Monday, May 31, 2010

A day for true heroes

Today is Memorial Day, a day of remembrance for Americans who died in service to their country. Mike told me all about it on our walk yesterday morning. He said it used to be called Decoration Day and it used to be celebrated on May 30th. He thinks that the name change was probably a good idea but that moving the date from May 30th to the last Monday in May was not, since many people now see it as just another Monday off from work and no longer have a clue as to its meaning.

The date change was part of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act of 1968, to make Federal holidays come with a three-day weekend. Ironically that act also guarantees that George Washington's Birthday can't fall on his real birth date of February 22nd. This is because it specifies the day as the third Monday in February, which can never be later than the 21st. (And the Federal holiday is George Washington's Birthday--or as M says, George Birthington's Wash Day--not "Presidents Day.")

M points out that Washington was actually born February 11, 1732, under the Julian calendar that was in effect then and that this translates to the 22nd under the Gregorian calendar, which replaced it in 1752. But he says that the third Monday in any month also can't be earlier than the 15th. So whichever date you use, M thinks that the Uniform Holiday law is a good example of a more general one--the Law of Unintended Consequences.

I also learned that Memorial (Decoration) Day was originally thought up as a time to place flowers and other decorations on the graves of soldiers who died in the War of the Rebellion. M told me that this war is now usually called the Civil War and that it was different from all of our other wars because both sides fighting in it were Americans. And I thought, hmm . . . that doesn't sound very civil to me. But as I've mentioned before, I'm still struggling with the language, so maybe I missed something.

In any case I think we should take a few minutes today to honor our brave service men and women who throughout the years have died defending our freedoms. What awesome sacrifice! While we're at it we should also appreciate the millions more who fought for us but were lucky enough not to die. Mike found this video of the United States Army Field Band and Soldiers' Chorus performing their famous "Armed Forces Salute" at the Rehoboth Beach Bandstand last summer. In it they play and sing the official songs of each service branch: "Anchors Aweigh" for the Navy, "Off We Go Into the Wild Blue Yonder" for the Air Force, "The Marines' Hymn" for the Marine Corps, "Semper Paratus" for the Coast Guard, and "The Army Goes Rolling Along" for the Army. During each song, audience members with a personal connection to that branch stand up and receive a salute from the band's commander. It's a pretty moving piece. I hope you enjoy it and that it brings to mind loved ones of yours who have served in the United States armed forces--and especially those who laid down their lives.

PS - Mike says that video has special significance for him because he grew up being a "Field Band groupie," attending many of their concerts over the years. M's dad--my Grandpa George--fought in World War II with the 3rd Infantry Division and in the late 1940s was a member of the Army Field Band (then known as the Army Ground Forces Band) at Ft. Meade, MD. He played clarinet and was also the band's first drum major. Here is a poster advertising one of the band's 1947 concerts. The picture in it was made from a photograph of Grandpa George.

Makes a pup proud!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Super size me!

My name is Buddy and I'm a McDonaholic. I've been sober for two days.

(Crowd replies: Hi, Buddy!)

When I was on the run, I developed some terrible eating habits, cuz I felt like I had to take whatever was offered no matter how bad for a dog it might be. After all, I was in survival mode. Compounding the problem was that some of the things that I knew I should turn up my nose at . . . well, they just tasted so doggone good! You know what I'm saying?

Take McDonald's hotcakes and sausage biscuits and scrambled eggs, for instance. A sweet lady named Bonnie, who was one of my main caregivers, used to bring these to me for breakfast, mixing them in with regular dog food. First thing you know I was hooked! For supper she dealt me the hard stuff--hamburgers! Two or three at a time! Crikey, I thought I'd died and gone to McHeaven!

I should point out that I don't fault Bonnie one bit for setting such a fine table. She knew I needed lots of greasy calories if I was gonna survive the winter outdoors, which let me tell you was pretty unpleasant. But once I adopted Mike and Jeannie and moved into my new house, I found that kicking the Styro-food habit was no bed of roses. I still like a little scrambled eggs and bacon with my breakfast now and then, and Jeannie cooks them up just fine. But the biggest monkey on my back is the hamburgers. I can go without them for maybe a week, but that's it. By about day 5, I get the yips and the letter "M" starts invading my dreams--and I don't mean as in "Mike":

Thank goodness for Wednesday, when McDonald's hamburgers are on sale for 49 cents a pop. Wednesday night has become "Burger Night" at the old hacienda. I guess you could say I'm on a maintenance program. Bonnie, now one of my dearest friends, will come over around six, often with Judy or some other nice "enablers," and take me in her SUV to Mickey D's, which is just a few blocks away. The people there all know me by name. They know I'm the one who gets the "plain" hamburgers--just the meat and the bun--with no pickle or ketchup or mustard or onions--and most of all, no fries. (My human friends think it's strange that I don't like French fries, but really, there are limits to what a dog will put in his mouth!)

Sometimes M or J go along for the ride, but we always bring our food back to the house so J can mix mine with my regular stuff. This week M took his camera to get some pictures for my blog. Here's one that shows how I would look ordering my own hamburgers if they let dogs order their own hamburgers:

And here's one of me scoping out the menu. (I'm not sure why you don't get to the menu at the drive-thru until after you've already passed the order thingy. I think it has to do with corporate strategy or thinking inside the bun or something. But what do I know? I'm a dog.)

And here's where I would get to pay the pretty girl if I had the money:

This next window is where they usually give you your stuff. Only this past Wednesday we had to "please pull forward and we'll bring it out to you," since the fries were still cooking. (How can humans eat those things? Yuccch!)

And finally, here's our order arriving:

We do a quick inventory. Then it's back home to strap on the old feedbag, for McDonald's, to paraphrase one of Mike's favorite writers, is a moveable feast. Uh, thanks, J . . . just break it up like the other one.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Famous Humans Named Buddy

I don't remember my "real" name--the one that would be on my birth certificate if I had a birth certificate. When folks started feeding me or just talking to me back in my wandering days, a lot of them called me "Buddy" and I just assumed they were right. Now it occurs to me that they might not have been. I could actually be a Jason or Frank or Ethan or Oliver or Wolfgang or a zillion other things. But I'm cool with Buddy as long as people don't sound angry when they say it.

Given that I'm Buddy for the foreseeable future, I naturally wonder who else might have that moniker. I imagine a lot of dogs must be named Buddy, since it seemed to spring from the lips of so many people I met. Several weeks ago I showed you this police video of a dog hero in Alaska named Buddy, so we know there's at least that one.

On our walk this morning I asked Mike if there were any famous humans named Buddy. He came up with several. The first one he mentioned was Buddy Holly, a singer-songwriter and pioneer rock-and-roller from the 1950s. M said that this particular Buddy was very famous even though he died quite young, and that he had a band called The Crickets. I thought, man, I used to love to eat me some crickets when I lived in the woods--and hello, I came close to dying young, too! Any reincarnation buffs out there? Cue the Twilight Zone music!

Here is a picture of the late, great Buddy Holly from the cover of one of his record albums:

Incidentally, I saw in Wikipedia that this Buddy's real name was Charles Hardin Holly, so heck, I could just as easily be a Charles, too. Or a Hardin, but I doubt it.

Let me say one more thing about Buddy Holly: If I ever need glasses, I want some like his.

Oh, yeah, baby--that's what I'm talking about! (Before we move on, here's a well-deserved shout-out to my Aunt Suzie, the Queen of Photoshop, for "lending" me those frames.)

The next Buddy that M told me about was Buddy Rich, a jazz drummer and bandleader whose first name was actually Bernard. Heeeeere's that Buddy:

Then there was Buddy Ebsen (Christian Rudolph Ebsen Jr. Hmm . . . Are you starting to get the idea that maybe nobody is originally named Buddy?) This one was a well-known movie actor and song-and-dance man. He was also a hillbilly on TV:

Something about him in that picture reminds me of M. Maybe it's the tendency not to overdress (except when M breaks out his kilt).

One of the biggest musical film roles Buddy Ebsen almost got but didn't was that of the tin woodman in The Wizard of Oz:

Now there's a look Mike ought to try. I can just see us clanking down Brandywine Road . . .

But I digress.

Next was Buddy Knox. At last--a real Buddy! Buddy Wayne Knox was an early rock-and-roller, much like Buddy Holly. But Knox lived longer and wasn't nearly as famous, which seems a reasonable trade-off. His band was called The Rhythm Orchids, and some of their big hits from the late 1950s were "Party Doll," "Hula Love," and "Rock Your Little Baby to Sleep." (M sang me some snippets of these. I must say they were pretty darn good!)

Then there's Buddy Guy (real name George), a blues singer and guitarist who M says does a pretty good cover of "Mustang Sally" though he prefers the version by Wilson Pickett.

Finally the one who struck the most resonant chord with me: Buddy Hackett (Leonard Hacker) was one of the world's greatest stand-up comics. How could you not want to be buddies with someone that owns a face like this?

Interesting that all of these humans named Buddy are known for their work in the entertainment business with some focus on music (even Buddy Hackett, who had a singing and dancing role in The Music Man). I mean, you never hear of an ambassador or heart surgeon or bullfighter or king called Buddy. When I pointed this out to M, he remembered another musical Buddy of sorts: his cousin, a country radio deejay named Buddy Baron. I asked M why he didn't mention him first, and he said, "Because I didn't make the connection. The last time I saw him, over 40 years ago, his name was John Brantley Mullino."

The name game is fascinating, is it not? As I said, I'm fine with being Buddy, especially now that I know I'm in such good company. But if I ever wanted to change it, maybe to run for king or something, I might go with Charles Hardin Bernard Christian Rudolph Wayne George John Brantley Leonard Hacker. That has a nice ring to it.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Poems Old and New

First a happy update on my entry from last Monday about the Lost Dog Café and its affiliated Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation (LDCRF): After posting the information I'd received, I had Mike e-mail the foundation's president to let her know that we were trying to spread the word about the Café and LDCRF's great work. Within hours another of the foundation's officers signed on as one of my "Followers." (Welcome--and thanks!) Wednesday night the post got a nice comment from "Sarah," who also works for LDCRF. She said that the Lost Dog Café, the Stray Cat Café, and the foundation all have Facebook pages. And she e-mailed Mike to tell him she had put my blog entry on the Lost Dog Café's Facebook fan page. All Wednesday night and continuing into today, there was a noticeable build-up in blog hits from Arlington and nearby cities, including Alexandria, Springfield, Falls Church, Herndon, and Washington DC. A number of these visitors came to the blog from the Café's Facebook site. Wow--talk about one paw washing the other!

Okay, now to today's main business: My friend who brought the Lost Dog Café-LDCRF combo to our attention is also my Chief Finder of Dog Poetry for the Mid-Atlantic Region. Today she supplies two more works for our enjoyment. Unlike that of my May 13th post, this first one is by a human--but clearly one who loved and understood dogs. The poet is Arthur Guiterman, an American who was born in Vienna and who lived from November, 1871, to January, 1943. He was a co-founder and later the president of the Poetry Society of America. (Thus spake Wikipedia!)

Little Lost Pup

He was lost!-not a shade of doubt of that;
For he never barked at a slinking cat,
But stood in the square where the wind blew raw
With a drooping ear and a trembling paw
And a mournful look in his pleading eye
And a plaintive sniff at the passer-by
That begged as plain as a tongue could sue,
"O Mister! please may I follow you?"

A lorn wee waif of a tawny brown
Adrift in the roar of a heedless town.
Oh, the saddest of sights in a world of sin
Is a little lost pup with his tail tucked in!
He won my heart, for I set great store,
on my own Red Beaut, who is here no more.
So I whistled clear, and he trotted up,
and who so glad, as that small lost pup.

Now he shares my board and he owns my bed,
And he fairly shouts when he hears my tread;
Then, if things go wrong, as they sometimes do,
and the world is cold, and I'm feeling blue
He asserts his right to assuage my woes
With a warm, red tongue and a nice, cold nose
And a silky head on my arm or knee
And a paw as soft as a paw can be.

When we rove the woods for a league about
He's as full of pranks as a school let out;
For he romps and frisks like a three months' colt,
And he runs me down like a thunderbolt.
Oh, the blithest of sights in the world so fair
Is a gay little pup with his tail in the air

Mike and Jeannie both said they thought of me when they read that, because it describes my situation (both before and after my adoption) so well. But they agreed that Mr. Guiterman goofed a little on the part where the narrator whistles and the dog trots up just like that, with no second thoughts. If you've read my first blog entry, you'll know that I had plenty of second thoughts, and because of this it took me a pretty long time to come trotting up! (We're talking weeks, baby!)

M told me that a reference in the poem that struck him was the one to "my own Red Beaut, who is here no more." M and J used to have an Irish setter named Penny. She died a long time ago, and the whole family was very sad when that happened. I'll try to find some pictures of Penny and do a blog about her sometime soon.

The second dog poem was probably made up by a human, too. I say probably because the author is unknown. I think that's kinda sad, cuz when you put a lot of effort into something as nice as this, even though it's short, you want folks to know it was you that did it.

A man may smile and bid you hail
Yet wish you to the devil;
But when a good dog wags his tail,
You know he's on the level.

Truer words were never spoken. (As you can imagine, my tail-wagging muscles have been getting a serious workout these past five weeks!)

As for my own poetic efforts, I think I'm making good progress. Here's one I wrote just this morning:

There once was a dog from Nantucket
Who gobbled his food by the bucket.
He often fell ill
From the copious swill
And then he would have to upchuck it.

After I had that first line written, Mike saw it and gave me this really weird look. I think maybe he doubted I could finish it--and for a while, so did I. But I finally succeeded, by golly!

Maybe I will think up some more.

Would you like that?

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Lost Dog Café

Can you imagine a pizzeria with ties to a dog and cat rescue foundation? Two of my favorite types of institution, joined at the hip! What a great concept!

A friend in Arlington, VA, recently gave me the lowdown on the Lost Dog Café, a 25-year-old restaurant whose popularity led to the creation of a pet shelter. Somewhere along the way the owners opened a "sister" restaurant, the Stray Cat Café, to help fund their passion for placing homeless critters. Here's the amazing story, just as it came to me by e-mail. (Note to people who like to forward stuff - This is the kind of thing you ought to be clogging up your contacts' e-mail buffers with!)

Restaurants to the Rescue
The Lost Dog Café has been serving up great pizza, hot sandwiches and beer from around the world in Arlington’s Westover neighborhood since 1985. Well known as a place to get great food at a great price, the café also serves up a hefty slice of compassion with each pizza. Café owners Ross Underwood and Pam McAlwee have been rescuing stray dogs and cats almost as long as they have been in business and the effort continues.

It began with a few “lost” dogs needing a place to stay until they could find new homes of their own. In 2001, thanks largely to the success of the Lost Dog Café, the pair established a non-profit foundation dedicated solely to the cause of helping homeless and abandoned dogs and cats find forever homes. Today the Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation (LDCRF) places almost 2000 animals per year into permanent, loving homes—each one spayed or neutered prior to adoption. The foundation’s efforts continue to be supported by the Lost Dog Café and its sister restaurant (just a few doors down), the Stray Cat Café.

It’s the compassion that makes the Lost Dog Café more than just a great place to eat—here you can rest assured that you are helping to make a difference—one dog or cat at a time.

To learn more about the foundation’s efforts, to donate, or to volunteer, visit the Lost Dog and Cat rescue foundation website at

Be sure to check out the menu, which will have your stomach growling, and also the shelter's website, especially the "You Can Help" link.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Thang you! Thang you vurra much!

In my first post last month, I thanked my human inner circle, the Den of Spies, Operatives, and Conspirators in the Brandywine Resistance who kept me fed, watered, and slightly medicated while I was on the run. They will always mean more to me than they can ever know. Without their TLC I'm pretty sure I would have ended up dead--or worse.

Tonight I'd like to express my appreciation to a much larger group: my New Extended Family, you folks who have found your way to my blog, particularly those who keep coming back for more, and most especially the ones who have been moved to write comments. It makes me feel doggone good to believe we may have connected on some really deep level. And it's comforting to know that--as an overpaid movie actress once said--"You like me! You really like me!"

Confessions of a Canine Couch Potato has enjoyed (have enjoyed?--I'm still wrestling with your strange language!) hundreds of hits since it went public less than four weeks ago. If my Site Meter account is to be believed, I've had readers from all over the U.S. as well as such faraway places as England, Germany, Spain, Israel, and Afghanistan. (Thanks, Uncle Fred! Stay safe! I can't wait to meet you this summer!) And my 15 posts have brought forth over 30 of the most wonderful, uplifting comments. I hope this trend will continue and I encourage you to send my link to any of your friends and relatives who might be able to read and who dig animals. To hear M and J tell it, a lot less worthwhile hoo-ha gets forwarded around the old e-mail system. So please let your peeps know we're here and we're hungry for "sticky eyeballs." (Hmm. That's a real cyber-term, but now that I see it in print, it looks a lot grosser than I expected.) I also hope that more of you will consider leaving comments. (Please remember to be gentle, though. I'm a sick puppy!)

Once again, my thanks to all of you. I really like you, too!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Poetic Pooches

Dogs express themselves artistically in many ways. I mentioned yesterday that I like to paint abstracts. And of course my stand-up comedy is a type of performing art. In an earlier post I showed that some dogs have marvelous singing voices and can harmonize better than a lot of people. And the fact that I keep this blog is evidence that I enjoy writing prose, which is another art form.

"Prose," of course, means "not poetry." Not that I dislike writing poetry; I've simply never tried it. But one of my blog-pals recently reminded me that some mutts are darn good poets and sent the following dog-written lines as an example:

I lie belly-up
In the sunshine, happier than
You ever will be.

Today I sniffed
Many dog butts — I celebrate
By kissing your face.

I sound the alarm!
Paperboy — come to kill us all —
Look! Look! Look! Look! Look!

I sound the alarm!
Garbage man — come to kill us all —
Look! Look! Look! Look! Look!

I lift my leg and
Whiz on each bush. Hello, Spot —
Sniff this now and weep.

I hate my choke chain —
Look, world, they strangle me! Ack!
Ack! Ack! Ack! Ack! Ack!

Sleeping here, my chin
On your foot — no greater bliss — well,
Maybe catching cats.

Look in my eyes and
Deny it. No human could
Love you as I do.

Inspiring, isn't it? That beautiful poem is by a dog called "Anonymous." From the sound of the name, I'm guessing he's possibly an Ancient Greek sheepdog. But no matter what the breed, the fact is that the words reach right down into your soul and stir things up good.

I think I might like to try writing a poem sometime. Maybe I'll just do that. Stay tuned . . .

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Art imitates art.

You can have your Monet, your Cezanne, your Picasso, your Andrew Wyeth.  My favorite painter has to be the righteous dude who did this:

I've told Mike about a hundred times that we need to get a framed print of it to hang in our living room. But I digress.

So anyway, I thought it was pretty cool when this updated version appeared in yesterday's comics:

(Of course I read the comics. How could anyone with my finely tuned sense of humor not read them?)

The only other painter who gives me a real buzz is Jackson Pollock, who did stuff like this:

I like Pollock because his style resembles my own when I try to paint, either with my food or at a really neat website I found. If you'd like to create your own Jackson Pollock painting without getting your paws messy, click on this link. Once you enter the site, just start moving your mouse around and wah-LAH!--you are zee instant arteest! Change colors by left-clicking your mouse.


Sunday, May 9, 2010

Home Ec 101

I'm getting to be such a domestic diva--or whatever the male equivalent is. (Domestic divo?) When Mike and Jeannie and my newly adopted big sister Jenny were out taking M's mum to lunch for Mothers Day, I taught myself some great housekeeping skills. First, you know how some people are into flower arranging? Well, I think I might excel at food rearranging. I believe I mentioned in my last post my occasional knack for putting English muffins in my bed. In keeping with that theme, today I learned to move the Cuban bread from the kitchen counter to the couch:

I think it's much handier there, since I am, after all, a Canine Couch Potato, and you never know when I might get a serious case of the munchies.

While I had the house to myself I also relocated my dry dog chow (both bags!) from the kitchen counter top to a more convenient spot on the floor:

And finally, I learned how to carry out the garbage. Well--let's say I started learning. I've got the part down where you open the cabinet, take the can out from under the sink, and remove the garbage from the can. Now all I need to work on is getting it the rest of the way out of the house. Incidentally, my little blue three-legged dog, Tripod, is not part of the garbage, but just an innocent bystander.

When they got home, everyone was so proud of my new skills that they literally shrieked with delight.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

I wouldn't turn a knight out on a dog like this.

I'm pretty sure that in a past life I was somebody who made people laugh. Not like a circus clown or a politician, but someone, you know, really cool and important: I think I was a stand-up comic. The reason I believe this is that now that I'm just a dog, I still love to crack people up. I will do or say anything to get you to nose your milk. Check this out:

A bulldog, a pug, and a borzoi go into a bar. Bartender says to the borzoi, "Why the long face?"

Or wait--this is even better: I think Martha Stewart is stalking me. The poop in my back yard has been sculpted into swans!

Or how about this one: I know a scientist who crossed a Labrador retriever with a curly-coated retriever. He got a lab coat retriever!

Man, sometimes I even crack myself up. Here I am R-O-T-F-L:

Okay--R-O-T-B-L. But my head's on the floor.

I haven't thought about laughing--or making others laugh--for a long time. But a few days of living back in civilization took most of the edge off and started the ol' joy juice flowing again.

Every now and then if I sense someone's being way too serious and my jokes fall flat, I'll have to resort to something less traditional. Sight gags often save the day. For instance I might go get the English muffins off of the kitchen counter and put them in my bed:

That usually does the trick. If not . . . well, I'll sit on your chest until you at least grin a little:

I'll close with this story from my old stand-up days:

A burglar breaks into a house one night. He shines his flashlight around, searching for valuables, and when he picks up a CD player, he hears a loud voice say, "Jesus is watching you."

He nearly jumps out of his skin, clicks his flashlight off, and freezes in his tracks. When he hears nothing more for a while, he shakes his head, turns the light back on, puts the CD player in his sack, and begins looking for more loot.

Just as he pulls the TV out from the wall so he can disconnect the wires, clear as a bell he hears it again: "Jesus is watching you." Totally rattled, he shines his light around, looking for the source of the voice.

Finally, in the corner of the room, his flashlight beam comes to rest on a parrot in a cage. "Did you say that?" he hisses at the parrot.

"Yes," the parrot replies. "I'm just trying to warn you."

The burglar breathes a big sigh of relief. "Warn me, huh?" he asks. "Who do you think you are, you little twerp?"

"Moses," the bird tells him.

"Moses?" the burglar asks. "What kind of people would name a parrot 'Moses'?"

"The same kind that would name a Rottweiler 'Jesus'!"

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

All the news that fits, we print.

Yesterday my hometown newspaper, the West Volusia Beacon, published this nice article about yours truly and how I came to let Mike and Jeannie live with me. Some of you have already seen it, since you found my blog through the web link that was in it. But if you haven't and would like to, click here to go to the online version.

J and M liked the article and said it was very well written. J was a little nervous about it being in the middle of page 1, though, since it opens with a big color picture of her harboring a fugitive.

It was a lot of fun being interviewed by the Beacon reporter, Pat Hatfield. She's nice. She has a dog named Molly McGuire who sometimes goes to work with her at the newspaper office. Here is a picture of Molly at work:

It looks interesting getting to go to work. I asked M and J if they would ever take me to work, but they said they can't, because they are retired. (Or maybe they said tired--I'm not sure. But I hope they're not too tired, because if they can't take me to work, they can at least take me for walks!)

That Molly's quite a dish, isn't she?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A Tale of Two Kitties

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Yesterday leaned toward the latter, because I totally screwed up.

Did I mention that Mike and Jeannie have a couple of cats? There's Arlo, a dapper little dude who always wears a tuxedo. Some of my sharper-eyed readers will have seen him lurking in the window in the next-to-last picture of my first blog entry. Arlo was the new guy in the house until I came along. In this photo you can see that he and I share a common interest:

And then there's Willis, a crusty old toot who ruled the roost in his younger days:

Actually Willis still uses that tower, but only when Arlo is safely quarantined on the back porch, as one of them always is. There was a time when they tolerated each other--and even played together. Here's the photographic evidence:

But that was then. Now they fight like cats and . . . well, cats. So M and J have to keep them separated.

Strangely enough I get along with each of them--or did until last night. I swear I don't know what came over me. Well, that's not true, though you'll probably say I'm just making excuses. I'm sure it had something to do with the heartworms and the tick ailment and all the medicines I've been having to take. I'd felt really draggy all day and was in no mood to be messed with. Earlier, in fact, my peeps had me tied me out in the yard while they did some gardening, and when a neighbor's cat walked by, I took a run at him. When I got to the end of my tether and did a half-gainer into the grass, it darkened my mood considerably.

I want you to know that hassling cats is out-of-character for me. Just ask M. We've passed lots of cats on our walks, and I've never paid them any attention. Squirrels--same way. I'm very live-and-let-live. I think this time, though, it was just that I was feeling so sick. And tired. And I was sick and tired of feeling sick and tired--you know what I'm saying?

(Also let me mention in passing that I realize there are three cats in this story, but I'm not going to change the title, since "A Tale of Three Kitties" would be just plain dorky and lose much of its literary luster. If it helps you to get through it, consider the "two" to be Arlo and Willis--or Willis and that foreign intruder. Whatever floats your boat.)

But back to business: The only thing I found all day that made me perk up was food--my own and anyone else's. That evening when I cleaned Willis's plate for him, he shot me the evil eye, as if to say Where's The Fish? So a while later as we were passing each other in the kitchen doorway, I growled and lunged at him and showed him what a really big mouth full of teeth looks like.

Willis didn't react all that much, but Jeannie did. She yelled at me and grabbed me by my collar. Then I growled at her, which just set her off some more.

Long story short, I slept in isolation last night, instead of being trusted to have the run of the house with Willis. He was locked in a bedroom, while Arlo was on the back porch (as usual).

I've thought about this a lot today. Believe me I have. And I've come to some important conclusions. Do I wish I hadn't scared the bejeezus out of Jeannie? Of course I do! Will I think twice in the future about finishing Willis's supper--or anybody's but mine? I certainly will! Am I sorry for wigging out with Willis and that poor, dumb cat from down the street? Yes and yes! Is J apt to forgive me anytime soon for being such a bonehead? . . . I don't know. I sincerely hope so. I know I'm a better dog than I appeared to be last night. I learned about give and take when J and M were out in the boondocks trying to win me over. And I can learn and grow from this unfortunate experience. I know I can.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

There's no place like home!

If you've read my profile, you know that Lady and the Tramp is one of my all-time favorite movies. I'll admit that some parts of it are hard to take. But we can learn valuable lessons even from scenes like this one:

Is it any wonder I held out for Jeannie and Mike?

Say it ain't so, Joe!

I sure hope this isn't true!