Last week we went to a Fourth of July parade in the neighboring town of Creswell. As we slow-roasted on the hot sidewalk waiting for things to get started, a lady with a poodle walked by. She had somehow dyed the dog’s curly fur to resemble a flag: it had blue hindquarters, a red torso and head, and its natural white coloring was left haphazardly throughout. On the scale of extreme tackiness that poor dog was off the charts — like something you’d buy in the discount bins at Walmart. God, who DOES that, I thought to myself with an internal eye roll. The two of them bustled by, the woman lugging a cooler and the dog’s nails scritch-scritch-scritching on the pavement, then I felt a small hand on my leg.

American dog,” Dylan breathed. His face was a wide-open flower of pure wonder.


22 Responses to “On seeing things differently”

  1. Honeybecke on July 12th, 2013 9:38 am

    Poodle dying is like “a thing” apparently. We used to live in an apartment and the man downstairs had two white poodles, a boy and a girl. He kept them dyed r
    pastel pink and blue and darnitt if I couldn’t help snicker everyone he took them out walking.

  2. Emily on July 12th, 2013 9:47 am


  3. Courtney on July 12th, 2013 9:52 am


  4. Kris on July 12th, 2013 10:05 am

    We saw that dog a couple of times at the Creswell parade. The kids loved it. The time it must of taken that woman to do that.

  5. Brenda on July 12th, 2013 11:15 am

    I went to teach at a summer camp yesterday and there was a white poodle that had it’s legs and tips of it’s ears dipped in bright purple. It was different

  6. Pete on July 12th, 2013 11:32 am

    You rarely ever see a German Shepherd or Rottweiler tie-dyed.

  7. Maria on July 12th, 2013 12:37 pm

    Man I love this age.

  8. BJ on July 12th, 2013 12:53 pm

    I used to have a yellow lab that never got yellow. He was white. And one Halloween a little black spray dye turned him into a dalmation for the day.

    Then a bath turned him back into a lab again.

    Best dog ever.

  9. JB on July 12th, 2013 2:21 pm

    Ha! I am so a glass half empty kind of girl… and I’ve always felt like there was something a bit mentallywring with those positive happy people… Like they were just missing the truth of the goddam reality of the situation and wonder how they could not see the DOOM!! that lay await for them and me.

    I really need those people in my life to reset the the choose your own tragic adventure that I see around every corner.

  10. Ang on July 12th, 2013 4:01 pm

    Man, I was hoping you had a photo! So I googled and found this, perhaps the same doggie from last year:×479.jpg I sort of love public ridiculousness – as long as I’m not the guilty one, hah.

  11. Melinda on July 12th, 2013 4:25 pm

    I love this so much.

  12. Smartie B on July 12th, 2013 6:35 pm

    Kids. They put the awe is awesome.

  13. Joan on July 12th, 2013 9:30 pm

    The trick is to never judge…little one’s are not as jaded as we are…. ohhh be that young again. I love him.

  14. Marna on July 12th, 2013 11:41 pm

    Hee:) aren’t kids great?

  15. A Usual Suspect on July 13th, 2013 10:48 am

    Thanks for writing.

  16. Lindsay on July 13th, 2013 3:54 pm

    I read this outloud to two of my girlfriends (we all read your blog). We can’t stop crying from laughing.

  17. Christine on July 15th, 2013 6:51 am

    Oh, man. Dylan. I just, I love that kid.

  18. Maggie on July 15th, 2013 9:27 am

    Yeah I keep wondering how old my kids will be before they realize some things they think are cool are, in fact, tacky as hell. Oldest is 10.5, no breakthrough so far.

  19. Jennifer on July 15th, 2013 11:40 pm

    What Christine said. Hope Dylan continues to find such joy and wonder in things.

  20. Melissa on July 16th, 2013 1:32 pm

    I love this soooo much.

  21. Amy N on July 17th, 2013 2:16 pm

    “His face was a wide-open flower of pure wonder”….that gave me chills. You have such a gift with words!

    Last year we rescued a chiweenie who was running around in a busy intersection in the rain. I’ve always had big dogs so it has been an adjustment. My kids haven’t brought up dying him, but they do often try to dress him up. Poor Oscar!

  22. Jenna on August 9th, 2013 9:48 pm


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