Gus the Dog responds to Dale Earnhardt Jr.’s retirement


Yo, yo, yo, ye minions — gather ’round my verbal lectern as I drop knowledge nuggets.

Well, as I’m sure you’ve heard, my owner, Ralph Dale Earnhardt Jr., is retiring after a 119-year career (Editor’s note: Adjusted for dog years). I figured I’d add my 14 cents. (Editor’s note: Also adjusted for dog years.)

MORE: Dale Jr. to retire | Junior nation reacts

Did I know the announcement was coming? Well, sort of. He hinted a couple of weeks ago when he scratched me behind the ear and said, “Hey Gus — we’re gonna be spendin’ a lot more time together.” I figured he failed laser inspection and was suspended or something.

Then I’m like, “OK, maybe this means I get to ride in the race car now.” I would give up my nudes of Danica and Ricky’s German Shepherd to stick my head out the window at 200 mph. But that’s not gonna be the case. He and I will be home, fighting over couch space. But at least I get to keep the nudes. I’m a water-bowl-is-half-full kind of dog.

So the night before the announcement, he was wide awake at 4 a.m. Usually when this happens, it’s because he set an alarm because an eBay auction taking place overseas is ending and he really wants to make sure he wins that Eddie Bierschwale belt buckle or Rich Bickle Thermos or any of the other crap he wins. Oh God. I just realized he’s probably gonna get a bunch of retirement gifts. Anyone have the number for the producers of “Hoarders?” This is gonna get out of control. Useless crap everywhere, from eBay and now from tracks. Amy and I bury most of it back behind the Old West town when he’s gone and he’s never noticed. Mashing the panic button with my manicured paw.

So that morning, he gets dressed up in a suit and leaves. He’s not really a suit kind of guy. He’s a laid-back, T-shirt-and-jeans-with-a-U-shaped-crotch kind of guy, so I knew something was up. Next thing I know, my phone is blowing up. Figuratively. Not as in, I have a Samsung Galaxy. “Your owner’s retiring!” texts were rolling in from everyone. Immediately Alex Bowman showed up and just started mowing our lawn and trimming the hedges and preparing fresh batches of lemonade for Dale and Amy when they got home.

So now everything changes for me. Dale’s gonna be home a lot more, which is going to make flirting with Amy so much harder. I have no idea what he’s going to do next. Will he be like Jeff Gordon and head to the TV booth? Will he be like Tony Stewart and return to the dirt tracks? I love rolling around in dirt but that’s unlikely. Will he be like Carl Edwards and do whatever it is Carl Edwards is now doing? BTW, I have it on good authority he’s completely Amish now.

I know he’s gonna start getting super mad at me when he finally sees how much stuff I usually leave lying around the house. Dog toys, chewed up ASICS, what have you. He’s gonna have tantrum. OK, so I leave one dead rabbit in the Elvis room and it’s this HUGE, gross thing, BUT, OH, you can toss a bunch of demolished race car carcasses on your yard and it’s “charming and folksy.”

He’ll also need a job, which means you can count on him joining LinkedIn, and then promptly breaking that social media platform, too. I can see it now, getting the email — “DALE EARNHARDT JR. has asked you to endorse him in the following skills: Drivin’, networkin’, makin’ that sweet, sweet jerky.”

All I know is that if he’s gonna be home more often, he needs to respect my boundaries. If we’re gonna co-exist in harmony, then none of that ordering me around. If he does that, so help me God, I’ll swallow a DaleCall and every time I bark, he’ll come running.

Stay tuned for more.
— Gus