dana
April 14, 2010, 10:07 pm
Filed under: Stuff | Tags: , , ,

i was going through my old blog and i found a couple that i wanted to share again because the stories reminded me of important times in my life. so if the next few blogs look familiar, that’s the reason. i’m lazy and pulling out my oldies.

he seemed really out of place, being shorter than me (which is very short) with bright red hair. he stood out in the crowd. not to mention, he walked through the doors of Blessings Christian Marketplace in torn jeans and a dirty old jean jacket wearing work gloves. he looked to me like he was looking for Home Hardware and took a wrong turn. i noticed him not only for his appearance, though. he didn’t take more than 5 steps into the store before i made eye contact with him. he walked straight over to me. we made small talk, and i didn’t think much of it. and then he said goodbye and left, never having looked at anything in the store. i thought him a little odd, but enjoyed meeting someone different than the rest of the christian clones who came through the door. who am i kidding…i was one of the christian clones. he came again the next day, and in similar fashion walked straight to the front counter to strike up a chat. i asked if he wanted coffee, and he did, so i went and got him a cup from the back room. he liked it black. i enjoyed meeting new and interesting people, and he was certainly unique. he gave me his business card, which was actually his boss’ business card with his name scribbled underneath his boss’. dana was a tree trimmer. he had no wife or children, and his dad lived right across the street. he had an ex-wife. i don’t remember much of what we talked about at first. unimportant things, introduction things, i’m sure. he left again, saying he would stop by again sometime. i began to feel excited about this strange friendship. he was about 40 years old and i was only 22, but i felt a connection. we had nothing in common really. i was married, and he wasn’t. he was a labourer, and i was in sales. he had life experience, and i was fresh and just figuring out what it meant to live on my own. but still, i felt like there was something important happening.
sure enough, dana showed up the next evening. he was different this time. jumpy. on edge. the store was busy, so i didn’t have much time to chat. i told him i’d try and finish up quick and come see him. when things finally calmed down, i saw him walking out the door. he waved and said goodbye, and i could see him sweating uncomfortably, which was strange on a cold evening. i shrugged and went to help someone else. an elderly lady walked through the door telling me a thief was walking away with something in his coat. dana was the only person who had left.

i wasn’t sure how to feel. while we weren’t close, i felt betrayed. he came into my store and tried to take what wasn’t his. i had stolen many times in my past. in fact, it was quite the habit in high school. we would often go to the mall just to see how much crap we could shove in our pockets without getting caught. so i wasn’t judging him. i was hurt and angry. and i couldn’t just let him walk away. i walked quietly through the front doors so that he wouldn’t hear me coming behind him. he was already half a block away and looking back at me. so much for the element of surprise. i expected to be in for a chase. but he stood there. staring at me, with a sad look on his face.

“what’s up?” he asked as i approached, half-heartedly hoping i had simply forgotten to pass on a message.
“what’s in your coat, dana?” i asked, figuring there was no sense beating around the bush, and i wasn’t about to frisk him.

once i looked closer, you could see the object clearly, it was bulky and heavy, a very strange choice when stealing. i mean, i would have gone for the “Test-A-Mints” myself. did you know they contain pure, unfiltered truth from God? anyway, he didn’t protest or fight the accusation. he simply pulled out…a snowglobe. this added to the strangeness of the whole thing. i assumed he was hoping to pawn it off for a couple bucks and it was the only thing he could grab with no one noticing. of all the stupid things, a snowglobe was what he took. i had stolen stupid things too. a 66 of whiskey from a chinese restaurant (don’t ask), tester cologne from walmart, a toonie from tyler laycock’s window sill. sorry tyler. i could see three or four people staring at us out the window of the store, so i decided not to take him back there. instead we went to taco time. what better way to confront a thief than over a couple steaming hot tacos.

we worked things out that night. he promised not to steal from the store anymore. we ate our tacos and said goodbye, not really sure what else to say. the snowglobe reclaimed it’s rightful place…on the display shelf exploiting some poor old lady who would be foolish enough to waste $35 on it. actually, come to think of it, it’s not the snowglobes fault. i was the one exploiting poor old ladies. it’s a living…

dana kept showing up for a while, very repentant. he apologized profusely, thankful i didn’t turn him in. we kept having coffee together and more awkward conversations. he even told me he wanted to come to my church. being the good christian i am, i thought i had hit the jackpot. christianity is all about saving souls, right? that’s another conversation for another time. needless to say, he didn’t show up at our meeting place any of the 3 times he said he would come. i started to notice alcohol on his breath once in a while. but i didn’t think much of it. lot’s of people drink. so what? but then he started asking for money. i have always believed that when someone asks for money, you should give it to them. lots of Christians and rich people will say that you shouldn’t, because they will just spend it on booze and smokes. i know lot’s of christians who spend their money on more useless things than booze and smokes, like test-a-mints and snowglobes, so i don’t tend to take their advice too seriously. so i gave him a few bucks. and every time he came in, the reason for needing money was more extravagant than the last. first, he didn’t have food. then he needed to pay for his father’s medication. deep down, i knew he was lying. but what could i say? he was a friend. i was his enabler.

the straw that broke the camel’s back was when he told me in a drunken stupor he needed $10 to buy tampons for his wife, who according to him was at that moment bleeding profusely. first off, i didn’t need to hear that. neither did you, come to think of it. sorry. secondly, HE WAS DIVORCED, and had told me so weeks earlier. things were out of control, and i couldn’t be his friend anymore. and i told him that. i told him i was fed up, and that he needed to quit lying to me. if he needed food, i would find him that, but no more money. i still don’t buy the excuse that you shouldn’t give money to poor people who ask, even going through this. i think that is an excuse for rich people to be greedy and ignore the problem, most of the time. but i had in front of me someone who was clearly lying and clearly suffering from alcoholism and who knows what else. he apologized once more, and stumbled out the door.

i didn’t see dana much after that. until i got a phone call from prison.

it turned out he had a warrant out for his arrest for months, even before i met him. i had always wanted to be part of an organized crime ring, but this was a little low brow. he had been caught (what else…) stealing and had skipped his trial date. so now he was in prison. he was past the point of asking me for favors. he said he called me because he didn’t have anyone else’s number.

visiting someone in prison is intimidating, to say the least. barbed wire fence everywhere, ring a buzzer to get in the front door, get frisked before you sign in, get your bags checked thoroughly (they wouldn’t let me bring him a bible, i still don’t know why), then you are led up a staircase to a room filled with chairs on either side of a glass partition, just like you see on the movies. i sat down, not really sure what i was supposed to say. i had heard stories of my dad visiting a guy who had tried to kill his wife in prison. i admired my dad for that, and i wanted to be that kind of person, but to be honest, i just really didn’t feel like it. i couldn’t get out of there soon enough. we made small talk for a few minutes, and pretty soon the conversation flowed like it did when i first met him. he assured me that this set him straight. he was in jail for three months, and had lots of time to think, so i tended to believe him. i left feeling a deep sadness. there was nothing redemptive about this place. it’s hard to believe that anything good could come out of jail. it’s no wonder 66% of criminals end up reoffending.

i’d like to say i was a faithful friend. i’d like to say i went to visit dana every day. i’d like to say all those things. but i didn’t. prison scared me. and i didn’t want to be responsible for dana when he got out. i couldn’t handle that pressure. sure enough, he got out of jail, and showed up at Blessings to say hello. it was the first time i had seen him clean shaven, in a clean dress shirt and khakis.

“can i ask one more favor of you, Blair?” he asked. i was worried where he was going with this. i had no desire to get more deeply involved with dana. part of it was because i wanted to protect myself. but most of it was because i was selfish. i didn’t want to give my time. i didn’t want to give my energy. i didn’t want to go out of my comfort zone. i just didn’t want to. but in this circumstance, all he wanted was a ride to his mother’s house. so i took him. on the drive he apologized to me for putting me in awkward situations. he thanked me for helping him. and i felt nothing but shame. here was this broken and humbled man. this man who i was supposedly helping yet i couldn’t wait to be away from him. shame. for how i had given up on him. how i had grown to resent him. how i hadn’t yet forgiven him for the awkward situations he had put me through. broken and humble. seeking forgiveness. of course, i said i forgave him, although i still harbored some resentment in that moment because i figured he’d be back tomorrow to do it again.

that day, i dropped him off and we said goodbye, and he never came back. i wondered where he was, and maybe could have found him if i really sought him out. but my fear got the better of me. it was easier to move on and forget. ignore the shame of giving up on someone. pretend to be holy when you were really acting out of self-interest. i am thankful for my time with dana, because he has made me a better person. i pray that i will not give up on people so easily. i pray that I will be as humble and broken as Dana was so that God can use me for whatever he wants. i pray that God will continue to use a broken person like me to show Jesus to the world, even when I continue to be shallow and self-serving. i pray that God will give me a chance at redemption, will bring another dana into my life. i will not give up so easily this time. here is the gospel as i know it.

Matthew 25:34-40
34 ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37″Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ 40″The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’

i wish i wouldn’t have quit half way on dana. here’s to second chances.

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ricky, ricky you’re so fine
September 6, 2009, 2:01 pm
Filed under: Stuff | Tags: , ,

it was a simpler time. men were men. they went to work, sweated drops of tears, and cried tears of sweat. women were women. they…did whatever women do. i’m still trying to figure that one out. watched rerun episodes of “friends”?

**spoiler alert** i can’t believe ross and rachel ended up together! who saw that coming?

n640561448_1267665_2098it was a time where going to concerts was what consumed our every waking moment. rain or shine, sleet or hail, snow or…cloudy…if there was a concert in town, we went to it. it was a time when we didn’t call them “concerts” at all, but rather “shows”. concerts were for the fancy yuppies drinking their starbuck’s with their real jobs. kind of like me, now. we went to shows. me, matty g, aaron of aragon, slippery pete, kryptonite kris, jerms, nic/nike…and a random assortment of others. but that was the crew. and there were few concerts we missed. there weren’t many that went to all the ones we did, but there was this one guy that was always there. it didn’t matter if it was the biggest band in the world or if it was the crappiest local band you’ve ever heard (i’m looking at you goodsampark. you weren’t good until you became today is the grave). he was always there. even when Global news did that embarrassing interview with MEANS about christian punk (we were so christian and oh so punk) and there were about 5 people at the show, they did an interview with a concert goer, and it was this same mystery man that we always saw and never knew. he was like a punk god to me. at every show, more dedicated than anyone i had ever known to the local punk rock scene. he towered above the rest, yet was younger than me. he drove a sweet abs suzuki swift with punk rock stickers on it. “sick of it all” was his band of choice, as you could often hear it in the stereo as he pulled away from shows. so we finally introduced ourselves to mr. ricky (richard) tiefenbach.

he came to hang out with us. we had never hung out with him before, so we did what we always had done. went to the east Tim Horton’s and had a rock fight. while it might seem quite obvious, it was an intricate game that matched wits and required strategy. actually, half of us went to one side of the parking lot while the other stayed, and we threw rocks at each other. on this night, we picked on jerms. he got separated from the group, and so we all threw rocks at him. we heard random yells and swear words from across the parking lot, but we kept throwing to our hearts content. at one point, we saw him dodge a rock and then collapse on the ground. we thought he was joking so we wouldn’t throw rocks anymore, so we did the natural thing. we kept throwing rocks. finally, the cries of pain sounded credible, so we went to check on him. he had injured his knee. later, we found out he tore him acl or mcl, or mri or brb or something like that. me and kris got the car and went to help him into the back seat. slippery pete and ricky kept visiting on the opposite side of Tim Horton’s parking lot. in all honesty, jeremy’s leg was probably not that bad…at first. but then me and kris got a bright idea, probably the best we ever had. not because of its brilliance. no, in fact it was probably one of our stupider moments. but it was the best idea we ever had because it will go down in legend as the funniest thing to ever happen. 

we sped towards peter and ricky. the speedometer picked up the pace and we must have been up to 80km/hour. pete and ricky saw us coming. there was no doubt about that. peter moved. ricky stayed put, leaning his shoulder into us, laughing at what he thought to be a car coming at him that would soon screech to a halt. but it didn’t. instead, the impact brought ricky flying through the windshield. it was then that the brakes were used. it was then that ricky flew forward from the impact and did about 20 barrel rolls forward on the concrete. and i’m pretty sure it was then that jeremy’s knee really got hurt. shattered glass was all over me and kris in the front seat. in the back, jerms was moaning in the pain of a busted up knee that had been jarred around more than it should have. peter was standing outside with his mouth open, in shock with the video camera at his side. sadly, it had not been turned on. silence enveloped us. no one dared to speak a word. all we could hear was jerms moaning in the back seat. and then i saw ricky stand up. i couldn’t help it. i started laughing. i stifled it at first, trying to keep it quiet as possible. no one else was, so i thought they would be mad if they heard me. but i couldn’t help it. and my stifled laugh quickly became a gut wrenching laugh that i could not contain. still, no one laughed. i might have got a nervous chuckle from someone. ricky had only scrapes and bruises, which is pretty amazing. jerms was in too much pain to know why it was funny (what a baby!). kris wasn’t sure what to think. peter just stood there, unsure of what to do. and i laughed. we drove home after that. i still have this picture of kris driving home with his head out the driver side window, so he could actually see the road. something about hitting somebody with a car tends to end your evening plans. i’m not sure why…

i don’t know why i laughed. the normal reaction would have been to get out of the car, and check on ricky. or to tend to jeremy with his busted knee in the back. but i just laughed. processing the events of the night in my head made it impossible not to. we met some guy at a concert who came to hang out with us for the first time. we took him to a rock fight. then we hit him with a car. you would think that would prevent him from hanging out with us anymore. but for some reason, he came back for more. ricky became a great friend. jerms knee has never been the same, but he can still kill me in soccer and tennis, so it’s not like we completely ruined him. kris now thinks its funny to hit people with cars, so watch out if you see him coming. peter is glad that he moved. i am still laughing about twice a week whenever i think about this moment. everyone involved now laughs, even though at the moment it was ridiculously inappropriate. which is a good way to describe me, ridiculously inappropriate. 

the moral of the story…don’t bring a rock to a car fight.



an ode to davis love III
July 18, 2009, 3:45 am
Filed under: Stuff | Tags: , ,

today, my friend dave is getting married. and i have no jokes. s861195458_2364654_9860

for those that know dave and i, you might think this would be a moment filled with jokes, embarrassing anecdotes, and a fat can of whoop abs. but no. i love this man. no word of a lie. does that even make sense? no word of a lie…i’ve been saying it for years, but now that i think about it…i can’t tell if that’s an accurate sentence or not.

i have known dave for 8 years. we met at clearview camp and have been in love ever since. not really. but mostly. there are too many memories of dave to list, and so i will only mention the things about him that i find to be the most important.

working at blessings with dave was an honor. those who know us know that we do not hold that business, or christian retail in general, in very high regard. but there is not a better person i could have gone through 3 years (was it really that long??? brutal…) of hell with. i mean, we got our pay checks on time every month. although, dave got screwed out of his raise for about a year. but to see God exploited on a daily basis takes a lot out of you as a christian. especially when your the one in charge of exploiting him. but dave kept me honest. i have always been the type to go with the flow (believe it or not) and it would have been really simple of me to put my head down and my heart on hold and make a life of this place. but dave held me up. he helped me to see the good where it was, which was always found in the people who walked through the doors. it inspired me the way he would deal with people. always gracious. always looking beneath the surface. i totally think you should have hooked up with kat and her crazy mom. too soon? sorry. a moment came when i was promoted to assistant manager, and so it was my job to help the manager cut back hours of staff as we were not making enough money. i remember the meeting when we did this. there was tears and anger from most involved. but dave’s primary concern was for the other staff. he stood up for them, and offered to take more cuts if it meant saving someone else’s job. that’s who he was. as serious as that story sounds, most of our moments at blessings were not serious, but unbelievably hilarious. whether it was playing baseball, very literally, with copies of “who wants to be a millionaire god’s way” (i won’t put god in capital letters here because that is not the god i serve) and a metal pipe in the receiving area, punching the lights out of mercyme cardboard cutouts, smoking captain blacks in the back alley (i mean, we were clearly having a business meeting, tiffany), or just wasting time laughing and talking about good books and music (and just as much time talking about bad books and bad music, which there was much more of), my memories at this soul sucking place were wonderful because i had dave as a friend. that’s the type of guy dave is.

there is not a guy out there i can be as honest with about the garbage in my life. no matter how wrong something is that i have done, dave will not judge me (or he at least hides it very well…). i have never had a moment where i thought dave would turn his back on me. there were times where i would lay a big fat load of crap on his head (figuratively, of course…or is it?), and he would walk through it with me. and even when i treated him like garbage, he never turned his back on me. there are so many times i have been a self-righteous boob and written dave off or turned my back on him, but he has never returned the favor. i used to do this thing when we were driving somewhere, and i was pissed off at him or had something heavy to say…i would always wait until we were a minute away, and then unload on him. it was a great strategy, really. this way, i never gave him a chance to retaliate. but the truth was, he never would have retaliated, because it was always some stupid petty thing that meant nothing. and i was overreacting. because i tend to do that. and dave doesn’t. because that’s the type of guy dave is.

dave’s the kind of guy that can call me on my crap without sounding self-righteous. that is a gift, and everyone should have a friend like that. someone who can call you out without ticking you off. sometimes i got ticked off, but i always knew he was right. we are both cynical people at times, and my cynicism often leads me to unfair criticisms of people and the church. but he stops short of that most of the time, and lets me know when i’m taking things too far. he’ll always challenge and push peoples buttons when he knows they are doing wrong, but i’ve never seen him act hateful towards someone because of it. that’s the kind of guy dave turner is. 

he’s the kind of guy you can make the worst jokes with and laugh for hours about them. he’s the kind of guy that will come with you on a 24 hour trip to winnipeg in the middle of the night in an ice storm (i swear, officer, i didn’t know there was a storm coming…) to see your girlfriend, just because he knows you’ll want the company and he’s up for an adventure. not to mention he likes separating his shoulder in his sleep. watch out for that, liz. he’s the kind of guy who you can confide in that your going to ask your girlfriend to marry you. most of my friends would have made fun of me or thought i was stupid at the time if i had told them. but dave didn’t. he encouraged me. he’s the kind of guy that you can order 5 large pizzas with and almost eat all of them while playing winning 11 on PS2 (what do you expect, pizza hut, when you only charge 5 bux for each additional pizza? don’t judge me). he’s the kind of guy that you can go to the casino with, and he’ll support your habit, but not if it’s getting too ugly. most people would think that’s not good. for me, the compulsive gambler, i like that quality in a friend. he’s the kind of guy you can mock the most holy of holy things with, because you know the other is kidding. i can’t even count the amount of blasphemies we’ve unleashed on this world. he’s the kind of guy that will give up two years of his life and a decent paying job to travel the world with a group of orphans in order to raise awareness for the crisis they face in Africa. he’s the kind of guy that will never stab you in the back. he’ll always be truthful. he’ll never walk away when you screw up. and he’ll give you the shirt off his back if you need it. he’ll slap you around if you need it. he’ll do the right thing, even when it’s the hardest thing. he is humble, and he would hate that i am saying all these nice things about him. he’ll be the first one to tell you what a mess he is, even though he is all that and then some. uh huh, girlfriend. he is true blue, tried and true, and doesn’t even smell like poo. i was debating going profound in that last sentence, but went with the potty humor. because that is also dave. potty humor. and i love it. 

there isn’t a better friend out there. and i’m happy he’s found a girl almost as cool as him. no disrespect, liz. have a fun marriage and keep being who you guys are. cause there aren’t many out there better than you. although, gandhi and jesus would kill you in a best person alive contest, no question. no, i am not crying. i just have something in my eye. SHUT-UP!

feel free to share your dave-isms in the comments section.



from jay jay to hudson
May 21, 2009, 9:06 pm
Filed under: Stuff | Tags: , , , , ,

i’ve always loved dogs. ever since i was a little kid, no one could convince me that there was a better pet. anyone who says cats are better can try playing fetch with a cat, and tell me what happens. if you get any other response than a lick of their paws and a stretch, i’d be surprised. don’t get me wrong. i love cats too. but there is nothing like a dog. 

our first dog was jay jay. i still remember the day he was dropped off at our huge rented house out on lakeshore dr. by one of dad’s friends. a beautiful, playful black lab with all the energy in the world. i loved that dog, but nobody loved him as much as my dad. my favorite memory was the time i got him calm enough to fall asleep draped over my lap. i was only 5 years old, and i remember sitting right in front of the entrance to our house on a beautiful summer day. it was almost supper time, and jay jay came and sat down beside me, stretched out his big old hiney and plopped down on top of my legs. i must have sat there for hours. someone came to get me for supper, but i refused because i was relishing the moment. this dog loved me. he wanted to be nowhere else except for right on my lap. later, someone tried to get out the front door, but i wouldn’t let them, because it would mean i had to move, and then jay jay would move. i wanted that moment to last forever. finally, dad made me go to bed. 

one day, we  came home from church and there was something wrong with jay jay. he was standing at the tree line, foaming at the mouth and his back legs wouldn’t work. he didn’t look so much angry as he did confused and scared. dad told mom to take us into the house and not let us out. i didn’t know what was wrong, but i knew that wasn’t the same dog. something had changed. there was no love in his eyes. only fear. i don’t remember what exactly happened next. only that dad came home a few hours later not the same man as he was before. mom says that he was pale as a ghost, and could barely talk. jay jay didn’t come back, and while we didn’t get any specifics at that time, we knew jay jay was gone. there was nothing dad could do. i don’t know how it feels to lose your best friend. but i remember the confusion i felt that day. the feeling of loss. the lesson that life was hard and things didn’t always go your way. later when we were much older, dad told us he had to put him down. he had to shoot jay jay. there would be no recovery for him, and so all dad could do was put him out of his misery. what shook dad up more than anything was the way jay jay looked into his eyes as he pulled the trigger. i can’t imagine what that would feel like. and we couldn’t get a dog after that. i know deep down it was because dad couldn’t handle going through that again. and who can blame him?DSC01631

when i got married, i was so excited to get our first dog. if i had known what i know now about dogs, i would have gone to the humane society and picked out a dog from there. but i didn’t, and so i got suckered by PETLAND. and i’m so glad i did. i first saw hudson about 4.5 years ago. i was about to go on vacation for a few weeks, but i had this habit of seeing what new dogs they had gotten in. usually i would ‘oooh’ and ‘aaah’ over all the dogs, but none would inspire me to stupidity the way hudson did. he was the last of his group. a monstrous beast of a boxer. they didn’t say why no one had taken him yet, only that he was the biggest dog out of the litter. usually people want cute little puppies, but hudson had towered over his brothers and sisters. and once you get big, it’s harder to get that cute innocent puppy look you once had. but i saw him and fell in love. i played with him for about half an hour. he was crazy! he jumped all over me, nipped at my fingers, peed on my shoes, but i thought he was the coolest thing i had ever seen. i got melissa and she came to take a look. she wasn’t quite as sold as i was, but she had a soft spot growing inside of her as well. we went home and started looking into how much apartments would cost that allowed dogs.  we discovered if we were to move to a new place, we would pay $300+ more than we already were. and so the door was closed. we went on vacation, and while i’d like to make the story perfect by saying i never gave up, i had. we were in BC for two weeks and had a blast, with all thoughts of buying a dog out of our heads. 

when we came back, we didn’t immediately go back to PETLAND. part of me was afraid that if he was still there, that insatiable yearning would overtake me, and i would do something crazy. but part of me was afraid that he was all alone, without a brother or sister to cuddle him. hey, just cause i have a skull tattoo doesn’t mean i’m not sensitive, ok? sure enough, three weeks after our initial meeting, we went back to find hudson still there. the series of events that followed were insane. we decided to look into a mortgage. for a dog. well, that’s only half true. we were having our first child 5 months from then, and wanted a house anyway. but the truth is, if we hadn’t found hudson and fallen for him the way we did, we may not have ever left that apartment. after being approved for a mortgage, we bought hudson. which was ridiculous. our apartment didn’t allow dogs. we hadn’t even started looking for a house yet. but we bought him because we couldn’t risk losing him. we snuck him into our apartment and tried our best to keep him quiet. we had the infamous “#4” living beneath us, and he would bang on the roof if we went to the bathroom in the middle of the night. so we knew we had to be careful before we got in trouble.we hadn’t named him yet. i wanted to call him “assistant manager” as he was to be my second in command in the household. (just kidding, sweetheart. i know you rule the household), but we finally settled on hudson. he was a little poop machine that wouldn’t quit. i skipped about a week of work, while melissa skipped some of hers so we could look after him during the day. all the while we searched for houses. our only requirement for finding a house was immediate possession. we found a dump, which has since turned into a livable home, and moved in within two weeks of buying hudson. 

we bought a house for our dog. and i can’t say that i have been happy ever since with him in my life. 5 months later, we went to the hospital with our first child on the way. we couldn’t afford to buy a kennel for hudson, and so we left him out. we came home the next day to find our couches ripped apart, with fluff covering our entire living room. i can’t say that love conquered all in that instance. the middle of the night whining and scratching of the door to go outside drives me crazy. at least that’s better than the 1 year period where he just wouldn’t wait until we let him outside. on new years eve that first year in our new house with a new baby and a new dog, we ordered pizza. hudson jumped on the table and ate it all while we were in the other room. he is constantly driving me crazy. he always gets in the way when your in a hurry. he always steps on your foot with his 80 pound frame. he farts every time he walks up the stairs. he freaks out whenever he sees a squirrel/bird/mailman out the window. he tracks mud in the house every time it rains. he crowds our vehicle beyond measure on road trips. he can never be close enough to you, so he is always trying to stand on top of you, and he inevitably hurts you with his massive frame.

but he is the most loyal dog i have ever met. no matter how much i ignore him, he always greets me at the door. when i smack him for doing something he shouldn’t, he comes slinking over to me and licks the hand that beat him, desperate for my love. he is better than any alarm system. he will eat you alive if you break into my house. but the second you walk in and he knows that we accept you, he becomes your best friend too, whether you like it or not. he is so gentle with my two daughters. they constantly pull at his ears, play with his jowls, try to ride him like a horse, and he always wags his tail and licks them with love. he sleeps at the end of our bed. if he had his way, he would sleep on top of me because he loves us that much. and even though he crowds us in the car, when we leave him at home, we miss him terribly and can’t wait to get back and see him. and while he drives me to the edge of insanity sometimes, i wouldn’t trade him for the world.

because i thought the other day about how i’d feel if i had to do to hudson what my dad had to do to jay jay. a piece of me would die. i will lose some of myself if (and when) hudson ever leaves. hudson is our family. and i haven’t treated him as good as he deserves. because there is not a better dog out there. lots of you will disagree, and think your dog is better. but you are all liars. no disrespect, you filthy liar. hudson is the greatest that has ever been. he’s the greatest there is. and he’s the greatest there ever will be. i love you, hudson. happy 4th birthday you old beast. Hudson in his sunday attire