My Best Paw Foreword
by Chelsea Handler’s dog, Chunk
Hello. My name is Chunk Handler.
I’m a Chow mixed with a handsome dash of German shepherd. I’m a dog. A canine. A mutt. A fleabag. I have four furry legs, a missing pair of nuts, and I refer to most girls as bitches. I dream in color, but my life is in black and white.
Let’s go on a walk, careful though, I tend to pull the leash. Don’t forget a plastic baggie because I tend to take big dumps. My mom is Chelsea Handler. She’s a comedian, a television host, and a best-selling author. If you don’t know who she is, don’t worry. When I met her I had no idea who she was either. That’s probably because I don’t watch the E! Channel. I mainly enjoy classic film noir, but I also like any dating show that involves a slut bus.
When I was approached to contribute to this book, I was naturally annoyed. I mean what… a pain in the ass. Typically, the only thing I like to do with an ass is sniff it. The idea of writing a foreword for a book about a bunch of idiots and their mutts sounded awful, but it did get me thinking about where I came from. I’m a long walk away from where I was about a year ago. Once upon a time, I was just some poor shelter-pooch with an expiration date. I was like a carton of spoiling milk.
Just one year ago...
It was springtime in Los Angeles; the irony that everything else was in bloom all around me wasn’t lost on my dire situation. I was stuck at the West Los Angeles Animal Shelter, and it was the day I was sentenced to be assassinated. They were going to electrocute me in a cute little doggy electric chair. Everything that’s little and doggy usually sounds so adorable, but an electric chair sounds sick. I don’t believe that’s how they were actually going to kill me. It’s just a little gallows humor.
So, humor me.
I thought I’d get shot by a firing squad or something.
Here’s a rule of non-opposable thumb. If you ever end up in a place with the word “shelter” in it, life’s not going great for you. Like a bomb shelter. That’s pretty bad. Or, if you’re sheltered as a kid, and when you grow up you can’t relate to the adult world. It’s like how most men expect to have sex on the first date. You’re kind of screwed there, too.
Most dogs don’t care much about dying. We don’t sit around fearing the end on a daily basis like humans do. You never see a dog with a cardboard sign hanging around his neck that says “The End Is Near”. The only end I want near… is a rear end. But when it’s actually happening to you, I don’t care if you’re a dog, or bumblebee, or a little cell inside a dumb fish, you won’t want to die. Trust me, girl.
The biggest regret about my life is that I never felt like I was a part of anything. I always felt more like I was apart from everything. It’s funny how “a part” and “apart” are complete opposites, yet only differ by a little space.
God, I’m deep.
My entire life I’d been passed around from one family to the next more times than the common cold. I’ve gone by a dozen different names from “Cinnamon” to “Escalade”. It was a black family that named me Escalade. What a shocker. Nothing against black people, they just come up with really stupid names. I mean, white people are crazy, too. This one hick from Texas named me “Booger”. He would always try to feed me his boogers. What an A-Hole. Right now, my name is “Guinness”. I hate that name, it sounds so pedestrian for a dog of my taste.
On the other paw, I guess it doesn’t really matter what my name is. A name is just a sound that someone utters to get someone else to turn around. You could call me “Litter Box Dump” and I’d be fine with that. So, go off.
I suppose what this all adds up to is that I’ve never been a good enough dog to capture the heart of just one person who could love me forever. It’s probably my fault.
In fact, somehow I’ve earned the reputation in the shelter world as being a “problem dog”. Please don’t ever give a dog a reputation. It’s a loser thing to do. We’re just who we are.
We bark, we bite, we chew, and we shadoobie. So, get used to it.
I don’t really want to die, but it’s not like I want to sit around the shelter and watch Cesar Millan on National Geographic for the rest of my life either. I’m just a tail-wagger on the red list, and there’s only two ways off the red list. I either go home in a loving person’s car, or in a doggy bag. At least all dogs go to heaven, right?
And that’s where my life got weird.
See, that should have been my last thought. All dogs go to heaven. I’d been rehearsing it for years. I should’ve been shot to sleep. Everything should’ve faded to black. The end.
But it wasn’t.
There are a thousand dogs, in a thousand shelters, on a thousand different days. I don’t know why she did, but she walked into mine. I felt like Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca, and Chelsea was my sweet Ingrid Bergman. She was like a vision in faux blonde strutting into that shelter, and she rescued me.
The first thing I did when I met Chelsea… I smelled her coslopus.
(For the rest of Chunk Handler’s Foreword—plus 20 other side-splitting, heart-touching essays—please purchase your copy of I’m Not the Biggest Bitch in This Relationship today! A portion of your purchase will help support rescue dogs!)