In Memory of Man’s Best Friend

booches, dogI had a dog for almost as many years as I’ve been married. I don’t know if she ever thought of herself as a dog because we never treated her like one––we always treated her like a child––for 15 1/2 years.

We gave this small, little Lhasa Apso the name Booches, a slight take on the Jay & Silent Bob saying “snoochie boochies”. She almost never barked––kinda like Silent Bob (a non-talker). She didn’t give a shit about the other dogs in the neighborhood. She was cool like that. She eventually earned a few other names: Boocheena, Booches-Booches Galli, Boo Boo, and the list goes on and on. We used to change the lyrics of songs and sing to her. My Sharona became My Boocheena. There were a bunch of those, again, too many to count.

A couple of weeks ago she got to go on her last vacation. She liked it up in Maine. She liked the long car ride, roaming around in the grass, and even walking by the lake. I think she especially liked sleeping on the bed in the boathouse while we all listened to the waves roll against the shore at night.

The house is so quiet now––too quiet. There are no more squeaky alligator toys to pick up, or the pitter-patter of her long nails running around on the hardwood floors. The zebra striped blanket that she used to lay on is gone, so are the dog bowls and random dog food kernels on the floor.

I used to speak to her and tell her, “I love you, do you know what that means?” I think she did, although she would never kiss me back or lick my face––ever! She always ran to her mother––my wife seemed to be the calm to my wake. My wife would tell me that when I was away, she always used to sleep on my side of the bed––that probably was the only way that I knew that she missed me. Every time  I left the house, I would always say, “Be good. I’ll be back soon.” She would look at me probably thinking, “hurry up and leave, so I get my nap on.”

Pet owners will understand this rant more than anyone else. I wasn’t trying to get all sappy and depressing––I actually should have used the hashtag #NSFW (not safe for work) on this story since some people might have a tendency to tear up while reading it. I did before I even finished writing the first sentence.

dog paw, tattooAnyhow, I feel a little better now. I need to thank my wife for being my rock, the kind folks at the MSPCA Angell for taking care of us yesterday, and for the folks at Regeneration Tattoo in Allston for making sure that I never forget her.

I hope you get to eat an endless supply of cooked chicken wherever you are.

Flash Fiction in 99 Words: Dog Thoughts

Dog Thoughts

“We’ll be back in a little while.  You be good.”

That’s my owner.  He says that every day before leaving the house to go to work.  If I could talk, I’d tell him, “Okay, you do know that I’m a teenager, right?  I’m going back to sleep now.”

I spend a lot of time curled up under his desk.  It’s my private sleeping quarters.  My scent is embedded in the plush carpet, among other things.  At least I don’t have to sleep directly on the wood floors.  I got a splinter one time in my paw.  Oh, that hurt.

Let Sleeping Dogs Lie

Booches, dogs, lhasa apso, petI wrote a recent essay about my dog Booches called, Let Sleeping Dogs Lie.  Don’t worry, I’m not going sappy on you.  Here’s a photo and a first paragraph teaser.

As my Lhasa Apso is getting up there in age, she tends to sleep more and more. The peppy, playful dog once full of exuberance has gone away. At 14 in dog years, she’s the equivalent of a retiree collecting social security and adjusting to a set of new hips. When we’re outside, she lags behind as we walk – arthritis, probably – think turtle speed. She’ll peer up at me as she waddles around with this look that reads, “When are we moving to Florida. My old bones can’t take too much more of these Boston winters.”