Sunday, April 13, 2014

Don't hate me because I'm beautiful: spring cleaning reveals new me


Like most good dogs, I don't bathe often, but a rare warm day giving me the opportunity to cleanse myself of the last traces of winter, I submitted to the ministrations of my parents.

Although I protested mightily, I have to admit being clean felt kind of good, especially because I had become rather itchy after an all-advised roll on a tract of land that was mostly, shall we say, dirt.

I'm all for dirt, ordinarily. I'm renowned for my skills in earth-moving, shrub transplanting, and chipmunk hunting (yes, that was me on the lookout early Saturday,  2:41 a.m., I believe) skills. My prints, as well as my voice, are unmistakable.

Clean? Sort of. For one day, anyway.
Picture perfect, no?

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Wellesley unleashed!

Can't they read? Right above this sign is one reminding dogs to leash up.
While Wellesley College's "Sleepwalker" statue has been getting all the attention, little is paid to the unaccompanied, unleashed dog hanging out on campus.

I refer to the statue, hunched near the Margaret Clapp Library, not the live dogs, although little attention is paid to them, as they run around unminded while their owners jabber to each other or to someone unseen via Bluetooth.  That's to be expected. On my morning sojourn around Lake Waban, the first since I was viciously attacked last fall by an off leash dog, I counted 11 off-leash dogs, three leashed.

So Tony Matelli's dog sculpture is hardly eyebrow- or back-of-the-neck-hair raising. I gave him a sniff, then moved on.

In an interview with Jaclyn Reiss on, Matelli says the dog is a seeing-eye dog, a possible companion to Sleepwalker.

"The thing about the seeing eye dog is its owner is not there – that brings to mind a whole other set of questions," Matelli told the Globe.

Indeed, such as: 

  • should Sleepwalker have a cancer-sniffing dog check out his mole?
  • what's up with our educated Wellesley populace ignoring the "all dogs must be leashed" signs? and,
  • why wasn't I chosen as Tony Matelli's model? I'm much more handsome.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Muskrat love comes to Wellesley, Latin style

Foiled, yet again.
I'm trotting along the Brook Path, taking in the mallards, the warm sunshine, lapping up the cool water. All is right with the world, and I even give a bye to a muskrat who is chomping some reeds by the water's edge.

But something must have stuck in my craw, muskrat-wise, because while I am perambulating between the duck pond and town hall, just past where the boys on bikes hang out while smoking something they're not supposed to, I smell it: muskrat skull.

I'm not sure I actually identify it as muskrat, or just let my animal instincts take over. Nevertheless, I scoop it up, figuring it's some tasty morsel. I have it nearly all the way down my gullet when Mom intervenes.

Image by Ryan Somma. Mom threw
my find in the direction of the boys on bikes.
It's unlikely you will remember, but I am in almost exactly the same location where I went nose-to-nose with a scorpion a couple of years back. Not too far, either, from where I proudly carried a severed rabbit head for several paces. Hypervigilant Mom notices my swift, deft move and immediately pries open my jaws.

This takes bravery. Last year, Mom lost a finger of her favorite glove and almost her whole finger when attempting to remove a very juicy chunk o'chicken, with bones, from said gullet. What can I say? Her finger was coming between me and my lunch.

I guess I am not quite as enamored of the muskrat skull, because Mom delves down, down, down, and comes up with it. It is then she identifies it as Odontra zibethicus, or the remains thereof. The teeth are a dead giveaway.

Now, Mom knows her Latin pretty well when it comes to flora, and she's ok on some fauna, too, but it takes a visit to The Evolution Store to learn that she threw away not only an Odontra and my snack, but $12. That's how much one of these things goes for (although there's one for $15.99 at the Oddities Store (who knew?). And the scorpion she let get away? The store has one of those, for $249.

The cat skeleton ($169) is appealing, but the dog? That's a little bit too Canis lupus familiaris, if you ask me. I'll stick with muskrat instead.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Why I'm the only one in the world who doesn't care about Wellesley's Sleepwalker

My room, not my parents'. I was helping with spring cleaning by moving
the bed, which has a pretty decent mattress of its own.
I've got it figured out: the Sleepwalker guy that's been causing such a ruckus at Wellesley College has simple needs.

Like a new mattress.

In her heyday, Great-Grandma employed people to make mattresses for her furniture store. Mom remembers giant, muscly men in the basement of Grandma's Store, hand-tying the coils together. Ever since Mom left her little bed on the Jersey Shore, she's been pining for that Great-Grandma quality mattress.

And I bet ol' Sleepwalker Guy could use one, too.

Me, I'm not picky. As long as I don't have to sleep on the floor, almost any mattress will do. Or chair. Or ottoman. Or couch.

Not picky, no, not me.

But I was the first to test out our new mattress, right after delivery last week. It's good. From Gardner Mattress, where they make them the old-fashioned way. Board-like, just like Great-Grandma used to make.

Even the Sleepwalker (and I've got to add: isn't it just a bit too obvious, to put a pasty white, middle-aged paunchy guy on the campus of an elite women's college?) might get some rest with one of those.

Meanwhile, I'm getting all the z's I can.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Daylight savings reminder: you could set the clock by me

Ever notice how advertisements for watches, those relics of long ago, always have the hands set at 10 minutes after 10? 10 and 2: it must conform to the golden mean in some way.

If it does, I'll let you figure it out: I just don't have a head for math right now, because I am very, very hungry.

The reason being: I am a regular kind of guy. I eat at 10, and I eat at 2. But not today. At 10, I bayed to be fed.

Dad looked at the clock. "Too early," he said. "It's only 9."

I banished myself upstairs to listen to my stomach growl in private.

Two o'clock. I bay for my second feeding.

"Too early!" Dad says again.

Uncharacteristically, I begin to doubt myself. However, the beast must be fed. I must insist, I tell Dad.

Finally, he realizes: the time change. Dad is notorious about not understanding the whole Daylight Savings Time thing. He gives in. My tum stops rumbling.

So don't worry about resetting your clock: if you need to get up at 9, or you need to do something at 1, perk your ears over my way. I've got you covered. Just like clockwork.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Owning up to bad behavior: it isn't quiche-y

Good dog, bad dog? Bear witnesses some of my beastliness.
Dear Readers,
I admit: I have been procrastinating writing this post.

Here's why: I had an absolutely wild time whooping it up this weekend during a book party for Sharron Kahn Luttrell's memoir, Weekends with Daisy.

The painful truth: the party wasn't for me, it was for Sharron and Bear, her dog-in-training, and I constantly tried to steal...the spotlight, yes, if we want to use that cliche, but also, Mom's quiche. The ham and cheddar one, not the spinach-zucchini-feta or the carmelized onion-tomato. Not the beet, arugula and goat cheese salad. Not the banana bread. Not the quinoa and roasted vegetable salad. Not the chocolate torte. Just the ham and cheddar quiche.

I could blame my lack of self-control on Joanne Chang of Boston's Flour Bakery, from whose cookbook Mom makes the most divine creations, but this is supposed to be a confession.

In short, I am more than a teeny bit embarrassed.

The event, actually, turned out great. Sharron spoke thoughtfully about raising Daisy and other dogs through the NEADS program. People like Sharron take dogs on the weekends from the prison inmates who train them during the week. When puppies successfully graduate, they are matched with those who need assistance. Awesome example: one of Sharron's dogs, Rescue, is now helping a Boston Marathon bombing victim (read the Boston Globe story). You can see Rescue in action in this WBZ-TV piece, too. Bear seems to have promise, as he pretty much ignored me the whole time. And Sharron must not have minded toooo much, because she featured me on her Facebook page.

 I only drowned out Sharron's talk intermittently, moderating my bay so that I wouldn't harm the guests' hearing. They laughed, perhaps out of politeness, but I was in no mood to be attuned to subtle reactions. Want to find out where the wild things are? Right here on Morses Pond.
I helped clean up after the guests left.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Creepy Bunny: Further Adventures, or a Smashing Farewell?

Creepy Bunny's visage is obscured by the valentine heart; let me assure
you that he is aptly named.
My neighbor, Creepy Bunny, has perched, stalwart, on Border Road for many years. Only in the last few, however, has he fully expressed his personality.

So, with sadness, I must report that Creepy Bunny may be off to other climes. Preferably warmer ones, where his admittedly skimpy outfits won't stand out quite so much. (Mom contributed Sparky's old angel costume and my combo pilgrim/witch costume to his closet.)

A large moving van pulled up to his abode last week, and this sign hints that big things are in store for CB. I don't quite get the Flat Stanley reference, and I hope CB hasn't read the book, by Jeff Brown. Stanley Lambchop, you might remember, miraculously survives but is permanently flattened when the bulletin board above his bed falls on him. In his adventures, he becomes invisible, travels by spaceship, rubs a magic lamp, heads to the Wild West and Egypt, gets unflattened and reflattened.

Stanley's initial mishap, I can report, causes nightmares among susceptible young children, and rightly so. The upside for Stanley is that he's now very, very portable, i.e., envelope sized.

Let's hope that Creepy Bunny is not destined for the rubbish bin, but plans only to travel around like Stanley. Follow his adventures via his Facebook page.