Tuesday, November 16, 2010

GRISMAN aka doodle

the DOODLE was a man among beasts...

one of my dear friends is no longer with us on this earth, yet he will always be in the hearts & minds of those who were lucky enough to have grown up with him.
his parent, Danimal, is an excellent friend & gaurdian to his loyal companion (Gris was so loving). dan did it about as good, if not better than anyone, in raising one of the best dogs ever. both were & remain to be, stewards of the natural world. they are two of my best friends for all time. thanks dan for sharing your amazing woofer with us. i'm so sorry for your loss.
i was saddened instantly when i learned of Grisman's passing. i didn't know what to say to dan except that i loved him & Grisman. dan was incredibly kind & mindful to have said, "you're one of the very select people i really wish was there with me." i was moved & i couldn't stop the tears. Grisman helped me to grow up, while reminding me to never grow old. his energy was unparalleled. he'll go down as one of the great friends i will have had, let alone his being one of the main pals all through college. imagine, a house full of college aged boys far from home & here's Grisman growing up, literally, while we were trying to.
dan & brian had brought him home before i had met any of them. i'm blessed that all of our lives meshed together so well in T town (friends for life). Grisman's first home town would be a place that would etch the grandest of memories upon us. i have the best friends.
i loved Gris a lot. as far as i can tell he was the best dog a boy could ever ask for and he wasn't even mine. although it felt as if he was all of ours. Gris was that one greater good, who would always be a positive force, unlike people.
this woofer doodle was one of a kind & definitely the all-star of home run derby, our hybridized game on the university's campus. it was best after the sprinklers wet the manicured lawn (because: a. Grisman's catches became more phenomenal due to his slipping, b. he would tear up the pitch like no cleat could ever do while making these catches that didn't seem possible & c. when he made the turn to hustle back with the ball it was a rooster tail of earth & water)! both of the batters & Grisman could score points depending on where the tennis ball landed or hit & how. you wanted to get the ball to bounce. if the ball hit the sidewalk that traversed the yard or if it smacked the dorm, we scored points. these precise hits always made the ball bounce, thus encouraging Gris to run harder & catch it off the carom. he was so smart that the hitter could tell him to stay, in order to get the correct timing for which ever bounce inducing zone you were going for; whether it was a paved sidewalk, the midway point or a home run off the dorm across the quad. we could also score runs if the ball bounced off the grass high enough for Grisman to catch it. all three participants would be awarded points if grisman's catch was acrobatic. often times it was & he would receive the loudest cheers of the night. spectators grew as we played on. you could tell he understood the praise because of how he hustled & also due to his reaction when he couldn't quite make the catch. he loved it. we were always having more fun than anyone else. he'll be a beacon for those great times!
he enjoyed many great journeys, which included seeing most of america & surviving an overboard situation on dan's sail boat in puget sound! no problem for the doodle, even if the tides were moving through a swift channel of the sound. he just swam ashore. luckily enough dan got a phone call that Grisman was OK, whew.
Grisman was definitely an athletic specimen, unmatched in my opinion. i've seen him climb tress pretty high up, probably better than most people. of course matty & i were encouraging him & we too were climbing the tree. it was a spectacle. i'm pretty sure Grisman's legacy was cemented forever after that display on campus. he also broke everyone of his own records in water fountain fetch. this occurred in front of the science building, in a huge fountain that was off limits (not for Gris). we would strategically get the ball to land in the second level, so to speak. this meant that Gris had to jump over the initial ledge, run through the constructed pond full of water, but not deep enough for him to paddle in, then jump up & into a 3 foot secondary basin, retrieve the ball & finally bring it all the way back to us at the outer ring of the main basin. his hall of fame numbers lingered around 8, then 9 and finally 11. 11 in a row, even with all of the energy he exerted he could do all of that 11 times in a row without any failure. he easily could go beyond that number, but certain leaps would need multiple chances. or he'd cool down perfectly in the center of the pond where we couldn't wrangle or entice him. then one day, with the hurling stick as my aid, he hit a dozen. only the doodle. that record will never be broke. 'Ol Grisy grey beard!
i wish there was one more round of fetch... on a frozen lake, in the snow, around the fountian, into the sound (while fighting off seals for his beloved ball), up the tree, across the field, in the car & as always, speeding through someone else's lawn. i know that dan did all the right things. and i also know that all dogs go to heaven. he lived the best of lives, a king among canines!
i know the colonel rolled a ball down the elevation of a hike he took. i smashed one last tennis ball into an apple orchard in west sonoma county... here's to you Grisman... i love you & i miss you. i wish i could have been there for you. you were always there waiting for us!

... to the dog who was so smart he didn't need a leash. nor would he cross the street until you told him "ok"... i coming to you give you our hurling stick. you will never be forgotten. RIP