Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Dutch and the Ultimate Insult

I broke up with a girl one time over a dog. This was many moons ago when I was coaching college football. I had a Black Labrador retriever named Dutch. Dutch was my boy.  I have always loved my dogs like they were my kids, and Dutch and I did everything together. Going to the store? Load up, Dutch. Going to watch film at the field house? Load up, Dutch.  Drive in movies? Load up, Dutch. Going for a run or lifting weights? Let's go, Dutch! 

The problem with all of this togetherness was that Dutch developed severe separation anxiety and pretty soon, I had to take him everywhere. I tried leaving him in the apartment one time, and he attempted to eat through the air conditioning unit in my apartment to get out. Another time, he broke through a glass window to get out. I had put him in my bedroom, locked the door and even barred it with a chair on the outside of the door. Dutch didn't care about that at all, he went right through the window. I walked into the apartment and I saw the chair still there and I smiled becauseI thought that I finally found a solution to Houdini's magical escapes. I opened the door to the room, and there was nothing but glass everywhere and no Dutch. I found him running around with some other dogs about a mile away, mingling with the pack.  He was probably asking them if any of them had seen me.

So then I got an outside kennel and even staked him to the ground. So Dutch, who could jump like a madman, jumped over the kennel, hung himself until he shook loose and was gone. All that I found when I came home was his collar hanging over the top of the kennel. So I made the leash even shorter and covered the top with plywood and even put a rowboat on top of that, and he couldn't escape. But he was still crazy. If I drove by my apartment during the day, I would actually duck down so that he wouldn't see me. I swear that dog had ESP and could tell when I was close by. 

Dutch Boy
After a while, I felt so bad that he was chained up in the kennel that I put him back in the truck again. I had him in the truck while I was coaching football practice one time and my lights kept blinking. It looked like freaking Morse code over there. Dutch was leaning on the light switch in my truck while he was watching me coach. I was like, that son of a bitch! I can't even coach without him up my ass, wanting me to hurry up. I left him with my parents one night while in Maryland visiting, and my parents and sister said that he was groaning the whole time that I was gone, and finally, he went in the other room, got one of my hunting boots, carried over by the door, set it down, and laid on top of it until I came home. I'd put him in a local kennel when I had away games and had to spend the night and when I got back from the trip , the owner of the kennel asked me, "You got that dog on steroids?" I told him no, and wondered why he asked. He said that he needed to show me something. We walked back to the kennels, and there was Dutch, jumping over and over again, and hitting his head on the six foot cover over the kennel, looking for a way to escape. Crazy.  I'd go into a store or into someone's house and Dutch would sit in the passenger seat of my truck and stare at the front door, waiting for me to appear. 

So needless to say, if I was around, Dutch was usually around, too. If I was going out on a date, Dutch tagged along. Some girls didn't like that too much, others were dog lovers who didn't mind it . Most were just tolerant of Dutch.  But one morning I was arguing with my girlfriend about something and of course it turned into me being selfish and only caring about football and lifting weights and I was like, "What else is new?"And then she did it: She insulted Dutch. 

"And another thing, why does that damn dog need to go with us wherever we go?"

"What did you say?"

" That damn dog. Why is he always with us?"

"Damn dog?"

"Yes, damn dog?"

So I grabbed my keys without saying a word , walked out the door, got into my truck and drove off with Dutch in the passenger seat and I never saw her again. Check that, I did see her one more time. I was stopped at red light in town and she saw my truck and walked out into the middle of the street and put both middle fingers up at me and mouthed something to the effect of me being the greatest thing that ever happened to her. I think that was what she was saying.

So yes, it irritated me that she insulted Dutch and it irritates me a little still, twenty some years later. I mean, he was my dog, man. And I knew that people would come and go in my life, but that Dutch would always be there, looking out the window of my old Ford Ranger, waiting for me to finish what I was doing so that we could hang out some more.

All About Being a Lifer

What's a Lifer? Someone who isn't in to something for just a day, a month, a's for life. Whether its training or your family or your doesn't matter. You work at it, you build on it, you see the big picture . You don't miss workouts because it means something to you. You are like a Shakespearean actor- no matter what is going on in your life, you block it out when it's time to train. You walk into the weight room and all else disappears. Worry about it later.