Thursday, September 29, 2011

For the love of dogs

I've reached the age where I seem to go to more funerals than christenings. Had one last week. Tony Battaglia.

Mid sixties. Awful young. And an awful funeral. They had a priest up there who obviously didn't know the man. "Tony left an indelible stamp of goodness on all he touched."

Say what? Guys are looking around, eyebrows raised, heads shaking. Goodness? Goodness no!

Tony was a cunt.

"And Tony loved the lord with all his heart."

Well, that was fucking news to anybody who ever knew Tony. More arched eyebrows all around. And on and on it went, to the point where I heard more than one mouner mutter enough already.

But I remember when Tony got his dog. Used to see him in the coffee shop a few times a week. (Tony, not the dog.) He comes in one day, hey, got a dog. Whippet.

The coffee shop regulars are looking around at each other. What the fuck? Tony bought a dog? And what the fuck is a Whippet?

Some kind of near kin to the greyhound, as it turns out, and mighty expensive. Tony paid a thousand bucks for his Whippet.

First week, we hear nothing but shit talk-about the hound. "Godamn, caught him with his nose on the kitchen counter, gave him a thump like you couldn't believe." Next week, Tony's talking about how calm the dog is taking table scraps out of his hand. Week after that, hey wait a minute, Tony's letting the Whippet sleep on his bed? All night?

One day, before a month was out, Tony comes into the shop. "Well, got a Lazy-boy last night, a Lazy-boy side-by-side."

Ya, nice for you Tony. You and the old woman can watch All in the Family together. But the side-by-side wasn't for the misses at all. Dropped in at his place one day, and there's Tony and the Whippet, side-by-side watching the TV.

Dogs will do that to you.

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