Today I had decided to go to the Mariners’ 12:40 start by bus, which ideally had me out the door here around 11:30 at the latest. At 10:30 Logan started freaking out, acting like there was thunder in the area.

Viv and I had a text exchange:

M: dog just acted like thunder is happening
V: hmm he probably hears it when we cant
yup Thunder in Tacoma
M: yah radio sez t-storms possible
looks like a system coming in over aberdeen / oly headed north
map shows a strike at the Narrows bridge

After that, things got out of hand.

M: dog out of control
broke out of crate
V: why is he on the crate?!
M: because he is out of control

After he broke out of an airline-approved transport crate I attempted to take a shower, by now realizing it was unlikely I could go to the game. I had given him tranquilizers which are intended to minimize stress reactions to the thunder sounds, but they have a one to two hour metabolization timetable.

I had to physically toss him out of the bathroom to keep him out of the shower.

M: thunder
won’t stay on ground, jumping up and down everywhere
i gave hm meds
thundershirt seems helpful
V: check his paws make sure he didnt injure them
M: he wanted the harness too
like fucking wrestling a goddamn fucking bear

After the shower, I saw what he had done trying to get through the door.

M: too mad to fucking touch him
if he didn’t injure them in the crate he sure as hell did now
fucking ASSHOLE
sent a pic, for some reason it looks like it isn’t reaching you
he destroyed a huge chunk of trim at the bathroom door while I was showering
I had to lock him out because he wanted to be in the shower with me and as I noted earlier he was flailing at me with claws trying to climb on me
he only stopped after presumably getting a decent splinter, there’s a little blood.
he was bleeding in his mouth after the crate
arrrrrrrrrrrrghgh;DJKW p9t7fe2pt87e2 t8[9

Anyway, he shredded about half of the door threshold or frame to the bath. I did not note any bleeding wounds or obvious limping. Given that he was on tranquilizers, that means little.

I power sanded the door frame to minimize the potential for more splinters in nether regions and so forth. By now I was extremely angry, but happily for all involved the thunderstorm petered out. I got the dog on the couch and figured I might as well turn on the fucking ballgame I was fucking missing after fucking all.

It looked decent enough at first, a pitchers’ battle with my favorite pitcher, Hisashi Iwakuma, on the mound for the M’s. At some point I noticed that he was performing very will while still struggling with command – I suppose around the first walk, I think in the third inning. I did this and that around the house while keeping tabs on the game, kind of actually trying not to think about it so I wouldn’t be grumpy about doing the right, grown-up, responsible thing. This of course failed.

Eventually by around the seventh (two more walks, no hits, no runs) I started paying closer attention. The broadcasters were talking about how this might be his best game ever with the Ms (at that point, not true – he threw a 13k game in his first appearance here after taking bereavement to leave to say goodbye to his dying father in Japan in July 2012, a game I was deeply privileged to witness) and avoiding pointing out that even with three walks, it was a no-hitter.

He was both efficient and fighting control issues for the rest of the game. In the end, He pulled it off, with 116 pitches, coming after a near complete game in his last stint with well over 100 pitches at Minnesota last week.

Over these three innings I was texting with my buddy Ken and increasingly grouchy that I had not gone. When the game was over, I actually cried. The tears were a mix of frustration about not being present for the game in the stadium and grief for Tohuku province, the location of Sendai and the center of the terrible earthquake five years ago that impelled my interest in baseball via the unlikely exercise of assiduously following the fortunes of the Sendai-based Tohuku Rakuten Eagles, Iwakuma’s last team in the NPB before he joined the MLB.

His presence on the Mariners very specifically has prompted my interest in the team, and this year, when he was injured, I had a hard time staying interested in the Ms.

I pushed for naming the dog Kuma, but he told us what his name was. I did the right thing by staying home with the dog. I’ll always regret it.