So, it occurred to me - there's a whole audience out there that doesn't know what the story is with "Melbotis", "The League", why is the house called "League HQ"?, etc...
So, here's the story.
In 2000, Jamie and I moved into a house in South Austin just about the time some friends had broken up and were moving to separate coasts. Whilst together, they'd taken on a Golden Retriever pup they named "Melbotis". The name came from an inside joke they had about a couple named "Melba" and "Otis". I didn't know this until well after they'd handed Mel over to us in the summer of 2000.
The pronunciation is, roughly, "Mel-Boh-Duss".
Right after he came onboard, I took Mel to the vet for his routine check-up, but at his original vet. I believed his name was spelled "Melbodus", and learned that, no... it was spelled "Melbotis" while looking at his medical records.
Mel was a big boy. I think he topped off at 112 pounds before he got put on a diet. Big, and very happy to try to sit in your lap, or at least get as much into your lap as possible.
He was also oddly smart, and we began to realize his vocabulary was fairly extensive. He loved to swim, run off the leash, hoard toys and tennis balls, shake, play fetch, do a trick or two, and destroy toys. He could follow directions and hand gestures, and generally liked being involved in whatever scheme you had going on.
I was 25 when we got Mel, and something about a dog that large that seemed to know his own business meant that I was perfectly comfortable treating him more like a roommate than a pet. Sure, we fed him and took care of him, but he was given a lot of latitude to just sort of come and go from the house to the yard, get in the car if he felt like it, and just generally hang out.
|Mel's Halloween costume circa 2002|
Jamie had never had a dog, and suddenly she was faced with this thing as large as herself living in the house. I would not characterize the first year as building a deep emotional bond, but then Jamie's job evaporated, and she spent a few months at home looking for jobs. And during that time, she and Mel became really good buddies.
In 2002, we moved to Arizona. For a while I'd made jokes around the house about how we were the "League of Melbotis", and so when I launched a blog in 2003 (this was new stuff back then), that was what I named the site. You can still see League of Melbotis online