TheRadarReport, (Vol. 1, No. 1) Wednesday, September 15, 2004, Upper West Side, the Noir, Unforgiving Canyons of Gotham (c) 2009, Craig Kandell:
Radar, retrieving, Late Fall, 2005
Radar, Discovered: Radar is my ~ 2 1/2 year old Black Labrador Retriever. I'd been a 'dog person' since I was a child, having had a Dalmation (Sir Alexander of Newport, or Alex for short, before they were 'in style'), a Springer (Spaniel, Sweetie, an immaculately trained sporting dog acquired [during the days when Disco waned and Thurman Munson proved that he could catch, but not fly] 'used' from a dog shelter and who had to be partially untrained by three standard issue, late 1970's semi-neurotic latch-key kids) and a Shepherd (Bear, who was acutally a friend's dog, but who adopted me as a special 'buddy').
Radar at Play,
I'd been 'dog-less' for approximately 15 years, developed an itch to get a dog and had long ago decided that I wanted a big boned, male, Black Labrador Retriever as my very next dog. Wisdom dictated that I wait until I got my proverbial 'life together' before getting another dog, but as you might imagine, my life was and is already 'together' and as you shall soon see, Radar just happened to come along first. Accordingly, I began 'accosting' (in a nice way, of course) Lab owners, trying to ferret out where to get a Lab. Lab owners are very giving of such information, being quite proud of the provenance and lineage whence their uber-puppies came.
Radar at Play,
On an uncharacteristically warm Ferbruary evening in 2002, I'd done some post .org work volunteer work and had just told an acquaintance/friend/colleague how much I wanted to get Black Lab before I dispatched her into a cab apres supper. By happenstance, my trip home put me at nexus in my life, alas a bus transfer point in front of a B&N bookstore near Lincoln Center. In front of the store was a cage filled with three wiggling Black Lab puppies, perhaps five weeks old, all of whom needed a caring home. I lit up like light bulb! and asked the steward of this cage if any of them were boys. She handed me the most scrumptious puppy I'd ever seen or held and the critter promptly gave me a big kiss. End of story. I surrendered. Almost. I held this sweet pea in my arms for about an hour and discussed doggie-Daddy-ship with this woman whose story warrants but a line or two of elaboration.
Radar Being Radar,
An animal trainer by profession, Susan makes her bread and butter by training animals with silent commands for use in the Entertainment Industry (TV, Movies, Commercials, Broadway, Theater, etc.). A long time Upper West Side resident, she moved to a farm near Binghamton, NY a few years back and when the local Farmers found out what she did as a vocation, began to give her unwanted litters (a true Mother-Theresean calling, indeed!) in the hope that she'd find homes for them (in lieu of the Farmers dispatching them by more nefarious means [read: drowning - yikes!]). It was soon apparent to this woman that I'd be a good 'doggie Daddy' (my heart was in the right place) but I was very much concerend about the amount of time I was away from home at my .org job, working for thankless, ingrates each and every day. The animal trainer attempted to assuage me by offering to help me 're-adopt' the puppy if things didn't work out logistically, as we had planned and hoped for. I gave much thought to my domestic situation, but on this particular evening, barely five months post 9/11, my head won out over my heart and I gave the critter back to the woman...However, I thankfully did take Susan's contact information.
My Pal, Radar
Two days later, for once in my life (finally!) my heart won out over my head and I called up the friendly and gregarious animal trainer, Susan. I was thrilled to find out that the pup was still in need of a home. I had a place in my heart for a true friend, so we (the puppy and I) came up with an arrangement: I would take care of him and love him and the critter would love me back. When I took him home the following week, I practically put him in my pocket. He was that small. He was also very inquisitive. Although I'd had much time to ponder possible names for the little one (eg: Yossarian, after the portagonist form Catch-22, or Gazoo, after the little green spaceman and sage of Fred and Barney in the Flintstones, I wanted a name that would suit the litltle critter's personality. I thought of naming him Snoopy, but that name had already been taken. Accordingly, I chose Radar! Besides, I knew it would be easy to remember as it is spelled the same way forwards and backwards (lest Radar forget). I made a socail contract with myself to ensure that Radar would get enough love and exercise and I believe I have thus far lived up to my end of that bargain. He's a sweet, happy, well-adjusted Dog(gie) who has many friends and who has actually blossomed from awkward puppyhood, emerging as quite a handsome and regal young Lad of a Dog(gie)... A far cry from the 'runt of the litter' many Lab owners (whose dogs turned out to be midgets by comparison!) told me R undoubtedly was.
Radar in his den,
Radar is very well adjusted and very gentle and is often known as a 'baby sitter' in that he will let a small dog(gie) jump all over him and pull on his whiskers. Of course, Radar can also play with the big boy and girl dog(gie)s, but never gets too rough (or ruff). He loves playing tug of war. Radar eats carrots, hard-boiled eggs, celery (and hasn't figured out that these 'treats' are good for him). He knows how to spell M-I-L-K and has figured out how to open the refrigerator (even with the 'child-proof' lock in place). My faithful friend (Radar) and I have decied to publish a Column entitled TheRadarReport, reporting all worthy news. At this point in time, I am the Editor and Head-Writer, while Radar (the Pubilsher, and Oracle) gives the final go-ahead (alas, R is the pusher of the proverbial 'send' button). We often communicate through our eyes and/or telepathically (the result of which, for some unknown reason, is Radar receiving a 'treat'). We hope you enjoy our somewhat irreverant and offbeat, but never tasteless, milddle of the road, 'take no prisoners', precious and delicious view of and slice of life of and in Gotham. We will gladly take on the self-anointed and self-appointed avatars of the avant-garde, on behalf of the regular guy and gal, and stand up for those who pragmatically reach for the stars, raise the bar, and do things when others say 'it can't be done.'
Radar and Duke,
Over and Out - 2010