Today is Cheeseburger Day!
The story of Cheeseburger Day starts with a very special dog that passed 5 years ago. I wrote about him originally on another blog I had going. The post was lengthy and, let me tell ya, it’s a real tear jerker. I’m not going that route. (I may re-post the other one later to have it in these archives.)
The dog’s name? Pooka Grasskiller. He earned the last name due to a weird thing he would do when he became really excited. He would kill grass, tearing into it and tossing it into the air. He’d then look at you with that stupid, tongue hanging out doggie smile.
Pooka was my best friend for eleven years. We were inseparable.
So much so that when I took over my old job of managing a game store he was allowed to come with me. Every day he would come into work and hang out. Of course, customers loved him. He was, quite simply, “the best dog ever.” Pooka began to earn quite the following and nearly every week (every day?) we would have customers come in just to see him. He loved everyone and he loved the attention.
He also loved cheeseburgers.
This is from the previous post. It sums up Pooka and cheeseburgers pretty well.
“He loved cheeseburgers. It came about when we were on the road. I once stopped for lunch at a burger place when he was in the car with me and he went nuts when I opened the bag. Being a buddy, I ripped off a piece and gave it to him. It sealed the deal for him and from then forward he’d get excited about the promise of another “snack.”
Then, there’s this story that sealed the connection between Pooka and Cheeseburgers.
“I once found out that a friend of mine had stopped at a fast food place and picked up a cheeseburger just for Pooka. They knew I was, at this point, cutting Pooka back from “people food.” As he aged enough was, after all, enough. However, Pooka’s subliminal mastery of the human mind was too much for some people.
Knowing my stance, my friend called me over to a shelf of product and distracted me. While I was talking to him and not looking he motioned to Pooka with the cheeseburger. I’m told Pooka hesitated at first but then seemed to realize what was going on. Pooka came up behind us and snagged half the offered burger from behind the friend’s back. My friend thought it was hilarious. Later, I found out this had happened more than once and Pooka was “in the know” quite a bit. Like I said, a trickster.”
When he passed I received condolences from people I barely knew. By being in that store for so many years he had gained a huge following. I had left the job before he passed but still, two years after he passed, I was stopped on the street by an old customer who wanted to tell me they thought Pooka was amazing. Even now I can mention his name to people and it never fails to bring a smile. “Damn, that was a good dog.”
On the first Anniversary of his passing, I was still grieving and my family created Cheeseburger Day as a way to celebrate him and to never forget him. We went to a cheeseburger place and piled them high. When I announced it over social media with a picture I didn’t expect anything. I just thought it would be nice to remember him this way. What happened next was a wonderful surprise. I was amazed at the outpouring of love that came back and of friends posting pics of cheeseburgers.
It became a thing. Flash forward to now. For some reason, Cheeseburger Day got jostled around in my addled brain and I thought it was next week. Besides, after 5 years, it was just a family thing, right? Oh, nothing more powerful than the wash of time to ease the pain of grieving. Out of nowhere, a friend sent me a message on Facebook and gleefully reminded my friends and I that we can’t forget the 28th is Cheeseburger Day! I have to admit, I got a bit teary when I saw it.
So, lest none forget, today is Cheeseburger Day! For me, it will always be about him and our connection, a once in a life time thing. It’s about the people who knew him celebrating one of the most amazing shop dogs they ever had the pleasure to work, game, or hang out with.
Maybe you didn’t know Pooka? It’s ok. If you’re a dog lover than maybe you know a dog, or knew a dog, like Pooka? If that’s the case then how cool would it be if Cheeseburger Day could be for them as well? It’s about that connection with a gentle soul that always wants to be by your side, who always wants to follow you out the door no matter the weather or the time. If you’re lucky, you could share a piece of that cheeseburger with your pal?
Regardless, for my family, friends and I, today is Cheeseburger Day.
Pile it high for my friend and your friend. For the gentlest of souls and the laziest guardian of all gamer geeks everywhere! For the Grasskiller! For the Lord of Belly Scritches! For the sneaky Cheeseburger Thief! Pile it high and feast upon the burgers of cheese!
Pictures of said glorious feast to come… 😉