May 23, 2022

On Monday afternoon, I took Gechitzik (in the shitbox…he doesn’t get to travel in the Maybach unless he’s on camera, and that isn’t very often) to a little park near were I used to live, since we were looking for a location to film me and the boys putting him through some of his paces. They’re thinking that it’s getting a little monotonous seeing him over and over again in the backyard, even if the backyard is bigger than the little park I took him to on Monday.

So anyway I had Gechitzik on the leash so he could get a feel for the place, and then I saw, coming from the other direction, a dude in a Dodgers shirt walking a small dog (not gayass small, just small), or, rather, being walked by a small dog. Since I’ve had Gechitzik pull me all over the place, believe me, I understood what the dude was going through.

Thing is, like I’ve told y’all, Gechitzik goes berserk around other dogs. He wasn’t the only one: the dude in the Dodgers shirt’s dog went berserk when he saw Gechitzik. I can’t tell you whose dog started barking first, but both me and the other owner had our hands full. There was also no way out of the park but for the dogs to pass each other, so there was no possibility of evasive action. I’ve been in that situation before a couple times walking Gechitzik, and what Nancy told me to do was to try and get the dog to pay attention to me and then lead him past the other barking dog.

Yeah, that’s great for Nancy. Gechitzik was way past ‘engaging with me’ (like Nancy puts it), so, since I had the bigger dog, I choked up on the leash and held 70 pounds of beagle shepherd in place so other dude could go by with his little dog. The dog may have been little, but he was pretty dang noisy. Not ‘yippy’ like really small dogs though; it was more like a full-out bark with some growling and whimpering mixed in.

I exchanged looks with the dude, we both shrugged like we were helpless, since I was doing just as bad a job controlling Getchitzik as the dude was with controlling his dog. Then something weird happened: as the dude and his dog got close to Gechitzik, the two dogs chilled out somehow. They were still kinda wary around each other at first, but the barking stopped, and, soon enough, they were sniffing each others’ butts, which, like y’all probably know, is something dogs do when they want to get to know each other. (It’s one of several reasons that I’m glad I’m not a dog lol.)

Me and the dude looked at each other, more surprised than the dogs were.

“That’s new,” the dude said. “Usually I have to pull him away from other dogs, and even the it takes him a few minutes to calm down and stop barking. I’m afraid he’s gonna give himself a heart attack one of these days,” the dude added with a laugh.

“Don’t I know it,” I said, “only you try dragging 70 pounds of beagle shepherd.”

“You’d be surprised how strong he can be when he digs his paws in. But, yeah,” the dude continued, sizing up Gechitzik, “yours does look like a handful.”

It wasn’t until then that me and the dude got a look at each other.

“You look awfully familiar,” we said at the same time.

“I’m on TV,” I said, although I still get embarrassed having to use that as an explanation for why people think I look familiar.

“No…that can’t be it,” the dude said. “I gave up cable a couple years ago already.”

“Hold on…I’ve got it. You’re the dude who wrote that bitcoin blog. We met at Disneyland a few years ago, on your birthday.”

“That’s right,” the dude said. “And then I ran into you at Starbuck’s.”

“And Target last year, remember?”

“Holy shit. Yeah, I do. That was my birthday too, wasn’t it?”

“Yessir.”

“And it’s my birthday today.”

“Ok, man…this is starting to get weird. Good to see you again, though.”

He started to put his hand out for me to shake (I like it that we’re back to shaking hands), but realized he had a poop bag in the hand that wasn’t holding his dog’s leash.

I realized the exact same thing as I put my hand out for him to shake.

We both burst out laughing, arranged our leashes and poop bags, and shook hands.

“This,” the dude said, indicating his poop bag, “is not my favorite part of the day. But I’d rather he do his business outside than on the carpet.”

“My best buddy says that I pick up dog shit for a living now,” I said. Needless to say, Keaton refuses to call anything a poop bag lol.

“What kind of a dog is yours?,” the dude asked, looking down at Gechitzik. He and the dude’s dog were still sniffing around each other and, more importantly, not barking.

“A beagle shepherd. They’re a thing, although I know some people say that it looks like they stuck the wrong head on the wrong body. We got him at a shelter, and, well…he kinda picked me out. ‘We’ is Maya Bedrossian and her family. They’ve got a reality show…and I have a part in it.”

“Dog training?”

“That’s a piece of it,” I said. I didn’t really want to get into the shirtless stuff, so I just added “and I do a baseball segment.”

“That’s right, you used to be a ball player.”

“Go Dodgers,” I said, indicating the dude’s shirt. Then I realized I was wearing a Dodgers shirt too.

Then it got even weirder. The dude was standing kind of sideways, so I was able to see that the back of his shirt said Seager and had a big number 5. I burst out laughing again and turned around, so he could see that my shirt said exactly the same thing on the back.

“I can’t wear them on camera anymore, but they outfitted me with plenty of Corey Seager gear when I got the job on the show. So I wear my Seager shirts to scout parks with Gechitzik.”

“What did you say his name was?”

“Gechitzik. I know, it sounds like ‘go get sick’. It’s Armenian.”

“What’s it mean?”

“They tell me it means ‘handsome’. What’s your dog’s name?”

“He’s actually not my dog at all. He belongs to friends. And we’re in for another freakish coincidence: his name’s Smuk. Yeah…I know…it sounds like ‘Schmuck’…but the dog’s owners are Danish and, in Danish…wait for it…’smuk’ means ‘handsome’.” Then he looked down at his dog, who was some kind of a poodle mix who kept changing color from grey to beige, depending on how the light hit him. “I don’t know how handsome he is…if you ask me, he needs a haircut, but you can only hint to your friends so many times that the dog can’t see.” I checked the dog out: sure enough, he had ‘bangs’ that were covering his eyes, like some dogs get, although I heard that those dogs know how to see through their hair. It did make me glad that Gechitzik doesn’t need any grooming beyond a bath every once in a while.

“What kind of a dog is Smuk?,” I asked. “I can see the poodle, but what’s the rest?”

“We think yorkie,” said the dude. “He’s got a yorkie face, if you can see it under all the fur. Someone told me they’re called yorkipoos…but that makes poor Smuk sound totally gayass.”

I couldn’t have agreed more. ‘Beagle Shepherd’ at least doesn’t sound like something you’d put in your purse like the Yorkie we pretended we’d gotten Keaton for his birthday.

By this time Gechitzik and Smuk had finished sniffing each others’ butts and were both pulling at their leashes.

“You know, I see people walking their dogs on slack leashes and it makes me really jealous. This one just pulls me wherever he wants to. And that’s not good for my back. I broke my tailbone a couple months ago, and it’s not healed yet. Age, I guess,” said the dude with a shrug, although he didn’t look more than 45.

And of course that was another weirdass coincidence. I couldn’t help but hold Gechitzik back to tell him that I broke my coccyx too…and that he should watch the show and follow my rehab exercise program. I just hoped that didn’t sound like I was saying that it was worth getting cable to watch me work out.

“We’ve got a dog training segment too, but, even with a professional trainer and working on everything she teaches us with the boys between sessions, he’s still…well…let’s call him a slow learner.” Gechitzik gave a big tug on his leash at that point, so I knew it was time to go. “Nice seeing you again, man,” I said, as we readjusted our poop bags to shake hands again. “And nice meeting you, Smuk. And, oh yeah, happy birthday.”

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