Dumb dog

I refuse to write an obituary for my dog. Not because she can’t read (her fault) and not because she is still alive (her fault).  It’s because she doesn’t deserve it.

I’ve read (and wept over) countless of lengthy posts, emails, texts from friends and family members memorializing their pets – many of whom I personally gave belly rubs or enthusiastically followed on Instagram – and these dogs and cats were stand-up animals. They fetched items, they shat in pre-determined/pre-agreed-upon places, they followed at least two basic commands, and they were all extremely photogenic.

My dog has accomplished none of these things in 16 years of life.

Her reaction to my singing of Happy Birthday. Please note, the bruise on her neck was caused by the vet who gave her a hickey.

She has peed on my clothes and has hidden poop in my closet. She has woken me up hundreds of times in the middle of the night for no reason and rejected at least 50 dog beds just because. Her hidden talent is to step on the remote to change the channel at exactly the worst time. She is only interested in what I have to say when I have a turkey sandwich in my hand. She made me use up all of my airline miles to rush back home in the middle of Thanksgiving because she showered her sitter with explosive diarrhea. Her breath stinks. Her knees pop out of place and her heart murmurs. And she snores, loudly.

From the moment we met, I knew she was going to be trouble. “She’s not for show,” I was told. Later the vet confirmed, “She’s not good for breeding.” But I didn’t care for any of that. I just wanted to give my girlfriend a dog – the dream dog she always wanted – a hairless Chinese Crested. Only in the process of making that dream come true, I fell truly, madly deeply for this ungrateful Gremlin.

I’m reminded of just how much today, on her sweet, sixteenth birthday (which roughly translates into 106 in dog years). I don’t know if she’s made it this far because of me or in spite of me, but I do know that she has made my life richer in ways I never knew a 6-pound poop-machine could.

She fills my life with beautiful noise, from her feet’s pitter-patter to hearing her bark the entire time it takes me to eat a banana to her long, sustained howl when I walk through the door. And although I know one day we’ll have to say good-bye, I am certain that I will never forget how I could’ve bought a house with all the money I spent on her or how this dumb dog brought incredible joy and boundless love into my life.

Her reaction to this post. She sucks.



Take five

Today is the fifth anniversary of Relativity. Before I pat myself in places, I just want to take a moment to reflect on the past year…

Cheers to another year.

Our children

Our children rebel. Not because of the drugs they use, but because of the drugs we give them.

Our children hide. Not as part of a game, but from fear of being beaten.

Our children seek. Not out of curiosity, but as the remedy for a life without hope.

Our children go hungry. Not because they are poor, but because we are poor.

Our children remember. Not to share their story, but to keep your secret.

Our children are sick. Not just with Chickenpox, but with Ebola, HIV and Malaria.

Our children hate. Not because they care, but because we showed them to not care.

Our children are our future. Not because we trust them, but because we plan on blaming them for our past.

Our children don’t dream of becoming astronauts. Not because it’s a dangerous profession, but because we taught them to look down instead of up.

Our children won’t put a golden toad in their pocket. Not because they are scared of it, but because we’ve made the toad extinct.

Our children lay on cold, hard floors. Not to rest, but to cover their heads from bullets whizzing through their classrooms.

Our children disappear. Not to start families of their own, but to become pawns, playthings and prostitutes.

Our children cross borders. Not by their own will, but because we told them to broaden their horizons.

Our children are dirty. Not from playing in the park, but from living on the street.

Our children can’t hear. Not because they are ignoring us, but because they lost their hearing after an explosion.

Our children run across the beach. Not to play, but to get away from the bombs we drop from the sky.

Our children bleed. Not from a scrape, but from a gunshot wound.

Our children are silenced. Not because they are loud, but because we’ve deemed their voice as unimportant.

Our children. We have failed them.