Family

Obituary for a bad dog

On Thursday March 30, 2017, Jagger Walsh took his last breath. He was 10 years old, and died from cancer.

Jagger was a bad dog. He suffered from separation anxiety and a general dislike of people. He most disliked when people used the front door, regularly charging and nipping at our visitors upon entering and exiting. If a guest shielded himself from the bite, Jagger violently ripped at the door mat. A coping mechanism, we mused.

Jagger was a Lhasa Apso, a Tibetan breed known for its beautiful coat of long hair. We can’t blame Jagger for his incessant barking and aggressive behavior; Lhasa Apso’s were bred to be fiercely protective, suspicious of strangers and to alert their owners of intruders. In this respect, Jagger was actually a good dog. He took his role very seriously, much to the chagrin of our neighbors, friends, the postman, and visiting family.

Despite his beautiful coat of hair, Jagger was not a beautiful dog. He had an under bite that stuck out like a bull dog. His front feet were deformed as well, pointing outward like a duck or a dancer. This gave him a very characteristic look – a Lhasa Bull Duck like none other. But despite his flaws, Jagger was very confident. He would jump onto your lap and paw at your legs until you gave him hugs, scratches, and kisses. And you were happy to give him your affection, because once Jagger stopped barking at the door, he was actually extraordinary sweet. Like a Sour Patch Kid. First sour, then delicious.

Jagger’s favorite past time was running in and out from the open screen door, enjoying the warmth of the sun for a few moments before running inside to ensure his family was still okay. He also loved going on daily walks around the park with his mom. During the afternoon, he sat in the studio listening to his dad make music. By all accounts, Jags was an avid music critic and gave sound advice.

Those who met Jagger know he had a hard exterior. But once making it through his front door – both literally and metaphorically – Jagger protected you. His barks weren’t aggressive, but rather a loud “Hello” – like from an old deaf man. His front teeth were just an upside smile. And his dainty walk reminded you that to his core, Jagger was a gentleman.

Jagger was a bad dog, but he was the best bad dog we ever had. We will forever miss his blond body running up and down the stairs, jumping on our beds and cuddling when we felt sad, bored, or simply in need of unconditional and never ending love.

Jagger, I hope there are a million doors to bark at in heaven. Love you forever – rest in peace.

Family

My Message to the Kids

I’m house sitting for a week as my parents ride a Harley half way across the country to attend the Sturgis motorcycle gathering, like some freak show rebels. I’m house sitting because I have three, 17-year old siblings (triplets no less); they’re wonderful, funny and cunning teenagers who would absolutely love to throw a party every single night for the next two weeks. Also, I was paid in wine, this room is way nicer than my entire house, and I have my own private bathroom that is as far as possible from the tub and toilet I share with my two dudemates.

I’m simply here to make sure 200 underage kids don’t puke in the daisies, and that someone can pick up whoever the first to get arrested is.

I know I’m kind of ready to be a parent, because though I only live 10 minutes away and would love to sleep in my own bed, the idea of anything happening rips my conscience apart and forces me to sleep at this house each night until Friday, when my relief comes.

I know I’m not ready to be a parent because, as I walked into “my” room with an entire bottle of wine and a plate of assorted cheeses and crackers, I realized I was setting a terrible example to the babies. My wit kicked in, I turned to the crowd of 15 young men playing poker and said, “First of all, don’t judge me. Second of all, know I’m getting paid to write right now, and write I will do for the next several hours. Go to college, and you can do this too.”

My Message:

Hello teenagers! College=paid to drink.

Actuality:

Hello teenagers! College=pay to drink.

Regardless of my accidental lie, they all opened their wide, innocent eyes and, with the faint sound of naive optimism whispered, “You make money in bed?”

I hate teenagers.