My dog, Scrambles the Death Dealer

Posted: July 5, 2017 in Life
Tags: , , , , ,

Haven’t been as active on here as I should be/would like to be. Life has not been overly kind to me the past nine months. A lot has happened, as goes life for most of us, really. How often do we stop and reflect on all that we’ve experienced in the recent past? These days, our lives are measured in Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat posts, the latter acting like a drunken blackout as the memory is erased. Shit, half the time I need Zuckerberg to remind me what I did on a given day the past decade or so.

So it goes.

In brief, my life got complicated for the following reasons:

  • Bought a house
  • My “assignment” with my previous job ended, thus leaving me waiting to be placed elsewhere.
  • I’d rather not be doing what I do anymore, so I asked to be placed elsewhere. They gave me five business days before giving me my walking papers. Right around the Thanksgiving/Xmas holidays. So it goes.
  • Spent the next 5 months (nearly 6) searching for a new job. Most of my day was spent staring into job search engines hoping to find something. I didn’t find anything and then, out of the blue, I was recruited for a contracting gig. Doing what? You guessed it. Exactly what I’ve been doing the past seven years. So it goes.
  • I’m on a 6 month contract, but have been told they expect it to go longer; maybe permanent. Problem is, most days I don’t have much to do. It’s a slow time. The summer. So, I could very well find myself in the exact same position that I was in one year ago. So it goes.

Not that it was all doom and gloom, of course. I wrote a book that got published almost a year ago. You may have seen me post about it. Sadly, the publishing world is dark and deep and has mainly proven indifferent to my novel. Those of you who have read it seem to, on the whole, really dug what I did. Thank you for that.

But this isn’t a post about me whining about how rough I’ve got it. This is a post about my dog.



Her name is Scrambles. Scrambles the Death Dealer to be exact. Why would I name my dog that?

That’s why.

I’ve always been a pet person. Growing up, we had three dogs and four cats at one point. I loved them all; liked them better than most people if I’m being frank. However, after being out on my own in my “adult” life, I’d never owned a pet. Not one. It wasn’t for the lack of want or fear of the responsibility. Reflecting back on it now I think that I never got one because I wasn’t sure where I was going to end up. What I mean by that is I didn’t know if I was going to be moving around a lot, looking for a job (that pesky career thing again) and, at certain low points, I wasn’t truly sure if I was going to still be alive.

Yeah, that is pretty dark, I know. It’s truth.

Here’s a happy pic to make you forget about that last paragraph.


Moving forward to January 2017. I’m married, have a house, am unemployed, and severely depressed. My wife and I had been discussing expanding our family for some time. I wanted a dog. She wanted a cat, then a dog. A visit to our friends’ New Years Eve party proved fortuitous for me as they suggested that with me being home looking for work, getting a dog now would be as perfect as a time as any. Later that week, we’re at our local Humane Society.

It gets weird here. We go in and ask to see the available dogs. We walk past their individual pens which have plexiglass so we can see the dogs and they can’t bust out. It’s like prison that way. My wife looked on the website beforehand and knew which dogs were there and had a general idea of which ones she wanted to look at. The dog she was very keen on, a male named Drogo, had been adopted the day before. This lead us to a shy little girl dog named Frankie.

They kept Frankie in the very last pen at the end of the viewing room. The reason being that Ms. Frankie was a bit of a handful. The official description on the website stated something to the effect: “Frankie is a rambunctious girl seeking a family with the same amount of energy as her! This lady needs room to run and will need to be properly exercised daily.”

This wasn’t even half of it.

As part of the adoption process, we got to take Frankie for a walk and spend some time with her in one of the playrooms, tossing toys around and getting her used to us and vice versa. We’d spent about thirty-to-thirty-five minutes with her when the very nice employee asked if we’d like to see any other dogs. My wife and I had the same reaction, in that we felt that would be wrong. We weren’t auditioning; we were looking for our newest family member. We kindly turned this down and said that we’d no further need to look.

We’d found our dog.

It turned out that our future Ms. Scrambles didn’t have the easiest of paths finding her way to us. She’d been brought up from a shelter in Texas; a kill shelter to be exact. She had been found as a stray and was close to being put down when our local shelter rescued her. They have a very high turnover rate with animals and were quite willing to bring her up. We aren’t sure what Scrambles went through down there, but her early life was not filled with kindness and love. As a result, she is more than a little scared of new situations and new people. When I think about what her life was like before she came to live with us, I alternate between being sad and furious. Sad, because it’s tragic that a dog should have to suffer through abuses. Angry, because there’s nothing I can do to change what happened. I also feel guilty in a way that I wasn’t around, down there in Texas, when she was born to snap her up before she was wandering the streets, scavenging food just to survive.

So it goes.

Our little Ms. Scrambles has been with us for just about six months now. She is doing much better than she was when we first brought her home that cold January afternoon. There’s been ups and downs. Unfortunately, she is quite afraid of new people, especially when they come into our home. As a result, she bit a good friend of ours when he came to visit. Fortunately, everyone involved is okay and no stitches were involved. We’ve sought professional help from a local animal behaviorist and have been utilizing a training regiment to help alleviate her fears. I say alleviate because it is unlikely that Scrambles will ever fully be cured of her traumas. (see me alternating between sad and angry) Scrambles comes from a breed of dog that craves tasks, is looking to learn and learns quickly. So, she loves training time. Recently, we fenced in our yard so now she has a place to run around outside and get some of her energy out. She truly loves this and she truly loves both my wife and I.

I can’t imagine getting through the past bout of unemployment without her. I can’t imagine getting through the dreary unknown of my current job without this wonderful, beautiful little girl dog. As I write this, she’s lying on the floor behind me, taking a nap from running around outside.

I implore any and all pet lovers to take some time and look up their local humane society/animal shelter. These places are wonderful and the employees and volunteers are truly selfless. If you can, please donate some of your time and volunteer, barring that, they are always strapped for cash. I’ve placed some links below for anyone who actually read through this all and gives a damn.

I know I do.


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