Sunday, September 12, 2010

The play's the thing . . .

Speaking of blog dog (previous post) reminds me of Bob Dog. Does that name ring a bell for anyone? He was probably one of the world's great dog impersonators back in the day. (The reason I know about him is because of old TV reruns and PBS specials.) His human name was Bob Trow, and he was a regular on Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. I'll bet a hundred dollars my adoptive sisters, Bonnie and Jenny, remember him. For those who never had the pleasure, though, here's a picture of ol' Bob Dog in his prime:

Mister Rogers' TV neighborhood was also called "The Neighborhood of Make-Believe." I like making believe, as you've no doubt guessed from my Buddy Holly schtick. Pretending you're somebody or something else can be a lot of fun. And if you get bored with it you can switch to another character--or just go back to being your regular, charming self.

When it comes to pretending, humans have an advantage over dogs, because they get to use costumes and makeup. I suppose dogs can dress up, too, if they don't mind the confinement of clothing. You do sometimes see toy poodles wearing those little bitty sweaters or big macho dogs with bandannas tied around their necks. But if you're a regular reader of my blog, you know that I much prefer the au naturel look. As a result, my make-believe lives are pretty much limited to the world inside my head.

As for humans playing the part of someone else, the ones I like best fall into either of two groups: Elvis imitators or dog impersonators. For some reason I can't fathom, the former seem to outnumber the latter by a wide margin. Since I started this post talking about Bob Trow, I'll stick with his category and save the Elvis wannabes for another day.

It's really hard to find many people who want to play dogs. I don't know if it comes down to a money thing or an ego thing or what. Among dog impersonators, some of my favorites--in addition to Mr. Trow--are the ones who've played Snoopy in the stage version of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. Here's Jordan Stocksdale (the one on the left--duh!) doing a fine job of it in a Way Off Broadway Dinner Theater production (Frederick, Maryland):

But my all-time favorite dog impersonator, hands down, is my sister Jenny, who does a great portrayal of her big brother--me! Here she is dramatizing my former life in the woods:

I can almost hear her delivering her lines: "What's that, M and J? You want to adopt . . . little old ME? You want me to give up all this freedom and snakes and ticks and stuff for your living room? Well, I'll have to think about it. I'll let you know. Oh, and J, for breakfast tomorrow, will you be a doll and toss an extra scrambled egg into my kibble?"

 "Oh, all right. I suppose if I don't let you and M catch me, I'll never have a moment's peace. And at least going home with you will get Animal Control off my tail. I'm yours. Huggies!"

The irony is that Jenny did these impersonations years ago, when she was just a little girl and long before I was even born! And yet they're so spot on! I mean--how did she know? Does she have ESPN? (Cue the creepy music.)

Oh--before I forget--you'll recall from earlier posts that Jen is quite the comedienne. Once while she was rehearsing for this dog gig, she couldn't resist going for the cheap laugh:

Truth be told, I love me some cheap laughs!


misselaineous said...

HAAA!!! Cute post Buddy. Sounds like you have been adopted by the best kind of family...loving AND funny!! Thanks for becoming a follower of my blog. I am a very bad blogger...only posting very infrequently. But I now have a really good reason for being a bad blogger...I have adopted a sad pup, by the name of Pup, and he is no longer a sad pup, but rapidly becoming a member of the family. He is a red lab...if there was such a I'm thinking Lab mixed with Red Tick Hound, maybe. He is a BIG puppy, loves the lake and sings...think that's the hound in him? He was abandoned by some not very nice people who lived next door to my son...they are gone, but Pup's here to stay. I'll try to post some pics soon...he's a cutie! *e*

Jenny said...

Haha! Yes, that costume DOES look a lot like Buddy. If you had taken a picture of me in costume sprawled out on the couch, THAT would be real live ESPN. : )

Anonymous said...

I'll bet you didn't know that I once played a dog in a stage play where I used to live in Hawthorne-at-Leesburg. You would have loved it when I pretended to almost fall off the stage!

Love, Grandma

BUDDY said...

Elaine - I can't wait to see the pictures of Pup. Thanks so much for adopting him. I know he really needed that!

Jenny - We still have the costume. Come on over and let's update your acting portfolio!

Grandma - Pretended to almost fall off the stage? That's not how it looks on YouTube! (Hee hee!)

Anonymous said...

You got me there! I have a tape of the show, but I didn't think the camera was focused on me at that moment. Guess there must have been some unauthorized taping going on behind the scenes.

Love, Grandma