The Departure

One year ago, January 11th, 2021, Chester 12Pound passed from me. I held him in my arms, I told him how much I loved him and I thanked him for being the best ever. Over and over again, I told him what a good boy he was.

He floated away.

It’s been a year.

He’s not coming back.

A PSANN Final Report with Chester 12Pound

HIHIhihi HI!! HI! My name is Chester 12Pound and I am the Little Dog who knows the thing that is All Of The Stuff! Today is a time I have to tell a Very Important Thing.

Okay! First. Last week we went in the new car and they brought me to the place of The Vet and do you want to know a thing? The Lady and The Man made me go in there ALL BY MYSELF!! They did not even come inside with me! And when I was inside they stuck something in my butt and then they SHAVED MY BELLY!! I’m not even going to ask if you can believe a thing because I know you can not believe a thing. I was so mad that I was going to go home and hide my special bone for 2 DAYS! 2 DAYS!!

They finally took me to a room with The Lady and The Hairy Lady and they were looking at pictures and The Lady was crying. She saw me and she hugged me and told me that I was So Good! And that I could go home and have an Ice Cream.

That is when I knew a thing. It’s a thing that all little dogs know about. I knew that I was going to have to go soon. It is a truth that is known and it can make for real sadnesses.

But also with your sadnesses you should think about the things that are good, too. I am 14 1/2 and I have done so many things!

I was a sketchy personal injury lawyer. I got to go to the dog park and I got to do RUNRUNRUN so many times with so many dogs. I told jokes to my dog friends and they laughed and that felt pretty good.

I founded The Greater Bathroom and Hallway Community College with Maddie and I got to be a great professor who told other dogs and people ideas that they should know about.

I found an inside out toad and I rolled around on it until I was covered in inside out toad! One time I ate an entire batch of chocolate chip cookies and then I puked them all up under the bed. Another time I ate a whole bag of peanuts and I didn’t chew them so when I went poohibbity it was all of the same peanuts!! In a pile!

Every day I yelled at the mailman when he came to the house and every day he ran away before he even tried to come inside. And I scared him so much that when we moved to Vermont he didn’t even try to follow us. And I yelled at Fat Squirrel. Fat squirrel is the thing that is SO STUPID!!! He doesn’t even know how to be a way, he can just be fat squirrel.

I went camping and I went in canoes and I got to sleep in tents and I found new and more deliciously stinky things to roll in or eat. I went to farms and I yelled at sheep and I met other dogs and I found more things to roll in. The best place to find the things that are good to roll in is farms! But don’t let The Lady catch you or you have to have a bath and all the sheep find out and they laugh at you! Stupid sheep! This is why you should always yell at sheep. They don’t even know a thing.

Maddie and I made an internationally famous action news network. The Puff Snuzzle Action News Network has so many respects because we tell you a thing! Action News, When You Need It. And we weren’t like stupid Bick Stickerson over at W-Peef-Poff-N Super News! He was always so dumb. The only thing Bick Stickerson knows how to be is stupid! One time someone gave him a peanut butter biscuit and he was so happy but it was just an empty lotion bottle!! We did SO MANY laughs!

I made friends and I loved people and so many people loved me. I got to run in the mountains and one time I thought the canoe was not in the water so I jumped out BUT IT WAS STILL IN THE WATER!! I got wet all over me! I did nudity dances in the park and chased cats and got chased by cats. I got brushes and belly rubs and snugs. I snooched in the sun and snugged by the woodstove. I was never sure about which people I should like, so mostly I just liked a few. But the people that I did like were good people through and through and I will miss them.

I don’t know what the other side is like, no one does. Maybe Maddie is waiting for me, maybe I’ll finally get to meet Ghengis. Maybe it is a forever snooch, that might be okay. I’m pretty tired. But maybe The Lady and The Man will already be there and I’ll remember that I’ve always been there, that we’ve always been there and also we were here. I don’t know, I’m just a little dog.

I don’t know what’s there but I have my little coat and my special bone and the lady is packing up some peanut butter biscuits for me.

Be good to each other, jump out of canoes and do nudity dances. When you love someone lay down by them and tell them they are beautiful and good. Wear your little coat when it’s cold and go to the park when it’s warm. Always move your special bone in the morning and at night; make sure the lady sees that you are moving your bone so she can tell you how good you are. If you find food on the ground, eat it fast before someone can take it away.

Always stop and snuffle the p-mail.

It’s about doing the thing that is made up of lots of things.

I like projects, I especially like projects that have me learn something new. But ‘projects’ is vague and could mean climbing all the way to the top of Windley Key (I drove by it once) or finding trash bags that fit in my kitchen garbage can (I’ve tried, I can’t). I’ve had projects where I dye up wool, spin it into yarn and crochet it into sweaters. That’s a good, solid project that lasts many months. I actually have a couple more of those projects in the queue, but the flyer on my spinning wheel is shot and needs to be replaced. Also, I will do a thing where I make every single part of dinner from scratch. Like making a falafel dinner where I grind the chick peas and make the falafel, make the pitas, the yogurt, the feta, the tabbouleh, the hummus and everything else from beginning to end. But those only take up a day or two of my time. After I pull my food coma’ed ass out of bed the only project I face is cleaning the kitchen and then I’m as directionless as a high school student who thinks he understands Camus (but Sarte is smartre).

Well, my next big project is bread. I’ve never particularly cared for baking. There’s a sort of precision that makes me shy away from it. But I love bread and I do really need to have a project, so what the hell. Did a little noodling, asked my friends for advice, got a hell of a lot of advice! I also got some sourdough starter from a friend. I think that’s my favorite part, using a starter from a friend who get hers from another mutual friend.

New Mega Project

I want to learn about bread in general and sourdough specifically, so that’s what I got. I literally read The Bread Bible from cover to cover. It sounds a bit tedious but all that repetition smashed all kinds of techniques right into my brain. This is a good project because I’m thinking it will be a solid 3 years from now until croissants. That’s the goal, croissants and I want to get there the long way around. I want to understand every damned aspect of what I’m doing.

How am I doing now after about 8 weeks? I am a bread weenus.

First sourdough

First sourdough

Well, there’s my first sourdough. I was so proud. And oh holy shit did it suck. It was terrible. It had a nice crust and the inside was a bit tight but mostly okay. But it was so sour. It was inedibly sour. It was as sour as your mom when your dad tries to use fart jokes to flirt with the waitress. My guess? I think at some point between making the starter sponge and one of the rises I ended up killing the yeast and the lactobacillis took over. It wasn’t even good for croutons. It sucked and it had to be tossed.

Soft white sandwich bread

Soft white sandwich bread

That’s the soft white sandwich loaf from The Bread Bible and it was awesome. It was so damned perfect and we made sandwiches on it. It was soft without being mushy, the crust to crumb was balanced just right. I loved it, David loved it, Ted, the guy that lives in my attic and spies on us, liked it! I think even Paul and Mary would have liked it.

Sour cream and ginger scones

Tonight it was sour cream and ginger scones with mango curd (seriously, make this. I make it all the time and use the leftover egg whites to make meringues but this time I didn’t feel like futzing with meringues so I gave the egg whites to Chester and made scones instead). They’re a tad dense but not too much and I could just keep eating them. To be fair, there’s a lot of stuff I could just keep eating including off brand cheesy poofs and Necco Canada wintergreen lozenges. I’m not picky.

A friend told me that my flour budget is going to go through the roof and she was right. I need a few different flours for different things and they get used up so damned quickly. But also my butter budget is creeping up there. Our new grocery store is 47 miles round trip (it’s a short, stupid story that isn’t at all interesting) so I end up having to buy a lot at once.

Next up, sourdough cheese crackers made with discard starter, popovers, brioche and another sourdough loaf. I will make a good sourdough loaf or die trying.

It’s good, I’m there. I’m making bread.

And a shout out to David. He made a new dog bed for Chester and it also doubles as a good backdrop for my pictures. Thanks David.


Other big projects on the horizon…..

Our Guts

We have mice, you know this. There are mice, they are all named Howard. They haven’t been coming out into the open for the last few months and I don’t mean that we just haven’t seen them, I mean they aren’t coming out. Because, I’ll be honest, I am not a tidy person and sometimes in the kitchen I’ll find Cheerios that I must have spilled weeks earlier still there under the edge of the cabinet or behind the recycling, completely untouched. They haven’t been around the dog food and the peanut butter filled traps are untouched.

But we hear them in the walls. They scuttle around and gnaw and gnaw and gnaw and gnaw on everything. We hear them, we smack the wall, they stop, they start again, we smack the wall. We’re like a shitty modern art slooooooow percussion band enlightening no one.

And again, AGAIN, again, Chester is terrified. My rat terrier/beagle (RAT TERRIER AND BEAGLE FFS) is terrified of the noises in the walls and alternates between digging a hole in my abdomen and hiding in the bathroom. He doesn’t even want to investigate. It wouldn’t matter, I’ve seen him lay on the floor and just watch a mouse run back and forth from his own food bowl. Every instinct in that dog is so wrong. It’s like he got the stupidest features of both breeds and is completely useless.

Goodnight my sweet girl

My Maddie has passed away.


She beat auto-immune disorders and totally defeated bladder cancer. She was a tough little dog. In the end, though, she developed a brain tumor that we could not fix. She was old, she was 16 years old, she had a wonderful long life full of chicken dinner and dog ice cream.


She was sweet and almost entirely without guile. She just wanted people to love her, to tell her how sweet she was and then give her a peanut butter biscuit. She kept me safe, she comforted me, she listened to my stories and complaints, her fur could absorb an almost infinite number of tears.

She put up with me

She was an accomplished community college professor, a princess, a butt doctor and tax assessor. With Chester they ran their own action news network. We played Huffle Huffle Belly and Good Time Spin Around. She loved the dog park and when we moved to Vermont she loved Vermont. All those hiking trails and mysterious things to quickly chew and swallow before I could get to her and pull it out of her mouth.


She loved camping, protecting the campsite and snuggling with me in my sleeping bag, eating bits of marshmallows and hot dogs


I love her. I love every single sweet, snuggly, soft, puff snuzz part of her. I miss her and my heart aches when I reach over to pet her and she is not there anymore. I am so so sad and the worst part is that it is usually her who comforts me when I am so sad. She’s the one that leans into me, pushes her head under my chin, and makes her quiet sigh. I need her comfort so much right now and not having her comfort is exactly why I need it.

I miss her so much.

Snuggling by the fire

Chester misses her


David misses her

Maddie Snooch

Anyone who ever met her misses her.

My sweet and beautiful girl. She passed quietly and calmly and I held her throughout. I wrapped her in my Pantsghan, all of my friends were with us in spirit.

This pain in my heart, it hurts so much but every single second of it is worth it.