Tuesday, October 18, 2005


Dave, my hippie friend in the 70s, acquired a dog, a female dog. (You can read about him in All the Great Songs in the June archive.)


This guy was a sociopath. That’s not an accusation, that’s a description.

Everybody has to be something, and that’s what he was. Don’t get me wrong. He was fun to be with, which is why he was my friend. Many, many sociopaths are fun to be with.

So what’s wrong with his having a dog?

A dog gives love but requires care and looking after. Dave required care and looking after. Is there something missing in that equation?

So I asked him, “What the hell do you want a dog for?”

He told me tearfully, “That dog loves me.”

“Why,” I asked, though I knew the answer.

He, although, was stumped. “She just does,” he replied.

“So the dog loves you because you’re there. If someone else was there, the dog would love someone else. What you’re getting is unearned love.”

“No,” he said, defensively without elaborating.

So I started my lecture.

How many times had I lectured this guy without a thing getting across? But it was good for me. It clarified things in my head. Verbalizing things helped to explain them to me.

“A dog,” I explained, “has two products: Unearned love and shit. Even though you don’t earn the first, you definitely earn the second. Do you see that? Is that going to be a fair tradeoff? You’re going to get unearned love and lots and lots of shit.”

“Come on, look at her,” he responded. “Isn’t she beautiful?”

There was no talking to him.

That first day he left the dumb dog with me while he had to go off and do something ‘important.’ The dog (surprise) crapped in my bathroom. Thankfully, it was on tile not carpet

I hollered at Dave when he got back.

“Oh yeah,” he said, “She’s got a problem. She’s been doing that a lot. I’ve been taking her to a vet.” Then a thought occurred to him. “Was it runny? Did you save some? The vet wants a sample.”

Now that’s a sociopath. His dog craps in my house and he hopes I saved a sample for his vet. How else could he use that to his advantage?

Of course the dog was not long for this world. She was hit in traffic. Dave mourned for a week, which was much longer than he’d mourn for a woman he’d dumped. In that week he explained to me countless times how the accident wasn’t his fault.

Then he vowed to get another dog.

I did my best to dissuade him for the sake of all dogdom.

I may have been successful.

He never had another dog while I knew him.


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