Louis Tannenbaum

"Rags to riches, n****zs, I ain't dumb"-  Jay Z, 99 Problems

Louis Quincy Tannenbaum hails from the mean streets of Winston Salem, North Carolina. Born in April of 2000, the earliest chapter of his life remains a mystery. Although he certainly was born to a Mama Baum and probably had several adorable sibling Baums, somehow baby Louis was plucked from his family to be thrust into the murky clutches of a crack whore. 

While this hooker seemed to love Louis in her own loopy fashion, she was woefully unequipped to properly provide for the young Tannenbaum. She named him "Shep", apparently mistaking him for some kind of sheep dog in her drug-fueled haze.  Under the hooker's haphazard care, Shep was flea-infested, bony, filthy and hosting three different kinds of worms. The puppy and his unfortunate caretaker lived in a flophouse bordering the dumpster area of "The 4th Street Filling Station", a mediocre local bistro. 

Michael Faire, a cook employed at the Filling Station, lived in the apartment just below Shep and the whore. Noticing the woman's frequent absences and arrests, Mr. Faire became increasingly concerned for Shep's welfare as he watched Shep grow thinner and more lethargic.  Mr. Faire reached his breaking point when he and fellow cook Robert Buck found the beleaguered pup scavenging in the dumpster while Crack Whore was serving time for her trade of choice. Renaming Shep "Crack Dog", Michael and Rob told the restaurant staff about Crack Dog's sad state of affairs, and implored them to take him home to a better life.

Their crusade, which lasted the better part of 30 minutes, came to an end when Michael caught the attention of waitress and friend Alicia Collins as she backed her car out of the parking lot. "Look at this poor Crack Dog! He's been eating trash for a week," he called, pointing as the dog licked rancid sour cream off the asphalt.

After brief negotiation, Alicia agreed to take Crack Dog home and make him comfortable for a couple of weeks. She opened the passenger side door and called to the sad sack of bones, and Crack Dog jumped onto the seat without hesitation. They looked each other in the eye. Two worlds collided. Then the girl and the dog sped off into the August night together.

After a few epic flea baths, some trips to Super Walmart and several crack-whore close calls, the puppydog was well on his way to shedding his "Shep" and "Crack Dog" personas. Alicia named him "Louis" after discovering this was the name he preferred over several others. A visit to the local veterinarian established that Louis was not an elderly small dog as previously believed, but a baby medium sized dog. 

Questions surrounding Louis' possible breed heritage prompted the vet to exclaim, "I don't know what his parents were; that's his secret. But what a dog!"

Louis claims some real estate in Maine.

It has since been speculated that Louis is a Wheaten Terrior, Bichon-Frise, Portuguese Water Dog, and/or poodle mix, or possibly a mashed potatoes/abominable snowman/ewok crossbreed.  Regardless of his lineage, Louis was dewormed, vaccinated, and in a decision Alicia bitterly regrets today, baby Baumer was neutered. If Alicia had known the disservice she was doing the world by robbing future generations of the joy and comfort of Tannenbaum progeny, Tannenbaum would be a grandpa many times over today.

Louie settled into his new life, just blocks away from his former squalor. His signature fluffy coat grew in beautifully, and he quickly gained weight and energy. He mastered some basic commands and was housebroken in record speed. Louis had transformed into a happy, handsome young whippersnapper. Alicia threw a barbecue to celebrate Louie's newfound health and to thank Mike Faire for his role in saving Louie from a life of ruin. 

As co-guests of honor, Louis and Mr. Faire shared a beer and Faire was appointed as Louie's godfather.  Louis was officially given the middle name "Quincy", for use in scolding him when he's being bad.

Tannenbaum at the Fire Island National Seashore

In August 2001, Louis and Alicia relocated to the beautiful brownstone-lined neighborhood of Park Slope in Brooklyn, NY.  When Alicia found work as a veterinary technician and dog-walker, Baum was happily often able to accompany her to work, and the girl and her dog were inseparable.

In the spring of 2002, Louis chose to convey his complete name in a touching gesture of newfound friendship with Alicia's gentleman suitor, Brian Nisbett.  Brian and Louis were enjoying an early Sunday morning walk when suddenly their eyes met and Louis transmitted a telepathic message using his powerfully intense brainwaves.   Brian spontaneously exclaimed, "Louis Tannenbaum!" and the dog joyfully responded.  Louie's full name was now known, and Brian, Alicia and the dog all celebrated together.
"Tannenbaum" is the German-Jewish word for 'fir tree', with the family tribe first originating in the southwestern territory of Swabia. The discovery of Louis' surname gave rise to almost a dozen subsequent nicknames and several songs, including "Can't Go Wrong (With The Tannenbaum)", "Tannenbaum, Look at My Life", and "Tannenbaum Day".

Louie and Brian with their beloved shag rug.

Now approaching 8 years of age, Louis Q. Tannenbaum has matured into a dapper gentleman, who still enjoys the occasional piece of trash for a snack. He is known amongst his friends for his energy, upbeat attitude, his skills as a flautist, and legendary bladder control. 

Although Tannenbaum's good looks have prompted several actor/model job opportunities during his time in the New York metro area, he has chosen to decline the glittery world of show business in favor of a simpler lifestyle. He enjoys nature, exercising, entertaining friends, boating, cheese, and public speaking.  He is a great lover of his fellow dog, and gentle towards all living creatures.  Louis is also very fond of "Squirrel" and "Squirrel Nègro", two of his best toys.

One of the great love affairs of our time.

Tannenbaum's deepest hope is to successfully figure out how to get his Halti© off his face, and to someday reconnect with his long-lost brothers and sisters.  He has no idea he is going to partake in a trans-Pacific journey aboard the family sailboat, and wonders when Brian and Alicia are going to take him back home to their apartment.

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