Time flies when you're family is insane. Well hello there. I sat down to write my random Tuesday thoughts this week and after completing barely a paragraph I got a call from a family member who was concerned about another family member. Then my dog's ass exploded. (no really) And then a different family member who was concerned about a couple other family members called. And then my... What the hell? It's FRIDAY? Already? No no no. This isn't right!
I can't post a Random Tuesday Thought on a Friday! That will throw off the alignment of the universe, warp the Earth's axis, frak up space and time. My RTT had procrastinated itself into an FTT. No one writes FTT's.
I should write a Photo Flaunt since I missed like two in a row and am officially a neglectful blog parent. But then does my RTT get eaten by the FPF? Maybe I could make it a RFT and TPF. But those are lacking a certain pop, as abbreviations go. So, I'm just going to combine both of them. Since my ghost of RTT's past was going to be mostly about dog schtuff I've made an executive decision (which is like a regular decision but makes you feel more superior) to combine both and make this FPF about dogs. (and kids I guess, cause they eat and poop constantly too) So prepare to get blasted in the face with a hot pile of cute.
"It won't be that different" I told myself reassuringly, "having three dogs instead of two will be fine". We already had a lazy retired lay about, and a high strung deaf Ninja. Adding a sweet, low energy pup wouldn't complicate life much more, right? No problem. I got this. What could go wrong? Right? Right?
When we adopted Bonnie from her unprepared first owner she was a tiny, well mannered, sweet and very low energy. Four months later she was 60 pounds, bleeding from her lady parts (necessitating a doggy diaper) and gaining energy and rambunction by the day.
These days, my life is a nearly constant stream of poo, vomit and various other, slightly more disgusting body fluids. I spend the majority of every day picking up various fecal exploits, because apparently, while two dogs can produce 4-5 deuce bombs per day, three dogs can produce 47 a day. However, at the end of the day I don't regret any of it and it's amazing what horrific, disgusting and otherwise nauseating chores one can perform for the sake of love and family.
When I adopted Bubba several years ago I was kind of intimidated. My mother does not share my passion for dogs, or tattoos, or lots of other stuff for that matter. Hence, my relationship with dogs became sorrowfully distant after she married and we left the farm when I was 10.
I shared several dogs with friends, including a crazy stubborn English Bulldog named Tweety who was our house mascot (NOT a frat) in college. But I never had my very own dog until Bubba. This mostly meant that I just had to feed them occasionally and play with them without worrying about the training, and vet bills, and of course, poo.
Luckily, Bubba turned out to be the world's most easy going and awesome dog.
It was a few years after I had been ejected from a warm collegiate womb into the cold harsh world. I was working freelance in the film industry and renting a house in east LA with a hypochondriac bipolar manic "musician" with anger issues, a gluten allergy and acute phobia of cleaning products.
I had been working freelance for a couple years on various indy feature films, network pilots, etc. hopping from one project to the next, gaining as broad an experience as I could (See also: take any job that's offered, no exceptions). All my film school friends had moved away from Hollyweird after school, or stayed and became huge steaming piles of douchiness and flaketastic fun.
So there I was, living with a hostile psychopath who couldn't eat toast, chasing a dream I'd not yet realized was empty, with no close friends and no girlfriend to speak of. I'm not sure if the insomnia or the depression started first, but I know they were good friends.
I was drifting, lost in a fog of 16 hour shifts 14 days in a row. Exhausting, demanding projects, sandwiched between weeks spent unemployed, watching my bank account drain and wondering where the next paycheck would come from (okay so some things don't change too much).
It was the loneliest period in my life. I decided to make a change, I went to therapy. I don't really feel embarrassed or ashamed about going to therapy, because the truth is, therapy can be fucking brutal. We should be proud of doing therapy the way meat heads are about how much they can bench press.
"Duuuuude, I totally delved into my abandonment issues yesterday for like 40 minutes, it was gnarly bro. Such a harsh burn!"
The counselor suggested I watch The Secret. I did. It made sense in some ways and not so much in others. But I did get something profound from the film. One of the advice guys mentioned "family pets" in a section about keeping an upbeat and happier attitude. "Pets are great because they help to keep us in a more loving and positive state of mind" or something like that. (I have found this to be true.)
So I was all "Eureka! I need a dog. Thanks The Secret." I spent a few days crafting my ninja like arguments and psychological warfare tactics. Then I called my landlord to try and bamboozle him into allowing me to obtain a dog.
Me: "Jim! Ol' buddy ol' pal. How you doing friend? Listen I think I saw a creepy guy creeping around the property all creepily the other day and with all the crime around these parts, and all my expensive film equipment and everything, plus the fact that I'm not home sometimes to watch your property and you never know these days, plus most of the houses on the block have one and..."
Jim: "Yeh you can get a dog. I had a German shep when I lived in that house. Dog's are awesome, get whatever you want. No extra deposit needed"
I had the only cool landlord in the entire world. Convincing my roommate we should beef up security with a dog was not hard. Danny was from an affluent Florida suburb (see also: Eurocentrism Blvd. and rich whitey Ave.) and was generally convinced that our mexi-neigbors might break in with machine guns and steal his guitar amp and casio keyboard.
Danny: "Yes! Get a damn dog! Can your sketchy hood buddies find me a cheap gun? With the serial numbers filed off and stuff? Like CSI miami."
Me: "I'll see what I can do about a dog, but I don't think you need a gun dude. Seriously, please don't get a gun. You've never used a gun before and you think I'm a robber every time I come home later than 8pm. And just because someone has brown skin doesn't mean they are "from da hood""
I started out looking for English bulldogs, but I didn't want to clean the stinky face flaps every day. Plus they are very rarely up for adoption. (I'm personally against paying a breeder money when there are thousands of homeless dogs up for adoption.) I did my research and headed out to see some dogs.
Like the beginning of all great love stories, I remember meeting Bubs for the first time like it was yesterday. I was on my second adoption fair in the parking lot of a Santa Monica Petco . It was a beautiful sunny day. The breeze was blowing and birds were chirping happily in the manmade parking lot trees.
This was Barney
I had seen countless dogs that day. All my top picks had been great dogs, but lacked a certain it quality. They were cute but didn't have the complexity and soul I was looking for. I wasn't there to see Bubba, in fact he wasn't even on my list. I had not considered the American counterpart to the English Bulldog.
Adoption fairs are pretty crazy. Dog's barking, kids begging parents. Problem dogs freaking out. Barney was a problem dog. He had been in the foster system for about a year already, no one would adopt him because he had this little quirk. He barked. A lot. Loud. He was a huge German Shep mix, energetic and full of anxeity and angery issues. If you got within 10 feet of his crate he would bark and throw himself around the cage in an attempt to bash the walls apart in an effort to reach you. Whether he planned to cover you in obsessive kisses or rip out your throat was never clear.
And there was Bubba. He was Barney's neighbor. I think they put Bubba next to the most insane,out of control dog in the program because of his demeanor. I came around the corner and Barney went nuts. The I looked next door. Bubba could not care less about the insane display going on inches from him. He was doing what he loves most, laying on his side like a beached whale soaking up a patch of sun with every chilled out fiber of his body. He looked just like this:
He looked up at me without hardly moving his head and gave me a look that said "What's up dude? Barney's crazy, but don't mind him, he's all sizzle, no steak. Wanna get a pizza and watch Pulp Fiction?" The rest is history.
I signed up as a volunteer and took him home as a foster parent to see how he fit in. We bonded instantly and in no time we were family. We lived the bachelor life happily for a while but soon we met Christy.
After things got serious Christy admitted she always wanted a little "beast." After several months of searching and several Boston Terrier adoption group rejections (due to our owning a "unstable untrustworthy and lots of other uns BULLY BREED") we finally found Beasty.
The abridged version is this. We found Beasty on petfinder. She was deaf, so the bully hating Boston Terrier Adoption groups didn't want her her. She ended up at "Perfect Pet Rescue" a far less elitist adoption group in LA. We drove up with Bubba to meet her. The Beast loved Bubba as soon as they met, and that was the last time she ever liked another dog right off.
Unlike the easy going Bubs, The Beast was a handful. She has a lot of emotional and psychological issues on top of her deafness. But that's a whole other story and this rambling post has already drifted well beyond the bounds of a healthy portion, so for now I'll stop pounding this poor keyboard and get down to posting some pictures. Here's a few photos from over the years. If you're not a dog person, then you should email me with a better idea.