This is an excerpt from one of the books I am currently reading, Christianish by Mark Steele.
The dog was named Scout in honor of the little girl in To Kill a Mockingbird, though he is neither a
girl nor currently inside any fancy books. It must first be respectfully noted that the dog’s tongue is his
talent. It is his method of showing affection, and he wields it with a flourish like the caricature artist
on the boardwalk waves pastel chalk before sketching your oversized head on the body of a
minuscule muscleman. Scout’s lick was his love. It was all he really knew how to do—that tongue
was his Sistine Chapel.
Of all the human beings who could have fathomably been the bearer of this specific catastrophic
misstep toward my dog—a cutlery juggler, a careless balsa whittler, the lady who runs the paper
shredder at Kinko’s—the least likely and the worst emotional choice is the human who actually did
the deed. That would be my wife, Kaysie.
The reason Kaysie is the worst choice as the cause of this particular accident is because there is
not a human soul on the planet who loves the dog more. In fact the atrocity occurred during an act of
kindhearted affection. Kaysie was grooming Scout with great precision and detail—prettying him up
because, after all, he is named after a girl. She was only slightly distracted by the fact that her back
was aching, she was about to leave town for five days, and she had just received word that a loved
one had passed away. Still, she forged ahead with the necessary grooming. She took a clump of his
doggie hair between the blades, and then—just as she squeezed—Scout whipped his face around,
jamming his tongue in the middle of the shears themselves.