One day in May 2000, the PetSmart in Seaside, California was having a pet adoption fair and pet supply raffle. I decided to attend, not because I wanted to adopt a pet, but because I owned two cats (although I am the first to admit that I am NOT a cat person) and the prospect of free pet supplies was very alluring (I’m pretty sure that was their plan all along). I was walking about a hundred paces ahead of my son (three years old at the time) and his father, and by the time they caught up with me, I had already fallen in love with the best dog in the world. I had him out of the cage and was sitting on the ground petting him. Their ploy had worked. This dog was coming home with me, and price was no object. But even the price was right! This wonderful little fellow was only going to cost me $29, including shots, neutering (mandatory) and a souvenir Polaroid photo:
Dinny turned out to be an intelligent animal, although he was also an escape artist and a runner (probably the qualities that led to him being up for adoption in the first place). As we moved around the country from Monterey to San Diego to Slidell, Louisiana (where he demonstrated his best-dog-in-the-world-estness by remaining crated for 27 hours accident free during Hurricane Katrina) to Washington, DC, he escaped many times and was brought home by many a kind stranger (who would often offer to adopt him). If only one of them had offered to give him a bath (I even tried advertising; that didn’t work out so well as the green food coloring ended up all over the kitchen when Dinny tried to shake it off):
Although he never quite mastered “stay”, Dinny had his bag of tricks almost from the moment we brought him home, like “sit”, “shake”, “down”, “roll over”, “dead”, and “beg”. What I didn’t realize until very recently was that he could flip a bone off his snout and catch it in his mouth:
I always intended to capture Dinny on video as we exited the elevator after coming back from our walk. I would take him off his leash and he would go tearing down the hall to our door, the last one on the left. This may sound amazing, but as an experiment we got off on the wrong floor once and he still did it (ha! fooled him!). Alas, I’ll never get the chance to capture my dear little four-legged friend running joyfully toward home. Some time in the early hours before dawn, he slipped away peacefully after experiencing terrible seizures all day yesterday. The veterinarian had such high hopes when I picked him up yesterday afternoon, and we were teasing about him being high on Valium when we took this picture last night:
You will be missed Dinny.