My Special Friend

Faithful Friend

Faithful Friend

The medicinal scent, an artificially sweet scent mixed with chemicals I can’t pronounce, permeated the room. It was a scary place. I looked over at the nightstand of my “home” for the past ten months. There was George, my best and only friend at the time.

His once-pristine jammie top was stained. Spills from careless nurses and miscellaneous hospital grime. His smile, though stitched on, told me that he didn’t mind. “Erin, we’re in this together!”

To me, it feels like maybe five years ago. I still can’t believe it has been seventeen years. I have aged, fourteen to closing in on my 31st year. A little too old to have a stuffed animal.

But George isn’t just your run-of-the-mill plush toy. Every time I look to the left of my bed sitting on my gunmetal gray loveseat, I see him, smiling widely. “Erin, this journey is scary, but again, we’re in this together!”

Looking at my friend is bittersweet. I purchased him, probably with babysitting money. When I could walk, talk, you name it. Obviously, that was pre-1998, when all possibilities were open to me. George got me through this terrifying place. A place where I survived; survived a virus predicted to take my life. Survived against all odds.

All I can say is thank you, George. But thank you isn’t strong enough.

Girly Goy

My nine-year-old Corgi, Margaret Elizabeth (such a feminine name for such an unfeminine dog!), exudes tomboy. She is a boy with female parts. A goy or a birl. I look out the French doors of my room and she could either be rolling around on the grass in the backyard, as though she is having a grand mal seizure, or chasing one of the many lizards that live back there.

On my 31st birthday last July, I wanted to take her to the Huntington Beach dog beach. I could see it now: she was going to have a blast splashing and playing in the waves with the other dogs! Her inner boy could come out!

At least, that’s how I imagined it.

What dog wouldn't love spending a day here?

What dog wouldn’t love spending a day here?

Here’s what happened:

Arriving there:

Erin: Maggie, you’re going to have fun, I love the beach!

Maggie: I hope so, just not sure about this stuff under my feet. I don’t really like it.

Erin: It’s called sand. It’s hard at first, but you’ll have so much fun you’ll forget about it.


Answer: my dog.

Answer: my dog.

Claiming our spot:

(Watching the other dogs playing in the water. There were Labs, Beagles, and mutts. No Corgi. Yet.)

Erin: Let’s go down by the water.

Maggie: What’s water?

Erin: It’s like what you drink, but at the beach you play in it. Look at how much fun those dogs are having!


Maggie having no part of it.

Maggie having no part of it.


Without even getting a paw wet, my goy had had enough. We spent another hour at the beach, occasionally one of my family members taking her back to the water, with no success. She was braver more comfortable on the blanket.


What. A. Day.

What. A. Day.



When we finally left—none too soon for Maggie—my dog rested the whole way home and a lot of the next day. She was exhausted. FROM WHAT, I still wonder.

Maybe next time we’ll try the mountains. Or the desert. Or even the backyard. Just not the beach.