Marigold The Muse

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.—I was trying to write a column about what’s doing in Alabama when a blind dog wandered into my office. This dog crawled into my lap, started snoring, and began emitting smells. Powerful smells.

The column was going to be about how a current 27-year-old Alabamian contestant on “American Idol” named Johnny Knox offered a bribe to celebrity judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan and Lionel Richie. The bribe was sourdough bread. And it worked. Because this is the current IQ of the television industry.

“I think you’re only going to get better,” replied Katy Perry, with a mouthful of carbs. “We need to [transform you] from sourdough starter to a loaf.”

You have to worry about this country.

So that’s what I was writing about when a dog wandered into my office. My office is nothing to write home about. It’s a disorganized mess of books and junk. This room is a sloppy nightmare. My wife calls it The Hellhole because it contains half the organic matter in the known solar system.

There are three accordions scattered around. A few banjos (I swear, they aren’t mine). I have old boots, several of which are missing heels. Old camping gear. A graveyard of coffee mugs. A rubber chicken named Ed Lee. And Daddy’s ancient Zenith radio, which is busted and only picks up classic country stations or broadcasts involving Red Barber.

So when this petite blind dog meandered into my office and crawled right into my lap, it was difficult to maintain my focus.

Because writing takes extreme focus. The problem, of course, is that I tend to be a little ADD. Throughout my life, I’ve had a difficult time following through on anyth

So as this dog placed her heavy head onto my arm, which was currently engaged in tapping on a laptop keyboard, there was no way I could maintain concentration.

And then came the smells. These were dog smells. Gastrointestinal smells. Existential smells that could make hardened men repent of sins they haven’t even committed.

The dog’s name is Marigold, and as I say, she is blind. It’s unclear how she became this way. But our veterinarian has a theory: Someone beat her.

One of her eyes has been removed. The other eye doesn’t work. So she bumps into things a lot. And when she gets lost, she starts whimpering until I find her.

But she is a happy dog. She wakes up happy. She goes to bed happy. You’ve never seen a more joyous creature. Sometimes, Marigold runs through the house making joy all over the hardwood floors.

She has a unique posture, too. Marigold walks around with her head held high in the air. I don’t know why she does this, but I think it has something to do with her nose. Do you know how wherever you smell something food in the air you cock your head upward to get a better sniff? That’s her permanent pose.

Mostly, the scent she is trailing is my wife’s scent. She loves my wife deeply.

I have a friend who is a veterinary psychologist with a very expensive university degree in zoological psychology. He claims my wife and Marigold have a borderline unhealthy relationship.

“Marigold is co-dependent,” he always points out. Whereupon we all share a hearty laugh because, deep inside, my friend wishes he would have majored in accounting.

Marigold adores my wife and does everything my wife does. When my wife sits on the sofa, Marigold sits on the sofa. When my wife eats lunch, Marigold helps. When my wife walks into the bathroom, Marigold wanders into the restroom and places her head on my wife’s lap.

“Get out of here!” I will often hear my wife shout from the restroom. “Give me some privacy, Marigold!”

Then, immediately, I will hear the sound of Marigold’s collar jingling, which means someone is rubbing her and scruffing her coat.

Which is the same jingling sound I hear right now. Because even though I should be finishing this sentence, I’m too busy petting a beautiful do


  1. Mark Dominesey - March 21, 2023 1:27 pm

    Me too, you always make time to offer some love and comfort to your furry (or feathered) friends when they need it as they are always ready to offer the same to you.

  2. Susie Murphy - March 21, 2023 11:33 pm

    This makes me smile. I have a cat (she is not blind, just a feisty calico named Missy) who does not allow me out of her sight if it can helped. She sits on me when I am reading, eating, playing on my laptop. She is a gift from God……and she can sit on me whenever.


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