Theo The Dog

"Amicus Fidelis Vale" now available for download. Look for button in the SoundCloud player.

This song I wrote for a very dear friend when I learned of his passing. Since he was four months old, Theo the Dog was not only my companion, but an extension of my soul. We became so close over the course of our eight years together that we could communicate nonverbally, and there were times when I should have paid attention to his signals and instincts that I did not realize until later. A leash was never needed, but tolerated. He loved me fiercely and jealously, and was sometimes ready to bite the head off of anyone who came between us. I could wrestle with him, tooth and claw, looking to others like he was mauling me and I was struggling to defend myself, and he would never hurt me or leave a mark. If I said "ouch," he would immediately stop what he was doing, sit, and wait to see if I was alright. Anyone who knew him knew he was the world's biggest sweetheart and a marvel of a beast. Those who didn't would not dare to fuck with him.

Unfortunately, after I had already suffered much loss, there came a time when we had no choice but to live in a situation that wasn't ideal for either of us. We lived in the home of an abusive control freak, someone who I learned after we had already lived there for a couple weeks was a habitual abuser of methamphetamine, and he restricted Theo's access to the home more and more, until he forced Theo to live in the garage. I had lost all of my finances and couldn't find any work anywhere in Portland. I was feeding Theo canned food purchased with food stamps, and he was losing a startling amount of weight. I had to admit to myself I could no longer care for him. I had to find him a new home.

Through a friend, I met a wonderful woman with a hippie-ish lifestyle and beliefs, who already had  very well-treated dogs and lived on several acres of land. Theo immediately took to her. I watched him jump into her vehicle with that huge goofy grin on his adorable, wrinkly face. I said good bye, and I had tears when we parted, he still had that smile, and I felt I unquestionably that I had done the right thing. He lived a year longer in the company of this woman and her dogs, romping happily on her land, and I am happy that that was the way he spent the remainder of his life.

Of course, I will always miss him, and I thought about him every day after we parted. I still think of him quite often, and feel the pain of his absence, particularly when I mistakenly use his name to address a new friend of mine named Rocko. When I learned of Theo's death, I had two choices: I could withdraw into myself and be miserable and sad, wrapping my inner being around an antimatter-like ball of grief, or I could focus on fond memories and creation and express myself in a constructive way. I chose the latter. I chose music. And it was indeed a wonderful way to process the finality of Theo's absence and a cathartic tool for moving onward.

I love this song. It's cheesy, it's beautiful, and it perfectly captures what I had in my mind's eye while I was writing it: a montage of grainy, home-movie like images of this magnificent beast happily galumphing through whatever landscape he found himself in. I don't believe I'll be including this song on any of The Lady anoNYMous' releases, just on my Soundcloud profile so that it can remain here, as a memorial for a friend, a companion, and a soul mate. If you were a personal friend and Theo's and would like a digital copy of this track, send me a message or an email. Please share this page with your friends, particularly those who love dogs, and help #TheoTheDog to trend.