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Mark Melancon, a depressed dog, and...Billy Corgan?

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A Story About Friendship

MLB: Cincinnati Reds at Atlanta Braves Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

Sometimes the strangest friendships come at unexpected times, perhaps even tonight...tonight...

It was in 2001 when Mark Melancon first met Billy Corgan. Mark was 16 years of age, and a promising young pitcher at Golden High School in Colorado, but was also navigating adolescence at the time, as we all do at that age. Mark wasn’t unlike any other teen growing up at the turn of the century — he had a flair for the outrageous and a love for alternative rock music. Corgan, the Smashing Pumpkins frontman, was in a period of transition of his own. The band had gone on hiatus just a few short months before, and he would soon delve into the world of professional wrestling...suffice it to say that it was a weird time for both of them. Perhaps that’s what brought them together, despite all their rage.

Day 2 - Madcool Festival 2019 Photo by Javier Bragado/WireImage

Corgan was vacationing in Colorado when he first heard about the Melancon family ranch. A hundred-plus acre ranch with beautiful countryside, right in the middle of the Rocky Mountains. The ranch is well known in the area for its picturesque vistas. Corgan knew he had to visit.

Melancon was initially starstruck when he first met him, which was something that Corgan was accustomed to. Whether Corgan was seduced by the beautiful landscapes of the ranch or whether he somehow sensed that the young athlete was meant for greater things, he took a liking to Melancon. Showing the type of composure that would help him become a successful relief pitcher, Melancon seemed to feel comfortable speaking with Corgan, and while they are rather far apart in age, they talked as if they had a lot in common.

But Corgan also saw an opportunity.

Corgan, an avid animal lover who lived in the city, was concerned about his two and a half year old purebred border collie. Border collies are herding dogs, and need wide open spaces and places to run, or else they become very lethargic, almost depressed, and this was the case with Corgan’s pup. Over a year of being kept in the city with only the occasional trip to the dog park left him a shell of his former self; lazy, and devoid of joy. Given that this was before the days of doping up your dog on antidepressants, Corgan asked if his dog could stay at the Melancon ranch permanently. The family agreed, and adopted the dog, allowing him to run free on the ranch.

Border collie Photo by Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images

It only took a few short months of running wild and free on the endless hills of the Melancon ranch before he was a new dog again. His enjoyment of life returned, and it was as if he had a new leash on life. And this was how they cured Melancon’s Collie and his Infinite Sadness.