Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Neither snow, nor rain, will make me go outside

I finally relented, as documented here. Fortunately for my family, treats sometimes do tempt me outside in inclement weather. But I wasn't happy about it.
While flakes were falling, and my parents were shoveling out, I lolled about, hopping from sleeping place to sleeping place and chewing on the occasional bone.

No mail today; our letter carrier probably couldn't make it up the hill. I love mail, and the treats that come with it (thank you, O honorable letter carriers!) and have been eagerly awaiting a US Postal Service stamp honoring Owney, the mascot of the U.S. Railway Mail Service. Mom has been working on a nonfiction book about him; maybe it will be done by the time the stamp appears this summer.
Owney loved to travel, so it's only fitting that he'll be traveling again on letters all over. As for me, as long as it's winter, I think I'll just stay home and climb into bed.

Monday, January 3, 2011

How Santa lost his squeaker; or, how toys become real

It should come as no surprise that, by the 10th day of Christmas, Santa's squeaker was gone. I think, actually, it went missing around the fifth day. Meanwhile, Santa is looking a bit ragged. But I love him just the same.

Mom just read me The Velveteen Rabbit, so I'm wondering, did Santa become Real after I loved him, or was he Real even before? Anyway, he's definitely Real now.

Speaking of Real, there are some real rabbits who have moved in underneath the playhouse. I caught the scent when I returned from my vaca, and Mom spotted the signs. Licorice and Nutmeg must be thrilled. Wonder if they'll let me play with them. Of course, I will be much more careful with them than I was with Santa. Much.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year's resolutions? Bah, humbug!

Lest you, dear reader, think I'm totally single-minded and selfish, I present some evidence to the contrary: not only did I receive Christmas gifts, I actually gave some.

First, the details of my holiday: I spent Christmas away from my family, at the fabulous home of Liz, as in Pet Sitting by Liz. There, I rested, gnawed at bones, and played in Liz's spacious yard. I had many canine companions with whom to socialize, as you can see from the party pix on Liz's Facebook page. And while I missed my family, the one-armed Jesus in our nativity, the wild opening of presents, and my own beds, Liz had plenty for me to try out. Beds, I mean.

So I received my gifts rather late. I, however, was thoughtful enough to ask Santa to bring mine in his pack when he visited grandma's. Here's what I selected: for Dad, extra-warm gloves so his hands don't freeze on our extra-long walks; for Mom, Alexandra Horowitz's book, Inside of a Dog: What Dogs, See, Smell, and Know (she's got us dogs down pretty well, plus the cover photo is of a hound, not as cute as me, of course); for my sister, a 2011 fold-your-own zombie calendar (I just love everything from She said that I pick the best presents!

As for New Year's resolutions, I'm not sure I need any. And if you're thinking diet, resolve to think no more.

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.