Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Wednesday Wanderings: Denny, the Smiling Flat-Coated Retriever

By Marshall Cherrington

Wednesday Wanderings is a weekly column written by Editor-in Chief and creator of the Sports Soup Network, Marshall Cherrington. He brings you all of his weekly thoughts pertaining to Seattle sports, and anything else for that matter.

It’s not often that I’ll talk about many other things on here than sports, but I think today is an exception. Now by writing this piece, I’m not asking for any attention or sympathy or anything like that, I’m just writing it to let the world know about a special dog. On Friday, my family dog of eight years named Denny will have to be put down due to a deadly kind of cancer. Cancer sucks and everyone knows that. I have never had the evil thing directly affect my life before, but now that it has, I sympathize with all of you out there who have had cancer affect your life in one way or another.

Denny is a dog who is never sad or down. You can just look at him and either your heart melts, or your day is given an instant boost because of the smile on his face. Now, you may find that kind of weird to read since dogs don’t really smile. But Denny definitely smiles unlike any other animal I have seen. He curls his lips to reveal his white, shiny teeth and when he does, you just have to do the same. He makes everyone smile in a different way, whether that be howling at the churning blender or nosing at a random toy around the house. Denny just brings joy to my life. Nothing but joy. Sure, it might have been maddening when he barked his head off at a passing car, but you know those are just his natural instincts. It also felt comforting to some effect. I always knew I was safe with Denny on the prowl.

Every morning at about 6 a.m. or so I would always here a little tapping on the knob of my door. Well guess who it was, desperately waiting for his favorite meal of the day, breakfast. I’ve never seen a dog slobber so much after a stop at the water bowl. As he stopped to drink, we stopped to pick up the old rag and wipe up the floor after his adventure. I’ll always remember coming downstairs and unexpectedly stepping in water all over the laundry room. And I hate when my socks get wet. One of the worst feelings in the world. But I loved it at the same time because I always knew I would find Denny right behind me wagging his tale in a mocking kind of way.

The house will be painfully quiet with Denny not around anymore, but I’m confident that his spirit will live on forever. That’s one thing that’s helping this transition easier for me. He will never be forgotten. For as long as I’ve lived, I’ve always had a dog by my side. Having no partner in crime will definitely be a tough thing for me to deal with, but I know he’ll always be watching over me. He always was watching you. If you left a door open in the house, he was bound to find his way through it. Usually, as I am doing right now, I would be typing on my computer and I’d feel this little nudge on my leg. Sure enough it was Denny looking for an extra little pat on the head or rub of the ears. I love Denny’s floppy ears. The fur on them is so soft and it got to the point where Denny was annoyed with me rubbing them so much. I always made sure to find time in my day to give Denny love. It was probably at the top of my priority list to do so every day. I’ll find new ways to show him love every day, don’t you guys worry about it.

I guess this relates to spots in some ways too. Denny is an athlete. He’s addicted to the yellow glow of the tennis ball and would do anything you would command him to do, as long as you had a ball in your hand. I will never forget the look in his eyes when I spent those countless hours outside throwing the ball to him. He just looked like he was having the time of his life out there as he would chew and chew and chew on the ball, and seamed to never tire.

I’ll never forget the earthquakes Denny caused as he crumbled to the ground each time he sat down. The best thing about it? He made it look good. I don’t know how, but he did. I’ll never forget those perky ears. I’ll never forget those wrestling matches on the ground. I’ll never forget the chewed up toilet paper. I’ll never forget the unique smell of that breath. I’ll never forget those slobbery kisses on people’s faces. I’ll never forget his spirit. And most of all, I’ll never forget the love that Denny lived his life with. Denny has shaped who I am today and will continue to do so in many ways. I love the black fury ball of happiness and always will. Have fun in doggy heaven my boy. I know you’ll be smiling.

A few pictures of Denny and I. Courtesy to Matt Campbell for the pictures.


Apologies for the lack of sports content in this issue, but if you must have your share of Seattle sports news, check out the Seattle Times sports page, which can be found right here.

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