“Don’t try to pet her”


‘Sasha, the dog with the 38-inch neck’

First, let me firmly establish, for you all Animal Lovers out there, that I am also one. An Animal Lover. When I was growing up in the Midwest we, like everyone else we knew, had not only a yard with plenty of room for pets to roam, but remarkably animal-tolerant parents.

Not only were my parents animal-tolerant, they were animals-eating-with-the-family tolerant. That’s Middle Younger Bro Roger vying for table scraps with Hermie while Oldest Younger Bro Scott looks on

Through the years, we not only hosted dogs and cats of all stripes and dispositions (including one dog named Horrible because he was, in fact, ‘horrible’), but also turtles and rabbits and some guinea pigs who disappeared from their cages and were never seen again. Oh, and some guinea hens my brother Roger brought home from a sleepover. (They lived in the basement, roosting on the water pipes.) My Mom and Dad even tolerated reptiles (a couple of chameleons and an iguana named Cleopatra), probably because they didn’t last very long.

So. Now that we’ve set the pro-pet record straight, let me tell you about this dog.

The Dude and I hadn’t been married all that long. We were in that stage where you’re getting to know each other’s Friends From Before. One of the Dude’s was this guy named Gerry. They’d bonded while training together as ophthalmologists. We’d met them for a wild evening at Regine’s once, but this was the first (and, as it turned out, the last) time¬†Gerry and his wife Mary (they later divorced; I am convinced it’s because their names rhymed) invited us out to Connecticut for the weekend.

We decided to go. After enjoying a pleasant drive in the ole VW Rabbit, Connecticut being a pretty state and all, we were pulling up to their house when we noticed two things: Continue reading