Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Chapin Girl

I promise that I'm just about done talking about our trip. But, actually, this post is only a little bit about our trip. It's really not even about the trip. It's about my family's dog, Chapin. I bet you've never met another dog named Chapin. That's because it is a random name. My dad named her after Mary Chapin Carpenter who was a country singer he was obsessed with in the '90's. I wanted to name her Mo and giver her a mohawk but she just didn't have enough hair. When God handed out the good hair gene Chapin was out to lunch.

We got her during the summer of 1996. She was one of two sisters for sale down in Macon, Georgia. My dad tried to buy her sister for an extra $25 but the seller wasn't willing to negotiate. She ran a hard bargain and my father was no match for her. It was probably for the best. I can only imagine what other name he would have come up with had we got both puppies.

Chapin would have been 15 years old this coming summer. Unfortunately, right after Christmas, her little heart finally gave out. 

Chapin considered herself the queen of our house. All eight pounds of her was completely devoted to two things; my father and sleeping.

She wasn't much of a dog's dog. She was anti-dog. She didn't know how to sit. She didn't know how to fetch. She generally didn't respond to any commands at all. Come? Stay? Not so much. Not that any of that matters when you're dealing with an eight pound alpha dog who only cares where her dad is and when he was coming back. She was never very concerned about the rest of us.

Every evening she would sit on the stairs and bark. When I would ask my mom what Chapin was barking at my mom would always say that she was barking at the world. Then she would role her eyes at the dog. 

And when Chapin would hear my dad's car coming around the corner at night she would run to the door to patiently wait for him. As he walked in every night, he would reach down to pet her and said "Hi, Chapin Girl!" Then he would pick her up with one hand and come say hi to the rest of us.

She rotated sleeping under the heater vents to stay warm because she had so little hair. She wore an ugly, red plaid sweater 10 months out of the year. The same sweater for 15 years. She also sunbathed on the deck every afternoon. How is it possible that I don't have a picture of that damn sweater?

She would always run away from me whenever I tried to pick her up. But when I would come home for the weekends during college she would run up stairs and scratch on my bedroom door in the morning until I would get up to open the door. But every time I opened it she would run off. So, I would leave it open and get back in bed. Then, without fail, she would come back and scratch at my bed until I would pick her up. Then she would sleep on my feet all morning...until she heard my dad come home from his morning jog. Traitor.

Bad hair days aside and bad manners aside, she was perfect. She was the sweetest little dog ever. She was quiet and lazy but she was a lot of company. She was perfect for our family. With all us crazy people running around, someone had to be the calm one.

Sweet little Chapin Girl. She's in doggie heaven now, where she gets to be a young pup again. Where she can chase, but not fetch, as many balls as she wants. Where she can bark at anything she sees fit. Where her plaid sweater will never go out of style.

Go get your tissues. I'll wait.


Done? Okay.

Now let me help you turn your frown upside down. I'm going to tell you the coolest fact about Canada.

Did you know that Canadian coins are magnetic? It's true. It is exceedingly annoying when your wallet has a magnetic flap to close it.

Did you also know that under each of your temples lies a magnetic field?

My sister will demonstrate how the Canadian coin will stick to your head via magnetism.

Now Sally will prove this phenomenon. She has a dime on your left and a quarter on the right.

It's not sweat. It's not magic. It's magnetic.

We even got our skeptical waitress on board. (Note: We tipped her well.)

I know you Americans are reaching for your wallet or change tray right now, but don't bother. It won't work with American coins. 


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