Friday, April 2, 2010

Be nice to little old Italian ladies

I love little old Italian ladies, my grandmother included. She's cranky, opinionated, and loves dogs. In other words, she's perfect.

So I was out walking in the still-raining but kind-of-misting on Wednesday near Sprague School. It's a neighborhood where you can still find a grape arbor or two and some rosebushes, and, if you're lucky, a little old Italian lady standing in her garden. I was lucky. Mom was a little afraid that she wouldn't like me, but what did she know? The woman practically kissed me, until I tried to take her cane. What did I know? It was a stick, wasn't it?

The best part was that she still liked me, and even made a joke. What a clever, sweet, little old Italian lady. Mmmm, that cane sure looked like it would taste good.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Rain, rain, go away, and stay away!

Dogs of Seattle, I salute thee! How you cope with those incessant days of rain and drizzle, I do not know. During our recent neverending series of deluges, Mom and Dad had to become pretty creative.

First, the techniques which failed:
1. The Tarp Technique
Mom and Dad hold a gigantic tarp over their heads during straight down rain (this expression comes from Texas, where people must need to define rain as straight down—porquoi?) while standing on the patio, hoping to tempt me outside. What do they think, they're having some kind of outdoor party? One would have to be crazy to fall for that one. Personally, I thought it was hilarious to see the two of them out there in straight down rain.

2. The "If Your Friend Tells You to Jump Off a Cliff" Technique
I thought parents were supposed to advise against this one. Mom drives me to the soccer field, again in straight down, even sideways, rain. Another pup in a Volvo drives up, jumps out. Mom tries to entice me out with the promise of a playdate. No dice, but the pup tries to get in my Volvo! Not wanting to share cargo space with a wet someone, I try to slide through the doggie barrier into the safety of the back seat. Note to self: lose a few more ounces.

3. The Promise of Car Ride Trick
Look, an umbrella just isn't big enough to comfortably cover my bulk, so let's just leave it at that. The open garage door leads me to want just one thing, and it's not a trip out to the driveway under an umbrella. Patent idea: stupid umbrella hats for dogs. You read it here first.

Leading to what worked:
1. A trip in said car to the bookstore! In the back, get the treat, out the front, then over to Tails for a trachea or two...wait, Mom didn't want to walk three blocks in straight down rain? Tricked, sodden, and relieved, as it were, I head home. However, if you read my "mea culpa" post, (sort of like the "Checkers" speech, but in reverse) having banned myself from said emporium, my folks will have to become even more creative, should it ever rain again.

2. There is no 2.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Transgressions of a young pup

Dear Diary,
In the exuberance of puppyhood, I have erred. Let me recap. It was a brilliant day in  Wellesley Square. I stopped at my favorite bookshop, limited myself to just one treat, and had the wonderful experience of a good ear rub from my pal, Rebecca. Mom headed to Town Hall green, but I stubbornly (and you know I am stubborn) stopped in the middle of the block and pointed toward my favorite canine supply store. I allowed myself to be dragged to the crosswalk, Mom being a stickler for such things, and tore off for Tails. My attempt at the tracheas being anticipated and more or less warded off, I eyed next a rather fetching lobster toy. Mom, thinking of something more appropriate for the Easter basket, chose a tempting blue dragon. Would I like it? Simply, yes. I grabbed the toy and bounded up the stairs. The door, which opens inward at the top of the stairs, making a quick exit rather awkward, conveniently had been propped open to take advantage of the gorgeous weather. I took advantage of the open door. What did I know about paying?

Anyway, after Mom took care of my pilfered object, I headed off, searching for a good spot to enjoy Dragon Dog with Chew Guard and test its limits. That place turned out to be no less than my favorite bookstore. Does it count as overstaying one's visit if one leaves, then returns? There was no time to ponder this piece of etiquette. I tore up the stairs and downstairs to the used book section. Not finding anyone to fawn over me, I hiked back up.

Now for my second, or perhaps third, error. The second was my peek into the biscuit bin to make sure plenty of Milk-Bones were on hand. Check. The next and more serious transgression was my investigation into the tiny gray hamster toy Rebecca was holding at shoulder level. I wanted it. Badly. Earlier, she and I had been comparing our respective weights and I opined that the scales would tilt in my direction. Clearly, I was correct as I nearly threw that good woman off her feet, besides scaring her out of her wits. It really wasn’t thoughtful after all of her kindness.

Mea culpa, Rebecca.

PS Remember me, for my visits from now on will be highly restricted.

Friday, March 12, 2010

I'm melting! Or, how raindrops keep falling on my head

Well, if it weren't for my friend Lesley, I probably wouldn't be here today to record the horrors of yesterday's rainstorm. Unlike my aunt's Camelotish town of Duxbury, it actually rains here in Swellesley, and in this case, it happened to rain upon me. Fortunately, Lesley was tooling down Weston Road and happened to have a Raider Red umbrella in her car. She bravely proffered it across the well-traveled street, but I was disinclined to risk further raindrops or being hit by one of those vehicles that blithely, and dryly, pass us poor hounds as we suffer. Lesley, I can attest, is courageous, thorough and kindly. She turned around and made yet another offer of shelter. This time, Mom took it, knowing I was about to melt into the pavement, or at least drag her to a nearby stranger's porch, from which it would be not only embarrassing but impossible to extricate ourselves. At least until it stopped raining.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

A little extra for the IRS

It's tax time, and my friend Oliver has expressed his issues with the IRS in a nonviolent, yet effective, way. I'm not sure what Oliver's issues are, he being a cat. However, his feelings are clear: his folks had left out an array of documents, waiting to be sorted and accounted for, and Oliver, perhaps a bit queasy from all of the numbers, left some scat on that.

His parents, far from being scandalized, appreciated the irony.

Now, I would never—besides, my folks have, very fortunately, an accomplished accountant in the family, so they do not sully their brains with such minutiae.

More on Oliver. Perhaps I stretch the truth when I say we are friends. In fact, during my last visit on Oliver's porch, I was impressed not so much by this gargantuan specimen supposedly of the smaller feline species, but by an art project, namely, a feathered doorstop attempting to be an owl. Well, for all I knew, it was an owl, and by the time I was through baying at it (my incessant howls ceased only upon forcible removal from the area) it was clear that I was not a candidate for residency in that esteemed section of Swellesley.

Oliver himself was the subject of a recent letter from his mom, upon the occasion of a visit to the vet:

He weighed in at 17.5 lbs. which is a lot lighter than I thought he was.  The vet said he was not fat, just a little heavier than average. 

Now that's a vet with a great attitude!

He is just a big cat. I don't think I have ever seen a bigger one other than a Maine coon cat," she said. I think he must have some Maine coon cat in him. The vet wouldn't let me leave the office without a carrying case so I had to buy one for him. Well, Oliver LOVES it. He sleeps in it all the time. The vet said he was a very cool cat and he could come visit any time. 

Unless, of course, it's tax time.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Signs of spring

With the advent of spring comes the yearning for a new silhouette. My family keeps checking, tilting their heads: I think he's lost a bit, don't you?

Ounces, they mean, not lbs.

Since hitting the big 9-0, certain things are taboo:
Weekly Sunday a.m. waffle
Gleanings from the taco pan
Pot full o'meatballs
Extra pancakes
Peanut butter bones
Actually, I think I am a bit trimmer. Instead of two and a half hours of walks per day, more daylight means three plus hours. More playtimes. More romping.

While we're on the topic, what is it with those scales at the vet? I mean, you take in a breath, and two lbs. get added to your total. What's with that? Next time, I'm getting a mani and pedi ahead of time. Every ounce counts. Then, I'm exhaling the moment I step on that awful metal thing, pausing briefly, and I'm out of there. Ever notice, the longer you stay on, the more lbs it adds? It's crazy.

BTW, even though you know I love Dr. Schettino, the carrot thing did not go over big.