We're All Damaged

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Dog for Sale

Yesterday, my wife took our dog to a pond in our new neighborhood to go swimming.  I don’t know what was in this pond—it will likely be the subject of an upcoming Michael Moore documentary—but, when they returned, he smelled so horrifically bad that three quarters of our front yard burst instantly into flames. 

After sorting things out with the fire department, my wife gave the dog a bath in the driveway while I shielded our daughter’s eyes. And then she gave him a second bath. And then she sprayed him with Febreeze. Her efforts seemed only to anger the smell, though, because its funk has somehow grown even stronger over the last 24 hours.  At this very moment, he’s sitting on our bed, as he does, blurred by a buzzing vapor cloud of his own rancid filth.

“My God, Grady, you smell so bad!” I just told him.  He doesn’t know what most of those words mean, so he just wagged his tail and then, for reasons I can’t explain, licked my pillow. 

And so, with some regrets, I’d like to announce that we currently have a dog for sale.  He’s nine years old, a full-breed yellow lab, and he’s very good with children. 

In the interest of full disclosure, I feel I should mention a few things. 
  •  No matter how many expensive beds you buy for him out of catalogs, Grady is going to want to sleep in your bed with you at night.  He’s pretty insistent on that, actually. And he often dreams that he’s chasing things.
  • Grady eats dog ice cream called “Frosty Paws” four nights a week.  I recommend you keep plenty of Frosty Paws on hand because if you happen to run out he’ll stand in front of the fridge for hours on end whining gently with a devastated look on his face. 
  • It’s best to avoid the words “ball,” “outside,” “dinner,” the aforementioned “Frost Paws,” “swimming,” or “car” within earshot of Grady.  Phonetically speaking, you should avoid words that sound like these words as well. 
  • If you enjoy watching DVDs, sporting events, or the season finales of your favorite shows, Grady will decide he needs desperately to go to the bathroom the moment you sit down on your couch to do so. 
  • The smell of chicken skin makes Grady completely irrational.
  •  If you are six-feet-two-inches tall, Grady’s tail wags at the exact height of your crotch.
  • Sarcasm has no effect on Grady whatsoever.
  • Grady doesn’t drool often, only when you’re wearing your nicest new pants.
  • Finally, whatever you do—for the love of God and all that is holy—do not let Grady see or smell anything resembling a tennis ball.  I’m not kidding.

Please send all inquiries to thenormannation@gmail.com.


  1. Grady sounds like the King among dogs!

  2. Aww...slobbery dogs are the best.

    I've had my border collie for six years now and can't imagine getting rid of him, despite the fact that he's not people friendly (except with our family of course) and he tries humping anything within reach. Anything. within. reach.

  3. Got you topped. Our dog got into something... in the backyard. It came inside reeking and scratching, and then I started scratching. Now my dog is allergic to the back yard and I'm hyper-allergic to my dog AND, on top of that, my cat. It's been this way for over a year now, the dog scratching and taking doggie downers, me scratching and popping Benedryl like Oxycodone. All this even though the dog is no longer allowed near the back yard. Sucks to be me.

    Just the same, we aren't selling OUR dog. Hmmm, I'm pretty sure your kid won't let you sell your dog either.

    But dude, your story was funny!

    BTW, your posts here remind me a little of Russell Baker (also of Baltimore). Hopefully you'll recognize that as high praise.

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