December 2015

My Dog is an Asshole: Part II

It’s been a while since we’ve visited the many adventures of my dog, Henry, so I know you all must be wondering what other sort of nonsense he’s gotten himself into since being in Europe. Though much has changed in the last year, one fact remains: my dog is, and will always be an asshole.

Free Bird

Moments before this guy was on my shit list.
“I’m gonna fuck up your day and you don’t even know it yet.”

Henry is always surprising me with new character traits/flaws that are popping up as he matures a bit. He no longer tries to escape from the gate, and now he’s learned how to catch things. Before, we would throw a treat his way and it would hit him right between the eyes and roll down his face—he was totally uninterested in catching anything. After a weekend with some friends, he finally got the hang of catching treats and has now progressed to airborne figure eights when catching toys and now, apparently, has started catching birds. Just this morning, he was parading a crow around the yard as if saying “Dad, look what I caught for you!” Of course we were mildly horrified (because germs, duh), but all the same a little proud. We cannot take him to a city center of any kind without him trying to chase down a pigeon, and if you know anything about large cities, you know that pigeons are evil. They taunt Henry, they know he’s on a lease and can’t get to him. One day during café time, Henry wedged himself between the legs of a patio table (see above picture). I thought “So be it, it will take him more time to wiggle out and he’ll be out of my way.” Then a bird came. The table went up, and then came down. Many cups were broken and coffee wasted. SINFUL. 

Whine About It


Henry is a relatively quiet dog and hardly barks. However, as soon as he hears other dogs barking, people driving up to the gate, rolls of wrapping paper falling over or fireworks in the mountains on random days, he starts to whine and cry. This sound has got to be one that fills some circle of hell. Sometimes I think he’s the biggest pussy in the world, or perhaps just the most stressed out dog I’ve ever met. The neighborhood dogs will go crazy around 3 a.m. when their Italian owners make it back from dinner, and cues Henry to cry, whine, and whimper until I wake up and threaten his life. It’s not just a high pitch cry either, it’s a deep throated growl-whine that goes right through me and makes me think evil thoughts. He’s very close to being voted off our bedroom island.


The weirdest and most annoying habit Henry has: his eating habits. He won’t eat if we aren’t home…I guess it’s a survival instinct? Or he just doesn’t trust us to come back. When we are home, he still won’t go downstairs (where his food is) without us, much less go somewhere in the house where we aren’t. He’s always wanting to feel included; if we’re on the couch, he brings mouthfuls of food to the couch to eat. Same with under the table or under our feet at the barstools. This would be humorous and cute if it weren’t for the pebbles of dog food that he drops along the way. I’m constantly stepping on stray food that he’s forgotten and left behind. A side story to this: on Thanksgiving we put the turkey giblets in his bowl, assuming that he’d love the protein filled goodness. We chopped it all up and mixed it in well so he wouldn’t just graze from the top. Henry proceeded to pick out every piece of giblet and take it somewhere else in the house until his bowl was giblet free before he ate his normal food. He was not about that shit.

Tunnel Vision

"This is my throne, where I judge you all."
“This is my throne, where I judge you all.”

Our yard is closed in by a fence that has shrubs grown in front of it. The shrubs give us privacy and the illusion that we’re living in our own oasis of sorts. That is, until Henry ruined the illusion and trampled all over our privacy. Henry has tunneled his way through all of the shrubs. The ones to the left and right have neighboring dogs on the other side, so he usually camps out to say hello or a casual “fuck you guys, bark English.” This is also where he takes all of our fire kindling to chew on, as well as under his palm tree where he perches like the king of the jungle. The shrubs in the front, that once concealed Via Tore 33, has now been worn away in spots from Henry making little windows to creep on passerby’s. This is a new development, discovered by our neighbor who says Henry stalks them all the way down the fence when she takes her trash to the dumpster.


In the last edition of My Dog is an Asshole, I mentione

d Lelephant and Henry’s attachment to her corpse. I regret to inform everyone that we finally had to lay the shell of that furry elephant to rest last week after an unfortunate shredding by a visiting pup. Henry is still in mourning.

Exactly Where I Need to Be–2015 in Review

I’ll never forget, even after over two years have passed, the moment that I realized my entire life was about to change. It wasn’t when Justin picked orders for Gaeta, it wasn’t when when said “I do” or even when he proposed. The moment my world started shifting was during a phone call with him. I was standing in the side dining room at 12 West, just minutes away from clocking in for the dinner shift, when Justin called to tell me that he was put up for a transfer to the USS Donald Cook. The Cook, he told me, was set to move ports from Norfolk to Rota, Spain. Spain! I’m not sure if in that moment I fully accepted that he was handing me an invitation of sorts, but I knew that I loved him and that whether I went or stayed, I wasn’t going to be the same person anymore.

Fast forward, and the first scenarios played out. Justin proposed weeks later with a travel guide to Spain in hand, asking me to see the world with him. Sometime soon after our marriage, he picked his next orders to Gaeta, Italy, where we’re currently residing. Nothing about myself seems to be the same as it was that moment before I picked up my phone at the restaurant—and trust me, I’ve had a lot of time to think about who I am and where I’m headed and who I used to be. That’s what I’m choosing to take away from 2015…that no matter what happened or didn’t pan out, I’m different, my life is different, my marriage is different. I choose to see that despite any disappointments this year, change is good, because it means I’m moving forward.

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