I wasn’t ready for another dog.
I really wasn’t. Maybe, I’m still not.
Maybe…in order to move forward, someone has to push you.
Either way… I was having a really bad day. It was a day where even though things were coming out of my mouth, no one was paying attention, listening or even caring. Lez would not get off her phone. Whatever was on it… email, Facebook, etc. it was really important. I asked her to put it down for a few minutes so we could eat lunch without leashes. It lasted for two bites before she picked up the phone again.
I get mad. On top of the bad morning I already had, my feelings are ignored again. I start yelling.
“What is so damn important?”
Lez says, “Do you have your phone on you? I’m sending you something.”
“Why can’t you tell me?! Why do we need phones?! We’re right in front of each other!”
“Check your phone”
“I don’t want to check my phone! Just. Tell. Me.”
“You need to see it.”
I’m steaming at this point. I only have 30 minutes for lunch. I begrudgingly pick up my phone.
I see the line Happy Early Birthday and a picture:
I wasn’t ready for that. I mean, I really wasn’t ready for that. And, my first reaction was not one of happiness.
“You really shouldn’t have done that. You really shouldn’t have done that.”
I was mad that it was sprung on me. I was mad that it was sprung on me like that. I was mad that Lucy was gone. I was mad that I hadn’t gotten over her yet. I was mad. And I let Lez know that.
Lez’s timing was less than ideal. We’d be able to get him in three days. I wasn’t ready.
The next three days…
…were filled with my apprehension – to the point of my ulcer flaring up. Will the other dogs take to him? Will I take to him? Refusing to take him was not an option. Thousands of animals need homes. We have a home.
But the year-old dog they called “AMP” had an especially traumatic backstory.
He was an owner surrender. A tiny victim of the July 2019 floods in Louisiana as a result of Hurricane Barry. He was neutered, chipped and given all his shots. Animal rescue organizations all across the country were called upon to help take some of the abandoned and surrendered animals displaced. AMP had a time… couped up in a container, hoping that someone somewhere would take him. I can’t imagine.
He was one of hundreds. Hundreds.
A local organization: Angels of Fur K9 Rescue was able to take AMP… and foster him while they looked for a new home. Lez saw him on their Facebook page and immediately filled out an application. She said as soon as she saw him she knew that AMP and I would hit it off.
This is a pic of our first meeting. I decide to name him Linus… he’ll never replace Lucy, but he’ll be there to remind me of her… as my security dog. He’s a little 9 lb. bundle of love. I think things will be okay.
You’ll be seeing him in the strip real soon. FUN FACT: WE got Linus exactly ONE YEAR TO THE DAY that we got Bruce.
And to my wife? Lez: you’re a pain in the ass… but I love you. Thanks.
Smells Like Teen Squirrel
I remember where I was the day Cobain died. I was a freshman in college and had just gotten off my shift at the SUNY Albany University library. It was a beautiful April afternoon. I was walking back to the dorms – listening to my (heh) SONY Walkman (AM/FM Cassette tape, not a discman)… the news came over the radio…WPYX 106 Albany.
I stopped walking… not believing what I heard. (I’m not sure why NOT walking would make me hear better.) I got back to the dorm – it was obvious everyone heard the news . Groups of students mulling around the quad… talking, hugging, wondering why and how he’d take his own life.
Nevermind was on heavy rotation that evening… one of the few times I felt my generation had a shared experience.
These illustrations are up for sale. If interested please email me. First come first serve.
To Lez – My Friend, My Wife, My Love on our 11th Valentine’s Day:
But, I think it’s perfect that you’re not perfect.
I’d like to think I have a decent imagination… but the one thing I can’t imagine is spending any part of my life without you. You’re always the first person I want to call when I have good or bad news… and I know that you’re the same way with me… although your news tends to lean more on the bad side: dryer not working, dog threw up, I need a coffee, get Ferlo’s bread… that last one isn’t THAT bad…
You’re kind. You’re generous. You’re selfless. Yet, no matter how many times I clean your glasses, you STILL can’t see how truly beautiful you are… both inside and outside.
And, you have THE BEST LAUGH ever. Good thing I’m a funny guy.
Happy Valentine’s Day sweetheart… we’re in this together.