Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sleep deprivation: threat or menace?

What does it take to get some shuteye around here? I'm exhausted. Grandma has been visiting, and that means I've been kicked out of my room.

You know what it's like to have to sleep on the couch when visitors come? That's what I'm going through. The door to my room remains shut tight. No Tuckers allowed. I've been moping around, looking as morose as possible, hoping someone will take pity on me.

No such luck.

Instead, Grandma blames my depression on meeting some lower-class dogs at the Medway dog park, where I have just gained admission (I actually had a great time. More on that later, when I'm feeling better.). Why she persists in this erroneous line of thinking, I do not know.

So, it's from the beanbag to the crate, the chair in Mom and Dad's room, the sleeping cushion in the family room, my sister's bed...I just keep switching from place to place, disoriented, practically falling to pieces.

As Mom learned from Ashley Merryman's visit to Wellesley this week, she of the book Nurture Shock, sleep deprivation is cumulative; after a week of losing an hour's sleep a night, you've lost a whole night! Grandma's visiting for a whole week. How much is that in dog years?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The horror, the horror! Or, you broke it, you bought it

Last week, I officially opened the Halloween season with a trick at Tilly and Salvy's Bacon Street Farm: noting a seasonal display of scarecrows sitting beguilingly on hay bales, I immediately ransacked same.

As I seized the scarecrows and prepared to shake the stuffing out of them, I knocked over an adorable ghost-shaped votive candle holder ($2.99), also perched on a bale, and smashed it to smithereens. Oops!

Mom picked up the pieces and went inside to admit my crime. Rick came out to admonish me (actually, he very kindly let it go and petted me). However, I was so entranced with those stuffed creatures that I shook a few more on my way home, just to show them who's the boss.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Dear Mr. President, I can help with Bo

So, I see that someone from Bellevue, Wash. visited my blog for advice on training an obstinate dog. One could not find a more expert authority. Therefore, I propose my services to none other than our president.

I've always felt a bond with Bo. Actually, I had been lobbying for the president to choose a foxhound as the First Dog, given the pertinent history of my breed. (You know, George Washington, Lafayette, etc., etc.) However, I hold no grudge, especially given the late Sen. Kennedy was the generous benefactor.

But I have noticed that Bo has taken his place at the head of the family. See Politico's story on what Cesar Millan thinks. (And, btw, reporter Patrick Gavin, the Dog Whisperer's name is spelled Millan, not Milan; that's the city.) Even I think my dad is tops, and while he knows the U.S. Constitution inside and out, he's never taken the oath of office.

Bo, pal, you need to shape up.  Here's our family hierarchy: Dad, my sister, me, and Mom (I have to preside over someone!). When Mom went to visit the hounds at the Norfolk Hunt Club, she was keenly aware that the hounds never ventured in front of their master. It's a major no-no.

Here are my tips for the Obamas.
First, load up your pockets with the best treats you can find. Lots of them.
Then, find a harness that will help keep that furry body contained. It will give you more traction, and he won't mind too too much.
Next, start walking on a short leash. Practice sit every couple of steps. Give tons of treats.

Tucker's Tip: Here's a trick that drives dogs crazy: the minute they start to pull, you turn around and walk the other way. Now, it might seem odd for a president to be walking in circles, and we certainly don't want anyone to extrapolate any political meaning to same, so perhaps Sasha and Malia can take on this job.

Soon, Bo will be walking proudly next to his dad, and he can channel his other demanding behaviors for the privacy of his own home. After all, it's his castle, too.

Monday, September 27, 2010

A rainy day and a Monday=extra sleep time

A tad under the weather this week, plus it's raining, so it's a good day to sleep in.

Licked something I shouldn't have that fell off a garbage truck, keeping me up at all hours of the night. And I mean all. Fortunately, the skies were clear, so Mom appreciated being able to chart the changing constellations—I mean, who sees Orion in September, unless it's 4 a.m.? She literally counted those lucky stars.

Then, just when I had recovered, a bee stung my right paw. Thank goodness, I'm a leftie when it comes to high-fives and shake, so I haven't missed out on any treats. Somehow, my injury didn't keep me from pretending I hadn't eaten already, so I gobbled down double feedings—one from Mom, one from Dad. It is getting to be trick-or-treat time, so why not? There were a few days when I had practically no calories at all, and I really needed to catch up.

Should be up and about carousing soon. Unless it's raining, of course. Anyone know a good bedtime story?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

New owners for Wellesley Booksmith: paws up!

Wow! I'm thrilled that my favorite Wellesley Square destination, the Wellesley Booksmith, has new owners (see today's Globe news story). Hooray to Gillian and Bill Kohli! I'm reassured that Gillian says she intends to keep everything going as usual: for moi, of course, that means great fresh water, treats and constant inquiries about my health and well-being.

For example, last week Margaret was quite concerned that I might waste away unless I was handed a treat immediately. And then Rebecca made sure that I was properly fed before going out into that cold, vastness of the Square. (Actually, it's just a few steps down to Pinnacle's real estate office, where I am regularly refreshed. But I won't tell her that.)

So welcome, Gillian and Bill, and congratulations! I can't wait to be properly introduced. Paw?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A taste of the upper crust

OK, so it's not every day that a good ole Southern boy like me gets the opportunity to mingle with the upper crust. I have to say, I liked it very much—the pizza, I mean.

Mom prides herself on making her own pizza, so it's very rare for us to let someone else's fingers in the dough. But in between one thing and another, we found ourselves with no time to do any home cooking. Turns out, the Upper Crust Pizzeria was in between both things we had to do. That very afternoon, her fitness pal Barbara had suggested the place. Mom listened politely, paying special attention to Barbara Biceps' recommendation of the spinach leaf pie.

B.B. used to have a fetching black lab who palled around with Sparky. Both, sadly, are gone now, and both knew the realms of the upper crust (not the pizza) quite well. Born to it, you might say.

Because I'm obviously not to the manor born, but rather to its kennel back a ways into the woods, I had to settle for waiting outside the cafe for the pizza to cook. It's a super place right in Wellesley Square, and I was fortunate enough to notice some choice crumbs underneath the little outdoor tables.

Ah, Italia! My sister noticed the equal-opportunity no-animal signs on shops when she visited Roma: a slash through a rooster, cat, horse, and dog. As if those other creatures could even appreciate the treasures of Italy!