As the long summer days roll on and families squeeze in last-minute vacations, yours portly is resorting to an old chestnut with an extremely niche audience: Bull Terrier Tuesday.
If you want to know about my dog, the nine-year old bull terrier Murphy, keep reading. If you’d rather not know about my adorable, stubborn old girl, feel free to read some of my other posts to tide you over until the real substantive content returns.
My thinking on dogs has done nearly a 180-degree turn—maybe a 150-degree turn?—over the past few years. I’ve always liked dogs (so I was already thirty degrees in their favor), but I disliked dog people. I still would not classify myself in that way, though I do serenade my dog, so maybe I’m just in denial.
Regardless, what chapped me was the way people would use dogs as surrogate children, or would invest huge amounts of their personal identity in their dog. Again, perhaps I’m in denial, or blind to reality, but as much as I love my dog, I’d like to think I’m not pouring misdirected paternalism into her.
But dogs do provide wonderful companionship, and can be a great deal of fun. Murphy does something comical or amusing just about every day. And her adenoidal snoring and “talking” crack me up. I actually sleep better when Murphy is snoring her brains out—she’s like a living white-noise machine.
Pretty crazy these chunky furballs used to be wolves, eh?
Last summer I suddenly, inexplicably went a bit dog crazy. I was not looking for a bull terrier at all, but stumbled upon one on at Petfinder. I spoke with a representative from BTRM, and we realized that that particular dog would not be a good fit for me due to his advanced age and delicate health issues.
She put my information into their database and said it might be a few months before a dog came available in my area. One week later, while moving a then-girlfriend to Athens, Georgia, I got a call from BTRM asking me to foster an older girl who was good with children and other dogs.
It’s also the week of my third annual (and second on the front porch) Spooktacular! As such, I spent a good portion of the weekend making the preliminary preparations for having lots of people sitting on my front lawn for a couple of hours or so.
Among the myriad tasks I completed (such as some long overdue weed eating, and applying more ant bait to the lawn), I engaged in my favorite Halloween season ritual: carving a Jack O’Lantern! I picked up a couple of massive pumpkins from Sam’s Club for $7 each, and this one made for particularly attractive gourd. Just look at its perfectly jaunty, stout stem!
I’m currently cutting back on my calories and have so far dropped around ten pounds in the past two weeks. I’d let myself get comfortable and complacent after a long, lazy summer. Sure, I’ll loosen up a bit—both my calorie restrictions and my pants—for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, but I’ve been doing pretty well regulating my daily intake. It had grown, quite frankly, massive.
I mentioned this latest of my various weight loss odysseys to my neighbor, the man who takes Murphy out for me and—more germane to this post—who is the Zone Captain for our Neighborhood Watch. My adventures in dropping unsightly pounds and inches inspired him to propose the Lamar Neighborhood Watch establish small walking groups, and yesterday morning, he and I met shortly after 6 AM to walk a short circuit downtown.
Well, it’s finally happened: pending some signatures and initials from folks at The Bull Terrier Rescue Mission (at the time of this writing; they will likely be immortalized in digital ink by the time you read these words), I have officially adopted Murphy.
It’s been quite an adventure since I picked her up at the Sam’s Club in Goldsboro, North Carolina on 22 July 2021. Since then, she’s been all over the I-20 Corridor in South Carolina, and all the way to Athens, Georgia. She’s spent a great deal of time sleeping on couches—those on which she is allowed, and those from which she is forbidden—and she seems to win fans wherever she goes.
After a long and eventful weekend, Murphy and I are back in Lamar with an additional guest: my childhood friend’s eight-year old blue heeler mix Gracie. My buddy is going to the beach with his wife and kid, and needed a place along the way to drop their pup.
As such, I’m now running an assisted care facility for elderly dogs. In all seriousness, the dog, Gracie, is a real sweetheart, and she and Murphy seem to get along well enough. Murphy quickly established dominance once we got back to the house the other day, but then I put Murphy on her back to remind her who is really in charge, and it’s been relative peace in the house ever since.
The friendship rolls on this Sunday, as I continue to look back at past editions of Supporting Friends Friday (read last week’s here). Introducing the (nearly) weekly feature has been a real joy, and it’s quickly become one of my favorite of my regularly recurring series.
“Supporting Friends Friday: The Music of John Pickett” – John is a great friend of mine, and we’re beginning rehearsals for the 2021 Spooktacular this week. This post also offers up a brief history of the local open mic scene in the Pee Dee region of South Carolina over the last ten years, which should be of interest to musical types.
Well, that’s it for another Lazy Sunday. Thank you for being a friend!