Tag Archives: Peter King

Maggi

About this time back in late 2005, Wendy and I were out for a drive and she wanted to go look at the SPCA at puppies.  We had just put down Elway the Halloween before because of liver cancer and I was missing having a dog around the house.

We went in looking for puppies and came out with a full sized, rambunctious and rowdy Weimeraner/Retriever cross that had been badly abused.  In the interview room Maggi physically wounded Wendy by jumping all around while Wendy actually said with a straight face that she thought this massive dog would be a good lap dog.

The scene in that interview room at the SPCA reminded me of when two Loonie Toon characters are locked in a room and fighting.  It was hilarious and Maggi came out on top. Then in the line to adopt Maggi, the dog somehow wrestled Wendy to the floor and I remember looking down at Wendy who was flat on her back in the lobby of the SPCA and thinking that this isn’t going to end well.

We took her home and she was confounded by the stairs.  She had never been in a house before.  If you touched her, she would get so excited, she would run off to another part of the house.  If she saw your open hand, she would lay down and cry because she was sure I would hit her.

Slowly she became my dog.  I remember the first time she jumped up on the bed and slept there.  It was a big deal that she trusted me to be that close.  Eventually she realized that no one was going to hit her, stairs could be mastered, and a queen sized bed was just about the perfect size for her to lay on.  Over time she also realized that scaring the pizza delivery guy wasn’t helping her get leftover pizza and chilled out even with strangers.

We went on countless walks to the park and she was never happier than when she had her frisbee.  She ate with the frisbee, slept with the frisbee, went to the bathroom carrying the frisbee, and carried the slimy frisbee to bed.

Maggi with frisbee

She loved to fetch and would do anything to get a frisbee.  She hurdled a merry-go-round once to come up with an errant toss.  She jumped the front of Lee’s car to get another one.  One time two Saskatoon Police Officers stopped just to watch her come down with frisbee after frisbee.  After some tosses, their black police uniforms had blonde dog hair all over them.  They didn’t seem to care.

The one thing that would drive her crazy was fetching snowballs in the yard.  She would tear up all of the snow looking for a ball made of snow.  

Maggi getting a snowball

She would never give up and eventually would bring back any snow as a way to save face.  Of course I would make another snowball and toss it out there and it would start all over again.

Maggi with a stick

Maggi was always a bull in a china shop and we were worried when we brought Oliver home that she would be too aggressive with him who was still two months premature.  I’ll always remember that dog walking extremely slowly across the floor and giving Oliver a little lick before laying down right beside him.  For whatever reason Maggi thought of Oliver as her puppy and was forever overly protective of him.  When he napped, she slept outside his room.  When he played, she always was near.

Wendy and Maggi

Maggi was smart and devious.  She never really accepted sharing a bed with Wendy and was always trying to kick her off.  She would lay beside us and punch Wendy in the head. She would actually uncover Wendy at night while making a nest for herself.  She would also try to push Wendy’s legs out of the bed.  She may have accepted me as the alpha male but she never ever respected Wendy as the alpha female of the pack.  

She liked Wendy and even loved her but never really respected Wendy.  Many times Wendy would get mad at Maggi and she would walk over to me and look back at Wendy with a look of “do something about her.”  That always went over well.

Maggi looking for a ball

This fall she developed a lump on her leg.  We had it tested and it wasn’t cancerous but a fat deposit.  We dealt with that but there was the danger that it could return as cancerous.  In December it did and she started to struggle breathing and walking.  This week I realized she was in an incredible amount of pain.  The lump grew daily and we took her to the vet who told us that it was not only cancerous but had spread to her lungs.  There wasn’t any choice and today we took her to the clinic and I held her as they put her down.

Maggi asleep in the Honda Accord

Maggi and Mark

Let sleeping dogs lie

Maggi and Wendy

Siesta

Goodbye Maggi

Sports Illustrated writer Peter King wrote this about his dog Bailey when he put him down.

I will endure a few weeks of the occasional dark thought, and I will think: ‘Pretty good trade, 159 months of companionship and friendship and unconditional love for one or three months when sadness creeps in. In fact, that’s a fantastic trade.’ I feel the same as when Woody died: The easiest way to not feel this grief is to never have a dog. And what an empty life that would be.

It was a good trade for my family as well.

RIP Baily

A great piece by Peter King as he says goodbye to his dog Bailey.

Bailey real

I used to wash Bailey in our front driveway because the hose was convenient. On one May day in 2008, in mid-lather, my phone rang. It was Brett Favre. Not loving retirement. Having second thoughts. I was trying to talk to him and wash the dog at the same time, and finally I had to tell Bailey to lay down and wait—for about 40 minutes. There she lay, all soaped up, just doing what she was told, as she always did.

Mostly, she was just an incredible companion. Didn’t bark much at all. Never whined. Went nuts when any of us came home, as dogs do. (She saved her going-craziest for Doug’s occasional visits over the years. Ten years after we adopted her, a Doug visit still prompted Bailey to go into orbit. Amazing how dogs remember so well.) And that’s why the last few days have hurt so much. My wife and I wake up and look on the floor; no Bailey. We walk back into the apartment, and we look down in our foyer; no Bailey. What an empty feeling. I assume we’ll have that empty feeling for a long time. A month, two months … I don’t know. I wish I didn’t have to feel that pain in my heart for the next month or two or three.

But by my calculations, we had Bailey in our lives for 159 months. I will endure a few weeks of the occasional dark thought, and I will think: Pretty good trade, 159 months of companionship and friendship and unconditional love for one or three months when sadness creeps in. In fact, that’s a fantastic trade. I feel the same as I did when Woody died: The easiest way to not feel this grief is to never have a dog. And what an empty life that would be.

In her final days, Bailey had been given some steroid pills to treat a bad limp. She had arthritis, and we had to lift her to stand, and she couldn’t put much weight on her right foreleg. So we’d take her out for her regular trip to the sidewalk four times a day, and by Wednesday, it was unbearable to watch her struggle to make it outside. First thing Thursday morning, when I approached her to tell her it was time to go outside, she wagged her tail so hard it hit the wooden floor like it was a drum. This dog was still into life. But the limp … just too painful to watch. We went to the vet a couple hours later. I had to carry her more than half of the three-and-a-half-block walk. We told the vet, Keith Manning, about her trouble, and he was nice and avoided our beseeching looks about the next treatment, and said her longstanding bulging disk was pushing on her spine and preventing her leg from working and, well, there wasn’t much he could do, and …

“Give us five minutes,’’ I asked him. He left the room, and Ann and I said our goodbyes.

Ann gave Bailey her last milk bone. “Good girl!’’ she said one last time, through her tears.

Then Dr. Manning came in, with his assistant, and we lifted Bailey up on the table. Ann and I held Bailey as Dr. Manning shaved her left forepaw. He took the long silver needle with the red poison, found the vein and pushed it in.

I whispered into Bailey’s ear: “Go play with Woody.”

The Miami Dolphin’s locker room has some serious problems

Some interesting thoughts from Shannon Sharpe of CBS as reported by Peter King on the Miami Dolphin’s locker room.

I don’t understand how African-American players look on passively or encouragingly while a white player calls a fellow African-American a “half-n—–.” Neither, apparently, does Shannon Sharpe, who is black and who said this on The NFL Today Sunday: “The Miami Dolphins locker room probably consists of 75 to 80 percent blacks. If you allow Richie Incognito to walk around in an open locker room and to use a racial epithet that most black Americans, all black Americans, know the … hate and the vitriol that comes with that word, you are encouraging him to do that. I read, and I don’t know, this is alleged, that some black players said Richie Incognito was an honorary black. There is no such thing. This tells me everything I need to know about the Miami Dolphins’ locker room.

“Maybe it’s me. Just ask your parents. Ask your grandparents. The mountain that they climbed so a black person in America could have respect, could have dignity, and you allow this in an open locker room to take place is unacceptable. I’m so disappointed … Because if you’re black, you know what that word means.” Brilliant, and high time a high-profile football player called out idiots who think it’s okay to use hugely hurtful words in jest. Football players will read this and say they were just kidding around. You don’t kid around with the n-word, and if it takes an NFL investigation to stop it, good for the NFL investigation.

There are some serious issues in Miami and I am starting to think that both the GM and the coaching staff need to be let go and just clean house.

The Confessions of a NFL Addict

The NFL season is almost here and I am coming to grips with my ongoing addiction to NFL football.  Since it is a changing addiction, I thought I would offer up where I am at this year.

  • I am planning to take Thursday and Friday of the NFL draft in 2010 as vacation days.
  • I can only follow about 300 people on Twitter without missing Tweets all over the place (hint if someone says they are following 3,000 people, that aren’t following anyone).  I have had to make some tough choices on who to cut since I am following @richeisen, @OGochocinco, @YahooSportsNFL @Adam_Schefter, @RealMikeSilver, @SI_PeterKing, @tim_micallef, @Denver_Broncos, and @jamiedukes.  Sadly it meant that there were some cuts that had to be made.  I’ll follow @wendycooper, @coopermark, and @mcgrowl in the off season.
  • I have recently made a couple of dinner reservations under Steve DeBerg and one under Ron Mexico.  Speaking of Mr. Mexico, every time I have ever prepared a sermon, I have looked for an appropriate place to make a Ron Mexico reference and after years of study, I have concluded, there is no appropriate place.  That being said, I do think that would make a worthy topic of a Masters thesis.
  • Instant Replay by Jerry Kramer I recently re-read Instant Replay by Green Bay Packer great, Jerry Kramer.  If you haven’t read it, it is one of the great sports biographies of all time and shows how close those Green Bay Packer’s teams under Vince Lombardi really were.
  • I bought Wendy some Denver Broncos ear rings last year for our anniversary (actually she picked them out).
  • We woke up to Mark watching the NFL Network last week.  I cried a tear of joy.
  • Not only did the original pre-season game with Kyle Orton throwing all of those touchdowns make me upset but so did both times I watched the rerun of the game.
  • Speaking of Kyle Orton, I am thinking of growing a really bad neck beard as a sign of solidarity.

Kyle Orton and his beard while with the Chicago Bears

  • Today I got out my combination of John Elway cards, including the 1989 Pro-Set John Elway card, which I count as my favorite card of all time, dusted them off and displayed them in a tacky place to drive Wendy crazy until the Super Bowl is over or she threatens me with a divorce.
  • I tried to convince Wendy that we name Oliver, Thurston Goal Cooper.  That didn’t go over well either.

Maybe I do need some professional help… at least until the Kyle Orton neck beard grows in.

What’s wrong with Jay Cutler?

Denver Broncos QB Jay Cutler

Shutdown Corner has a post on what is going on with the Denver Broncos and their Pro-Bowl Quarterback, Jay Cutler.  They quote Peter King in his Monday Morning Quarterback column. Quoth Peter:

I heard one other interesting thing Sunday: Cutler asked for a trade shortly after the Broncos lost offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates — Cutler’s confidant — to USC after the season. So maybe both sides need to go into marriage counseling here.

For the record, McDaniels says he never wanted to trade Cutler to begin with, though he’d have to say that, right? Again from the Denver Post:

"We’ve received trade calls on a number of players, which is not uncommon this time of the year. I also think the sensitivity of the other trade that was occurring, with my relationship with New England and the whole Cassel thing, I think that stirred the pot even more."

And then McDaniels made a point of emphasis: "We don’t want to trade Jay. We never did. He’s our quarterback. We’re excited about this season. And excited about what we’re doing here in free agency to improve our team."

Another possibility is that names get leaked all of the time to the media just to rattle team chemistry (see what Minnesota Vikings did last year with Brett Favre).  At the same time Cutler needs to make nice with McDaniels and prove to the new coach that he can be the man in Denver.  He needs to remember that despite his high powered offense, there were some games that the offense was not a factor in the game and he lost them one or two games by himself, games that may have saved Mike Shanahan his job.

Finally, Jay has to realize that pro football is a business.  It’s what players say all of the time when they want their contract renegotiated and it is what they say when it is free agency.  What they need to learn is that it is business from the teams point of view as well.  If the Broncos think that someone else can do the job better, they go with them.  It happened to fellow 2006 draft class QB’s Vince Young (who was a Pro Bowl QB as well) and Matt Leinart last season and it will happen to some other player who feels he is the “face of the franchise” this year.  It’s not just a business but a brutal one at that.