Lucky 2007-2019

Lucky Birthday!

The dog of the hour.

…so, uh, spoilers for this heartbreaking entry in the title, obviously.

28 hours past the event itself, I’m two sentences into this and have already had to stop typing twice to compose myself.

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My Doggo, My Drug Buddy

Lucky!

Lucky in repose atop the only IKEA product in our entire house. Thankfully we were able to get his giant urine stain out of it.

When drugs get a foothold in your household, they don’t always belong to your first suspect. Sometimes there’s more than one.

Our home’s recent influx of new pharmaceuticals began shortly after Baby New Year 2019 arrived to kick out grizzled, bitter Grampaw Old Year 2018. We had such high hopes after the changing of the guard.

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Our Dog Looks Like We Feel

Lucky surgery!

Never thought I’d see the day when our dog Lucky would find himself dressed like a Sno-Cone, but here we are.

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“Relax! It’s easy!” says the dog.

Lucky!

I took a four-day staycation the week before Thanksgiving, but any therapeutic benefits were nullified days ago by the nonstop holiday weekend, the long work week that followed, and the little family dramas encroaching on various fronts. I’m under orders from my wife to get some rest this weekend after three straight nights of failing at proper sleep. Our dog Lucky, the master of power naps in our household, makes relaxation look sooooo simple.

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Top 10 Most Shocking Surprises in Puppy Bowl XII

Puppy Bowl XII!It’s that time again! On Sunday 99% of America will be watching Super Bowl 50 and joking about how calling it “Super Bowl L” would’ve made the whole thing sound too Kryptonian. Meanwhile, we eclectic 1% have our own viewing plans: the twelfth annual Puppy Bowl! The geniuses at Animal Planet once again acknowledge that people like me exist and counterprogram for our tastes with a repeated two-hour pretend-competitive event in which a bunch of animals frolic and gambol with a bunch of other animals, and the announcer and referee each take turns making the worst puns of the year. Puppy Bowl is mostly a dog’s field, but other animals such as cats, hamsters, and even penguins have assumed roles at times in this increasingly diverse production.

As is our custom, we here at Midlife Crisis have dinner plans that night in an empty restaurant with no TV. Before our big date, rest assured we’ll be tuning in for Puppy Bowl XII even though we’ve convinced ourselves we already know what the showrunners are planning to unleash that’ll really shake up this year’s judgment-free dog show.

Right this way for the list!

All is Quiet on New Year’s Day. GOOD.

Lucky!

Some holidays were made for lethargy.

After a busy Christmas weekend and a restless year in general, I determined New Year’s Day would be an oasis of peace and inaction. No working, no running errands, no visiting relatives, no spending hours on home improvement or inessential chores, no new projects even if they’re fun ones, no heavy lifting, no hard thinking, and no activities that resemble my day-job responsibilities.

Good news: complete lack-of-mission accomplished. My concentration levels are rising. My worries are muted. My nerves are steady. How our dog Lucky spent New Year’s Eve (pictured above) is how I spent today. I love it when a plan comes together.

Some of this re-energizing trance will be wasted because I’m denied the luxury of a four-day weekend and will be reporting to work Friday. Chores and home activities will likely be Saturday’s themes. For now, I’m taking what I can get, enjoying the moment, and living for a short while longer like a spoiled house dog. If you haven’t tried it I highly recommend it, but only in moderation. If too many of us choose to live this way 24/7, our society crumbles and all the older citizens will write indulgent thinkpieces shaming us all. So today only, the rest; tomorrow, back to the stress.

Too much typing. Stopping now.

zzzzzzzzzzzz

Are You Ready for “Take Your Dog to Work Day” 2014? Not Us.

Vulture Dog.

Remember those old Peanuts strips where Snoopy impersonated a vulture? Based on a true story.

That’s right, kids! Friday, June 20, 2014, sees the return of Take Your Dog to Work Day, that annual festivity in which lovers of pets and pet-shaped things invite their trusty companions into the workplace and spend eight to ten more hours with them than usual. It can be a wondrous bonding experience, a welcome break in your routine, and a fun opportunity to talk about the joys of pet ownership to other lonely souls who have neither pets nor joy. I’m sure Take Your Dog to Work Day is already marked on your Garfield calendar and my gentle reminder is superfluous, but I’d hate to see anyone miss out and waking up kicking themselves on the 21st.

…wait, no, actually, I’ve never heard of it.

I don’t think we’re gonna be ready in time…

Birthday 42: a Road Trip for Comics, Art, and Nature

Birthday cupcakes!

Gifts from my coworkers: chocolate cupcakes with peanut-butter-cup centers. This is so much better than a birthday pitch-in where 9 out of every 10 participants bring potato chips.

It’s that time of year again! As of today I’m now 42 years old and decided hours ago not to contrive a Hitchhiker’s Guide joke from that. All things considered, I’m a much happier guy at 42 than I was at 21. By the time I’m old enough to want to lie about my age, I won’t be able to get away with it anymore.

For the last few years, my wife and I have spent our respective birthdays together finding some new place or attraction to visit as a one-day road trip — partly as an excuse to spend time together on this most frabjous day, partly to explore areas of Indiana we’ve never experienced before. My 2014 birthday destination of choice: the town of Muncie, some 75 miles northeast of here. It’s the home of Ball State University (my sister-in-law’s alma mater), hometown of Garfield creator Jim Davis, scene of a fair amount of works of art, and location for, of all things, a notable comic book shop I wanted to see.

Alter Ego Comics!

This way for props, flowers, shops, and doggies!

Chicago Photo Tribute #10: Brief Lake Michigan Walkabout

It’s that time of year again! A time for travel, a time for getting out of the house and out of town, a time for remembering what sunlight feels like, and a time for forgetting all about that nasty winter that we’ll all agree never to speak of again.

In two weeks my wife and I are heading once again up to Chicago to attend C2E2, that annual Midwest gala of a comic book convention that’s as close as we may ever come to San Diego. We’re also planning another walk around downtown Chicago, but haven’t decided on an itinerary. If you know of fantastic places or things around the Loop or the Magnificent Mile that weren’t covered in previous entries (see links below), we’re absolutely all ears.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover, we shared photos from our visits over the years. With Chicago on our minds once more, it’s time to delve into the ol’ photo bag once more. Our last Chicago romp was last September, which was briefly covered here in an entry about the Gene Siskel Film Center, which for me was the highlight of the day.

Earlier in the day, we skirted once more along the shore of Lake Michigan.

Lake Michigan, Chicago, Navy Pier

This way for more. And we saw a doggie!

Top 10 Signs “Puppy Bowl” Has Jumped the Shark

Puppy Bowl X, Animal Planet

Blatant corporate sponsorship is the least of Puppy Bowl’s worries.

Some of us cantankerous contrarians don’t spend Super Bowl Sunday drinking, partying, enjoying sports, or watching expensive commercials starring strippers. Animal Planet has carved itself a healthy, annual counterprogramming niche with its beloved Puppy Bowl, a repeating, two-hour pageant of puppies frolicking on a doggy-sized football field, competing over fuzzy toys, and listening to a human referee recite painful doggy puns aimed at the channel’s coveted grade-school viewer demographic. It’s predictable, lovable, huggable, non-sports comfort food.

At least, it was.

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Our Dog Lucky vs. Hawkeye’s Dog Lucky: a Companion Comparison

Seven years ago after moving into a new home, our family was joined by a dog named Lucky. Last year when the Avenger known as Hawkeye moved into his own solo series, he was joined by a dog named Lucky. I like to pretend this means something significant in the grand scheme. What are the odds of our dogs having the same name? Sure, it could be wild coincidence, and probably is.

Our Lucky’s previous owners were relatives who found that raising three kids was all the daily stress test they could handle. Due to a combination of the newborn’s safety issues and the oldest child’s apathy onset, Lucky had been spending most of his days caged and ignored, with nothing to occupy his time except storing energy so that every time he was released, he became a furry little whirling dervish. My wife’s previous dog had passed away several months before, leaving a dog-shaped hole in our hearts. We proposed a win-win exchange: we would accept Lucky into our home, and they would be free to replace him with a pocket-sized rodent more in line with the oldest child’s pet preferences. We decided not to change his name since he was already used to it.

At first glance, Lucky’s feisty demeanor seemed harmless.

young Lucky, dog

Hawkeye’s Lucky was owned by tracksuit-wearing gangsters from eastern Europe who had called him Arrow for reasons unknown, possibly because they were fans of American weapons terminology. Lucky was abused, surely taken for granted, and probably fed the nastiest, mealiest dog food around. Something with bits of vermin added for flavor, I’d bet. During a fracas between Hawkeye and the dogs, “Arrow” ended up on the losing side of a car collision. After sending the goons packing, Hawkeye rushed the dog in for emergency treatment, effectively took custody, and eventually renamed him Lucky. He’s sometimes referred to by the affectionate nickname “Pizza Dog” because the cast keeps giving him people food.

At first sight, Lucky’s grievous bodily harm appeared alarming.

Hawkeye, Hawkguy, Lucky, Pizza Dog

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Angry Puppy Bowl IX Spectator Demands Answers, Territorial Rights, Attention

Like many a family, my wife, my son, and I have our annual Super Bowl traditions. Your family’s traditions may involve alcohol, catering, betting, snacking, TV commercial reviews, party invitations, and sports. Ours, not really. On Super Bowl Sunday, every restaurant in town without a TV in its dining area is deserted from 6 p.m. to at least 10 p.m. We take advantage and go seclude ourselves someplace nice. usually having the whole joint to ourselves. Last year we tried a new Asian place down the road that was entirely deserted except for the waitstaff, who just didn’t get us and didn’t seem in the mood to cook or serve to their full potential. This year we returned to Bynum’s Steakhouse, our refuge from Super Bowl XLV two years ago. Much more acceptable.

Also part of our family tradition: catching a few minutes of Puppy Bowl, Animal Planet’s idea of Big Game counterprogramming. If you’re not entertained by the sight of muscular millionaires pounding on each other for a few seconds at a time in between montages of really expensive TV commercials, then perhaps you might prefer the sight of animals frolicking in a fuzzy play area while an unseen announcer and a referee impersonator provide fake context saturated with horrible puns and nearly as much product placement as the real Big Game.

However, one dissenting member of our household is not a Puppy Bowl fan:

Lucky, Puppy Bowl IX viewer

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