Seattle Sports: Lucky Lick, A Boy And His Dog


Credit Mike McDonnell

In the Christmas of 1998 my grandparents got me one of the greatest gifts an 8 year old could get, his first dog.

They got me a 4 month old golden retriever puppy and they presented him to me in an awesome fashion, they made me close my eyes and yell out his name “Chewy” and as soon as I yelled it out he ran into the room and jumped into my lap and we were instantly best buds from the first moment we met. 

Now yes I know I was eight but as an eight year old a dog was something I had been waiting for, for at least the last 2 birthdays and Christmas’s so you can understand how me and my first dog were best friends from the first moment he licked my face.

That first night he spent the night in my bed after I begged my parents to death to have him sleep with me the first night. During the first few months it was tough, only because I wasn’t used to cleaning up dog poo once a week but me and my parents were able to house train him.

After a few days 1998 turned into 1999 and that year marked a few things in Seattle sports, it marked the end of the Kingdome and the beginning of Safeco Field, the final year of Ken Griffey, Jr. in Seattle, and the first year of the Mike Holmgrem era for the Seahawks.

So, not only did I get a furry best bud but some interesting sporting events happened so it was a fun first year with my awesome dog. 

Now during the 1999 year before I went to any game Chewy would always come up to me not wanting me to leave and I would always say to him “Don’t worry I’ll be back later buddy” and he would always jump up with his paws on my shoulders and just lick my face trying to get me to stay home but it never worked though.

The first time he did that was the 22 run massacre the Mariners gave the Detroit Tigers. It became a tradition that before every game I went to, he would always give me the “lick of death” and that year the Mariners went 11-1 to the games I went to.

Chewy’s lick of death was always good luck even when it came to the Seahawks game. I went to only one Seahawks game that year and he gave me the ol’ lick of death and the Seahawks won that game.

And in fact it was the final regular season game that was ever played in the Kingdome by the Seahawks as they beat the Kansas City Cheifs 23-14. So Chewy was basically one of the best and luckiest dogs any now-nine year old could have.

The next year in 2000 marked another successful “lick of luck” as I called it, after the successful ’99 year. The year began with Chewy giving me the lick of luck during the game where the Seattle Sonics secured a spot in the 2000 NBA playoffs so the year got off to a great start.

The lick of luck would work twice in the playoffs but the next game I forgot to get a big slobbery kiss from Chewy and the Sonics would lose Game 5 to the Utah Jazz 96-93.

So since basketball season was done we moved to baseball season and so the lick of luck came useful in the Toronto Blue Jays series as the Mariners swept the Blue Jays 11-9, 17-6, and 19-7.

During that season I went to 16 games and the lick of luck came in handy as me and Chewy had a record of 13-3. 

The Mariners would squeeze their way into the playoffs and the bad part about being nine years old is you have elementary school and thanks to me being the biggest littlest Mariners fan in school, I asked the principal if I could have a cable TV in my classroom that way I could keep an eye on the ball game.

Thanks to being a huge sports nut he allowed it and thanks to three licks of luck by Chewy the Mariners swept the Chicago White Sox but the lick of luck didn’t help that much in the Championship Series as the Mariners lost in 6 games.

The Seahawks didn’t have a great 2000 season going 6-10 but the lick of luck came in handy as Chewy gave me an extra slobbery kiss when the Seahawks ended their 5 game losing streak against the San Diego Chargers.

The lucky slobbery kiss also helped when the Seahawks beat the always hated Oakland Raiders 27-24. The Sonics would have a decent year and a few wins came on the lucky slobbery love of Chewy’s kisses as they finished the season at 44-38.

Then came the Mariners season, well the slobbery love from Chewy was luckier then ever! The Mariners would win an MLB record 116 games but would lose in the Championship Series to the Yankees again but this time in only 5 games.

That year going to Mariners games me and Chewy were a perfect 10-0!

During 2001 the Nisqually earthquake would happen and the morning of the earthquake Chewy was acting very unusual as he asked to go outside ran around the yard then asked to come back in.

Then 5 minutes later asked again to go out and did the same thing again. So, during that 30 seconds of fear as an 11 year old kid I was only wondering if my mom and dad were ok and if Chewy was ok.

The school let us go home early and as soon as I get into the house there Chewy is just sitting there with this look on his furry face that says “I tried to tell yeah but you didn’t listen”.

Anyways lets move onto 2002 shall I?

The Sonics 2001-02 season would see the playoffs and the lick of luck didn’t seem to work as the Sonics fell to the San Antonio Spurs in 5 games.

The Mariners would see success but missed the playoffs and finished the season at 93-69 and the Seahawks would have another tough season. 

At the end of the Seahawks season Chewy began to show signs that something was wrong with him.

After two months of making trips to the vet office the doctors announced that Chewy had had a rare bone and muscle cancer. The doctors gave Chewy 3 months to live, and so in January I made the hardest choice of my life and told my parents that I wanted Chewy to be put down out of his misery. 

The day came and as I sat there with Chewy knowing that he would be gone in a few minutes I took the time to remember every great memory I had with him and all the great times we had and the luck that his kisses brought to a lot of games I watched and went to.

As the vets were getting ready to inject Chewy, he looked at me and gave me one last slobbery kiss. I didn’t wipe the slobber away, all I did was hug him and didn’t let go. 

The vets inject the serum and Chew slowly slipped away and I never stopped hugging him, and as Chewy was gone my parents left me alone with him and I just lay there with him for about 5 minutes and as I got up to leave the room I said only three words to him “I love you”.

That day I lost a best friend and a great dog but I still remember everything we did and all the times we spent sleeping together, playing together and watching sports together.

But even though he’s gone I always have kept every memory of my first dog and first furry best friend.