Sunday, July 20, 2008

Travels with My Condensed Canine

You read the abbreviated life of Kiner, the first Uncool Canine, in my previous post. What up now, dog?

Since his early demise two years ago, my ex-Lab has resided in a twist-tied plastic bag, neatly squeezed into a rectangular metal canister decorated with colorful flora. This is how the pet cremation place presented him to me. I see ads for this operation on the place mats in all the local diners. They deserve a cool slogan: "Your beloved pet -- now and forever in a shed-free powder!"

The canister sits tucked upon a high bookshelf in our family room. Kiner was an all-indoor dog, after all. But it still seemed weird … and risky. I keep imaging the kids -- jonesing for a sugar fix -- climbing up there, looking for candy-filled plastic eggs they might have missed last Easter. Then, poof! All over my collection of "The Complete Peanuts."

Attempts to find Kiner a nice spot in the backyard had been thwarted by our never-ending landscaping work. After his last seven months of suffering, I wouldn't want him scooped up and hauled out for highway fill or a bird bath put over him so he could be splat upon all day. And, I'm not talking water.

The right opportunity finally presented itself in a business meeting My Love needed to attend back in Texas. Kiner spent the first six years of his life in the Dallas suburbs. At least a part of him should be back at his first real home. Road trip!

This journey was on our family's calendar for six months. Naturally, I failed to prepare my passed-on pup until the car service to take us to the airport pulled into the driveway.

Ford Frick! How does one get concentrated canine past security?

Plastic bag? That's just begging for a cavity search by a TSA officer … with an itchy trigger finger … and the name of Omar Guido Bruno "The Painmaker" Kapowski.

From the closet, I dug out Thing 1's various prescriptions and combined two bottles of cyclosporine pills into one. Kiner never flew while alive, but today he would ride in a childproof-capped kennel wedged between my cargo shorts and sweat socks.

In my checked luggage, perv, my checked luggage.

For your future reference, if you ever need to transfer a dog's ashes from a quart-sized baggie into a salt-shaker sized pill bottle, lay some newspaper down first. Little bits of my previous pet are now embedded in the chalking of my kitchen counters and trapped in the gunk in my garbage disposal. Sorry, buddy.

Also, if you stop by my place for a bowl of ice cream or some fine Quaker cereals, you may want to bring your own utensils. Otherwise, it's the home-version of Russian roulette as you'll never be sure if your spoon was the one used to scoop granulated puppy.

Tune in later for the conclusion of our tale.

Meanwhile, give Kiner your love by visiting, registering, and giving this a big ol' smiley face.


  1. you are cool, Mr uncool...Your Kiner will always look after you!

  2. The story you wrote about Kiner was beautiful, I have tears in my eyes.
    Congrats on smuggling him through airport security, definately not a feat for the weak at heart!
    Speaks highly for the the love of your dog.

  3. Granulated puppy! LOL! OK--I hate to laugh--you're poor dog! He sounded like a great one. Just curious--where did the name Kiner come from?

  4. I'm suprised they didn't think his ashes were some sort of bomb making material. Can't wait to read the next installment. :)

  5. This line made me laugh:
    "How does one get concentrated canine past security?"

    That's not a sentence I hear/read every day, you know...

    :) Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  6. Oooh, I can't wait to hear the next installment! Kiner sounds like he was one heck of a dog, certainly worth tempting fate with the TSA.

  7. Granulated puppy is my new favorite term. It almost sounds like something you would ask for on your icecream, exept, ewwww.

  8. Keep those ashes close...It won't be long before science opens the door for some sort of ash-rehydration...Kiner will come back. I love dogs and your stories...cant wait.

    Shit....I could not bring shaving powder through security and you are cleared with a steel box filled with a grey powder? Something does not compute.

  9. Having sat at that kitchen counter, I must confess to being a tad skeeved. But I eagerly await the next chapter of the saga.

  10. Thanks for the continuing lovefest for me and the deceased. To answer a FAQ on the origin of Kiner's name:

    We were planning to get a female dog and name her Scully, after the agent I lusted after on X Files. Instead, we got a male.

    Scully, the TV character, is named after LA Dodgers broadcaster Vin Scully. Since I am a Mets fan, we named our dog after Ralph Kiner, one of their original broadcasters and a Hall of Fame player to boot.

    I meet Ralph once. A big, goofy man. And we had a big, goofy dog. It was a good match.

    Murphy is named after one of Ralph's partners, the legendary play-by-play man, Bob Murphy. When the Mets would win (which wasn't often), he'd tell the audience to stay tuned after the commercials to hear "the happy recap." Thus, our dog's full name is "Canterbury's (the breeder) Murphy's Happy Recap."

    TENT: The pill bottle was plastic and put in my checked luggage, but it was still subject to search. And we know how alert those TSA people are.

  11. Any Killingworth dogs in Murphy's pedigree?

    If so, we're practically family.

  12. Granulated puppy is remarkable good in risotto.

    ...great post...

  13. At least the ashes were your dog. My mom and I were flying to Pennsylvania with my dad's remains and when she placed her luggage on the belt for scanning, as soon as her bag - carrying my dad, of course - hit the x-ray, lights, sirens, bells and whistles brought everything to a screeching halt.

    "Ma'am, what's in the lead box?"

    "Oh, that's my husband".

    Yup, the looks on the TSA agents' faces? Priceless.

  14. p.s. My mom still has the ashes of her dog and cat sitting on top of her frige in cardboard boxes.

  15. Remind me to bring my own plastic spork when visiting you.

    I'm sorry for your loss, though.

  16. Dude, I just met you and commensed a raging lovefest, and it's like you're now trying to kill me for my insurance money, what with these heart wrenching tales. You've got me. I'm now like a loyal dog to you and this blog.

  17. Have you heard that prescription drug theft is HUGE?? I can only imagine the moron kid that would steal that bottle and snort a little of the Kiner...serves you right!

  18. Hmmmm... whether I ever visit your house or not, I think this may occur to me now and then as a spoon approaches my mouth.

    So thanks for that.

  19. I love this idea.. We have a 17 yr old Shitzu that's blind and deaf. He was mine, and then my parents and now mine again. We're like the puppy nursing home. When his time comes we're totally going to take him back to Arkansas.


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My Uncool Past