February 4, 2004
Meatball, R.I.P.

Meatball: One of a kind.

I've never been a big Adam Sandler fan, but I loved his dog, Meatball.

The photos and videos of Adam and Meat on Adamsandler.com used to be one of my favorite internet time wasters. They're a genuinely touching glimpse inside the human/companion animal relationship. The videos show Meatball as Adam's constant companion: a gently rapacious, deadpan presence on Sandler's film sets (he appeared on screen in Anger Management and Little Nicky), in his house, and even, in one clip, on an airplane. Meat loved food. Meat loved basketball. Meat loved kittens. Meat loved sleeping. Meat loved Adam most of all.

How can you not love Meatball's regal, ugly mug and his snorting, mucous-y breathing and lumbering gait? Meatball is such a beautiful, goofy, honorable mutt.

Meatball died the other day, and I'm sure Adam and his wife and friends are grieving deeply. The human-dog thing is some profound shit (just ask Harvard professor and dog lover Marge Garber) and, as a dog owner myself, I can't yet begin to imagine what it would be like to bury one. Even when I can't stand my dog—which is often—I still know that her need for me is total, and my reliance on her is deeper than I can articulate.

If you have some free time on your hands a good enough internet connection, I recommend you look at some of the great Meatball videos on the site. Some are completely ridiculous. Others are more serious. One was even directed by Paul Thomas Anderson and co-stars Luis Guzman. (Guzman staring-down Meatball with his goofily intense eyes and Meatball returning the stare is a small comic gem.) Meatball was born to be a star, not least of all because he attempts to literally chew the scenery in almost every clip.

Watch a few and I'm sure you'll become a Meat lover, too.

Posted in a Shallow fashion.

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