Mark Washburn

Your furriest mistake can be your greatest blessing


This column originally ran Feb. 13, 2013.

I don’t remember how I got my name, but I’ve heard the tall one tell the story many times.

A lady he works with said one day he needed a puppy for his son. He didn’t want one.

But the next day the lady came back with a boy she knew. He lived in a poor part of town and couldn’t take care of me, and he carried me in there in his hand to see the tall one. Everyone gathered around to hear the boy tell him what a good dog I would be.

But the tall one said he couldn’t just take me because I was such a good dog, and everyone standing around groaned. But then the tall one said he would trade a soccer ball for me and everyone was happy.

After they washed me off in the sink, he put me in a mail crate and asked all the others whether he should call his wife before bringing me home. All the women said yes, and all the men said no.

He did what the men said.

When he got home, he told me to stay in the car and be quiet and let him do the talking. He called a family meeting and told about the boy with the good dog.

His wife had many practical questions about me that he didn’t know the answers to. And his son just wanted to know what I looked like. He turned and looked at the car, trying to remember, and the wife said, “You brought that dog home with you, didn’t you?”

They rushed to the car, and the son took me out and the wife started crying. He knew he was in trouble with the wife, and said it was a mistake to bring home a puppy without first calling.

She said that was true, but that wasn’t why she was crying. She said, “How could you look at that little thing and not love it?”

She is a writer, and since I was a mistake, she gave me my name: Typo.

That was 13 years ago. Every day since, she and I take a nap together, side by side. I love to nap.

And the tall one likes to go for walks morning and night and lets me come along to snuffle. I love to snuffle.

And on weekends, we walk on Main Street to lunge at squirrels and meet children who say I look like a lion or a bear and ask to pet me.

Now we’re at Dr. Hay’s office and I’ve already had my cookie. He is talking to me sweetly like he always does. He says in a minute I’ll be running again. I love to run.

I haven’t been able to run in a long time. For days, I haven’t even been able to walk, or wag.

My nap mate and the tall one are here telling me what a pretty girl I am. This time the tall one is crying too. He’ll be happy when we can run again.

I’m yawning now. I feel like taking a little nap. I love naps.

Mark Washburn: 704-358-5007, @WashburnChObs