"The Definitive Piece"
I don't know why we called him Murphy." He's a Puli", we boasted, thinking we impressed with reference to such an exotic pedigree. Actually, Muffadog was just a shaggy all-American mutt with gray hair skirting to the ground and bangs that completely obscured his eyes- lovable fluff.
He did, in truth, exhibit one characteristic of Hungarian purebloods. He was fierce. On the leash, he felt duty-bound to protect, and attacked any other dog that crossed our path. This he did in the manner of a berserker, going completely wild and transforming himself from an adorable fur-ball into a snarling dervish. This behavior kept one on his toes. No dog was too big for Murphy; even getting ripped did not deter his fury. It was for these reasons that my parents decided that taking him out was a perfect job for an otherwise useless, but strapping, teenager.
I became a regular member of the
At the time, you were supposed to "curb your dog"; meaning, drag the darling beast into the gutter as soon as you perceived the magic moment had arrived. Because, then as now, touch-tone parking was the rule, and there wasn't even an inch between parked cars, this act of social obligation was impossible to perform. As a result, my sidewalk became, to a larger degree than most others in midtown, a veritable minefield of little doggy "presents".