I haven't always lived solely in Burbank, CA. I was born here and do currently reside within her friendly confines, but I haven't always lived here exclusively. Likewise, I have not always experienced my unfortunate circumstance of living this common working class lifestyle. No, I was once given the opportunity to break away and live in another home as someone else's pet. It was a short-lived glorious experience as an ultra-pampered dog. I shall never forget those magical days or the kindly man responsible - Uncle Neil. Let me tell you the story.
A couple of years back my owner - Captain 'C' Student - was contemplating moving our family closer to relatives on the east coast. The question at that time was - where? His relatives resided in the northeast - Allentown, PA area, and his wife's family was located in the southeast - Ft. Myers, FL. A decision was made that Florida would be the most logical location. Nothing against Pennsylvania's people or culture mind you - it was just a weather thing. Anyway, after some months of planning we eventually sold the house we had been living in, and rolled our misfit caravan eastward out of Los Angeles towards a new life. That was on a Saturday morning in June of 2005.
Now the home where King Cranial Cramp and family planned to reside in was under the process of construction so we needed a place to stay until its completion. An offer came in from the wife's parents to live with them but there was one problem. They had an older cat whose health couldn't stand a 75lb dog (one who disliked cats) running around for six months. This brings us to Uncle Neil. Uncle Neil is the uncle of the owner's wife who at that time was enjoying a laid-back Florida lifestyle - free from 75 lb dogs. Being the decent guy that he is, he decided to give me a shot and then work things out from there if needed. It turned out to be one of the happiest times of my life!
Every day that man made all manner of human foods that he, unlike other humans I know, was willing to share such as; scrambled eggs, lunch-meat sandwiches, chicken burritos and t-bone steaks. We also feasted on a never-ending supply of snack foods such as; potato chips, Bavarian pretzels, Jolly-time popcorn, chunks of pepper-jack cheese, and my favorite freshly baked chocolate chip cookies. It was the type of eating that I had only ever before experienced in my wildest dreams.
In addition to all the wondrous food items, he also treated me to multiple daily walks. These were not your watered down, "let's get this over with" variety. No, these were strolls of pure freedom. Freedom to stop and smell whatever scents that caught my fancy. But that wasn't all, I was also allowed to pull him everywhere on the leash like a loon - if that was to my liking- without threat of retribution. Never was I told that my walks would be stopped or cut down in frequency or duration. I tell you - the man was the second coming of St, Francis of Assisi!
To their credit, the old family did visit me on a daily basis - the little one probably missed me the most. For his part, the Duke of Doofus showed up every night to brush the fly-a-ways from my coat and vacuum Uncle Neil's floors. This was to make sure I wasn't being considered too much of a burden. Everyone was happy - that is until that blasted house was finished. It was then that I was forced to leave my personal Shangri-La to rejoin the peasant lifestyle that I had hoped was only in my past. I thought we all had moved on. I was wrong - giving me yet another reason to dislike, "Sir IQ of 6"
After a vet visit, we learned that I had gained 25 glorious pounds, which to this day, I refuse to apologize for. My time at Uncle Neil's will forever be looked back upon as my favorite and if ever there comes a day where my gate is left open -I'm hitting the freeway and following it back to his house. I have no doubt that he will be there waiting. Waiting to share a freshly made plate of bacon filled deviled eggs with a side of potato chips. And we will go for walks until neither of us can hold ourselves up anymore and watch ESPN until the cows come home.
My hope is that each and every one of you gets a chance to experience your own Uncle Neil at some time or another in your lives. Unfortunately, I must now go - someone is at the door so it's time to get to work - chasing them off. I was once a pampered dog but now am not. At least I have my experiences to look back on to help me carry on. Have a happy weekend all!