I knew this guy who had a pet dog. Everyone else had zebras that just stood there eating grass, but this one guy had a dog that could do all these tricks. He named his dog Mitch and taught Mitch how to run a blog. Mitch did it pretty well, this guy thought. So he entered Mitch into a few blog races. A blog race is where blogs chase a fake rabbit around a track to see which one crosses the finish line first. Some people think it's cruel, but not this guy. He was totally banking on Mitch winning big. This guy had recently been fooled into a subprime mortgage that he couldn't afford. Each night he listened to Tom Ashbrook of WBUR talk to famous economists who prophesied the end of the world, or at least democratic capitalism. This guy was nervous. He'd stopped bathing. All he did was train Mitch, night and day. I used to go over in the evening and watch Mitch post. This guy knew Mitch would be the answer, and I started to think so, too. I told Jeff and Donna at work about Mitch, and pretty soon the three of us were subscribers to Mitch's RSS feeds. We formed a MySpace group called Believers in Mitch and, just for good measure, posted a few flyers around Allston with a picture of Mitch and Jeff's brother's cell phone number on it. Jeff's brother had loaned it to Jeff before going to prison. The next night we got a call from this guy. Yes, this guy. He said that Mitch had been hit by a car while crossing the street. Apparently Mitch had forgotten to look both ways because he was thinking about his next post. This guy said the first thing he saw after he'd scooped Mitch off the pavement was one of our flyers. He said Mitch would've liked that. This guy said it was crazy but he still believed in Mitch. One day, he said, just you wait.
He knew he shouldn't urinate inside. He remembered what had happened the last time he couldn't control himself. The man had not been happy. He had raised his voice and forced the dog's nose into the puddle. He locked the dog outside for the night, where the dog could urinate anywhere he wanted. It had been cold and dark and not even the exotic scents of wild animals could make him feel better. He feel asleep curled up in the pool of light seeping through the back door window. In his dream he dug through trash and treed a squirrel; in the morning he dug a hole in the garden and urinated on the same tree from his dream. The yard seemed big, then small. The world was a mystery. When the man appeared and made some kind sounds, the dog felt safe. He went back inside and ate food from his bowl, curled onto his bed, and fell asleep. He dreamt he crawled under the man's covers for a creature that smelled like applewood smoke. He awoke and roamed the rooms in search of the man. He drank some water and thought about dirt. Constantly, the urge to urinate.