Uncle Jesse

Why I Should Just Leave My Dog at Home


When I got a dog, I vowed never to leave him home alone for more than a half a day, tops. “It’s not fair to him,” I said. “I’ll be his whole world, the side pony to his elastic hair band, the ‘stache to his wet nose, the Kelly Kapowski to his Zack Morris.”

And for the past six and a half years, I’ve been pretty successful.

This week, I took my dog with me on a trip to Maine, and for the most part, the scene out and about has looked like this:

RANDOM PASSERBY 1: Is that a Labradoodle?

ME: Yup.

RANDOM PASSERBY 1: What’s her name?

ME: His name is Uncle Jesse.

RANDOM PASSERBY 1 (smiling): Dukes of Hazard?

ME: Full House.


ME: Thank you!

RANDOM PASSERBY 2: Is she a puppy?

ME: Nope, he’s six.

RANDOM PASSERBY 2: Wow, she looks like a puppy.

RANDOM PASSERBY 3: Oh my god. She’s so cute.

(Repeat above to infinity.)

And then we dine al fresco.

On Wednesday, I took Uncle Jesse to Jordon Pond in Acadia National Park, and just as we set foot on the trail, a shout stopped us.

“Hey! Hey! Can I see your dog?”

A thin, middle-aged man took his foot out of a red kayak and jogged over.

No! Shut your eyes and turn around, madman! I thought.

Uncle Jesse squatted and pooped.

“Goldendoodle?” the man asked.

“No, Labradoodle.”

“I have a Goldendoodle. I couldn’t bring her today because I’m going kayaking.”

“Yeah… well… that makes sense,” I offered.

“Here, let me show you a picture.”

Kayak Man pulled out his phone and took three minutes to bring up a blurry photo of a giant Goldendoodle in front of a tent.

A park ranger who’d been within earshot approached. He stared at Uncle Jesse.

“Are you sure she’s a Labradoodle?” he asked.

I hate you so much.


20 thoughts on “Why I Should Just Leave My Dog at Home”

        1. Elyse! I’m alive! That may sound like I’m stating the obvious, but bear with me. My rental cottage is about 12 miles from Little Long Pond, and it took me over two hours to NOT FIND THE ENTRANCE and come back home a trespassing felon with a new vehicular war wound. Because that’s the level of blonde I am.

          (We did have much more successful second attempt. Because that’s the level of stubborn I am.)

          1. Oh no!!! Does it make you feel better that I have been coming here for almost 30 years and only found it 2 years ago???

            We are actually here, leaving tomorrow. I would have tried to meet you except we had car trouble and got to spend an enjoyable day at the garage. 😕

            Where are you staying?

  1. If you’re tired of answering the same questions about Uncle Jesse, just tell those people that he is a genetically modified pitbull, specially bred to look like a Labradoodle, and see the tail wagging? It’s a sign that he’s upset and may be getting ready to attack.

    1. Ha! It’s already pretty embarrassing that he refuses to be pet by strangers. He looks like a stuffed animal, crying out for a loving stroke, and here comes the outstretched and, and then: Aw hell no.

  2. So sorry you’ve been cursed with an adorable furry baby. Why has God singled you out for the greatest suffering mankind has ever known????
    (hope you and the attention-hound are having a fabulous vaca.)

  3. I have a Goldendoodle (who could be your dog’s twin almost). I get that same conversation everywhere we go (except everyone thinks mine is a Labradoodle). These Doodles just bring joy and attention everywhere they go! Gotta love them!

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