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A Letter from Kevin Garnett’s Bull Mastiff, Bud

Ray! Look, Ray’s on TV! I haven’t seen Ray in forever. It looks like he’s happy and healthy, and that sure gets my tail a-waggin’, because Ray was so nice to me. He’s so friendly. Always up for a game of fetch, that Ray.

He’s wearing different colors today! Cool! He can wear whatever colors he wants, and that’s okay, because I like him so much!

And look, Ray’s so nice that he’s going around shaking everyone’s hand! That’s Ray for you. And look, there’s my owner Kevin. Ray’s going to say ‘Hi’! I sure hope Kevin’s nice to Ray. I can never tell what he’s going to be like.

Oh, no. Kevin didn’t even look at Ray. That’s sad. I guess I should have expected this. Kevin’s treating Ray like he treats me. If I didn’t already look so sad, I’d put a frowny face emoticon here.

Kevin’s not really like that, you know. He’s nice, I promise! I hear what people say about him on the TV – that he’s so tough and he’s so competitive and he’s so intense. And people love to write that in magazines and newspapers. Kevin loves that, too.

I know, because whenever he sees that someone wrote something like that, Kevin cuts it out and glues it on the wall, and then he takes his shirt off and looks in a mirror and practices looking menacing. He likes to pull his shirt down so you can see his teat, and he’ll flex his muscles and scream at the air. He sometimes even sprays himself with water and says to the mirror, “Intense and shiny. Ohhhhhhh, that is perfection.”

When people can’t see him, though, he’s not intense or shiny. He’s kind of like, nice … but sad. When it’s just me and him, he’ll get on the floor with me and give me a good belly-rubbing, which is awesome. He’ll rub my belly and pet me and kiss me for a few minutes, but then the laughing slowly turns into soft sobbing, and he just cries to himself and says, “Anthony, we were friends,” and then he just cries harder.

But then if we have company over, I can forget about any belly-rubbing, because Kevin likes to show people how mean he is. When Paul or Rajon come over, or when he’s on TV, Kevin slaps himself in the chest really hard, and says, “INTENSE. SHINY.” And then he just looks mean for people.

Then Paul and Rajon just shrug at each other and Paul says, “Whatever. Just rebound and hit the jumpers, man. I got stabbed and I manage to not be a miserable prick all the time. Jesus”

So I know how that felt last night, Ray. I’m sorry, buddy. I’ll play fetch with you no matter who’s around.

One time, I got really really sick. It was bad. I couldn’t move, and my belly hurt so bad. I didn’t even want anyone to rub it. It was like “Marley and Me”, except I’m not a jerk like Marley.

Anyway, Kevin took me to the doggie doctor, and the doctor told him they were going to have to put me down (that means murder me because fixing me would be too expensive). I saw Kevin’s face, and he looked really really sad for one second, until he remembered the doctor was in the room, too, and then he just started looking mean again. Then Kevin goes, “If he dies, he dies,” like the Russian guy said about Apollo Creed, and the doctor goes, “Well, okay, but could you please stop showing me your nipple?” I think nipple means teat.

It turned out that I was okay. They gave me some pills, and I was back to normal and when we were alone again, Kevin hugged me and petted me and told me he loved me, and that he didn’t really want to put me down. He said he just didn’t want the doctor or anyone else to think he was soft. And then he started crying again and he said I was his only friend left because no one else could truly understand the depths of his intensity, competitiveness and shine.

I don’t know why he thinks he has to act like that now. I mean, I’m a Bull Mastiff, so I kind of have to look this way. One time I tried to look like my friend Otis …

… but then Kevin yelled at me, “INTENSITY EARNS RESPECT,” and he showed me his nipple again. I don’t really like his nipple, so I just stopped smiling. Whatever. I know he’s not really that mean. Kevin Harlan sure is buying it, though.

The poor guy should just smile and hug someone sometime. I think he’d be happier, like he is with me on Milkbone Thursdays. He was like that back in Minnesota sometimes, and he had friends then. Back then, people thought he was fun.

I guess those days are gone, though. I hope you saw him be mean on TV last night. I think that’s all he really wanted.

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Matthew J. Darnell

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