Big Black Dog

painting by Rachel Jarvis

painting by Rachel Jarvis

[excerpted from original kolumn – date approximate]

O.K., I know there must be plenty of folks out there who are annoyed about the heat, and as you know, where there is a minor (or major) annoyance, I will always be there to fan the flames, usually by claiming that whatever it is somehow worse for me than for anyone else. In this case the reason life is so much worse here at Kelp Manor is that our giant black dog’s “wife” down the street is in heat this week and (please don’t think of me as unromantic but) I could just kill him.

For those of you who have not been through this particular brand of torture let me explain. First of all, we are talking about a very large dog here, about the size of the Uncatena, which you oldsters may recall as the smallest ferry that used to run for the Steamship Authority.

Then add to his bronto-like size a tragic, all-consuming friendliness which we endure stoically even when he is regular and not being driven wild by the feminine charms of whatever canine strumpet is going through hormonal horrors that week (he is, by the way, technically a retriever, though yet another friend -imagine me having two!- pointed out that in practice he’s really much more of a dispatcher). You just haven’t lived until you’ve been really hot and hungover and there’s a lathered up, drooling cur the size of Thompson’s Clam Bar sitting on your chest. You remember last issue when I said that singer David Wilcox had exceeded the reasonable limits of affability? Imagine a gigantic, wet, furry, drunk David Wilcox at the Christmas party and you’ll be in the ballpark.

Then imagine the things such a creature would do to get to another creature, of his own species yet, who actually wanted to hang around with him and that it’s your job to prevent said union and you’ll have some idea of how things have been going around here. All this is further complicated by the fact that we had innocently named our dog “Hitler” (an old family name on my wife’s side of the family), an embarrassing name to have to be calling at three o’clock in the morning in your neighbor’s yard when your big idiot dog has escaped yet again ,dragging the front door (not the screen door, but the oak one) behind him (which at least makes him easy to follow). The fact that our neighbors are Jehovah’s Witnesses in no way enhances the whole experience.

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