Wednesday, February 8, 2017


The general consensus among people I talk to on a regular basis was that 2016 felt like one long, drawn-out roller coaster accident that only managed to get louder and more fiery as the months passed by. I agree, and while I think every horrible thing accumulated to overall more stress than I’d experienced in a previous single year, I have to say 2016 also gave me one of the best things to ever happen to me: On February 5, 2016, a seventy-pound bag of hair and grumbles came to live with me. His name is Thurman. His is my dog. And I love him very much.


I know it’s trite to say, but as soon as Thurman got here, it seemed like he’d always been here, and it’s hard to imagine life in my house without him, wandering around this place like a little king. That was apparent to me those first few days, when I was supposedly fostering him as opposed to rescuing and adopting him outright. He just quickly and seamlessly folded into the day-to-day, which is all the more remarkable considering how he’s essentially a walking money pit, how he’s irreparably damaged my hardwood floors, and how he’s rendered me a social pariah as a result of unreasonable hostility toward motorcycles, skateboards, strollers, wheelchairs and Caucasian children.

I can, however, make a comparison that illustrates the difference a single year makes. A few days ago, I looked around online to try and find any trace of Thurman’s life with his original owners. The name, after all, came with the dog, and it seems reasonable that they might have posted about him somewhere online before they decided to abandon him. The results gave me three bits of information: 1) Uma Thurman poses with dogs often enough to jack the results; 2) Rachel Bilson also has or had a dog named Thurman; and finally once references to those two actress were eliminated, 3) Thurman’s old adoption profile photo still exists online. Even though it would have been my first glimpse of Thurman, I find this photo hard to look at now, just because he seems sad and underweight and altogether unwell.

For contrast, here below is that photo next to one I took this morning, post-walk.

I think he looks happier, but I’m biased. I’m willing to call it a win, and add to it the reminder that good things can still happen even in times of chaos and strife. This weird animal—Thurman Snowfoot Goldeneyes Snaroo Thurmanski—is one of those.

If you are not yet exhausted by me talking about my dog, hit the jump to see a visual summary of his past year.

Thurman explored the wilds of Atwater Village.

Thurman was upstaged by his own ears.

Thurman showed off his legs.

Thurman experienced near-constant existential angst.

Thurman exhibited remarkable penmanship.

Thurman was a snake in the grass.

Thurman practiced camouflage.

Thurman got a “class picture day” haircut.

Thurman experienced love—and then heartbreak when that love went unrequited.

Thurman briefly wore a hat.

Thurman learned to appreciate spooning and human beds.

Thurman came to both respect and fear the paparazzi.

Thurman came to enjoy the smells of the L.A. River

Thurman learned how to take a selfie.

Thurman destroyed a lamb, butt-first.

Thurman learned about posing in dramatic lighting.

Thurman learned about pathetic fallacy.

Thurman effectively shut down all work.

Thurman made his first dog friend: Oliver James, sentient cinnamon roll.

Thurman resented me for making him endure the rain.

That’s not all that happened, and I’m sure Thurman would represent his past year differently, but that’s the gist, really. In closing, I’d also like to add a new member to the club of pop culture characters that my dog (apparently) looks like: the dog from The Storyteller.

I continue to accept submissions.

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