RIP Dammitina Dawoo
How long can I sit here in front of this blank screen with the title above and a blank white page mocking me? How could I ever reduce the joy that Dammit bestowed on me to mere words? …The same devices that used car salesmen and politicians use. The same feeble and obvious combinations used over and over again in different combinations to elicit unique and special meanings but always within limits of convention and always said before better. I would be the most talented writer on Earth if I could convey a morsel of the grief I am about to endure by telling you that the burden of Dammit’s death is on my shoulders. That I am going to pay, fucking pay someone to end her life. And why? Why? Because kidneys don’t last forever. Because a test tells me to. Because she can no longer either leap into the air as if gravity didn’t notice her or lap water out of a bowl. Because not only blindness or deafness or creaky limbs and now failing organs should dictate the comings and goings of
spirits like this… Nay. Because she demands it. She has used up the vessel that contains her spirit. She used every drop. The last few years were her golden ones and now bored of her retirement she demands to continue to push on… on to the next thing for her. Greedy, I beg her to hold on. For another week. Maybe the steroids? Maybe more acupuncture? Maybe it would be easier if the freak accident that came for me a thousand times came now? But there is no shortcut. The lives of Elves and humans and dogs and fleas are out of calibration. And this is the way of a show, after all. A beginning, a middle and an end. With the reveals, the conflicts, the resolutions. The dramas, the tragedy, the experimentation. The fun. The passion. And finally, the conclusion.
Dammitina was a Showdog. The dog of a Showman. We did it together. All of it. This is her curtain.
I looked for her today. She’s not here. Will I look for her forever? Will I always see her at my feet when I’m typing my pitches to get people to support the plight of the underdog? Will I forever be the guy with a pick-up truck and a dog loading junk and throwing the stick? Will I stand at the front of my bus and tell 40 people that we are going on an adventure and don’t give the dog chocolate? Who’s gonna pee on the couch now? There are so many questions I have. The biggest one is what the fuck am I going to do now? How can I still be Chicken John without Dammit Dog? Will the spell be broken now?
My heart is shrouded in grief. But how could it be any different? Chaos brought her to me, and through me… to you. We were all fortunate to have met this animal who I watched people CHEER for. CHEER! Like it was your kid in the fucking Olympics. I’ve watched people’s faith restored in the show watching this animal do her tricks with no script and no training. She was a natural. Dammit has graced the covers of magazines dozens of times. Posters. Thousands of t-shirts. She had a friggin’ theme song. People fawned over her like a newborn. An entire language crafted to like baby-talk with the entire circus reciting it. “Da da da da woo woo woo.” Her last name is what we called that language: Dawoo. A bizarre Steve Miller referene from the song Go On Take The Money And Run. Her original name she ignored, finally responding to the curse that would escape my lips when I would catch her being bad as a teenager. “Dammit dog!!!” I would say looking at the garbage can knocked over. “Dam
mit dog!!!!” I would shout as I would chase her down when she escaped from the yard. “Dammit dog!!!” I said one day as she was eating a pair of Danny’s panties. And she came to me like I called her. And came to me every time after that. Named herself, basically. She was put on the Earth to make your day. And she did just that, over and over again. Every day. She was an enchanted creature. Her passing leaves us poorer. Impoverished. Destitute. And will leave in me a hollowness that I will never be able to fill.
Camp Tipsy is re-scheduled to August 15th and 16th. I’m gonna need a minute.
Services for Dammitina will be held at the warehouse Monday, July 20th from 7-10. Her final resting place Tracey and Don’s backyard in Richmond.
Of all the things that have made me feel like a lucky guy… the luckiest guy… being Dammit’s steward has to be all 10 of the top 10. Rest in peace, small dog. And know that not only was your 19 ½ years amazing in length… but also in depth. She had the best life a dog could have. I can’t even begin to describe it. But I don’t need to. You already know.
My world stopped today. My heart shattered into a million pieces and my grief and gratitude forever confused together in a maelstrom of smithereens of the true love and understanding of 1 small dog. Life is a messy, fucked shenanigan. My life; a caper that I pulled off largely because of the great spirits that I surrounded myself with. A trick that I pulled off with ease. Because of Dammit, I got away with so much. I know it. And now, life seems blurry and less sharp. A smudge of what it was. A testament to love felt so deeply. So easy. A partnership divided. I can’t believe she’s gone. But this is no fiction. She was always the realest thing. Her passing a testament to reality itself.
I’ll miss you, Dammit Dog. Nothing will be the same without you.
There is a Flickr thing if you have photos you would like to share of Dammit: