Sunday, December 7, 2008

Our First Walk

Normally, I shoot pictures on teardown night and into the next day. We agreed that I'd pick up the dog on Monday, when it was time to move the truck.

After the show closed that Sunday night, I took pictures for a couple of hours, then asked Stephanie if I could walk our dog. "Sure" she said, "I'll untie her for you."

What she handed me at the end of the leash, was a dog that hadn't as far as I could tell, ever been on a walk before. This was an animal that within the first fifty yards of our walk, ate gum, snow cone wrappers, chicken-on-a-stick, the chicken-on-a-stick stick and Gravitron vomit right off the pavement, in front of my eyes.

We made it as far as Sammy Forbes' burger joint and a woman, thirty six ounces into a forty ounce beer, sitting at a table there said: "'Aint nobody breakin' into your house." She took another bite of her sandwich and I said, "What?"

"I said 'aint nobody breakin' into your house with that pit bull in there."

"Beautiful dog too, if you didn't want him I'd take him right now. I used to raise pit bulls and that one is gorgeous."

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Aquisition

I was sort of kidding when I told Billy he ought to give her to me. More than once over the years, ride jocks had tried to get me to take their road dogs home. Often they were ill-behaved or sickly. Her being a three month old puppy, I never dreamed he'd say yes and at first, he didn't. He'd gotten her from Juan for his girlfriend's birthday. She wasn't exactly his dog to give away.

I sat in the shade under the truck for a few minutes every day with her anyway. Her favorite toy appeared to be a smashed plastic water bottle. It slid beautifully on the asphalt, often out of her reach. Others who knew her and I would walk by and kick it back under the truck for her. Occasionally some jointee would walk by and toss her a stuffed toy.

Ten days went by and on the last day of the fair, Billy and Stephanie came to me and announced that they had talked it over and decided to adopt her out. It was like she won the dog lottery. I had no idea at that time that I had won it too.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


"Looks like a dog out of a Mark Twain story."

She went on the road a carny dog the first three months of her life, made it through four state fairs and a variety of other spots throughout Wisconsin and Illinois. Carnival life can be really hard on a dog. Those that survive it often turn out to be some of the greatest dogs in the world though (Trish and Chi Chi come to mind).

Stella got off the road early, in Nashville and thanks to her previous owners, came to live at my house. This is her story from that point forward.