March 26th, 2007
Ode to the Big Dawg
Tonight is Sean’s final night here at Camp Cuddles for tomorrow he will be freed. In what for us was a dubious introduction, he laid down guidelines and rules of conduct he expected adherence to. Further to that, he expressed a willingness to enforce such credo if necessary. I remember it well. To emphasize his stance he declared himself the ‘Big Dawg’ and our shared prison range his ‘doghouse.’ Furry, or Fur Dog as he has come to be known, is a nickname birthed from that initial altercation. It’s a name that he has worn well. As for this place being a doghouse, I never really looked at it that way but the food that the keepers of this place insist on giving us isn’t too far off of dog food, so I can’t be too quick to dismiss his allusion!
Influenced by my rocky start with him, I’ll admit to thinking that his personality clashed with that of the others here. But understanding there is always a period of adjustment to new surroundings and new arrivals, I’ve been witness to the Fur Dog’s assimilation to the pack and over time his acceptance by the pack. Knowing ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts,’ the authorities wisely took the precautionary measure of placing a twelve foot high razor wire topped fence around the lot of us! (Woof! Woof! Woof!!) This place will be less lively and less entertaining for those of us he leaves behind.
During the course of his stay here I’ve learned snippets of his past. Empires are built over time but, sadly, they can fall all too quickly. I’ve also gleaned snippets of his present beyond these jailhouse walls for during his time in the doghouse, he became a father for the second time. A daughter by the name of Ava came into this world March 7th. I must say that while it was odd to see the Big Dawg doing the ‘expectant father’ pace in jail instead of the hospital waiting room, it was a nice reminder that life is still happening out there for at times it can seem like it’s not in here. And while the future can be a vast and unknowable proposition, one snippet of Furry’s future beyond these gates that he’s shared, is his intent to go and smother himself in his kids. Leaving Camp Cuddles to cuddle his children will make him a happy camper, no doubt. I imagine he’ll revel in such a role, for having gotten to know him I detect a hint of teddy bear in his gruff, ‘Fur Dog’ persona.
In the days leading up to his discharge Furry was roving the range bartering away all his prisonly possessions. I myself landed his rechargeable battery pack, though if he had his way I’d also have his wooden cross, empty tobacco pouch (used by Furry himself), his pillow and popcorn too. He’s still walking around in his prison togs, so he may not have yet finished his dispersal. But as the days of his incarceration have dwindled down to mere hours, I suspect that ‘Fur-Bay’ has now gone off-line. There is little left for him here now. Save for a sleep and a coffee.
This evening the Big Dawg offered an apology and explanation to me over our tumultuous start and for that, I’m appreciative. I’ve always preferred making friends over enemies. That being said, the time has come for your release. Your future, and the rebuilding of your empire awaits. Best of luck and have fun with your son and daughter, Sean. Someone else will have to take over the role of Big Dawg now.
Epilogue: I read to Sean the passage above in honour of his release and, of all things, it elicited a hug from the Big Dawg! And to think that when we first met he expressed little reservation for punching me out. To have him hug me all these weeks later is nothing short of a miracle. So there you have it. The pen IS mightier than the sword!