Sunday, May 06, 2007


When I was 18 years old I moved into an apartment in downtown Ashland with my best friend Sarah. We lived in teenage squallor above Garo's Coffee, now called Evo's.

We were living there for only a few weeks when two homeless youth passing through town set up camp out in the bushes off the back parking lot.

They had a puppy with them, a little brown pup they kept in a cat carrier and tried to sell her to us for $40. WELL, we reasoned, ITS DANGEROUS FOR TWO GIRLS TO BE LIVING ALONE. WE CERTAINLY DO NEED A DOG. We talked them down to $20.

She wasn't their dog to sell. They'd kidnapped her from someones yard who had recently bought her from the pet store out on Hwy 99 for $250. But the owners wouldn't pay the ransom and they were stuck. I didn't know any of this at the time, till years later actually.

They called her Chocolate but I immediately changed her name to Cairo. I mean, Chocolate? Please.

Cairo was the undisciplined dog of an undisciplined child. She was a holy terror and was uninvited practically everywhere. I dumped her on my mother when the mood struck me to go elsewhere, and snatched her back when I felt like it.

I shored up and settled down a little bit when she was about 4 years old and I found a place she could live with me in Portland, later the coast then Portland again. I was back in school, working late hours in a bar and living in a small 1 bedroom apartment. There wasn't any consistency and there wasnt any space. I took her to live with my dad.

She has been there with him for the last three years and she is well cared for. He adores her, thinks her spoiled rotten behavior is cute. Cute! She is now 14 years old and mostly deaf. Last year she was diagnosed with Cushings Syndrome and has responded well to treatment.

This last month she was given a probable diagnosis of cancer. This is kind of a lot to deal with right now. I mean, she is 14 and its not like I have any naive notions that she'll live forever. My dad is pretty upset, he is a lot more attached to her then I am recently.

This dog saw me through a lot of bad times and I lovelovelove her to death. But she was always, and is still the product of a disrespectful and bratty teenager. I am not proud to admit its been easier having her there with my dad.

Anyway, I guess we'll be doing the death thing all together, right? How convenient, like a half off sale on grieving. Agh.

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