FF127 - Megan Leavey

Intro by John Roderick

This is a dog movie, so a certain percentage of our audience has already decided it is a 5 Milk-Bone film or whatever without even watching it. The dog people, you know the ones I mean, the anubisians (actually: Cynophilist).

When I was a kid, dogs roamed around outside doing dog things like shitting everywhere and licking their peanuts and humping each other and severely biting kids on the leg that were only trying to ride their bikes to the Northway Mall and who made the mistake of riding through Mountain View instead of going out Debarr Road (God only knows why!).

No-one held dogs in high esteem. Dogs were just things in the world, like crows and garbage cans and El Caminos and drainage ditches that led to culverts under the street where the light filtered down through the holes in the manhole covers, and where you knew better than to light firecrackers because your mom was convinced the sewers were full of methane and you would blow up the neighborhood.

Dogs weren't important. They didn't really matter to anyone, they just were. If your dog got hit by a car, it was sad. I remember… my dog Peachy II got hit by a car. Peachy II was named after Peachy the 1st who died some other way long before my time, but we were sad about Peachy II. I am sure we cried. I don't remember how long we cried. Nobody sent us a card or anything.

Then six months later my mom's boyfriend Bobby found Barney at the Midway Swap meet and he gave him to me even though my mom said he was an ugly dog and why didn't Bobby find a nice peach-colored dog? Barney was my best friend, the best dog a kid could want, until Barney ran away. A girl in my class found him and when she had heard I had lost my dog she invited me over to her house to see if it was Barney, and sure enough: it was, except when I called to him, he wouldn't come. He had only been gone a couple of weeks, but he pretended he didn't know me. She was a nice girl and her house was nicer than ours and I guess the food was better.

Anyway, nowadays people really think highly of dogs, they really do! They let them in the house for one, and some people even let them on their furniture. I knew a girl once who let her dog get on the bed. I couldn't believe that, let me tell you! But that same night I also learned that, you know, those old wall alcoves in old bungalows that maybe were built to put a telephone or something, but now they aren't good for anything except like a votive candle or maybe an ironic statue of a saint draped with a gauzy scarf, depending on how goth you are.

Well, she had built a little shrine to the singer Adam Duritz of the Counting Crows in that little alcove in her apartment and she didn't care who saw it. This was a long time ago when it was borderline conceivable that I would have gone to a second location with a girl who liked the Counting Crows, although —God— not that much, but there has never been a time then or now that I would spend the night someplace where they let the dogs on the beds.

My two co-host Ben and Adam are, as you know, a different generation from me. But they are different generations from each other, I guess, in the same way that the Pontiac Sunbird that is based on the Chevy Monza is a different generation from the Pontiac Sunbird that is based on the Oldsmobile Firenza, but being different generations, they both have chosen to own mid-sized beardie waterdogs. It is a thing I think they saw in Sunset magazine. A waterdog is mustache wax for guys who can't grow a mustache.

Anyway, neither of their dogs can tell a doorbell from a sock full of cheese. Adam's dog's Sprocket has Orphan Annie hair and wants to be useful to someone hunting birds, but what he actually does is wait with an all-consuming focus for Adam to move from one room to another, whereupon he will follow and once again commence his vigil. I guess Adam felt he was missing this in his life: A sentinel to accompany him everywhere and sound a bugle every time he stands or sits. To Adam's credit, I am fairly certain that Sprocket is not allowed on the bed and this can only be because Adam was born before 1982.

Ben's dog, on the other hand, the ironically named Darwin, is, as you can imagine, an adorable Benji type who barks at spiders, drags his ass on the carpet while Ben and his wife applaud like proud parents, and sleeps between them on the bed, preventing them from ever consummating their marriage, and carpet-bombing them with noxious gas from his specialty vegan diet that costs more than their rent. I don't get it!

Anyway: All dogs die at the end of dog films, but don't let that stop you from watching today's film. ”They are not even dogs anymore, they are warriors, and they come back with all the same issues we do!” On today's Friendly Fire: Megan Leavey

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