Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Congratulations! You've made it to the final installment of "What to Do With a Dead Dog"! In Part 1, we meet said dog, Kiner. In Part Deux, we bottled some of his ashes, and headed to the airport …

* * * * * * *

Two days later (we flew American Airlines, do I need to explain the delay further?), we arrived at our old house.

Two gay men now own the ol' homestead. Naturally, they've out-decorated us in every conceivable way. Even the autographed Cher photo on the study wall and the Judy Garland book on the coffee table look divine. (I stereotype not; I popped in on them about a year after we moved. I spent 40 minutes marveling at how the walls looked better painted something other than off-white and apologizing for the pitchfork-and-torch welcome a few of our less tolerant ex-neighbors had given them.) They seemed like good people, and they owned two dogs themselves. I felt confident departed doggie dust around their shrubbery would be acceptable to them.

I rang the doorbell. Two very loud, threatening sets of barks came from inside. OK, one of their dogs was kind of small, but hmm … I suddenly remembered the other being ... a Doberman?

I rang again. The barks grew louder. The Things, who until this very moment had been excited to see their old dog -- regardless of his form -- going back home, cowered behind me.

"Let'sgolet'sgolet'sgo!" said Thing 2, backing off the brick porch as if green vegetables were fast approaching and looking for a mouth to jump inside.

"No, it’s cool, it's cool. Relax," I said. "I don't see anything inside. Let's look around back. Maybe the gate is unlocked."

"Noonehomelet'sgolet'sgolet'sgo," he said. Egad! The spinach! The green beans! Here they come! Run away!

We can't go in the backyard. That's trespassing!" added Thing 1. "We'll go to jail!"

I sincerely hope this moral compass of hers functions this well come Prom Night 2017.

The barking intensified as we walked into the side yard. I tried calming my apprehensive Things by pointing out the changes in the plants and trees since we moved four years ago. The red maple! It now blocks the view of your old bedroom windows! The hollies! My, how they've grown around the A/C compressor and the laundry room window. You two used to hide behi- …
Ding! TV-detective moment of deduction.

"They're in the laundry room," I said. "Listen, the barking is coming from behind the window! The dogs are locked in! We're good!"

Next to the rear gate hung a large warning in blood-red letters that even Thing 1 could make out: "BEWARE OF THE DOG."

"We're going to jail," she said.

"Weshouldgobacktothehotelweshouldgobacktothehotel," Thing 2 added. In a panic, he grabbed himself and did a frantic gotta-pee dance. You know what I mean.

"It's OK." The gate handle to the privacy fence pushed down in my hand. "It isn't locked and the dogs are inside." I hoped.

The backyard looked mostly the same. Pool guarded by a four-foot-high black mesh fence. The little Japanese maple we planted in one corner hadn't sprouted more than another inch. Same 20-by-35 foot patch of Bermuda spotted with yellow dead zones and dog droppings.
Lots and lots of dog droppings.

"Ewww. The sign should have said, 'Beware of Dog Poop'," chimed in Thing 1. At least my Doberman theory was confirmed.

We hopscotched to the Indian Hawthorne shrubs I had planted along the living room windows. And replanted three more times after Kiner keep digging them up. This would be the perfect spot.

I uncapped the bottle of defunct dog I had been carrying in my pocket.

"Does anyone want to say anything about Kiner before we lay him to rest?" I asked.

"Bye, Kiner" Thing 2 said.

"Goodbye," Thing 1 said.

"Well, that was heartfelt."

I looked down at the leaves and the pink and white flowers among them. I looked at the wet, decaying cedar mulch and then at the gray bits filling up this little plastic bottle I had brought from Connecticut.

"Kiner, you really were a great dog. Even when you chewed up all those CDs from Columbia House. I love you, buddy. Welcome back home. Just stay out of the pool this time, OK?"

I sprinkled a bit in a line parallel to the house and shrubs. I passed the bottle to Thing 1.

"Come on -- on the dirt, not the leaves. The owners are going to think their plants are diseased."


Thing 2 went next. Then he handed me the bottle, and I finished scattering the rest among the planting beds.

Then, Kiner was gone, or at least this part of him was. I put the cap back on, and we stepped carefully and quietly back to the car.

* * * * * * *

Thanks for sticking with me for three parts. The usually sarcasm returns later this week. Cheers, and swing by Humor-Blogs.com for a few giggles and snorts.


  1. great set of posts - won't nominate you for humor, but maybe a lifetime TV series.

  2. Absolutely 'heart' Kiner. It would have so been worth a trespassing charge to take him home.

  3. I think your blog name may be my favorite ever. Congrats on that. ;)

  4. What a nice thing to do for Kiner! My cat Eddie (who died last year) resides in my closet...until I figure out something appropriate. Thank goodness my kids are too young to be creeped out by it.

  5. Good-bye Kiner!

    That was a sweet story.

  6. Hmm. You're making me feel like a really bad dog owner right now.

  7. I really think it says a lot about your character that you are willing treaspass in front of your children just to give your beloved canine friend a rest-in-peace home. So sensitive really. I think this says a lot about YOU. And it is all good.

  8. WhiteMist - I've been subjected to enough Lifetime movies, courtesy of My Love, to know the formula.

    Kristi - I'm blushing. Welcome to the show. Please, stick around. Grab a bowl of popcorn and a supersized beverage of your choice.

    Rhonda - So, you are a closet cat lover, no?

    Meg - It's never too late to change your evil ways.

    Marcy - I think it says I am a character. Thanks.

  9. Victory!

    Well done and well written.

  10. You sure did "right" by your old friend. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go and rent Old Yeller.

  11. I loved the conclusion, very fitting. Your children sound wonderful, you and your wife have done an excellent job guiding them. On the other hand, they will always remember the day Dad took them on a slightly dangerous adventure. (Trust me!)

  12. Bye Kiner. I kind of felt like I got to know you over the last few days. RIP.

    So do you think you'll ever tell the two guys who live there now what you did?

  13. Ciii - Old Yeller, my favorite Disney comedy.

    Jenny - I'm pretty sure they'll rat me out the cops the second the opportunity presents itself.

    Wendy - One of my more tolerant neighbors agreed to fill them in for me.

  14. Fantastic story! I know it's not hilarious, so I hope I don't get into trouble voting for you anyway...

  15. thanks for sharing this story; I had to put one of my sweet little kitties to sleep last night, and reading about Kiner has been comforting to me in the past few days.

    I'm still trying to figure out what to do with Penny's ashes when I receive them. Considering she was an indoor cat, hmmmm, my options are pretty messy and/or limited.

  16. Ye Gods. It really WILL be Prom Reckoning year in 2017, won't it?

    A good ending for a great dog.

  17. Welcome home, Kiner. The lengths you went to take your dog back are absolutely precious. Especially the way you exposed your children to the pinpoint just below felony breaking and entering. Touching, really. ;)

  18. Nothing like a good dog, except maybe a good dog owner who'll cross state lines to take his remains home.

    When I put down my old Black Lab three years ago I was too much of a mess to face anything to do with it beyond the vet's office.

    My hat's off to you UnCool.

  19. That was SUCH a great story. Have a blast, Kiner!

    p.s. did you guys remember to check your shoes before getting back in the car?

  20. He was a great dog. I remember when we house sat for you and I was doing a "dead man" float in your pool. Kiner thought I was in trouble, so he jumped in to "save" me. The only problem was that 100 pounds of dog landed on top of me and almost crushed me against the bottom of the pool. I wish I could have been there to bid him farewell.


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