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Johnny Echols



My Time With Arthur’s Other Self
February 2010

Arthur had this huge Labrador Retriever that he called Self. This was no ordinary dog, this was a hound from hell, at least seven feet tall standing on his hind legs, which seemed to be his favorite posture.

From the moment we met, he gave me nothing but grief. He put those massive paws on my shoulder and proceeded to head-butt me to the brink of unconsciousness and I’m sure I saw a smile on his face when he did it.

One night in particular, I was at my house which was just down the hill from where Arthur lived in Laurel Canyon. At about three am, I hear a loud persistent banging at my door. I’m sure it’s the cops, so I grab my stash and flush it to Long beach. Later I find out It’s self who is standing on his hind legs, pounding at my door, again I know that dog did it on purpose.

To add insult to the considerable injury that dog caused me. One day while giving Arthur a lift home in my beautiful Jaguar xk150 drop head coupe, a ride that I truly loved. A show car with a finish of fifty coats of hand rubbed black lacquer. We see Self running loose, so Arthur asked me to stop and pick him up, against my better judgement, I did as he asked and let the dog into my car.

To get to Arthur’s house, you had to drive up a winding dirt road. So here we are on a narrow road with this rambunctious animal trying to gain his footing, when sure enough coming the other way was a Lincoln Continental. The dog’s foot hit the the gas pedal and crunch goes the sheet metal on my car, it rippled from the front quarter panel all the way to the trunk.

I felt like crying, my beautiful hand rubbed lacquer was now lying in sheets on the ground. We get out to surveil the damage, the Lincoln had nary a scratch. I looked back and there was Self, lifting his hind leg on my tire and grinning from ear to ear.

Just another day in the life!

Johnny Echols