Favorite

Dog famous 

All over town, The Observer observes dogs observing him. It was Spouse who first pointed it out, love of my life and keeper of my heart and housekeys, and I of hers. We were sitting at a stoplight one day in the spring, windows down, when she directed my attention to the SUV next to us. Angling noggin to the left, The Observer found himself staring headlong into the damp eyes of a black Labrador retriever, head out the window. He was staring intently at The Observer, and not with the "just happy to be here" look that seems to be the default facial setting of most dogs, but with a scowl of true consternation, as if he was trying to figure out what makes Yours Truly tick.

Since then, Spouse has delighted in gigglingly gigging my paranoia by pointing out dogs staring as I pass — little dogs, big dogs, black dogs, yellow dogs, white dogs, spotted dogs, dogs on leashes and dogs in cars. It sounds absolutely nuts, but once The Observer started noticing it, I couldn't stop. Spouse isn't helping. Sometimes when it happens, she entertains herself by reciting little stories about how I'm dog famous, or dog infamous, with pooches all over town saying: "Have you seen him? I thought he was only a myth my mother told to scare us as puppies!"

Don't think us weird. When you've been married as long as we have, my friend, you'll find that you fill the silences with things that would seem fairly nuts to anyone who wasn't privy to the eccentricities all couples turn into their own private folklore. As a very smart man once told me: Marriage is about the constant struggle to decide who gets to be the crazy one that day. If you aren't married, that probably doesn't make a lick of sense. If you are married, there's a good chance you're nodding your head right now.

Perhaps, The Observer has posited to Spouse over her cackles, dogs believe me to be a gorilla escaped from the zoo who shaved himself down in a motel bathroom and has since infiltrated human society, waiting on my moment to wrest control — a menace that must be constantly monitored to prevent The Rise of the Apes. Or maybe I just look shifty. There's always that possibility.

Whatever the case, it made her laugh. With my middle going increasingly paunchy these days, making her laugh is pretty much all her old poop of a husband has got going for him, and that's worth any amount of calling myself a gorilla. You'll learn that too, or chances are you won't stay married long.

This Observer's dog is 14 years old, as best we can remember, and her back legs don't work so well. She has a disease that makes her want to eat everything in the house. We find her on the table — which isn't easy for her to get on — licking our placemats.

When she was younger, The Observer's dog was known as the Fastest Dog in Hillcrest. She dared other dogs to chase her and outran them every time. A man standing in the dog park one day watched her and said, open-mouthed, "She's a thoroughbred." She's a mutt, but her genes combined to make her a yellow, bent-eared, curly-tailed rocket. The Ur-dog, we once heard her type described on NPR, from whence all our knowledge flows. A Carolina dog, a hiker once proclaimed at a trailhead in Tennessee. Our yellow peril, we called her.

When she was a puppy, we couldn't wait for her to grow up and stop chewing the deck, the chair legs, the stairstep overhangs. We couldn't wait for her to slow down. Now, an old dog, she's chewing again, thanks to her weird doggy disease. Now, in her last years, she is the Slowest Dog in Hillcrest and every time we walk her, we start to cry thinking about the days when her back legs worked and she was such a wonderful pain in the ass.

Favorite

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

People who saved…

Readers also liked…

  • I'm sorry

    I'm sorry we stood by while your generation's hope was smothered by $1.3 trillion in student loan debt, just because you were trying to educate yourselves enough to avoid falling for the snake oil and big talk of a fascist.
    • Nov 17, 2016
  • Snake stories

    The Observer's boss, Uncle Alan, is something of a gentleman farmer on his spread up in Cabot, growing heirloom tomatoes and watermelons and crops of chiggers on property that looks like the perfect farmstead Lenny and George often fantasized about in "Of Mice and Men."
    • Aug 27, 2015
  • Show and tell

    The Observer is an advocate of the A+ method of integrating the arts and using creativity to teach across the curriculum, an approach that the Thea Foundation, with help from the Windgate Charitable Foundation, is offering to schools across the state.
    • Feb 25, 2016

Most Shared

  • Home again

    The plan, formulated months ago, was this: Ellen and I were going to go to Washington for inauguration festivities, then fly out the morning after the balls for Panama City and a long planned cruise to begin with a Panama Canal passage.
  • Who needs courts?

    Not since the John Birch Society's "Impeach Earl Warren" billboards littered Southern roadsides after the Supreme Court's school-integration decision in 1954 has the American judicial system been under such siege, but who would have thought the trifling Arkansas legislature would lead the charge?
  • Bungling

    If the late, great Donald Westlake had written spy thrillers instead of crime capers, they'd read a lot like the opening weeks of the Trump administration.
  • UPDATE: Campus carry bill amended by Senate to require training

    The Senate this morning added an amendment to Rep. Charlie Collins campus carry bill that incorporates the effort denied in committee yesterday to require a 16-hour additional training period before university staff members with concealed carry permits may take the weapons on campus.
  • Director to resign from state court administrative office

    Supreme Court Chief Justice John Dan Kemp announced today the resignation of J.D. Gingerich, long-time director of the administrative office of the courts.

Latest in The Observer

  • Love is a verb

    It is Valentine's Day as The Observer writes this, the day of chocolates and lacy underthings past for you, but still the present for Yours Truly.
    • Feb 16, 2017
  • #resist

    First off, great job out there, everybody, with the marching and the sign-making and just getting out of bed and showing up when you could be binge-watching "Dexter."
    • Feb 9, 2017
  • Dispatches

    A deputy Observer and friends recently made the trek to D.C. for the Women's March on Washington, the hugely attended event that bigly showed up the sparse turnout for the inauguration of Dorito Mussolini, his best stab at alternative facts be damned. Sad! Here is a little of what our friend Observed while helping kick open the door on a new age of patriotism and protest.
    • Feb 2, 2017
  • More »

Visit Arkansas

New Crystal Bridges exhibit explores Mexican-American border

New Crystal Bridges exhibit explores Mexican-American border

Border Cantos is a timely, new and free exhibit now on view at Crystal Bridges.

Event Calendar

« »

February

S M T W T F S
  1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8 9 10 11
12 13 14 15 16 17 18
19 20 21 22 23 24 25
26 27 28  

Most Recent Comments

 

© 2017 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation