo.stoneskin said...

I just can't believe you use an Afghan as a blanket. Shame on you.

If I stole your lunch I would consider it "free".

Moooooog35 said...

My dog eats my blankets.

I could use a good afghan to replace the one she ate.

JenJen said...

Well, I'm going all mushy touchy feely girlie on you to say that made me tear up.

Ed Adams said...

That sounds like a good dog.

Even though we only have them for awhile, they usually make our lives so much happier.

Unless you have a dog that's an asshole.

But even asshole dogs are better than cats.

Nikki said...

I'm with mo. But if I steal the lunch from him after he steals it from you he might kill me to get it back.

erin said...

The kids want a puppy SOOOO much. I just hate animals. All of them. Except for bunnies. And sharks.

June said...

So many good stories about family dogs that knew how to live and love.
Nice post.
Now no farting.

Joshua said...

Heartbreakingly touching. A great tribute. And now I miss my childhood dog. Damn.


Lindsey Himmler said...

We had a cat freeze to death on top of our above-ground pool one winter. It was truly awful.

My father horrifically threw her frozen carcass into a fire he had built as a funeral pyre. I cried, but at least it was over.

Until my plucky golden retriever grabbed her out and began trotting around with her half-burned little body hanging out of his mouth.

To this day, I don't know if it's more tragic or comic.

Soda and Candy said...


Sweetest pup story.

My Big Dog is almost OCD about how she'll lie next to me, I have to be on my side with my legs making a v and she curls up behind my knees and hooks her paw & chin over my leg.
If my legs are not at the right angle she'll look at me, then pointedly at my legs until I rectify the situation.

Frank said...

I never had a dog growing up. I had two cats, and instead of jumping to shoulder-height, they'd climb up your leg like a tree to get to your shoulder. It was amusing, but those claws were damn painful at the same time...

adrienzgirl said...

I knew I liked you. Dog people. I love dog people!

I left something for ya on the bloggy blog today. Come by and get it when your butt ain't sore no more!

Feeling a bit redneck today. Hence the poor grammar.

Bev said...

Well, I was going to offer to help you massage your sore buttocks but after reading this sweet tribute to Meg it suddenly feels cheap & tawdry to do so.

She sounds like a sweetheart. I'm sorry she met such a tragic end.

Also, I love "leapinest."

Cora said...

My sister has a massive black lab named Rocky who thinks he's my baby. I used to cuddle him on my lap when he was a puppy and he thinks that's still where he belongs now! He's as big as me and will knock me down with glee when I visit. Then as soon as I sit down and get comfortable he climbs up into my lap and pins me there. God, I adore that big fella!!

Pfangirl said...

Dude, you made me cry. Shame on you!

Anyway, it's been over 6 months since we lost our beloved golden retriever of 14 years. And I still sometimes expect to see her when I walk around the house. My family are dog lovers, and we've never not had a dog before, so my parents are finally opening up to the possibility of getting a new puppy. And yup, doing some research, terriers seem to be the perfect match - I'm hoping for a little black scottie.

mylittlebecky said...

aaw, nutty meg. pants doesn't like it when chuck toots on her either. she's just so offended.

Harmony said...

Cute post! I love that her crazy spazoidness caused her to adopt the name "Nut-Meg", so fitting.

Nej said...

NutMeg....what a PERFECT nickname!!

BeckEye said...

Won't be getting around to my blog today, eh? So, it's like every other day? :P

Pearl said...

Sweet story, my friend.


Joel D. Timm said...

Losing a pet is awful, and if you have them for a long time they end up like family. Good bit of reading here.

Margo said...

awww, nut-meg sounds great! Those terriers are mostly bat shit crazy. Mine used to think she was one of Santa's reindeer. She'd run off a stair landing, put her front two paws back and try to fly. I think it's time for you to get a new dog. But I always say that.