In November 0f 1987 when I was 19 y.o., my roommate, Simon, and I had a serious bash at our apartment here in Montreal. It was such an epic-scale party that friends came in from out of town from different places. One guy from Ottawa, Richard, brought his dog, a border collie named Elgin and another guy from Toronto, Nigel (who at the age of 19 had probably consumed more drugs and alcohol than Jim Morrison had when he had his massive coronary in a Paris bathtub at the age of 27), brought his dog, a Belgian shepherd named Ruff.
Problem: Elgin was a young female in heat and Ruff was a young male hornier than me and my friends (which is scary horny).
I warned Richard and Nigel to separate the damn dogs before they started fucking. They pooh-poohed me, told me I was being overly dramatic and that the dogs were just “checking each other out”. Sure enough, 2 minutes later there came a blood-curdling yelp from out in the corridor and we rushed out to see Ruff furiously pumping away at Elgin.
All hell broke loose as we madly tried to separate the dogs – to the point that we were in the bathroom, the dogs ass-to-ass with Richard desperately tugging on Elgin and Nigel doing the same to poor Ruff, whose dick was twisted the wrong way around, and me pouring glasses of warm water between the asses (remember the apartment was packed with people at this time).
Then Nigel, genius that he is (although to be fair he had just dropped acid), decided to call 911 for help. This is basically what the woman on the end of of the line said: “First, you are a first-class jerk to call 911 to find out how to separate 2 dogs fucking and, second, you can’t stop 2 dogs fucking. You stupid, fucking idiot!” And so, with that, we mounted Ruff on Elgin properly (i.e. doggy style), turned the lights down low in the bathroom and shut the door. About 5 hours later, Ruff came strutting out the door with a shit-eating grin on his shaggy face with Elgin daintily following him blushing crimson red.
Why am I telling this dumb story – which, fyi, is totally true except for maybe that last sentence? Because in the new year of 1988, Elgin gave birth to a litter of puppies at Richard’s place in Ottawa. Richard found homes for all but 2 of them – it was not hard because you probably have no idea just how adorable a border collie / Belgian shepherd puppy is. Anyway, my roommate, Simon, was desperate for one of the last 2 dogs so Richard brought them to Montreal (Elgin spent the entire visit looking over her shoulder to see if Ruff was going to leap out of nowhere and ravish her again) for Simon to have a look at.
I will never forget those 2 tiny little pups frolicking around in a big cardboard box on the kitchen floor. One was all black and the other was brown and black – both males. Simon agonized over which one to take and finally picked the brown and black one. He promptly named the dog Pinter (after the playwright) and went running off to his room to play with him.
Well, that left the black one staring up at me with this “what about me?” expression in his eyes. Well, that was it – even though I had had no desire to get a dog – I was taking him. I named him Booter and he is the best friend I have ever had (I know “man’s best friend” and all that horse shit) but he truly was. He never left my side. He never needed to be put on a leash even in downtown traffic. I could have a coffee with a friend and he’d wait outside the café for me – again, no leash – and even if there were 10 females in heat on the other side of the street, he would never go out into traffic without me (unlike his porn star father) – and he wasn’t fixed either. He traveled with me to France, Portugal and Spain.
And he loved me more than any human has. Actually, he thought he was human. He would get under the covers in bed with me, put his head on the pillow and fall asleep length-wise, just like we do. I don’t know how many times I was chastised by a girlfriend complaining: “Andrew, stop spooning the fucking dog – I’m on this side of the bed, you asshole!”
Thank you dear Booter – for all those years of friendship and loyalty and love. I have never had the heart to get another dog to replace you!
[PS – I do NOT intend to blog every day or write this much when I do].