Friday, August 20, 2010

Let's Crack Open a Secret of the Universe: Birthday + Retrievers = ???

I have been putting off blogging because I haven’t felt creative, but sometimes you just gotta sit down and do your shit! Final product be damned!

When I was 8, my mom took me to Marine World for my birthday. We were going to see Yaka and Vigga and the sea lions – I was so excited. I wore a side pony and aqua sweater, white shorts and Keds and I had a button with a rainbow and smiling sun on it that read, “It’s my birthday”. This was it.

I had one of the best days of my short life. People looked at me adoringly and said, “Happy birthday” everywhere I went. And later, it was either the side pony or my button that afforded me the opportunity to pet a sea lion during the pinniped show (it was rubbery with fine, sparse hair and very wet). Being chosen from the sea of screaming children for this ultimate prize was fantastic. I was a true winner that day.

When we returned to my cousin’s house to drop her off after my birthday fun-day, I saw a golden retriever attempting to jump into a woman’s car. The problem was, she was clearly not the dog’s owner, and she was at a stop sign. The dog was practically crawling up the side of her brown Datsun, probably just to lick her face. She was terrified which baffled me. I was only 8 but remember thinking “Why is that lady so afraid of a golden retriever?”

My mom got out of our 1984 Chevy Blazer to assist the dog. After a while, we learned from a neighbor that he had spent the night in a swimming pool with his paws up on the edge, hanging there for dear life. We took him home that day, named him Jake, and he was the best dog (my forever dog) for 11 long years.

On my 18th birthday, I was driving around late at night like a kook and I saw a black shape running up the street. I pulled up to it and yelled “Hey!” out the window. The black lab just looked at me, wagging his tail. I reached over and opened up the back door and said, “Come on, get in here”. He jumped right into the back seat as if we were supposed to meet right there. I had Jett for only a couple of days then surrendered him to the pound; his owner came to get him (I checked) and I think I saw him again in my neighborhood one year later. His real name was Jake.

This year on my birthday, I was resting outside of the mud baths and a yellow lab went trotting by. I looked around for an owner, but no one showed so I said, “Hey, you!” The dog turned to me, dropped his head, wagged his tail and came over to say hello. I checked his collar, and he was from the next town over, almost 10 miles away. My fiancĂ© and I tied him up with a belt and called the number on his collar. Bodie was returned home safely after his adventure.

So I ask you: what the hell is up with me rescuing dogs on my birthday? I am not complaining, I just want some sort of explanation (metaphysical or otherwise). And they’re not just dogs, they’re all retrievers. In all fairness, I have a habit of rescuing lost dogs, but not like this.

Here are some explanations that have been proposed to me, take a vote or add your own!

1. The Universe is telling you to start a Retriever/Lab Rescue
2. It doesn’t mean anything, it’s just coincidence
3. Leave other people’s pets alone
4. Other (Requires you to come up with a proposal)

P.S. I think it's pretty easy to comment and I haven't figured out the poll feature yet so let's do this the old-fashioned way: comment with the number of your choice.


  1. I vote number 1. Also I love that you rescued Jake (your forever dog). En plus, I love that you have dogs just jump into your backseat.

  2. If you worked on your birthday instead of having fun you would miss all of the wandering dogs out there.