Tuesday, March 15, 2011


I was sitting in my office at work trying to make a key decision -- what did I want for lunch, Subway or KFC? -- when I received a picture/text message from Theresa:

Theresa works closely with our city's animal control department, and judging from the cone of shame on this mutt's head, I assumed that I was looking at a crippled puppy that Theresa mistakenly thought she was going bring into our home.

Let me remind you that Theresa and I already own two dogs, and I'm not a dog-lover in the first place.  I am, at best, a dog-putter-up-with.  We live with my cocker spaniel Munson (the good dog) and Theresa's rat terrier Newton (the total pain in the ass), and this dynamic duo is more than enough for any household.  Munson is actually not so bad, if you ignore his tendency to emit blasts of noxious butt fumes that may soon replace pepper spray as the LAPD's primary crowd-dispersal method.  He obeys commands like "go outside," "get off the bed," and "get in the car."  He does his business outside.  Theresa will tell you that Munson will, on occasion, barf on the carpet but I don't hold that against him.  It's tough to plan for vomit. 

Newton, on the other hand, is an embarrassment to the canine world and a complete annoyance to the human one.  He obeys commands when he feels like it, it takes an act of God (or a swift kick in the ass) to get him off my pillow, and his propensity to squirt wherever he pleases has forced us to put a diaper on him when he's in the house.

For a full description of my relationship with Newt, click here.

At this point, the last thing we need is another dog in the house.  So I responded to Theresa's text, making my point quite clearly:


She replied:


The hell it is, I thought.  Believing I could better make my point over the phone, I dialed her number.


"We're not getting another dog."

"Isn't he adorable?"

"We're not getting another dog."

"He needs a home."

"Okay, I'll make you a deal.  Get rid of Newton and we can keep the puppy."

"Aw, we can't get rid of Newton, he's family."


"Okay, okay, here's the thing," said Theresa.  "The puppy got attacked by a coyote or a pit bull or something and they need someone to watch him at night and on weekends until he heals.  Can we adopt him temporarily?"

I can be reasonable.  "Yeah, we can do that.  But -- let there be no mistake about this, T -- WE ARE NOT KEEPING HIM."

"I know, I know."

Theresa brought the puppy home that night.  He was in pretty bad shape.  All four legs had been, well, "eaten" isn't the right word but it's the first one that comes to mind.  He had tubes sticking out of the wounds for drainage, several stitches, and of course he was wearing the plastic cone to keep him from messing with his injuries.  He looked like a doggie-martini.

"Here," said Theresa as she handed the pup to me.  "I need you to hold him while I put ointment on his legs."

So I held him.


When Theresa touched his leg, the little guy whimpered in pain.  He started licking my hand, as if to say, "Please, my new friend, make my legs stop hurting."

After we put the ointment on his legs and gave him his pills, Theresa put him on a blanket by the fireplace.  At this point, Newton and Munson noticed there was a new kid in town.  Munson sniffed him carefully, and after determining there was no danger, went on about his business.  Newton, on the other hand, kept climbing on Theresa, trying to take her attention away from this threat to his status as "most spoiled dog on the planet."

We gave the puppy a bowl of food and he ate like a prisoner.  Poor guy had been through a lot.  He really was mangled, you could even see the bone in one of his hind legs.  What was that stupid coyote doing, picking on a tiny puppy?  I hope the little guy got a few good bites in, anyway.  Man, look at all those stitches.


"Hey, T," I said.  "I have the perfect name for this guy.  Let's call him Stitch."

"We can't name him."

I picked him up off his blanket and held him on my shoulder.  He licked my cheek.  "Sure we can.  Why not?"

"Because as soon as he's healthy, some family is going to adopt him," Theresa said.  "We're not keeping him."

"Darn right we're not keeping him," I said, suddenly less sure about it.

The next morning, Theresa took Stitch back to animal control.  I called a few times to see how he was doing.  Early in the afternoon, my phone rang.  It was Theresa.

"Hey," I said.  "How's Stitch?"

"That's why I called.  It's not looking so good.  All his stitches popped out and now he's back in surgery.  It's not looking good.  Just thought you should know."


For the next few days it was touch and go, but Stitch was able to pull through.  Theresa brought him home for the weekend, and we've had him the last couple nights as well.  He seems to be healing nicely.  If all goes according to plan, the animal control department will be able to find him a new home next week.

Because we don't need another dog at our house.

Do we?


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Anonymous said...

Apparently....you need Stitch. And, I know Stitch needs you. So....give it up marshmellow! :-))

KaLynn ("MiMi") said...

prolly you do. seems like he already has a buddy in the makin. doncha think? 2, 3, makes no difference. kinda like kids once you get from one to two you can have 6, you've already made the adjustment. you know how to deal. OR . . . I could send you Jack and you send me Stitch. Whaddya think? Jack is a younger Newton........Deal??

Helle Kristine Tumbridge said...

You must take this dog, after all, it's not often a pup turns a guy's head. Especially when the guy doesn't even like dogs that much.

injaynesworld said...

Face it. You're screwed. Everyone knows if you name it, it's yours. It's like a Cosmic rule. And "Stitch" is really a great name.

Now go enjoy his puppy breath while it lasts. ;)

Danger Boy said...

Were I a bettin' man, I'd put money on ol' Stitch.

laughingmom said...

You know you want him - shoot I want him and I don't have any intention of getting another pet! Stitch is a great name - but I think Martini would have been good too!

Linda Kish said...

There is always room for one more.

Christie said...

Congratulations on your new puppy! lol Figured I'd go ahead and say it.. I think he chose you for a reason... He's your soul puppy.. the one that is supposed to even out your three. (BTW.. just happened across your blog and love it!)

vickilikesfrogs said...

Oh, Knucks. It's all over. You're keeping him!

Mariann Simms said...

Yep, one you name an animal...that's it. Game over and maybe you all won. :)

Hell, I'd adopt him just to piss off Newton. ;)

Phillipia said...

Aww, SUCKER...Stitch is yours and you love it..and him...Congrats on being a dad again:)

Homemaker said...

Stitch is a great name, but sh*t man. Whether you need another dog in your house is a decision you're going to have to make on your own.

I would say: Think about the time you spend on the other 2 dogs and whether or not you resent it. And if so, how much.

The possible size Stitch will grow to.

The age of the other 2 dogs.

Chrissy said...

OMG, you SO do!

Kage said...


to disobey me is to feel my wrath! etc, etc.

kind thoughts my son,


J.J. in L.A. said...

Of course you do!!!

Boom Boom Larew said...

Face it... you love him already! He's just too adorable... with or without the cone of shame.

Quirkyloon said...

A doggie martini?

How can you turn that away?

Actually, my original response was, "uh-oh."

And I think it bears repeating: "Uh-Oh!"

Congrats on your new addition!

MikeWJ at Too Many Mornings said...

A wise man would trade his wife something for the dog. Something like, "You have to eat nothing but McRibs for a week."

Just saying.

You're too soft, Knuck.

Suldog said...

You huge softy. We all know the end of this story. And we'd all think less of you if it didn't end that way, so congratulations on the new addition to your home.

Hildy said...

How long are you going to keep us in suspense? (Bearing in mind that you could lose your bazillion readers if you make the *wrong* decision.)

Viv said...

Sadly, I had to stop in the middle of your post and grab a bag before *our third rescue that was only going to be here for a couple of weeks* threw up on my carpet.

He is adorable.

Kathy said...

Congrats on the new addition to your family! You name him, you got him.

God, I hope he heals up nicely. Poor thing. Been through so much. He loves you already, you know. They know when someone loves them and you've got "sucker for a sick pup" written all over you.

You're a good man, Charlie Brown.

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Heidi Olivia Tan said...

Haha...you said it all with that one-word paragraph: "Mistake."

I like one of the comments above:
Hell, I'd adopt him just to piss off Newton. ;)

I know this comment is way behind. I've scrolled around and read the update and totally agree with another of your readers' comment: Are you sure you couldn't have gotten rid of the annoying rat terrier instead?

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