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the first day

18 January 2011

I was sleeping when my Mom awoke me on Dec. 9, 1980 with the news that John Lennon had been killed. I was in the weight room at my high school a few months later when a Journey song on the radio was interrupted by a report that President Reagan had been shot. A neighbor telephoned us at 7:45am on September 11, 2001 with the news of events in New York City.

On Monday, January 17, 2011, I was standing in our backyard at 2:56am when Luna did her first poop.

The above are all “where I was” memories. Though their gravity varies, I know exactly where I was and what I was doing when each event occurred. The first three were tragedies; the latter was a relief.

Luna arrived at her new home around 8:15pm. Before she had even entered the house, we introduced her to our neighbors who have a 13-year old golden retriever who seems to channel the spirit of George Burns. She (the dog) is funny but has the gentleness that can be a happy consequence of aging.

They also have a 4 month-old Bernese Mountain Dog. In contrast, her behavior seems to have been influenced by catching a few minutes of VH1’s Behind the Music feature on Vince Neil of Motley Crue. Hopping around and enjoying life, while trying to get her older brother to play “chase me” as often as possible.

We took Luna inside. She tentatively explored her new home. She sniffed. She flopped. She ate her first meal.

When you’ve been the smallest of 5 puppies, you’ve hardened yourself to a life of shoving and scrapping for food. For eight weeks, she had been Daniel ‘Rudy’ Ruettiger, struggling for whatever life could provide her belly. She hoovered the kibbles with a crazed focus.

Because we watch lots of movies with OD, I read lots of movie ratings on the back of DVD and Blu-ray disks. My favorite description is for Mission Impossible 3, “intense scenes of frenetic violence.” Not just intense violence, but a level that reaches the frenetic level. This could describe watching Luna eat the first time.

Kibble flew. I doubt she breathed once. She didn’t realize she’d stepped in her water bowl. Left front paw soaked, she kept crashing food into her mouth until every piece of kibble was gone.

Finally, she yawned. We took her outside for a final tinkle and poop, trying to habituate her to a remote spot behind the garage. She sniffed. She tinkled. She would not poop.

Up to bed. Off to sleep. We thought this was easy. Three more trips outside in the next three hours with no poop in sight. Finally, our “she hasn’t pooped” anxiety ended at 2:56am. We went to sleep, happy that constipation was one of the things we could erase from our worry list.

Overall, a decent first day.

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