A day like any other, but today was this day.

And what a day it was!  Really, it was a day that had already been informed by the goings on of this past week.  Thursday to Thursday, in fact.  These goings on, though individual in their actions and completely unrelated to one another, have none the less had a collective impact on this moderately warm day in August.  In the future, I may feel compelled to treat all Thursdays with some wariness, perhaps even outright suspicion.  Beware the Thursdays that flock together, maybe?  Were it the Ides of March, perhaps I could have had something pithy.  August the 13th does not lend itself to quite the same turn of phrase.

Last Thursday my dog would begin what can only be described as the launch of her criminal career.  She managed to sneak out of my house late in the evening and did not return.  My wife and I spent a bit of time looking for her around 11 pm, but no success.  She did not reappear the following morning, either.  As luck would have it, like most burgeoning criminals with more enthusiasm than brains, she was nabbed.  At noon we were able to contact the local pound, a county owned detention facility for animals that have chosen to move beyond the traditional societal norms of social responsibility and clean living.  Although we were able to get there and make bail before she acquired a prison tat or shanked any other inmates, it was quite clear to both of us that Suzie was attempting to live the “thug life”.  Where, O Lord, did we go wrong?  Still, she was ours and we were hers, so money exchanged hands and the corrupted canine was escorted home and placed under house arrest.

This Wednesday, I learned more about the inner workings of our justice system.  I will not go into revealing details beyond noting that it was not myself with the issue, but suffice to say that I now understand how one goes about organizing a bail bond and the expenses incurred therein.  Collectively, I was now down about $0.5K.  Perhaps I should have gone into law, as I suspect it really is a rapidly growing market.

This Thursday, today even, began like most others.  I woke up, as fine a specimen of manhood as ever did sleepily shuffle across this glorious planet, and began my work day about 6:30 or so.  By 9am I was in my office happily trying to make a dollar by being everyone’s favorite middle man.  Again, a Law career, at least on the side, is not an unfeasible option, really.  My phone rings.  It is not a customer offering me a load at 20% profit, it is my beautiful wife.  It seems my dog, the canine convict, had escaped again, this time in an attempt to play a doggy version of Frogger.  If you’re familiar with the title, then you understand that a novice frog, and surely my dog qualified as the rawest of novice frogs, rarely does well in that particular venture.  I understand the more successful frogs would go on to launch a rather lucrative career in alcohol advertising, but that is for another tale…

Where man and machine collide, the machine has the advantage.  Still more so when it is pooch vs. Pontiac.  So my furry companion, the doggy version of Steve McQueen, apparently, was hit by a vehicle very early this morning and taken to the veterinary clinic on Moore Lane.  I will be discussing them again later, but for now we shall move to the more important subject.  $600 later, I am told that Susie has a fractured leg, right where the radius and ulna fuse together and meet the elbow.  This fracture, this mere crack of bone, cannot be mended by judicious use of duct tape and an air cast, oh no.  Surgery is required to repair the damage.  Or amputation.  Comes to a bit of an abrupt end in a sentence, amputation.  For those of you familiar with my wife, you can imagine that she does not consider one those choices as can option.  But hey, animal surgery is far less expensive than human, right?  Unless, apparently, you need this surgery done.  If you were to ball park this expense, just to throw out a number and then proceed to zero in on true pain, true monetary punishment, I suggest you begin right around $3000.  And before you ask, no the ACA does not cover the furry family members.  I am most positive werewolves will be filing a discrimination suit in the near future.

We are currently looking at options.  As much as I love my dog, I do not have that kind of walking around money.  I have slowly been building an emergency fund, and another emergency fund behind that one, as I have been around long enough to know that sometimes when it rains it is more of a volcanic flash flood with mutant radioactive monsters.  Never let it be said that I am not optimistic, merely practical.  That being the case, we are currently waiting on a call in the morning from a Vet in Lewistown that used to see our dog.  They are willing to take payments, without trying to force a medical credit card down our throats, but I have no idea what those payments will be, or even the final cost, for my dimwitted and lovable canine companion to keep all four paws firmly attached.  In the meantime, Suzie is currently at the Lockwood Vet, nursing a new found morphine habit and resting as comfortably as she possible can.  Hopefully tomorrow will bring us all some good news.  For now, I hope.

But, this is not the end of my Thursday.  One does not simply stop a Thursday because of a significant loss of operating capital and bodily harm.  No, sometimes it’s the little things.  In this case, I got to be a proud father and look on as my boys received their first gi.  They have been attending a Kempo school for about the past six weeks and have earned the right to wear a gi.  I am hoping that soon they will earn white belts so that they can hold up their pants!  My oldest has been looking forward to wearing a uniform for weeks now.  The past two days, in which he learned he would be receiving his gi today, were of a particular torture for him.  He spent an ample amount of time wondering if he would get the gi before class, during class, after class.  When would he get the gi?  I laughed, but only on the inside.

On a related note, tonight was my first time in a martial arts class in a decade.  My sons have been asking me to join, and I don’t want to turn away an opportunity to share a moment with them.  Also, I have truly missed the practice and study.  I have a background in several different martial styles, hard and soft, so I could at least remember fondly what it was like actually perform the actions being taught in class.  These days, though, my martial style could be best described as “Sleeping Panda” or “Fat Cobra”.  Bruce Springsteen’s Glory Days played softly in the background of my mind as I abandoned all dignity and ego in order to wrangle my body into submission and do sit ups, crunches, punches, kicks and the very important “lifting of the water bottle”.  That last one, especially, becomes progressively harder as the class grinds on.  Still, it was a good night and I look forward to the next class…and a bottle of ibuprofen.


By Dan Granot

I chose the Shorter Whitman because of his work, "Song of Myself" and because of my self-deprecating sense of humor. I am under no illusion that I can write successful essays or poetry, but I have been known to write them anyway.

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