Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Introducing Polaris

My mom has kept and raised Boxers since 1979. In her day, she's seen many a bitch pass through her household. A few years ago, she started to slow down. It was becoming too hard to keep three or four of the dogs in the tiny house at once. They often acted like Japanese fighting fish. The house was re-engineered to feature a series of rooms that acted like locks. She'd have to release one dog into the dining room, then lower the room itself so the dog could continue to the kitchen. Otherwise, there'd be trouble.

A few years ago, mom and stepdad whittled the herd down to one last dog, Peanut. Peanut was a sweet old boxer. He got sick last year but kept hanging on, happy to see anyone who came by to pay respects. Finally, last summer, Peanut was shelled by the rogue elephant in the sky.

I thought that maybe that would be it for the dogs, but soon thereafter a new sheriff gaited into town: Polaris. Named after a shitty George Clooney movie, Polaris was a Boxer with a difference.

The first time I dropped by the house, my mom gave me a number of rules for dealing with Polaris.


  • He doesn't like people very much, and acts weird around them.

  • Say hello to him and then ignore him.

  • Pet him once but don't get him crazy.

  • Don't get at face level with him.

  • If you hear him start to growl, back off quickly.

  • Don't let two people pay attention to him at once, because he gets protective of one and snaps at the other.

  • Don't go anywhere near his favorite toys because he thinks you're stealing them.



Why was Polaris so upset? What turned him against the world? One can only speculate, but I was told that he had a rough life at his previous home. Every Boxer I have ever met had "a rough life at his previous home," which is the official AKC excuse for any Boxer who suddenly, without warning, becomes Baron Von Munchbaby.

But wait a minute! After a few minutes with Polaris, I realized that not only was he relatively normal, he was also the dumbest looking dog I'd ever seen. Seriously, check him out. But he wasn't going crazy. He wasn't growling or biting or killing. He wasn't showing any of the symptoms of Von Munchbaby Syndrome. Then I started to think back. When Peanut came into the house, I was warned:


  • He doesn't like people very much, and acts weird around them.

  • Say hello to him and then ignore him.

  • Pet him once but don't get him crazy.

  • Don't get at face level with him.

  • If you hear him start to growl, back off quickly.

  • Don't let two people pay attention to him at once, because he gets protective of one and snaps at the other.

  • Don't go anywhere near his favorite toys because he thinks you're stealing them.



I was also told that Peanut was a good judge of character (he was slated to be a witness in the Alito confirmation hearings until he got shelled), his favorite color was yellow, and his favorite food was omelettes. And then I started to realize something. My mother was stark raving bonkers. She was feeding the dog out of 14 teacups and a laundry ball. She was knitting him a Boxer cozy made out of Lite beer can pop tops that my stepdad kept in a Hefty bag in the basement. There was a stack of old copies of Popular Mining holding the couch up. She still had a record player. I quickly excused myself and went running into the night.

12 comments:

Jon said...

Solaris, not Polaris.

Joshua Trupin said...

No, I'm pretty sure the dog's name is Polaris.

Kelli said...

Man, she is SUCH a typical dog person.

Jon said...

It would be cool if the dog were named Solaris. That way when it craps all over the floor, you could just say it's destiny.

Peter Taylor said...

Sheesh. Everyone knows Polaris is the alter ego of Lorna Dane.

Joshua Trupin said...

And everyone knows that my aunt once had a Cocker Spaniel named Lorna Doone. We have closure!

BertBoy said...

Your mom goes on food stamps to feed you when she was a single parent, and this is the thanks she gets? Tsk, tsk, tsk.

Joshua Trupin said...

It's outrageous, isn't it? The person who wrote this should be disgusted with himself.

BertBoy said...

You mean he's actually a boxer dog? I thought he was just mentally retarded.

Jessica Trupin said...

Duh, Josh, she was talking about Gordon.

mom said...

hey, lets try again

Joshua Trupin said...

OH SHIT my mom's here. Hey everyone. CUT THE GODDAMN SWEARING IN THE COMMENTS.