Dingo the Wonderdog

this was written by my good friend Than about 2 weeks ago (yes, the guy that just had his wisdom teeth out). He didn’t write this for anyone other than his close friends to see, but I asked him if I could put it up on my blog, and he said it was cool.

For the record, I’m not a dog guy…not even a little bit. But I loved Dingo. She was the best.


Dingo had a good life.

My dad and I, before my 16th birthday, drove out to Acushnet, MA to see a litter of newborn Australian cattle-dogs. There were about 6 or 7 small, fat chirping puppies climbing over each other in a box. The owner said we could pick one out, but couldn’t take it for a couple weeks because they needed to be with their mother for a while longer.

Then he pointed to a 6 month old, out of control, hyper, barking and yelping dog tied up about 50 feet away. We walked up to her and almost looked at her like she was the outcast of the family. No obedience, no training. The owner told us however, that this dog could run faster than any dog he’d seen, and could clear a 6 ft fence w/o trying. Apparently that is what my dad was looking for in a dog, not the big list of qualities he compiled from 5 months of library research.

We left with dingo in the back of the car.

We got home. I threw a ball in the back yard, she went faster than any dog i’d seen and crashed her head directly into the picnic table bench, lifting that whole side of the table off the ground. For a second, I thought she was dead. She slowed a bit, then kept right on going for the ball.

During that year my family made fun of my dad endlessly as he tried training her to do all sorts of ridiculous stunts. Before you knew it, you could point your finger at her, make a gun shot sound with your mouth, and she’d drop to her belly, and drag one paw under her as if it was shot. If you shot her again, she’d roll to her back and play dead. My mom would simply say, “dingo, slippers”. Dingo would run into their bedroom, open the sliding closet doors with her face and come out with one of the slippers, drop it off and go back for the 2nd. My grandmother swears she taught Dingo to wink with one eye. Most of us just smiled.

I would fight Dingo like a mad man in the evenings. I’d come away with scratched and bloody forearms, she’d be limping because at some point I’d throw her into a wall or at our brick fireplace, but it was done in sport. At the end of the night, there was nothing but love. I slept by her side the night she came home from the Doctor after being fixed. She laid there shaking and emotionless, far from the dog she really was.

We had a leash law in New Bedford. In the hundreds of walks she went on, she maybe had a leash on twice. One of my favorite things to do was go for walks through our neighborhood after supper. Just being quiet, day dreaming about things that teenagers day dream about, with dingo zig-zagging around me for as long as we stayed out. She outlived all of our cats, being friends with most of them, even sleeping side by side with them.

For a few month period somewhere in there she basically had an infection with a hole in her tail. Could be the single most disgusting thing you can think of. I moved away and wasn’t around much for the last 5-6 yrs of her life. Her health declined steadily during that time. My dad finally caved and took her “in” mid-january. He came home with tears, and soon after broke down crying to my mom. I’ve only known my dad to have cried two other times that i can remember.

I’d argue Dingo was the most entertaining dog a family could be blessed with.

She’ll be missed.