dog

Daisy the Dog

As I write this, it's Monday, October 10th, and I'm tired. I'm tired because my stupid fucking cat kept waking me up last night. First he was doing some weird meowing/howling thing at the closed door, and then he started pawing at the door with his goofy claw-less oven mitt hands. The sound was surprisingly loud. But let me back up, and explain why I put up with this all night.

On Thursday, October 6th, at about 8:15 in the morning, I was about to walk out the door and go to work, so I called my dog Daisy over to me and scratched her behind the ear, saying goodbye. When I came back home that evening at about 6:00, I found out that she had gotten out of our fenced in backyard for what felt like the millionth time. It sucks, but it's not uncommon, and no matter how many times I've patched that fence, she's always found a new way to get out. It's just in her nature. She's big, strong, and determined to run around. She almost always comes back on her own after about 20 minutes. She sits on the front step and waits for us to open the door. It's awful, but it happens all the time. Once, a couple of years ago, she disappeared for 6 days, eventually being returned to us a little skinnier than when she left. It was infuriating. But she seemed pretty bulletproof. Just a goofy animal who wants to run around, but is always okay and means well and wants to see us again. Unfortunately, an hour after she got out of the house, we got a call from a cop. Daisy had been struck by a car. The driver took off, and my dog died.

It was horrible. It was incredibly surreal. I felt woozy. I remember everything I did that night as if it's a story I made up. It still feels unreal today.

I loved my dog. So much. She gave me a sense of responsibility that I never felt before. I felt like she was mine. It was almost a paternal experience. She was such a weaselly pain in the ass, always pushing to get her way. So as much as I got to play with her, I also had to be an authority figure.

And I was always afraid of her in the road. When I walked her, I would make her sit and stay at every street corner, only allowing her to walk again when any cars had passed us. I knew it probably wasn't clear to her what I was trying to teach her, but I always just hoped that she would realize there was a reason why I did that.

I'm getting off-point.

Anyway, in that evening, I was a wreck, but I had a focus on taking care of her. And I did. After all of the necessary my-dog-just-died stuff was through, it was worse.

It was literally done. In a matter of hours. Just over.

I didn't really know what to do. I thought I would be okay. You can hardly be in denial over something you've been actively dealing with, so I figured I would just struggle to stop missing her, and then I'd be okay.

Friday I went to work, and I had enough to do that I was suitably distracted. That evening I crashed on my bed, exhausted from the previous evening. Saturday, I woke up feeling almost catatonic. I didn't want to move. I didn't want to get out of bed. I didn't want to go anywhere or do anything. All I wanted to do was torture myself over Daisy's death. I missed her so much. So much. So goddamn much. So much that I really can't do it justice. I can't really accurately describe how weighted down I felt. My hands were heavy useless anvils, my feet were dragging. And I was dizzy just looking around. It was almost as if I was looking down from the top of a tall building, standing on the ledge. I had that uneasy feeling like I was about to fall. That's probably actually a very accurate comparison. I think we all know that "standing on a ledge" feeling. All I wanted was my dog.

I didn't start feeling better until I was talking about her with other people and discussing what happened, how much we loved her, and how much we'll miss her. It was against all my instincts to share like that. I've always felt like it's some lame cliche that you need to open up with other people. I felt like it was a weak thing to do. But I definitely can't deny it's importance now. I was able to move on just a little bit.

Now I realize that I'm talking about a dog. And believe me, I'm fully aware that there are worse things happening everywhere. People have lost siblings and parents, and I don't at all mean to trivialize the loss of a family member or friend, as extreme as I say I feel about losing Daisy. But I should also say that I spent every day with this dog. She had a distinct personality. She was intelligent and pushy. I know her voice. She used to alternatively get pissy with me if I wasn't waking up early enough for her liking, or try to pretend she didn't hear me if she was still in bed and I was up. Some days she would pounce on me and huff at me for staying in bed. She'd poke her big fat nose into my face to prod me awake. Other days, I'd call her name to get her up and out of bed and I'd see her eyes dart over to where I was standing and then quickly look away again, as if maybe I didn't know she was awake. She was trying to get away with something. She was funny. She was big. She was really really important to me.

She loved my family so much. And she loved our other dog, Harley. And everybody loved her. We're all pretty wrecked. One of my favorite things about Daisy was how much she loved my girlfriend. Daisy would literally tackle Allie, so that she could lick her face. She was so excited all she wanted to do was freak out and great her. I used to joke around and say that if Daisy didn't approve of Allie, we'd have a problem. But it was so the opposite of that joke. Sometimes Daisy seemed more excited to see Allie than she was anytime I came home. I fully expected to be living with Daisy for another 10 years. I'm killing myself writing this. Stupid.

I've got to wrap this up.

So now I come home and I don't have some goofy dog jumping all over me, ecstatic that I'm home. I don't have Daisy lying at my feet, extending her leg at me, trying to get me to hold her paw while I read or watch TV. It's over. Last night, in her absence, I decided I didn't want to sleep alone, so I grabbed one of the cats, Merlin (who seems pretty stoked that she's gone by the way. Now he can do whatever the hell he wants) and brought him into my bedroom. Nothing but bullshit all night.

All this to memorialize a dog and to establish that cats...kind of suck.

Daisy was almost 4:

A Couple of Stupid Dates

I’m going to very quickly tell you what the worst date I ever went on was. And since I’m already being a dick by posting this online, I won’t use the girl’s name.  I’ll just call her Barf. Or not, because that’s also really mean, so I’ll just go with Girl X.
This is at least maybe 5 years ago, and Girl X and I were not really dating. I also wouldn’t say we were really friends, but we did have one of those stupid and tense sorta-relationships that teenagers have. That being the case, we were fighting around the time that we went on this date. I don’t remember what we were fighting about, because I couldn’t care less, but I guess she was trying to make nice with me, because she told me that she wanted me to go out for dinner with her in the city. I was working at TGI Fridays when she texted me that, and even though I was grumpy with her for whatever reason, and even though I generally find going to New York to be a pain in the ass, I agreed. Because who knows, maybe it would be nice or maybe even romantic. She said she knew a great little place, and that I would love it.
                I picked her up that night, and we took a train into the city. Let me quickly say that even now, at 24, I can’t navigate NY very well, but especially then, I had NO idea where anything was, or how to use the subway. So Girl X is taking me on the subway and we’re just talking and having a good, if somewhat tense, conversation. Eventually we made it to the cute little place she knew of.
She took me to the Chevys near Time Square.
Chevys.I worked at a TGI Fridays at the time, basically the exact same kind of place. I felt like I was at work.

I smiled as well as I could, while internalizing “the fuck?” This is a nice little place?
Dinner was ok I guess. Frankly I don’t really remember any of it, because of what happened afterward. For the sake of the story, let me quickly suggest that it was 10:40, and that there was a train back to Jersey leaving at 11:00. It was the equivalent of that. Girl X checked her watch and look at me worried. She told me that we needed to catch that 11:00 train, so we’ll have to run. I’m fat now, I was fat then, I didn’t want to run. I asked her if we could just catch a later train, because the trains generally run for a couple more hours. With no explanation, she said no. So we ran through New York like idiots. Dodging and weaving through the other people who are walking like normal people usually do. We barely caught the train, got back to Jersey, and I was ready to split off from Girl X, but then I remembered I had driven her to the train station, so I had to drive her back.
This isn’t horrible of me, but I’m still not proud of it. I was so fed up with Girl X that for the drive home, I cranked my iPod and sang, just so that there wouldn’t be a chance for conversation. That was probably the worst date I've ever been on.
Now here’s a story about me being a total loser and idiot. Around when I was 18, my family had six pets: three dogs and three cats. That being the case, every year there were a good few weeks in a row where I’d have to take the pets to the vet for their checkups. At the vet’s office, there was a really cute nurse who I always got along with. Now, I generally try not to be too presumptuous, so even though she and I would chat and laugh, I assumed that it was just friendly banter. I was mostly making fun of dogs for being afraid of her, and she would laugh and say she was used to it. On maybe the third visit that year, the nurse asked me if I’d like to maybe meet up with her at the local dog park on Friday.
All of a sudden, I realized that we weren’t just making small talk, we were flirting! I would have been disappointed by my fucking stupidity if I wasn’t so stoked that a nurse was asking me out, so:
"Yes. I would like to go to the park with you."
I was so caught up in the magic of love that I was back at my house before I realized that:
       1.) I never got her phone number
And
2.) I didn’t even know her name
Obviously I couldn’t call the vet’s office and ask what her name was, so I just started using the code name Mulva in my head while waiting for Friday to come.
That day I made it to the dog park early, which was no mean feat considering that I took my fat lazy dog Jewel. She was half basset hound and really slug-like, so the fact that I managed to get her out the door to the park early meant that I was way over-eager.
I may as well have been wearing a suit with a flower in the lapel. I may as well have had my hair slicked. I looked like I was trying to look nice. So I was there, all the other dog people were put off by me, and I waited. I waited a realllly long time.
She stood me up.
At this point, I realized that it really isn’t worth it to get so goofy about a date, I was actually glad she stood me up, because I was about to embarrass myself. I considered it a freebie and a lesson, so I went home feeling semi-okay.
Unfortunately, because of how many damn pets we have, I had to go to the vet the very next day. On the drive over, I learned another lesson: dating sucks. I didn’t want to have to see the girl that stood me up! Not because I was in pain or something, but because I didn’t want to have to have her looking at me awkwardly. I’d just as soon pretend it never happened, but I was certain she wouldn’t. I wasn’t looking forward to the appointment.
Incredibly, the moment that I stepped through the door, Mulva ran up to me to apologize. She said that her friend had been attacked by her dog, so she couldn’t come. That took me by surprise. At first I was going to assume that she was lying, but let on that I believed the lie just to make everything okay again. Then I was going to pretend that none of this had ever happened. But I was taken aback, as she looked legitimately apologetic, and that's a crazy thing to lie about, so I believed her. Even still, I wasn’t about to ask her out or anything. The appointment went like normal, we still flirted, and then I was walking to the door, thinking that clearly nothing was going to happen, and I was a little bummed. Just then, she called out my name, I turned around, she put a little note in my hand, said, “I have to go assist the doctor, but call me!” and ran away. The note had her name and phone number on it. But I’m still going to call her Mulva.
Now we jump to one year later.
It was again time for me to start taking all those stinkin’ animals to the vet, and on the drive over, I started thinking about Mulva, and wondering if she still worked there. She did, and we joked and flirted a little bit, even though it was awkward after all that time. But it was cool.
On the drive back, I thought about all the events of the previous year and about how I was actually kind of cool back then. This older hot nurse was asking me out, and even when she stood me up, I never begged her to give me another shot, which I probably should have. She was definitely too good for me, and I started thinking that if she and I still flirt and stuff, I should just flat out ask her to dinner. Because of all the animals I have, I figured I’d just do it on my next appointment. I psyched myself up to do just that.
Then I started wondering why things never really took shape between me and Mulva the previous year. I couldn’t remember how it all ended…And then…I did. She gave me her number on that piece of paper, and that was it.
I never called her! What the fuck, why didn’t I call her?
Suddenly I didn’t feel like a cool badass about to ask out a nurse. Instead, I felt like an asshole who never called this girl who kept asking me out! At the vet’s, it wasn’t awkward because it had been a year since we’d seen each other, it was awkward because she thought I was a dick!
Well, I calmed myself down, and I reasoned out that since I still had her phone number, and since I couldn’t really change the past, maybe I would just wait a day, call her, and ask her out. I figured I could just come up with some reason why I didn’t call or something. I didn’t really know, but I figured it would be okay.
The next day, I scrolled to her name on my phone, steeled my nerves, and called.
The phone rang. And rang. And rang. I started getting nervous that maybe she didn’t have the same number anymore. Finally, someone answered,
Man: “Hola”
Me: “Hi, is [Mulva] there?”
Man: “¿Que?”
Me: “I’m trying to reach [Mulva].”
Man: “Uh, sorry. No hablo inglés
That’s when I realized…
Me: “Sorry, thank you.”
I hung up. And my heart sank. I remembered. I DID call her last year…but THAT guy answered the phone! I must have put the wrong number in my phone!
So…I’m pretty sure I made my sister go back to the vet’s in my place, the next week. I never saw Mulva again. And thank god for that, because that would have been really uncomfortable.
The end…
Now tell me the worst date you’ve ever been on.