I don’t have a good memory. I know this because my sister has a great memory and she will ask me “Remember that night we were down the Cape and we went to see that band and we got up on stage and sang Purple Rain?”
Me: No, I don’t remember that.
Sister: it was July 2004?
Me: God, I have no idea. What was I wearing?
Sometimes I can jog my memory with clothing details.
Point is, my mother recently asked me about a dog I fostered about 7 years ago. I couldn’t remember a lot of the important details like “what was the dog’s name?”
“You mean the dog that lived with me for 6 weeks? That dog? Well it’s the darndest thing.. I don’t recall.
I would be a terrible witness to a crime.
I do remember two guys drove the dog to Brooklyn from Maine. My sister and I were living together and anxiously awaited our new roommate’s arrival. The dog ran in the apartment and jumped on the couch and took a shit.
That is really how my mother remembered the dog “remember you had that dog that shit on the couch?” but I didn’t want to give it away right up front.
The day after couch shitting day, I got an email from the foster service saying The Foster Dog had an appointment to get neutered. The email included all the medical type stuff I might have to do if his phantom nuts got infected. I remember feeling flattered that they thought I, Kendra Cunningham, a person they had in fact never met before, was capable of taking care of a dog that just had his nuts cut off.
There was no infection but I do remember, shortly after the nut cutting, The Foster Dog somehow locked himself in the bathroom and I had to take the bathroom door off its hinges, alone, by myself. The Foster Dog had eaten up a big hunk of the wooden door frame but it didn’t faze him. I wondered if he had gnawed his way out of bathrooms before and when he saw me standing there, with the bathroom door off its hinges, leaning on my shoulder, was that the moment he realized “this girl wants to make my life easier. I am no longer in constant danger”
I like to think I have an impact.
My scheduled foster time was two weeks. After my two weeks was up, I called the agency. They didn’t respond. I emailed them. They didn’t respond. I experience a mixture of anger and panic. I didn’t want to be stuck with this door frame eating dog that never learned to snuggle. I also felt taken advantage of. Why did I have to coordinate the ending of my fostership?
The rest of the details are foggy but I remember arguing with the woman who coordinated the foster.
I wanted the dog out of my apartment. She had no place to put him.
Me: I agreed to two weeks. I have now had the dog for five weeks. I feel like you are taking advantage of my kindness.
Woman: I have no place to put him.
Me: you have been telling me that for three weeks, it’s not my problem. This dog in my house is my problem. You have to come get him.
Woman: I already have two dozen cats and seven dogs in a one bedroom apartment.
The Noah’s Arc of household pets. It was that small bit of information I had been missing. My foster lady was mad as a hatter. The character was now fleshed out. She wasn’t a scatter brain who didn’t know how to get things done; she was a human that lived with twenty animals. My logical pleadings were, perhaps, incomprehensible to this woman.
Eventually, she took the dog. She said she took the dog to her home, adding to her overcrowded apartment. I felt bad but not for long.
That was about seven years ago. My bathroom door frame is still gnawed raw.
None of my guests have ever asked about it but I am thinking I will frame this blog post beside the damaged area.
I went to a mini golf course in Brooklyn (http://www.shipwreckednyc.com/) which had a great storyline via video and text laden plaques,signs that pointed to Danger and Safety, and forebodings of good and evil.
It prompted me to want a storyline in my apartment.
It shall begin with the Damage of the Nameless Foster Dog.
Thanks for listening!
Kendra is a stand up comic living in Brooklyn where she owns a super comfortable b