This is a bit of a follow up to my trip to the bank with my dog, Marshal. I thought my dog deserved his day on the blog.
My wife picked up Marshal for me for Christmas several years ago. We were downtown. I was working and she was going to return some stuff to Macy’s back before they imploded. On the way to the store she passed a storefront window and a sign for Friends of BARC. Inside the store she saw two ears raised up high enough to be visible from the sidewalk. She went in and met Marshal, he had a different name then. She took him for a little walk and he leaned into her, giving her a dog version of a hug. She was smitten and even though she’s not a dog person she adopted him as a Christmas gift for me. I was shocked and elated.
I hadn’t had a dog in several years. It had been a while since Sierra had passed away. She’d been a great dog. My post college housemate and I had picked her up at a bar. We had a radio show and stopped by this little bar by the campus, walked in and found this girl who had been a student of mine with her dog. She had the dog sitting on the bar top. The girl was a tall, thin, blond ballet dancer and the bartender didn’t care what health code violations he was letting her commit. As I said, she was a tall, thin, blond ballet dancer and I suppose I should add one more qualifier in that she was kinda hot. Anyway, she was giving away her dog because she couldn’t keep her in a small apartment. We took Sierra home from the bar that night and I had her for fourteen years. When she passed away I was devastated.
Dog-less years can never be truly happy years, because of the simple fact that you don’t have a dog.
I was trying to explain to my students when their grades would be posted online. I told them I would do them as soon as I got home. Then I had to add, “after I say hi to my wife.” Then I had to further clarify, “but I can’t say hi to my wife until after I’ve said hi to my dog and played fetch with whatever he chooses.” You see, when I get home Marshal runs out to greet me. He occasionally will grab my arm gently in his jaw and pull me to the house if he thinks I’ve been gone too long. Once he knows I’m secure he darts back into the house and grabs the first thing he sees that we can throw. Usually it’s a ball, but it can be a sock, a pillow, a stuffed animal, and just the other night a paper bag. He races out onto the front lawn and won’t come back in until we’ve played just enough. Some nights its one or two throws. Other nights it can be a until he’s tired.
The greeting is the best. There are people who have their dogs trained to the point that they are not dogs anymore. You can train the fun right out of a dog. Marshal is well-behaved, even-tempered and still a dog at heart. He has a few emotional scars from whoever owned him before us and had abandoned him to the streets. They had abused him pretty badly. How someone can beat a dog, I will never understand. He hates fireworks and lightning storms and loves bacon. He’s more organized than I am, grouping his toys together next to the sofa for easy access. He won’t jump on the bed unless it’s made. He has his spot on the sofa and is extremely put out if a cat is there first. Always the gentleman, he lets the cats drink before him.
This post has no real reason for being written other than to say Marshal is an incredible dog and the best Christmas present I’ve ever gotten.
One other note, if you are the type of person that beats dogs, I’d like you to do me a favor. Go to the mirror, take a good long look at yourself and ask yourself what it is so missing in your life that would make you abuse an animal. Just look yourself right in the eyes and ask yourself that over and over again and then shoot yourself. Thanks.