Sadly, yesterday we had to put down our goofy dog Dignan. He was blind, diabetic, and had a foot injury that just wouldn’t heal, and it was just his time to go. Dignan was one hell of a dog, and anyone who knew him before he went blind and lost some of his spunk were undoubtedly entertained by his oddball personality.
It’s always sad when you have to make the choice to put your pet down. We got Dignan 9 years ago when we were first married. He was the only dog we let out of the pen at the pound, and he immediately rolled onto his back. After that display of cuteness we just couldn’t say no, and we had to take him. We named him Dignan after our favorite character in Bottle Rocket. We found out later that Dignan is also apparently short for indignant. At the pound they told us that he was already fully grown (lies), but what they neglected to tell us until after we signed all the paper work is that he had already been returned to the pound twice. A week later we understood why- he was a scraggly tornado of destruction. He destroyed our small LA apartment and treated all of our possessions as chew toys. He managed to completely ravage a mattress by chewing holes in it down to the coils then defecating all over it. Have you ever carried a shit and piss soaked mattress down three flights of stairs? It’s not something I recommend. We used to have to physically restrain him to get him to go to sleep at night. Eventually with time, and some mild effort on our part, he calmed down. But you could tell, he still had the devil in him. That is not an exaggeration. One time Chad was walking him and passed this tough looking gang banger. The gang banger wasn’t paying attention and Dignan brushed against him. The guy SQUEALED and yelled, “OOOH, THAT DOG IS THE DEVIL!”
One time we managed to lose Dignan in our apartment building. We looked up and down the stairwells and yelled his name down the hallway. Eventually we heard him barking behind a closed door. We knocked, figuring someone found him wandering in the hall and took him in. Nope, according to our speed freak land lady, that apartment was vacant. Somehow Digs managed to lock himself in an empty apartment two floors down. When we got the door open, he was just sitting there wagging his tail–and had soiled the carpet. I suppose it is due to our stringent training, but Dignan has always been a runner. Even after he went blind he would try to escape and just meandered slowly down the middle of the street. When he was in peak physical condition, he was a bitch to try to catch, especially at night. I formally apologize to all of my former neighbors for tromping through their backyards in the middle of the night trying to catch my dog. I especially apologize to anyone who anyone who had to deal with the annoyance of chasing him down.
Dignan had three tricks he could do. He could “get tough” which meant that he would fake attack your leg, pulling on your pants and gently biting your foot, all while making extremely menacing noises. He could also, “work it out”, which entailed him bucking in a circle like a rodeo bull in whatever comfortable chair was near by. This was my favorite. Dignan could also ride a skateboard. In yet another tale of Runaway Dignan, he escaped on New Year’s Eve while we were at a party. Too exhausted and drunk to look for him that night, we walked around the neighborhood and found him at the house behind ours. The woman who lived there was just about to put up flyers. They read,
Do I belong to you? I had a great time at a New Year’s Party. I rode a skateboard and had some beer! But now I am ready to go home.
Apparently he barreled into this party at top speed and immediately tore a skateboard out of some dude’s hand and rode it. He was the hit of the party! Screw you Spuds MacKenzie, Dignan was the top party dog.
Not having Digs around will take some adjusting to. Who will eat all the food the baby drops on the floor? Am I expected to sweep that up? Last night I ate a hot dog and didn’t know what to do with the last bite of hot dog bun I had left, which usually went to Dignan (and explains the diabetes). I forlornly threw it in the trash. It was weird waking up this morning and not seeing him asleep in his favorite chair on the patio. Chad buried him in the back yard and we are going to plant some pretty flowers that will attract butterflies. I am going to miss that crazy ass dog. May he have a great time in doggy heaven, eating all the french fries and cat shit he can handle and “working it out” to his heart’s content.
Here are some of my favorite pictures of him.