Thursday, March 3, 2011

My purpose driven life

Does everyone have a purpose in life? Is each unique? As everything I do is purposeful, I'll focus on just one of my many purposes today: identifying Volvo vehicles. That is, C-A-Rs, as my family insists on calling them, as if I didn't know how to spell.

The question is not what is my purpose. The question is: what is the need for my purpose? I wish more would consider this question as they purposely go around doing whatever they seem to need to be doing.

I, however, believe I have uncovered potential needs. For example, were the police looking for a Volvo vehicle, and somehow could not find one, I could. Or, if some mall shopper somehow misplaced his or her Volvo vehicle, I could easily sniff it out from a whole parking lot full of various makes and models. I can even identify particular models, and certainly can tell which ones need servicing. Ah, there's another need!

My methods are proprietary, but here's how a mere human can tell I have identified the right one: I perform a perfect Plop O'Doom right there in the parking lot, or the middle of the road, even in the thick of traffic. "And all he could do was sit, sit, sit, sit," complained Mom to Dad, clearly addled by yesterday's too hearty celebration of Dr. Seuss' birthday.

Though she did not like it, not one little bit, one must not quail in the face of duty.

P.S. What is the difference between purposeful and stubborn? Let me elucidate. Purposeful: having or showing great determination or resolve.  Stubbornness: showing dogged determination, especially when confronted with good reasons to the contrary not to pursue that doggone determined goal. As in, "My stubbornness in refusing to leave the side of a Volvo, though it wasn't ours, this morning in 10 degree weather, came from my having purposefully sought it out and identified it."

Monday, February 28, 2011

Waking up is hard to do

The stretch.
OK, vaca is over, so that means I actually have to get up sometime in the a.m.
The fluff.
Bright-eyed and ready to go.
However, it is not easy. Nor desirable, if any precipitation is happening, or even in the offing. Also, I'm not at my best immediately after waking: I need a bit of a fluff, one might say, plus some serious stretching. If all of America prepared for the day as I do, plus received a min of three hours of exercise, we'd be in much better shape.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Who'll stop the rain? Or provide a pop-up palanquin?

Given that people think they're in control, why can't they fix the weather? I've been griping all day, to no avail. Can't they take me somewhere where it is not raining?

Mom tried, though it was a not-even-half-hearted effort. That is, she drove to the mailbox. What was she thinking, that it wasn't going to be raining 100 feet away? That somehow a little cloud was hovering right over our house, throwing raindrops down at just us?

In any case, mailbox trip or not, I let myself be coaxed into the car—back seat, of course, the wayback being just a bit too close to the wet stuff dripping off the roof. I also had to be coaxed out—once we safely were back in the garage.

I like a ride, as you know, and the back seat is much cozier than the wayback. Plus, it has built-in pet bowls. You know, if we were traveling, and got stuck somewhere, it would be good to stash some extra food in there. Bet that's not in the typical car emergency kit. Also, that kit should include a dog umbrella; better yet,  a pop-up palanquin on which I could both rest and be protected from the weather.

A palanquin, if you didn't know, is one of those covered couches, mounted between poles that are carried by four to six minions. I definitely would need six. The term comes from the Portuguese, based on the Sanskrit for bed or couch. Which reminds me...time for a nap.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I've got a crush on you, sweetie pie

That's what my neighbor Alexis confessed today. First, she thanked me. "It was marvelous being escorted by such a handsome gentleman," she said. Then, out with the confession. I was a bit taken aback, being that it came from a human and all, but I graciously accepted the sentiment. Then I went back to nosing Maisie, the rather attractive foxhound mix with whom I had been walking.

I was very glad to see Alexis, Maisie and Ella this morning. First, because I always enjoy a jaunt with my British friends. It's rather elevating to be in Alexis' company, because she is very smart and a good person, plus she always is walking that dear Maisie. And, I do like the accent.

I was doubly glad because I was fresh from a near-altercation with this gigantic Samoyed, whose owner trailed him by such a distance that I could see some skijoring was about to take place. Even though I have never formally skijored, I have taken Mom on a Nantucket sleighride or two, just for fun.  I sized up the Samoyed and could see, even under all that hair, that he had a poundage advantage over moi. Plus, it was early, I was a bit sleepy, and not really in the mood for going mano a mano. I made a show of it, but I turned around.

You never know when love will strike, even if it is after Valentine's Day.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A lip-smackin' St. Valentine's gift, and eye candy, too

I snuffled into Mom's grocery bag before she could unpack it, and pulled out a big, gorgeous bone from Castor & Pollux, via our favorite market, Tilly and Salvy's Bacon Street Farm.

So I received my Valentine gift early, but that just means I can be chewing on it while checking out the competition during Mondays's hound group at the Westminster Dog Show. Two new breeds are crowding the hound field this year: the Bluetick Coonhound and the Redbone Coonhound. My breed, of course, the venerable American Foxhound, first entered the field in 1877, the very first year the show was held.

Unfortunately, we have never won Best in Show. Hounds rarely do: remember the big to-do when Uno the Beagle won in 2008?

Perhaps it has something to do with my breed's lack of affinity for grooming (see my recent piece on pedicures). Certainly it has nothing to do with our natural beauty. I cannot predict, alas, a BIS (the au courant know that's Westminster shorthand for Best in Show) this year, but were I a candidate, things surely would be different.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

The lady...or the pedicure?

I would have preferred the girl.
I'm your typical full-blooded male, so put yourself in my paws: if you could choose between a date with a young, gorgeous girl or the opportunity to be manhandled to within an inch of your life so you could get a mani-pedi, which would it be?

I'm just saying. Because Mom thinks a bully stick is enough to make up for my being thrust into a muzzle, wrestled by three gigantic people and placed on a platform, where I was tied up and forced to endure said brutalization of my nails. Mani-pedi, indeed! They practically put me in a straitjacket!

All of this went on in front of this young creature, who, I might add, was just as interested in moi as I was in her. Truly, I cannot imagine anything more humiliating.

Mom, however, begs to disagree (and what does she know about begging?). After she was ejected from the tonsorial parlor for her unhelpful interference, she ran into two of our neighbors. They expressed concern, noticing that she and her wallet were limp with emotional and monetary exhaustion (pedicure: $10; muzzle and straitjacket: $5; bully stick, $7.99; tips, undocumented). She fessed up and so claims, too, to have undergone embarrassment.

To reciprocate, I refused to get back in the car, even with the bully stick bribe just waiting there for me. Adding to the impact, the neighbors had parked in the space next to mine, so they witnessed my fully-deserved tantrum.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The snow also falls by Ernest M. Tuckerby

The woods were white and the snow was crusty. Something had laid down a path and I followed it. The scent of fox was strong and I followed the scent and the path. I skyrocketed over the ridge and pointed at the top. If I took a step off the path I was in snow up to my hips.

Mom lost a Yaktrax but it was not the time to go back and look for it. From across the creek I heard howling and caterwauling and I shut my ears. I could smell blood and I told Mom to close her nose. There was the scent of blood and the sound of blood and I didn't want Mom to smell it or hear it. I pinned my ears back but I kept my tail up to show that I wasn't afraid.

We turned around and took the path through the marsh. The marsh looked like a meadow and the snow almost reached the birdhouses that stand high over the water in the spring. The snow was crusty and the path widened and Mom limped along the path. When we came out of the woods the Jehovah's Witnesses were coming down from Maine in their shiny cars and I went home and ate breakfast and took a nap.