Sunday, January 31, 2010

Taste test at Tails

Was tooling around Wellesley Square yesterday after a dump run when I picked up the scent: Tails!
So I hightailed it into the store, where I did a little taste test with Cameron.   
Pizza-flavored treats? Nope.
Peanut butter?
Bayed a bunch of times in thanks. Leroy ran for his crate.

Have you been in Tails lately? It's been redecorated, and it's fab. Still has all the great taste treats and fun duds, plus some new things. Mom liked the necklaces; I liked the jar of tracheas, conveniently located near the cash register. But no dice, as I'm still on the aforementioned diet, yet I have gained (so they say) another 1.2 lbs. Winter weight!

I'm svelte compared to that scary, shaggy German Shepherd at the vet who tried to have me for a mid-a.m. snack. Needless to say, I'm much better behaved. And much, much, much more handsome.

Speaking of handsome, posed for my Dog of the Week photo during a visit last week to Wellesley Booksmith. Be on the lookout for the store's e-newsletter featuring moi. Watch out, Scott Brown—Cosmo's calling next!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

More tails from Catholic school

Before her ooh-la-la Buenos Aires trip, my cousin Pazzo’s mom, being a very diligent reader of my blog, said the Jesus of the Broken Arm story reminded her of her own Catholic school raffle tale. Who knew raffles were such a regular thing in those hallowed halls of hemline-checking?
    Moreover, her story involves a canine, which makes it perfect for my blog. But unlike my mom’s story, hers has a painful ending.

Here goes:
    So the nuns announce a raffle, and instead of the prize being a religious object, it is a puppy! A classmates’ dog, apparently, had a litter, and what better way to raise money from the school than raid those poor little plaid jumper pockets?
    Given that leftover fruitcake was the only other uh, prize, ever offered at Mom’s school, the nuns over at Pazzo’s mom’s place perhaps had some kindness in them. Of course, for those of us who believe that DOG is GOD, a puppy is an object of religious veneration.
    Perfect prize, except that Pazzo’s mom has no money at all in her plaid jumper pocket and the entry fee is 10 cents. Her friend, however, has an entire dollar. Pazzo’s mom not only finagles the entry fee from the friend, she wins the puppy!
    Except that when she comes home with this adorable, cute, squirming puppy in her arms, her parents practically shriek and can’t get it out of the house fast enough.
    Later on, they did get a puppy, a tiny black poodle thing named Pierre, but no one seemed to like him much.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Running to the dogs: great training partners?

Dalmatians were featured as being excellent running partners for humans in today's Times (A Best Friend, Yes. Best Runner, Maybe Not), hounds, well, not so much.

Sparky was bred to run in a straight line; on the other paw, I am true to my breed at being excellent at the dodge, the feint, and the parry, which I ably demonstrated two weeks ago when my collar broke apart and I hightailed it around the swampy edges of the pond. Finally, my pal Jazz' dad tackled me, because as you know, I will not come when called. I mean, really! Have some pride! Plus, she and I were having a terrific time.

However, I am trying to make Mom happy and live up to Sparky's stellar performance. Even after a five-mile run, he used to pull Mom up the hills around our house. He loved to run, and she loved running with him (although he did develop an inconvenient habit of stopping at every other telephone pole to retrieve/send p-mail).

I have to admit, I'm getting pretty good at this running business. In fact, I am becoming quite the student in toto. I received an A+ from my walking pal Kelly (really! an A-plus!) recently and other glowing reports.

BTW, my reader from Buenos Aires turned out to be none other than my cousin Pazzo's mom, although what she was doing reading my blog on her exciting vacation, I have no idea.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Dogs in art, the art of the dog, and moi

Reading of the sad death of prolific dog artist Stephen Huneck, I learned of the Museum of the Dog, founded by the esteemed American Kennel Club. How did I not know this before?

It's in St. Louis, and it sounds like a great place: the featured painting in its permanent collection is Sir Edwin Landseer's Deerhound and Recumbent Foxhound (is there any other kind, besides maniacally racing around?) which the St. Louis Post-Dispatch recently noted as being "arguably the most important painting in the collection." Of course!

I also learned of the animal art of Sally Berner, whose gorgeous portrait of another recumbent foxhound, unfortunately, has sold. Herewith, I present a portrait of myself, recumbent, that arguably (and I love to argue) is even better.

Don't you think?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Party time in Rio, and other New Year's resolutions

I'm a rather laid back guy, so I figure it's about time for my New Year's resolutions.

I, Tucker the obdurate, hereby resolve to:

1. Sleep more
2. Play more
3. Eat more
4. Come when called (hey, Mom slipped that one in there!)
5. Call my great grandma on her birthday (check! that was easy--her 97th was yesterday--what a woman!)
6.  Meet some new girls
7. Travel more (Rio? Cartagena? I see I have a reader in Buenos Aires, so given this frigid weather, a southern hemisphere meetup might be in order for this southern boy—see resolution #6)
8. Eat more
9. Play more
10. Sleep more

We all could use a little self-improvement, so in keeping with the spirit of the new year, I'll check on these goals in around, say, 355 days.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Fox and the Hound: The Best Christmas Gift of All

Scene: Early morning, Christmas Day. Lake Waban is awash in icy glitter. The path is nearly empty. But I smell something, then I spy it: Around the turn, by the rhododendron grove, a beautiful red fox. She and I stare at each other in mutual wonder, then I point. Rather than launch myself at her, I consider the holiday. And the lion shall lie down with the lamb…

After a few moments, she trots away and my family and I continue on. Then, the peace of the morning is rent by a scream: the rooster, less secure than I and of course interested in self-preservation, has alerted his team. He shrieks and shrieks.

According to the American King James Bible, Isaiah 11:6 actually says: “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatted calf together; and a little child shall lead them” (italics mine). Nothing about a rooster.

When I get home, I attack my purchased Christmas gift, a stuffed lamb, and after I dismember it, I lie down with it, just like I should.