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  • Felix and I do four walks a day. I like to mix up the routes, but I doubt a dog cares about repetition. They are overloaded with scents so it's always new.

    The one rule is we avoid walking past Shithead's house.

  • Shithead is a viscous sounding German Shepherd. I have never seen any indication that he goes inside his owner's house. He is out there barking late at night. He is out there barking in the coldest winter days.

    The one time we walk past his house is our evening walks because it's too dark for the other routes that go into the forest. Felix is calm with other barking dogs. He holds his composure, walking cooly by, does not bark back.

    Shithead usually starts warming up his routine as we approach from a black away. His bark is deep, mean, and carries on long after we pass his yard. I can hear him from my house half a mile away. My friend lives directly across the street; he says the barking is so loud that his walls shake. He's called the Sheriff a few times.

    Shithead still barks.

    Sometimes I play talk. "How you doing today, Shithead?" "Seen any good movies, Shithead?" "Are you cold out tonight Shithead?"

    Shithead just barks.

  • Many times I just ignore Shithead. He keeps barking. I've not felt so annoyed to call the Sheriff; I think neighbors are better off talking directly to each other. But I have never seen Shithead's owners, I have not seen any human at his house.

    And that gets me thinking.

  • Shithead spends all his time fenced in his yard. He never gets to walk in the forest like we do, nor stare at elk nor run playfully up the hill. Shithead has no toys to play with. I assume somebody does feed Shthead. No people seem to come out and give him attention. He just gets to sit there behind his fence and see everyone pass by freely.

    I start to think that if that was my life, I sure as hell would bark a lot at the world. That's no existence for anyone.

    So I find myself with a small bit of compassion for Shithead, a very very small bit.

  • I have been told his real name is "Magic" but, even with compassion, I like calling him Shithead instead.

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