26Mar
By: Brian On: March 26, 2019 In: Serious Dad Stuff, Uncategorized Comments: 0

From: Brian Graves
Sent: Tuesday, March 19, 2019  10:05 PM
To:God < notoriousG-O-D@aol.com
CC: Kathy Graves < 5jobsKathy@heaven.org>
Subject:Here Comes Slider – Health History, Instructions for Care, and Helpful Tips

Dear God,

First of all, MAD RESPECT for hanging on to that AOL account!

Secondly, you probably already know, but, just in case your dog notifications are going to spam, I wanted to let you know that, after 16 death-defying years on Earth, it was, in fact, TIME that caught up with Slider rather than the other dozen or so ways I assumed he would punch his ticket.  

Side Note: I’m not trying to tell you how to do your job, but here’s a quick list of demises I think would have been more befitting a dog of Slider’s caliber (after review, a lot of these involve eating…they all seem like softballs for you.):

  1. In my arms, from exhaustion after a solo cross-country journey to find his way back home.
  2. Eaten by a shark.
  3. Eating all 12 Atkins Snack Bars in a box.
  4. Protecting a bald eagle from Al Qaeda.
  5. A rare and (up to that point) unknown condition that veterinarians would call Slideropothy in which a dog actually sheds himself to death.
  6. Shielding me from a bear attack
  7. A terminal diabetic coma from eating all 6 pop tarts in a box
  8. Eating a disposable lady’s razor
  9. Eating an ink cartridge 
  10. Eating a small box of generic crayons

Those last 4 actually happened this month. I can only assume that he was trying to commit suicide to spare me from the sadness of a drawn-out goodbye…but wasn’t it just like Slider to tell the odds to kiss his ass?

He was my best friend for 16 years and I knew him better than anybody, so I want to make sure his transition goes smoothly.  (Mom, I’m assuming you’re too still too busy for a dog, but that’s probably because you never met Slider.  Think it over…he can keep up…just throwing it out there). Here are a few things you should keep in mind as you search for his new person/angel:

Slider 1-year-old. Fishing Obsession Begins

Slider Likes…

  • PB&J crusts but not when you just give them to him (and not the whole sandwich…although he probably won’t turn that down. He also tried to commit suicide by eating a whole peanut butter sandwich in one bite and it got stuck in his mouth for like 5 minutes).  They taste better if he steals it from the table when you’re not looking…but sometimes also when you ARE looking.  
  • Snatching food right out of kids’ hands as they walk by.  So maybe you could find a kid to just walk around with half-eaten food 8-10 hrs/day.  Slider would like that.  (I’m adding that to the dog retirement home I’m pitching on Shark Tank).
  • Pacing. Like a lot.  Like all the time.  
  • Chasing imaginary fish from the top step of the pool until his feet bleed. 
  • Panicking when kids jump in the pool and knock beers over into the water.  So if you’re having a party, make sure to line the entire edge with beers and jumping kids.  He will freaking love that.
  • Having a job. He even showed up to work on his last day down here.  He’s not really into desk jobs.  Anything that allows him to get in the way as much as possible during dangerous situations would be perfect.
  • Jumping crazy high and running super fast.  When he gets his new parts in Heaven please set the bar high and far because he will be looking forward to a challenge.
  • Awkwardly standing in the foreground or background of every picture taken.
  • Anticipating where and how fast a person will walk…but also being terrible at that.
He loves the beach. He loves most things more than I do.

Slider Doesn’t Like… 

  • Imaginary fish in pools
  • Squeaky things. Get rid of all of the squeaky things in heaven including but not limited to, basketball courts, tennis shoes, all hard surface tennis courts, Styrofoam rubbed on anything (maybe that’s me), really dry snow (that’s also me…damnit!, certain beach sands (that’s definitely me…You have around 50 years to get rid of the last 3 things).
  • Beepy things. Get rid of all beepy things in Heaven including but not limited to: All car locks that beep, microwaves, refrigerator alarms, fire alarms, smoke alarms, CO2 Alarms, basically any alarm, and all digital watches made before 2011.
  • People that walk in straight lines
Welcome to The Invisible Fishing Show! I’m your host, Slider and today we’ll be catching some invisible fish. Our special guest is Hemingway who claims there are no fish…let’s see if we can’t change his mind!

Health History:

  • Slider is the only dog to beat parvovirus.  You just don’t do that…it just isn’t done.
  • Jumping from moving boats is not an issue for him
  • Go to the Heavenly Library. Take out the book called, Stuff Dogs Shouldn’t Eat, go ahead and throw that book in the trash.  Slider will eat that book out of the trash.
  • In the event that anesthesia is necessary in heaven, tell the vet to double the dosage for Slider.
  • All pills must be coated in peanut butter, encased in a ball of white American cheese formed in a clenched fist and then re-coated in peanut butter. Otherwise, he’ll find that thing and you’ll be out a whole mess of peanut butter and cheese.

An Ideal Person/Angel for Slider Would Be…

  • Someone who needs to practice engagement proposal speeches.  We did a few cold reads together and his notes were solid.  He’s a great listener, doesn’t mind role-playing, and we finished our careers batting 300 as a team.  As we all know 300 will get you into the hall of fame.
  • Someone with little or no sense of smell.  
  • Someone who loves to run
  • Someone who relocates every few years.  Slider loves meeting new people.
  • Someone with wide fence slats and a Ring doorbell camera because the backyard isn’t very exciting.
  • Someone who won’t “put him away” when company comes over…because he understands door knobs and will just keep casually showing up.
  • Someone with low counters and toilets
  • Someone who wants a very specific area of their lawn to be dead

I’ve known Slider longer than I’ve known some of my closest friends, longer than my wife, longer than my kids.  My mom passed and he was there with me.  My grandma passed and he was there.  Seven jobs, 5 cities, 8 homes, 12 human roommates, 3 dog roommates, 45,000 lbs. of shed hair, 2 busted engagements, 6 boats, 4 turtles, a few random cats, 1 wife, 2 kids and he was my constant, my Polaris, my horizon, my totem.  He grounded me and brought me back to zero. He was just ALWAYS THERE.  And now he’s gone and I’m just so terribly sad and he’s not here to help.  That’s what happens when your totem crosses the Rainbow Bridge.

I believe he stuck around to really make sure I was in good hands…that the people around me (this pretty lady and these 2 funny little vending machines) weren’t going anywhere. That I’d found rewarding work so he wouldn’t have to go with me every day to make sure I was happy.  That I had another dog I could cry in front of because I’m pretty bad at crying in front of people and cats.

As Lindsay says, he’s dignified for a dog.  He doesn’t drool all over the place and knock kids over. He doesn’t eat ALL of the trash, he takes his time, thinks it through and finds the delicious parts.

There is a depth in his eyes and a certainty that he is listening, understanding, empathizing, and waiting for you to walk away from your sandwich.  

Please take care of my friend. He deserves everything that Heaven has to offer.  Please let him know that we miss him and love him and we’re all fine if he wants to haunt us.  Also, Jake wants to know what God’s butt looks like.  So if he’s haunting us and could relay that message, that would be awesome! 

Thanks and I’m always available should you have any questions or decide that you want to send him back!

Brian

He got himself up and walked to work on his last day! That’s dedication

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