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This year, spring cleaning the yard turned up something no-so-new.
This unturned stone was found in the corner of the backyard underneath some dying cedar trees. It's a very nice granite marker, previously well hidden under years of accumulated mulch.
Our next door neighbor, who has lived in her current house for decades, thinks that "Johnny" was probably a toy poodle. She said Johnny's owner, the man who built the house I am currently living in, was a big, burly man, and she thought it ironic that he would carry a little poodle with him everywhere he went, like a little baby.
In my experience, I've learned big men tend to prefer little dogs. I'm not sure why. I guess if you're comfortable in your masculinity, you don't need pit bulls and Rottweilers to show the world how tough you are. Who's going to challenge Lou Ferrigno about carrying a Chihuahua around under his arm? No one, that's who.
My poodles have taken to sitting on Johnny's stone while they bark through the fence at the German Shepherd, Sadie, who lives next door. I guess that means that Johnny has a good final resting location. A quarter-century after dying, he's still got a piece of the action.