I have two things to tell you today: about the dog and about the thread. I guess it’s yarn, not thread. I have a yarn for you.
First of all, today is my 10-year anniversary with Edsel.
I’ll tell you the story, like most of you weren’t here when it happened. Like you don’t know this story and aren’t about to expire from boredom.
Ten years ago today, I was married. I lived in a different house and worked for a different place (an ad agency in Winston) and I didn’t even know Ned existed. It seems so weird. My life was completely different then. I had no Iris or Lily or the two recent add-on bonus cats. In the cat department I had Henry and Winston and Francis.
I also had Tallulah. Alive Tallulah, fmr. Oh, how I loved my Lu.
Ten years ago, Tallulah was two years old and she was my first dog. I was super into having a dog and did everything Cesar said to do except be the pack leader. Talu was pack leader from day one.
I took her to dog daycare every day. When we got home after work, I drove her to this park, where we took a long, long walk that ended in the dog park. Sometimes I’d let her play there for two hours because I was friendly with all the other dog parkers and we’d chat while our dogs ran all over yonder.
Then Lu and I’d walk the long, long walk back to the car. We’d get home and get something to eat and I’d turn on the TV and Lu would stare at me and go, “Mmmmph.”
She was NOT DONE. She was bored.
Oh my god.
So I decided she needed a dog friend. Basically I got Edsel to entertain my other dog because I was too lazy to do it myself.
“We need a puppy,” I said to Marvin, spouse, fmr. These really have been a changey 10 years, man.
“No,” said Marvin, spouse, fmr.
Everything I ever wanted, Marvin’s first response was no. Do you have any idea how depressing that is, to live with the forever no like that? Trust me. It is.
“We should try this new mustard.”
It was a reflex with him, I swear.
Anyway, sometimes I could get him to yes, and in this case I did after months of trying, by reaching a compromise: He could get an old car if I could get a new puppy.
So I started looking on Petfinder and he started looking on Carfinder. I don’t even know if that’s a site, but it probably is. I’d confer with him on which puppies looked appealing and I’d apply for the ones we agreed on. We had three or four applications in when I saw Montana. You’ve no idea how I wish I’d have screenshot the profile pic from Montana’s Petfinder ad.
Because Montana was goofy-looking. Montana, in his date-me profile pic, was slung over the shoulder of his foster mom, ears like — well, I can’t even compare it to anything. You know that image where Jesus is knocking on the high rise? That’s the only thing I can think of when I think of Edsel’s puppy ears.
He was ear-y, if you’re picking up what I’m throwing down.
On Saturday, October 2, 2010, Marvin and I were headed out to buy a new couch. I don’t remember what was wrong with our old—oh, yes, I do. We had had a cat, Ruby DeLuna, a fluffy black cat, who got depressed and peed all over our old couch, repeatedly. Poor Ruby.
Anyway, that’s why the new couch. But as we were headed there, I got an email saying I had been approved to adopt Montana and did I want him. Who wouldn’t want to adopt a whole state? “We got approved for a puppy!!!” I squealed to Marvin, who I think mostly didn’t want a puppy and ended up living with said puppy for less than a year before he left. I don’t think that’s why he left. He probably asked himself, “Do I want to be married? Answer: no.”
So anyway I got a new couch 10 years ago today, as well.
One idea that’s good is a new couch and a puppy all at once.
After our success at Rooms to Go, we made arrangements to meet the puppy that evening in Mt. Airy, where Montana resided. You know, if there’s any state this dog is not, it’s rugged, no nonsense Montana. He’s maybe Connecticut or some other effete state. He’s Florida. Long and full of goofiness.
We were headed out the door to drive to Mt. Airy when the phone rang. This is back when you had, you know, a phone at your house that actually rang with real callers.
“Yes, this is Whoo deee Blee Golden rescue. You’ve been approved for a Golden retriever puppy!”
I mean, my purse was in my hand. I was ready to go. “Oh, no, thank you,” I said to the Golden retriever lady, whom I now picture with very wavy ears. “I’m headed out the door right now to get an Edsel.”
I think about that sometimes. How would life be different if I’d said, “Screw Montana! Get me a Golden!” Would I have become basic? I mean, even more basic than someone who gets a couch from Rooms to Go?
Anyway I didn’t and this is the path I chose. The Edsel path.
We drove to Mt. Airy to a gas station and watched the sun set behind the mountain while the deliverers of Edsel/Montana were late. I think at the time I thought all pet exchanges on Petfinder were legit, but in retrospect the whole thing seems shady. Did I rescue Eds or buy him? I don’t know.
Anyway, show up they did, eventually. Eds was riding on the lap of an old lady, which was prescient. Marvin handed over the $90 “rehoming fee” and I thanked them. “Oh, no, thank you,” said the lady driving. “We weren’t sure anyone would take this homely puppy.”
(Here is what I wore 10 years ago today, and I always liked that outfit. Those pants were pink.)
He really was sort of goofy-looking. But that’s what drew me to him. I thought he was cute!
On the drive back, Eds snuggled into my hair. He’s always been quieter in the car. We’d been planning to name him Sputnik, which I still think is a good dog name, when I said to Marvin, “What do you think of Edsel? It’s the car nobody wanted.”
“Oh, that’s a good one,” Marvin said, and by the way we had a lot of struggle naming pets together, usually. Brace yourself, but usually every name I suggested he said no. He said no to naming Winston Chairman Mao. He said no to naming Tallulah Lulabelle.
In retrospect, he was right on both of those.
Anyway, we brought him home and Tallulah barked but after five minutes she settled into a quiet resentment of Eds that she carried with her to her dying day. She literally died to the sounds of Edsel barking.
The moment we brought Edsel home, Talu became dignified. The day before she’d been a puppy. On October 2, 2010, she became Talu, dignity dog.
God, how did I stand that yard all those years? As I write this, poor Victor my beleaguered lawn guy, is aerating my lawn.
Anyway, that is the story of how I got an Edsel 10 years ago today. And while a Golden retriever probably would have been lovely and perfect, would it have been as interesting as Edsel? Would it have loved me the way Edsel does?
Would a stupid perfect Golden retriever know half of what I’m saying to him? Would he be lying here staring at me as we speak, the way New Hampshire/Montana/Sputnik/Edsel is? Would he flap his tail against his bed every morning when I greet him from my own bed?
Probably. But he wouldn’t have been my Edsel. The Edsel we’ve all come to know and love.
Happy 10th anniversary, Edsel.
P.S. I guess I droned on about my big-eared dog (and didn’t even get to his underbite) and never mentioned the yarn, but that gives you something to look forward to. If you’re on (Face)Book of June I will talk about it there, how’s that?