No Time Like The Present

October 14th, 2004 · 1 Comment · Writing

Yesterday was a long, long day that began with Baudelaire and ended with a performance by the Reverend Ethan Acres, and I’m just plain art-ed out. I going to try something new: no art writing, no graduate school woes, no pictures of Stella. What will I write about? Particularly without breaking my self-imposed ban on anything political?

How about a little story about golden retrievers?

Last weekend, I was having breakfast with my two pals, J and D, in charming Montrose. We were eating omelets and fruit and having fancy coffee drinks at the Black Cow, sitting outside on the patio on a lovely, sunny and crisp California Saturday morning. Incidentally, J and D are some of my oldest friends; they were potluck roommates in the room next door to mine in Mark Twain Hall at the University of Missouri our freshman year in college. D is from Chicago, I am from Dallas, and J is from L.A., and now we all live here. Funny, huh?

Anyway. We were having a lovely breakfast last weekend, and across the street from us the Golden Retriever Rescue Society of Los Angeles was having an adoption event. About 14 goldens, wearing ribbons and looking quite festive, were vying for potential new owners.

Now here’s a sappy confession: I am on the mailing list for this particular society (longstanding adoration of golden retrievers — I know they’re yuppie status dogs, but I love them anyway, and I want a rescued one, so it’s okay, right?). I’d read the entire mailer all the way through just the week before with wistfulness and longing. We’ve been approved for adoption, because last year we thought seriously about it and almost adopted a high energy 8-month-old golden who was blind. In the end, we decided that he would have been more than we could keep up with.

All this to say, I very nearly abandoned all my practical objections and came home with a dog. J and D cheered me on, but I backed down. I chickened out. I pet the dogs and relished in their sloppy kisses and waggled their ears and wished I had the nerve to just do it. But I didn’t. I had an exam to study for, and our apartment is too small, and I hadn’t talked to Murray, and and and.

Later, as I was heading back home, I thought about what it was that was holding me back. A dog is messy and wild and unpredictable, and I’ve been waiting for the perfect opportunity, that mythic time when we’ll have the extra money and enough space. But you know what? If you try to keep life from being messy, you miss out on an awful lot.

Next time, that puppy is mine.

[Update: Because I can never get too far away from art. A few years ago, we talked to someone who had been Dan Flavin‘s studio assistant. Apparently, Flavin had grown bored with the art he was making — fluorescent bulb installations — and mostly delegated the work to his assistants. His real passion was breeding golden retrievers, and in fact, he had the number one show dog in the United States.]

Category: Writing

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