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the story of holden: a slideshow

here are some of the highlights of holden’s 12 years with me.

he was born a poor black child at a fancy kennel in raleigh, nc. there were two left from his litter, and another litter of 7 week old pups available, so he was massively discounted, considered ‘old’ at 3 months.

i named him skippy. his first dad named him holden, and since he paid for him, i let it go. it wasn’t after holden caulfield, or holden oversoul, it was for the redneck place on the nc coast – holden beach.

holden’s first dad lived in a fraternity house, so holden lived with me from day 1, and i always knew he was my dog.

when he was a year old his first dad broke into my email and read that i thought a guy at school was cute so he threw my computer in the road and ran it over with his car and moved out of the house we were living in and stole holden. i was in law school, a couple weeks away from my first exams. after some wrangling, and a couple days, i got holden back, and then he was all mine for good.

he ate an indigo girls cd and a 50 yd spool of mint dental floss, and those made it through on their own.

he had his first intestinal surgery at age 2 when he ate a pair of my roomate jill’s tights and an underwire bra, and they got tangled up and made him very sick.

he ate 30 lbs. from a 40 lb. bin of kibbles and had to be physically pulled away trying to scarf the rest. he assploded for a week.

he loved doing taste tests when jill would put a cheese ball on one side of the room, and a munch em on the other.

i made him a vest from an old navy doggy raincoat, stenciled on it ‘guiding eyes for the blind – dog in training’ and he wore that to go to UNC baseball games with me and sat in the grass.

jill and i put him in the vest and went to harris teeter one night wearing sunglasses and holding the white stick from horizontal blinds and let holden off the leash hoping he would go run through the aisles to the meat counter, but he just sat down at the automatic doors and looked at us like we were crazy.

on vacation in charleston, he ate an entire cheese cake off the counter.

he had lots of dog friends, he never humped any of them.

when i was studying for the bar exam i listened to the lectures on a walkman walking around chapel hill for 3 hours at a time, it was so hot in the summer i often went late at night and always felt safe walking with him.

at night, he slept right next to me using me as a bolster.

he moved cross country in a 42-hour non-stop drive, the car was so packed he had to sit the whole time on the passenger’s lap.

he was an excellent vintage t-shirt model, especially liked wearing track jackets.

he couldn’t believe it when we got nacho. what had he done to deserve such an indignity?

he and nacho crossed garnet st. in pacific beach san diego – a very busy 4 lane highway at rush hour and made it to the safety of a shell station.

they pulled a pyrex dish off the counter, and it shattered and they ate the casserole-crusted shards. the vet suggested feeding them a loaf of white bread soaked in milk to help pass the glass. it worked great. he loved it.

he jumped off a terrace in the backyard and impaled his chest on a metal stake and needed dozens of stitches.

he an nacho got into a case of pop rocks candy and couldn’t stop eating them even though the explosions on their whiskers scared them.

he ate socks, socks, and more socks – the little ones made it through, a couple of the bigger ones required surgery, some of the lucky ones required a shot of amorphine to make him throw them up before they got to his intestines.

he ate an entire cow rib bone and needed surgery to get that out.

he ate a giant bowl of trail mix and needed an amorphine shot to throw that up.

he had a few lipoma fat balls removed, one the size of an orange.

he had one myxosarcoma that they didn’t remove all the way and was going to grow back.

he loved to go swimming, but wouldn’t go in a pool because he was scared he couldn’t get out.

he didn’t like going up or down wooden stairs because his paws would slip.

he loved running around the yard looking for dead things to eat.

he loved riding in the car with his head out the window.

he loved sitting next people on a couch, curled up in a ball.

here are pictures from his first day on the ride home from the kennel, to 4 days before he died on a hike near the blue ridge parkway.

warning: after kevin watched this he said he wanted to hang himself.