Sunday, July 10, 2011

The natural order of things: me first

It's pretty hard to move 90 lbs. of resoluteness.
"Who was that walking Tucker the other day?" complained the mailman. "She wouldn't let me give him a treat!"

I'm kind of like a therapy dog: I make people happy. When I let out a good, loud, bay, everyone laughs, and thus they are happy for a few moments. Feeding me makes the mailman happy. But my sister is tough, and what she says goes.

Here's the order of things in my family.
1. Mom is the pushover. She believes she has authority. In reality, she has none. It's so fun to see how far I can go with her—and I can go pretty far! Miles, in fact.
2. I kind of feel sorry for Dad. He doesn't know the first thing about discipline, and I appreciate that. I go along with what he wants most of the time. After all, we guys have to stick up for each other.
3. My sister is an equestrian, and she learned early that sweet talk gets you nowhere with horses. I am the size of a small pony, and, given that I'm bred to run all around horses, must have picked up some behavior tips somewhere along the line.  I spook, I buck, I canter—and in the stubborn dept., I have no rivals.

I've learned that Mom plans to record my sister's voice giving me commands before she heads off to college, then play them back at crucial moments. For example, when I refuse to do something, which is often.

 I'll just play along, as if I don't know the difference between a real person speaking and some tinny recording, and then we'll see, once again, who's really the boss.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

More goodbyes--and hello, John W. Schaum!

I made a special trip to say goodbye to dear Kiki.
Last week my dear friend Kiki left for Florida. I fear I'll never see her again, me not good with flying and Mom not good with long car rides. It was Kiki who Mom rescued from a Lake Waban goose chase and Kiki with whom I took long walks during gorgeous fall days.

We were kind of a "Lady and the Tramp" pair, even though of course my lineage is just as good as hers. I'm certainly quite as good-looking; however, my manners can be a bit rough. I shall miss her companionship, and her tolerance of moi, greatly.

Kiki's family gave us many parting gifts, including a piano. I do not like the bass notes at all, as they remind me a bit too much of the crazy fireworks that went on and on and on, somewhere, last night. Fortunately my sister's closet is well-equipped with a sleeping bag on which I tried to take some measure of comfort.

So I made myself scarce when Mom opened up her old John W. Schaum Piano Course book, Pre-A, The Green Book. It's been 40 years since she last played, so I agree that it certainly is best to begin at the beginning. She tried to tempt me out from the far corner of the upstairs closet with that old favorite, "Bone Sweet Bone," but as you know, I cannot be bribed.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Rep. Peisch promotes patriotic right in time for Fourth

While the balloons still are going strong, I thought we were done with all the Wellesley High graduation hoopla and the plethora of encomia that my sister earned with her years of hard work. That work meant significant sacrifices on the part of moi, who suffered from loneliness while she toiled.

But not so. Our very own state representative, Alice Hanlon Peisch, also wrote, not only to congratulate my sister on her graduation, but to remind her of one more rite of passage. Rep. Peisch's kind note, which she personalized with a handwritten message noting a theatre award won by sis, included a voter registration card.

A snappy idea, nicely done, and a perfect prelude to the Fourth of July. Now, if only dogs could have the right to vote, I'd propose that all drinking fountains be outfitted for dogs as well as humans. If they have them at the Jersey Shore (and they do) can't we have some in Wellesley? Rep. Peisch, can you do anything about that?

Fitting that suffrage, though a Middle English word for intercessory prayers, was first used to denote the right to vote in the dear old US of A.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Goodbye, Dr. Schettino!

If a foxhound bays forlornly in Wellesley, can it be heard in  Springfield?
I'm diligent about checking my pmail, but not so my email, so it was with a shock that I opened a note from my very favorite vet in the world, Dr. Edward Schettino. We had kind of a Sunday visit thing going that I looked forward to.
In a way.

He writes:

Hi Tucker,
I didn't have the proper time today to say good-bye.
[here, I sighed loudly, and Mom shrieked]  I will be leaving VCA Westboro, my last day is June 30th.  [egads! that's tomorrow--I will pout all day in protest] I will begin work in July at VCA Southwick (close to Springfield)  as Medical Director.  It is a very bitter:sweet move ... but I needed to push myself forward. [I do understand, but can you leave me?]
It was a pleasure taking care of you for the last couple of years
[of course] and I wish you a long healthy life. [ditto] I don't think I will ever meet a dog more stubborn  .... that is not a negative .... [indeed, I take it as a great compliment] it just makes you YOU! [true, unique I am]

I will keep following your tails on your blog!
[please do, though I must grieve for a while before I set to writing again]
Best regards,

 [What an incredibly dear guy. I highly doubt I'll discover again the perfect combo of smart, professional, and fun vet. More crucially, who can I find who will consider my shenanigans humorous, perhaps even endearing? Given what I've tried to pull, anyone else would have run the other way when they saw me coming.] 

So fare thee well, dear doc, all the best, and happy trails to you. Many thanks for your patience, professionalism and expertise. I will miss you greatly.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Diet secrets revealed!

It's been a while since I've visited the esteemed Dr. Schettino at VCA Westboro, so on a spare Sunday I hopped into the car and made Mom drive me over. Thought it would be the typical weigh-in, followed by my also-typical reward at Especially for Pets—conveniently located next door.

Tip: Always stand sideways, right foot forward,
for optimal slimness in photos.
They really should put in some kind of massage place or something, because Mom's always exhausted after taking me. She's the one who needs to calm down.

All seemed to go according to plan, but I got tipped off in the waiting area that something more was happening. There was no way I was going in. I plopped. "That's right," said the vet tech, whom I had not met before. "I heard he was a lot like a donkey!"

As I was deciding whether this comment was critical or complimentary,  Dr. S. came out. "He has a waist!" he exclaimed, and everyone gathered 'round to admire my new silhouette. Unfortunately, everyone also had a certain uncomfortable procedure in mind. My focus point was on how quickly I could wrestle two people to the ground.

Now onto my diet secrets:
Tucker's Diet Secret #1: Destroy the temptation to eat more than you should. I unwittingly stumbled onto this gem after mistakenly annihilating the cup used to measure my food. It was replaced with a slightly smaller cup; therefore, I've been eating less.

Tucker's Diet Secret #2: Follow your nose and get some exercise. You know how when you're enjoying yourself, you don't even realize you're doing something healthy? In search of the source of some tantalizing scents, and in part to help poor Mom relax, I've traversed mile after mile.

Tucker's Diet Secret #3: Nap when you get tired. You actually burn calories when you sleep, so napping isn't lazy—it's work toward your goal of gaining and maintaining a svelte figure. After all, it's supposed to be bathing suit season, and I for one am ready.