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Good Morning, Charlie - Shovel on More Dogs!

Start the day with a good thing

JoJo Bananas
photo courtesy of me, you idiots

A Good Thing - We’ve had the dog for about six weeks now. She’s really a great dog, a true companion and testament to her species. She’s sweet and friendly and responsive and attentive and brilliant and she checks pretty much every box you’d like in the dog catalog (dogalog?). This is a good thing.

I had a bunch of animals growing up. My parents split when I was little, but they each in their separate households lorded over menageries of the dumbest and least cool pets you can imagine. There was Truant, who was a big dumb tri-color collie. His favorite thing to do was to drink up the other dogs’ piss while it was still warm. Like if R Kelly did a Beggin’ Strips commercial.

Prince was a short-haired dachshund. My dad had a mudroom / closed-in porch on the back of the house, and Prince hung out here most of the time. When we got new living room furniture (hand-me-downs from some fella dad met down at the mill) the old couch was put on that back porch for the dogs to jam on like they were teenagers in the basement. Over the course of a few years, Prince ate every single scrap of soft material on that couch. He ate the upholstery, he ate the cushions, he hate the decorative buttons. He stripped it to bare wood and springs. And I swear I never saw any of it come out the other end.

My mom once saw a free iguana in the bulletin board and convinced me that I had wanted a lizard for a long time. The lizard belonged to a kid who had bullied me regularly in gym class the year before, but I didn’t know that until we got to his place. It was weird because he acted like we were old buddies or something and not like he and his friends used to practice WCW moves on me in the locker room. The kid explained he wanted to get rid of it because it wasn’t fun anymore. He used to get it out of the cage and it would sit on his shoulder and whatever, but then a storm blew a tree limb into the kid’s bedroom and the iguana went a little nuts after that. Now the lizard was panicky and aggressive. He wanted rid of it.

My mom and I thought this all sounded perfectly well and good I suppose because we took it home.

My brother named the lizard after a Korn song, I think. I forget what it was and Google isn’t helping. It was aggressively stupid, as was the style of the time. The lizard was panicky and lunged a lot. He also got outside once and climbed a tree.

We put the lizard in my bedroom in a nice cage and hoped we could rehabituate it to regular human contact. The animal didn’t do much interesting. It was cool watching it eat kale, but that was about did it. Lizards don’t have junk and buttholes like people do - they have an all-purpose vent called a cloaca. This iguana had a habit of climbing the walls of its cage, slowly opening this vent, and shitting with surprising violence. The first time that happened we moved his cage down to the basement.

That lizard lived until after I graduated college, shitting in that basement the whole time. My mom liked him so much she got three more.

There were a couple of years when I was in high school when my mom’s cat population got out of control. We lived way out in the country on a hill, and our house became something of a hobo waystation for strays. There got to be so many that we weren’t able to keep up spaying and neutering all of them. There were more cats than we could count. There was probably over 30 at one point.

One time I went digging in an old disused shed that we hadn’t been in since my step-dad left some years before. There were old garden implements, scrap lumber, gas cans. In one corner was a cooler. I opened it and found a mummified cat curled up in there.

Alls this to say that I’ve had some experiences with pets, especially dogs [there are so many more to talk about (Caspian, Daisy, Lady, Gilbert, Jasper, King, Bandit, Betty, Blue, Lucas are just some of them) and many other dumb stories (and so many other species, too!), but I think my point has been made here so I won’t belabor it].

I never had a smart dog, or a dog that didn’t have some gross / annoying thing going on with it. So getting to know JoJo and have her become part of the fam is the kind of unexpected delight that can make every day noticeably less crummy. And that’s a way good thing.

The Kind of Twee Thing That Could Only Happen in Europe - A farmer in Belgium got frustrated trying to get his tractor around a big dumb rock so he moved the rock. Turns out that rock had marked the border between Belgium and France for 200 years. No word yet on if the farmer could whip Rand Paul’s ass, but I’m confident.

A Neat Thing - These stylized Arabic MLB caps look real slick. I like the Reds one, but the Dodgers one with the palm trees and the Astros one are my faves.

A Time Travel Kinda Thing - All them spy planes the US had flying around back in the day took a bunch of photographs. They were looking for Communists and missiles, but some social scientists in the today times have stitched all these old photos together like a big puzzle map. Of course, we have satellites that can see you where ever you go on the face of the planet nowadays (as long as you aren’t inside or something) but these photos show us not how the world looks, but how it used to look before advanced industrial capitalism melted the whole thing down for scrap. It is proving to be really valuable for all sorts of reasons, which is a cool thing.