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December 10, 2016
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When Maddy walks down the street, she makes very funny noises. Well, I should clarify. When Maddy does just about anything, she makes very funny noises. But especially when she walks down the street or when she’s “spending time” with the gorilla (more on that later).

Maddy makes a sound that is somewhere between a frog and my grandfather. She breathes with a wheeze/cough/sneeze/growl. I must admit, it’s a little off-putting at first. Some people think that it’s a sound of aggression or distress. But it’s really neither. It’s just Maddy.

She’s just about the sweetest in the world and I love her dearly. At home, she likes to play fetch with her stuffed animals and she likes it when I chase her around the apartment; we scamper around together.

When Emily is away, I snuggle with Maddy. Don’t worry. This isn’t me admitting some sort of personal scandal. If you haven’t already guessed, Maddy is a dog. A very cute French bulldog, to be more precise.

Emily has been in Los Angeles since the beginning of last week, so it’s just been Maddy and me holding down the apartment. I’ve been talking to her a lot since we became some strange inter-species version of the odd couple, and I’ve found that she’s an excellent listener.

“Busy day today, Maddy. Busy day,” I explain.

She snorts.

“Be home a little late tonight. Going to a play. Alright have a good day.”

A croak. Sometimes I half expect her to speak back to me. But she hasn’t. Yet.

We’ve been taking lots of walks together. Maddy gets very excited when you walk her. She wants to go a certain way and she throws quite a bit of power behind her little body in a shrug of a stop or a “request” to go a certain direction. She can get a little moody, which is not the most fun thing when you are late to work.

“I wish I could just explain to you that I don’t have time for this right now,” I lamented to her a few days ago. She looked up at me angrily.

She pulls and pushes. She likes to take her time and seems to take great pleasure in forcing me to squeeze in between a parked car and a tree, not wanting to go around the easy way. Never taking her eyes off of the ground in front of her.

“Really?” I lament and she doesn’t answer, but gives me back a fairly incredulous look that makes it clear she knows exactly what she’s doing.

It’s impossible to talk about Maddy without talking about the gorilla. I’m not sure how to navigate this in a family newspaper sort of way but here goes.

Emily won a stuffed gorilla at a fair when Maddy was much younger, and the gorilla and Maddy are best friends and lovers. Maddy loves to hump the gorilla. It’s basically a daily activity. When asked, the vet explained with a grin that there isn’t any harm to it. Keeps her energy up.

It’s quite the party trick, though, and usually occurs under the dining room table. Based on my previous descriptions you can imagine what this sounds like. Suddenly Maddy will start up with the gorilla. I won’t suppose about whether or not she enjoys people watching, but it is very clear that she doesn’t mind.

It’s one of the many things I’d ask her about if she ever did start to talk. I’d try to do it tactfully, of course.

Alas, she hasn’t started speaking. Yet.