Ulf The Unbelievadog
Early on in The Unbelievables career - shortly after the world was made aware of our daring adventures, benefits to the international community at and obvious do-goodery - we discovered a small glitch with our popularity ...
"Damn," Clark huffed one afternoon. "I'm exhausted."
"Me, too," Jeff agreed. "We need to do something to take some of the load off our shoulders."
I chimed in. "Agreed. Shuttling here and there and everywhere to help out with stuff while vanquishing ne'er-do-wells is taking its toll. Let's put our heads together and come up with something."
"Hmmmmmmmmmmmm" Clark thought out loud. "How about some outside help? You know ... lackeys or sidekicks or something to ease the burden?"
"That would take lots of time and training. And we're spread thin as it is," I countered.
Jeff jumped up out of his seat. "I've got it! An animal compatriot! Sure, there's training involved but there wouldn't be any back talk! An animal sidekick would work on the cheap with little drama or need for vacations and stuff like that!"
"Brilliant!" Clark agreed.
"Like what?" I asked.
"A squirrel!" Jeff exclaimed.
"No." I said.
"How about a cat?" Clark suggested.
"Cats are worthless, interested in only themselves. And they don't listen. Plus they don't give a rat's ass about anything but ... well, rats. And mice."
"A dolphin!" Jeff offered.
I gave him a look. "Good only for sea-faring stuff."
"A fox?" Clark asked.
"I don't think so ..."
Jeff pointed a finger in the air: "Hello! Cockroach!"
Both Clark and I looked at him with frowns.
"Bunny rabbit?" Jeff asked sheepishly.*
"I got it. A dog," I concluded. "Trainable, loyal, adaptable, always willing to perform. A dog would be perfect!"
Clark and Jeff agreed.
So it was off to the local shelter to see what there was to see.
There were gads of dogs and cats up for adoption. All three of us went in different directions on the hunt. It was Jeff who found what we were looking for, however.
"He's perfect. An Irish Wolfhound!" But that's not what I saw. I saw a German Shepherd. Clark? Saw a Boxer. We were confused. We called over a shelter attendant to tell us about the dog we found.
"Oh ... that's an Alaskan Malamute," the helpful employee told us. All three of us looked at each other confused.
Jeff pulled us in close. "You know what? This dog is perfect for us. We're masters of disguise and, obviously, so is this dog. Imagine the confusion on our enemies' faces when they think one kind of dog is coming for them when it will be something entirely different! It's as if this pooch was made just for The Unbelievables!"
There was no denying it. We filled out the paperwork the shelter foisted on us and got all the particulars on him. Healthy, all his shots, likable and easily trainable. And he wasn't even a year old yet. Perfect age.
When we got him home (after a run to a pet store to lavish our new friend with bedding, treats, toys and more) we got down to business.
"What should we call him?" Clark asked.
"Scruffy!" Jeff blurted.
"Jasper!" Clark countered.
"Caper!" I suggested.
Our new dog just looked at us. "Ulf" he barked.
Clark stated the obvious: "This is going to be tough ..."
"Rulf" the dog replied.
"How are we going to come up with anything any of us are going to agree with?"
"Schlulf" the dog gruffed.
"I know: Each one of us gets a say in some aspect of his name ... within reason, of course. Maybe that will narrow it down for us. Me? His name has to be monosyllabic. Easier to call that way."
"Ulf!" the dog shot out.
"Okay ... my stipulation is it has to be simple to spell," Jeff told us.
"Wulf!" our furry newcomer barked.
"It's got to sound German," Clark mandated.
"....rrrrrrUlf ... !!!" the canine called.
We looked at each other enlightened. You could practically see the light bulbs glowing over our heads: "ULF!" we exclaimed in unison.
From that day forward there wasn't any question. It was Ulf The Unbelievadog, without a doubt.
From the Unbelieva-Files: Ulf The Unbelievadog
leading unwitting international fashion criminal Mac Ramey
to the hoosegow.
Clark and Jeff will clue you in to more of Ulf's origin story later in the week.
*Coincidentally, each and every one of these animals eventually became a valued agent in The Unbelievables' extensive network.