Every summer around mid-August I always have a, “Ok, we’ve had enough fun and sun. Time to start shutting it down, you fucking drunk” moment. It’s not usually this clear, or this fucked up, it’s often just a really bad hangover. But this was the one for me this year: waking up with a random dog in your house. We’ve all woken up to regret, regrets ranging from uneaten pizza slices to text messages to gals who aren’t quite the woman you went to be with. But waking up with a living creature that does not belong to you? It’s a moment that causes you to dive inward and do some thinking. Of course, by inward I mean post a blog so everyone can shame you and tell you what an out of control drunk you are. That’s the only way to get better, not by admitting a problem but by getting hundreds of thousands of people to yell at you.
I stole a dog last night. I’m not proud of it, but that’s what happened.
It wasn’t what happened when I went to bed. When I went to bed, I was a hero. I was salvation. I found a dog who had no home and no food and I provided those things for her. Her. The girl dog that I rescued. I named her El, in an ode to Stranger Things and my favorite character. She was adorable. She was incredibly well-behaved for a stray, almost like she’d been trained and housebroken before by owners, or something, and followed me wherever I went. She ate food out of my hands, kissed me on my mouth (as girls do), and even slept with me.
When I woke up, a different reality hit. We’ve all gone to bed with a 10 and woken up with a 6, we’re prepared for that. That happens rather regularly. Well, have you ever been to bed with a female rescue puppy and woken up to people asking you why you stole the neighbor’s male dog? Real tough moment to swallow. That dog that you loved, named (it’s real name was Leo, not Eleven), cared for, fed (all for like three hours of consciousness) isn’t actually yours. I now know exactly how Sonny Koufax felt in Big Daddy, that child that I’d raised (again, for three hours) was being ripped from my hands.
I suppose that’s what happens when you steal your neighbor’s dog. These dreams can’t last forever. You can’t stumble home from the bar on a Tuesday night (shout out to Felix Brown, they always crush it), change into a bathing suit, start stumbling to the water, steal your neighbor’s dog on the way and expect to get away with it. Those crimes are short-lived. But, if I may defend myself, I didn’t break into a house to do this. I didn’t break into a yard either. I was walking (stumbling) the streets and a little, collarless, rather ratty dog came running up to me. I cared for her (him), sorry for being a good guy. As I type this out I’m convinced I’m less and less to blame here. I was going to say we all make mistakes, the owner forgot to leave the collar on and I forgot to not steal other people’s dogs. But now that it’s in writing, fuck that lady. The only mistake I made was being a hero to a wandering dog who needed someone to care for it. I made zero mistakes.
I stole my neighbor’s dog and I’d do it again.