Nine years ago today, I was walking to the train.


I was running into town to meet Beth and a friend from out of town for dinner. It was cold and rainy and miserable, and I was running late. The walk from the house to the station was ~ 1 mile. I passed the school that was in session, and spotted a little dog with a red collar running around without people. He wouldn’t approach me, so I walked on, not wanting him to run out into traffic. Then I felt a nose against my leg. When I turned to look, he darted to the other side. When I turned that way, he darted back. We danced long enough for me to pull myself out of my hurryhurryhurry mode and realize, there was no way I was leaving without finding his home. But he still wouldn’t let me approach him . . .

So I sat down on the soaking wet sidewalk and waited.

The crossing guard, waiting for school to let out, told me  that he’d been there for three days, and she always saw him outside. There was one boy that he was especially fond of (Corbie loves little kids), and we suspect he was actually that boy’s dog, but his parents disavowed ownership.

He approached after a bit, and finally let me pet him.  He shoved his nose at my face, at my eyes, and it wouldn’t be long before I realized this was his version of crotch-sniffing. (“Smelliest part of the human body,” we jokingly say in our ‘Corbie’ voice.) and he version of kissing, combined. It would be years before he’d give either of us kisses, and it’s only in the last few that he’s gotten generous with them, with me.

I rushed home, got Angel’s leash, and went back. He came over to me as soon as I squatted down. I hooked his leash, and he lead me back to our house. I got him settled in the basement with food, water, a blanket, and ran back out to really head into town. “I’m late,” I told Beth breathlessly on the phone on my to the train for real this time. “I’ll tell you about it when I get there, but there’s a dog in the basement, and his eyebrows and ears are amazing, and you’re going to have to be my willpower!” We already had Orion and Angel, and Sassy and Val and Zerk and Grim and Neech and Luna and Princess.We did not need another mouth.

But of course we kept him. Those ears. Those eyebrows. He had a slight rough time with the cats at first, but we explained that if he couldn’t get along with them he’d have to find a new home, and he mellowed out. When we eventually adopted Heidi, he was beyond thrilled that she would play with him. They first met with him chasing her, pausing, and then she turned around and chased him back. When we had her over to cat sit after she’d been adopted out,  she hissed at all the cats (though she seemed sort of okay with Neech)  but she remembered Corbie  right off the bat, and it was great.

We joke now that he was out looking for easy marks, to see who would be suckered into shelling out money for him in his golden years. We are clearly easy marks. Since 2011 he’s suffered a back injury, heat stroke, still-don’t-know-if-stomach-flu-or-food-poisoning. He’s survived two accidental overdoses (“leave it!” is not a command he’s got down), and he’s been failing at heart failure since 2014.

Today is the day that I refer to as Kick Corbie to the Curb Day! We used to torture him with long walks and as many treats as he could stand. Today he’ll get part of a cookie, some of my pizza, and some crispy green beans. KCCD is a much more sedate day than it used to be, but I’ll take it. 🙂  YAY Corbie J. Day!!!


So serious! Serious bizness!




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