A Pitbull Playdate

Oh yeah, ladies....
Oh yeah, ladies….

“Hey. Hey! Hey, is she female?”

“What? Who?”

“Yessss….she’s beaut-ee-fulllll.”

He was already on one knee, stroking Trixie full length, inspecting her build.

“She has to meet Drango. She’s perfect.”

The man whipped out his phone to show me a picture of Drango, his breeding stud.

“Es champ, no?  Champ!”

“That’s not going to happen. Trixie’s fixed.”

“Why’d you do that? What for?”

“She came that way.”

“Es waste! We gotta put em together.  Drango’s brother sold for $10,000. Some Japanese business guy. Balls like grapefruits, this one, eh?”

Trixie stood on her hind legs and wrapped her arms around his waist, licking him slavishly as he arranged her procurement in villainous tones.

“She lucky. Drango’s a fiend.  He has his way with his bitches.”

“I can really tell that about him.”

“He champ. Next dog, you don’t fix so fast, no?  You call me. We make a little money.”

Is spaying reversible? Hmmmm...
Is spaying reversible? Hmmmm…

Look Homeward, Angels


We hold on to the leash for her own good.  There are no internal limits on frolic, unless she learns them the hard way, which we don’t have the stomach for.  Impulsive joy will lead her past a point where she can find her scent home.  There will be freeways and fences between us.  There will be Parvo-ridden pools of stagnant water. There will be anti-freeze lurking in overturned hubcaps. Scorpions. Razor wire. Dognappers. Drainpipes which lead to tight corners in which she can’t turn around.

In the dark recurring dream I have from time to time, I finally find her on the other side of Sepulveda.  Catching sight of me, she bounds forward, ears back, happy and relieved,  into a charnel house of indifferent cars….


The bonds of restraint we can place on people are not so simple.  Short of incarceration, we rely on an admixture of love, shame and subsidy, in different portions, to guide people away from or toward their worst instincts.


After the RV, you’re down to the shopping cart.


After the shopping cart, you’re down to the rolling bucket on wheels.


When you can’t walk anymore, they call the paramedics to take you away.


Then one day your Mother can’t find you.  You’re gone.

To be a pit bull in Panorama City


They leave you by yourself to guard the lot, fence line to fence line.


You’re a good soldier, all tightly coiled muscle and untapped energy.  You’re a can of Red Bull in canine form.


No one enters the torched and abandoned beauty shop. The junk pile, the weeds…all your domain.  Mr. Badass is on duty. You’re here to kick ass and take no names.


Then there are moments you see another dog and you tire of barking. You grow still. You remember the smell of the blanket, the taste of your mother’s teat, the snuggle-warmth of your pup siblings.


You run to the other side of the building and watch us pass by.

Champion, pulling Jerry


South of the Yukon, no dog is more fulfilled than pulling a skateboard through the canopy of sweet gums and camphor trees. In the milky twilight of an August evening in the working class Brigadoon of Van Nuys. Note the proper poop etiquette.

I miss Woody.

Savasana, Woody


See you across the Rainbow Bridge, my dearest boy. Twelve years of snoring beside me on the big bed, panting on the couch,  napping beneath my desk,  drooling head out the car window, dew claws scraping the stairs,  Mr. Indestructible,  forever jumping the back fence,  jumping off the roof, racing up Runyon, stealing the cat food, always underneath my feet when carrying lumber, and perpetually thankful to see me again when I walk through the door.   My very only boy, I carry you with me now, not in sorrow but in gratitude.