Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Dear Tucker, yes, there is a Santa Claus

And he's squeaky! Santa knew just what I'd like for Christmas, so besides this fun replica to remind my parents that the spirit of Christmas lives on, and that presents shouldn't be limited to just one day, I received a treat ball. It's designed to improve my dexterity and, just in case I use up too many calories batting it around, provides refreshment as well.

I had a big workout yesterday, bounding through the snow and dragging Mom behind me. I was kind of like an Alaskan husky, but without the sled.

To replace all those calories, I took advantage of a friend (she owns cats, so what does she know about the swiftness of a canine). She put down our order of Chinese food to take off her coat. I quickly opened a carton, grabbed a Crab Rangoon, and hightailed it.

Question: my Harry Barker Santa toy has a tag on it that says, "This is not a toy." Really? I ignored it and kept chewing.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Naughty and nice: the year in review

I know there's a Santa, and that he and his crew have been tooling around my neighborhood, because all of a sudden I am awash in antlers.

My friend Lucy's parents clued in my folks to the power of antlers for teeth cleaning, and so they sent up a wish to Santa. I have elk and deer antlers, and maybe moose. They are great for chewing. Mom was so inspired she gave our relatives an antler-handled bottle opener for their Minnesota beverages, although I am assuming they will not chew on them. Maybe, in Minnesota, they are a people delicacy, too, but I am not fully informed.

I got to thinking about my behavior over the past year, and toting things up, I have to admit, I was naughty and nice.

Naughty: knocking Dad over in the middle of the road at morning rush hour. Nice: snuggling with my sister to relieve her college application stress.
Naughty: grabbing items willy nilly from every corner of the Wellesley  Booksmith. Nice: not pouting when Mom didn't buy everything I wanted.
Naughty: executing the Plop O'Doom on a regular basis. Nice: starting to learn to come when called.

Just a few examples. Now, I cannot claim to be as food-naughty as my pal Biscuit, who ate an entire pumpkin pie the day after Thanksgiving. Go, Biscuit! There's something to strive for. (Note: favorite dog poetry book, Once I Ate a Pie by Patricia MacLachlan. Read it and laugh hysterically.)

Does Santa count the week after Christmas toward next year's list, or does he take a hiatus from toting things up? I'd like a little break from having to balance things out all the time.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Cookies have me salivating...for a Dreams du Dog Christmas

With Christmas coming up, Mom pulled out her Dreams du Dog special recipes and got baking. Today she made Gingerbread Bones for Good Boys. These are cookie-swap good. My friend Kiki's mom, who loves sweets, mistook them for people cookies and raved about them, then nearly had a heart attack when she found out they were for Kiki, not her.

No worries! Dreams du Dog cookies are made with ingredients—the best—right from the people pantry. I'm crazy about them, but then I'll eat anything (see previous post). Sparky was the true inspiration for the baking business. No stale supermarket "treats" for him—only the best. He'd just spit out all those old Milk-Bones that people proffer. Pitooey! So my sister and Mom started doing some baking, and he supervised every move.

Today I even sat, stayed and zoomed over when called, then knocked Mom over for my reward. "Bones for Good Boys?" she reminded me.

 So, what's in a name? When she refused to give me any more, I went into the pantry and helped myself.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A disquisition on the littering habits of my countrymen

I've got to hand it to those treasure-seeking trollers on the beach of Mom's childhood: you never know what you're going to find. While they were on the lookout for coins of the realm, I'm interested in more caloric fare.

Today, for example, I found a great hunk o'bread round the shores of Lake Waban, under a pile of leaves. Then, I snagged a piece of a cupcake (chocolate! with icing!) that somehow was stuck to the trunk of someone's car. That was just a single outing.

Chicken legs, chicken bones, big hunks of roasted chicken. Parts of McDonald's Quarter Pounders. Fries to go with them. Did I mention chicken bones? Bones of all kinds.

One could conclude we are a nation who likes to throw its extra food out the window.

Now that we have a critical mass of Dunkin' Donuts emporia (roughly every 200 feet; otherwise, immediately across the street) in our town, one can expect a concomitant increase in insignia trash. When my sister was 5 and on a visit to our nation's capital, she became disturbed at all of the Dunkin' Donuts cups and napkins she saw strewn about.

While she planned to write a letter to the company president, I'm not at all sure she got around to it. Meanwhile, if people would just toss the donuts away so I can find them, and throw the paper stuff in the trash, I'd be good with that.

Monday, December 13, 2010

4 p.m. T-time: that's Tucker time

4 p.m., and I'm raring to go. So I make the appropriate noises, nudge my leash, and plaster myself to the door to the garage. There's only one way I go after 4 p.m., and that's by C-A-R.

Mom, thinking she's going to win this one, coaxes me to the front door. She wants to walk, not drive, after she's just filled the wagon with gas at $3.15 per gallon. And blah, blah, blah. She's complaining that she's going to put on all her gear, make sure she has this, has that, etc., etc. and that after she's all ready, I'll refuse to go.

Boy, she's got that right. I look like I'm aiming for the front door, but I slip—stealthily (and you can check my definition of that in an earlier post) —right into the crate, which my folks quite properly term "The $100 Avoidance Chamber." And I look perfectly comfy in there.

I'm good at this. So good, in fact, that when my very first blog follower came for a visit, I pulled the same trick. The idea was we all were going for a walk to Morses Pond. No one, of course, consulted moi. 

"Does he like his crate?" this dear person asked. Mom practically snorted.

Sure, I like it just fine, and just long enough for Mom to give up and drive me to a nice, big field. After all, I like to do things one way—my way.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Check up: good news, bad news, and does this count as a bath?

The good news from my checkup with Dr. Schettino at VCA Westboro: I didn't get weighed! No counting of Weight Watchers points for me, pal. Here's the trick. First, execute a perfect Plop O'Doom. That means a heavy sink into the floor. Plopsville. Even with Mom on the floor, pushing, and Dr. S. standing up, pulling, they got nowheresville. It was great, even though Dr. S. said I reminded him of a donkey.

Mom then tried the "door #2" method to get me into the back room where they do all those yucky procedures, but all I could say was: No can do. Finally, I gave in to have a heartworm check, bordatella vaccination, etc. etc., but having successfully tried the patience of everybody, they somehow forgot about the weigh-in. Whew!

In my defense, I recently had my mass accounted for. When I was last there a couple of weeks ago, the technician came out with a sad look. "He's 88 pounds," she lamented. Mom exulted—at least four lbs off my top weight! I didn't tell either of them that I exhaled just before getting on the scale, then shifted my bulk onto just one hindquarter.

Now the bad news. Dr. S. says I have oily skin and need a bath once a week. Sparky only needed a bath twice a year! So, does my walk this morning count? I got soaked.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Sneaky, surreptitious, or just napping? You decide

So, when my parents came home from the pre-Cotillion party and left me behind, did they expect to see me bounding downstairs, wagging my tail and just overjoyed that they deigned to return and keep me company?

Apparently, I couldn't be found. What is this, Goldie Foxhound and The Three Bears in reverse? Someone would come in and steal just me (precious though I am)? Didn't they check all the beds?

They said they did. I wasn't in: the guest room (Grandma left today); the beanbag in the study; my sister's bed; my parents' bed; the living room; my chair; my $100 avoidance chamber (the crate). Precious things, they panicked!

Moms, however, keep clear heads in times of emergency. She uttered my favorite word, car of course, and out I came from my hiding place. I wish to keep that secret.

Speaking of secrets, was I being sneaky? That is, defined as furtive, or sly? Covert? Clandestine? Stealthy?

Surreptitious? Meaning my hiding spot was kept secret, connoting guilt, because it wouldn't be approved of? (That couldn't possibly be. What haven't they allowed?)

Or was I just napping, resting, dormant, or relaxed?