Monday, July 2, 2012

Letter writing: lost art?

I am fond of receiving mail, although not the type that starts off like: "Tucker, it's time to schedule your yearly awful shot/deworming/other uncomfortable procedure" or something to that effect. The effect that makes me put said paper in the recycling bin.

Fortunately, my vet has not advanced to sending out email reminders. So when I checked my email, I was thrilled to receive a real letter from my former walking companion, Kelly. To be honest, I'm not sure we so much as walked as I tried her patience. Still, she retains a certain fondness for me, which is clear here.

hey ol' boy!!!  i just wanted to write and say hi.  how are you doing?  i miss you so much!  i've still been keeping up with your blog.  of course, i am always amused and entertained.  the entry about what your new car should come standard with made me laugh out loud...  a lot!  it's tough looking for a car.  don't be discouraged, though.  just make sure you keep reminding the drivers what YOU need, not what THEY need. 

when you get a chance (if you have a spare moment between sleeping and chewing holes in your mom's jacket), let me know what you are up to.  i hope wellesley is treating you well.

miss and love you!!!
kelly (your old dog walker.)

Collecting my thoughts in a rare pensive moment. Or perhaps
I'm just working hard to avoid hitting my head on the roof liner.
Of course, I responded in kind, as all recipients of carefully wrought letters should. I'll show off my style in due time.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Messing about in boats: my dog-paddle boat invention

Like the Water Rat in The Wind in the Willows,
I enjoy messing about in boats. Simply messing...
Having cried my eyes out while Mom and Dad went out for a paddle on Morses Pond yesterday, I determined to turn my tears into action. Here's the idea: a paddle boat that can hold both a human and a dog—the dog-paddle boat!

It's the boat for a dog of action like me. Whenever you see dogs in canoes, what are they doing? Just sitting there! Wasting energy. Blocking your view. Adding weight to your boat and your workout. In my case, that's 90 big lbs. of pure plop-down muscle. Because I almost never sit down, unless provoked to perform a Plop O' Doom, it is unlikely I will traverse any stretch of water in a man-made conveyance. Finding a car to suit me was difficult enough.

So instead, I plan to unleash that latent power and turn it into paddle power with Tucker's Dog-Paddle Boat. It's kind of like an elliptical trainer : I stand up, as I am wont to do, and use all paws to power forward. Meanwhile, Mom bipeds on the other side. For those pups who prefer a prone position, the elliptical pedals are removable and the dog can paddle as nature intended.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Lost and found pets and other creatures, wet and wild

Missing: Big green frog. Last seen 6/23.
Known him since he was a tadpole.
Reunited: Jelly the cat with her Natick family. Hooray!

Wandering: Moose near Reeds Pond in Wellesley, 6/25. Wellesley PD sent out an alert with the simple subject line "Moose." At around 3 p.m. a cruiser was blocking Lexington Road at Worcester Street, or perhaps just waiting to give the moose a lift home.

Missing: Frog from Morses Puddle. I miss our daily colloquies as I slurped from our little pond. Always faithful, never frightened, he seems to have become annoyed at Mom's rearranging of his habitat. If he comes back, I promise: no more redecorating! He can have those pond stones arranged however he wants.

Unclassifiable: Gigantic duck with sunglasses outside New England Spas on Rte. 9 in Natick. Last sighted, 6/25, 4:30 p.m.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Help this cat find its home

Please help this cute cat find its home.
It's not enough to house one domestic bunny (large), one baby bunny (small), 35 comet fish (large to medium), and one dog (XL), but now we are caring for a cat as well. While I welcome the newcomer, I am hoping it finds its real home soon. Therefore, dear readers, I need your help.

Here is the story: as I slogged home yesterday, exhausted from the steamy weather, my family and I heard a piteous mewing issuing from some bushes on the Lilja School field. My sister coaxed a small cat to emerge. I stood at a respectful distance.

With no collar and not seeming to be in hunting mode, my family assumed it lost. A call to Natick Animal Control was of no help, no officer being on duty. So my sister carefully carried the kitty home and placed it in my dog crate (the $100 avoidance chamber that is never used). When they took it to The Cat's Hospital in Wellesley, kind and generous Dr. Cosimini determined it had no identifying microchip.

However, this kitty appears to be in good health and seems to be a house cat. If you have any info on whose she might be, please let me know at dreamsdudog AT yahoo DOT com.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Take Your Dog to Work Day: Why?

Take Your Dog to Work Day isn't my idea of a dog holiday.
May I ask a question? What exactly is wrong with lying around all day? Wouldn't most people who work give their eyeteeth to live a life of leisure?

Apparently, those in the working world just can't leave well enough alone. The plan is that, on Friday, zillions of pets will be woken up at some ungodly hour, suffer a drive-through breakfast and try to find a comfy spot in some sterile cubicle somewhere. It's International Take Your Dog to Work Day.

Figuring, mid-rant, that I should get the facts, I dutifully read up on this anti-holiday. It actually attempts to promote dog adoption, which, naturally, I think is a very good thing. Maybe even as important as sleep.

The idea is that co-workers, realizing that dogs are fabulous creatures, might adopt one of their own. Fortunately, no one in my family actually is on the clock in the summer, so I'm safe. Plus, I'm an ambassador for adoption just by being me. No work involved.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Mom went to Morses Pond...and all I got was this t-shirt

She was the first to purchase, and thus I am likely to be the first to wear, this fine piece of apparel that celebrates our lovely body of water. $10 at the gate, but maybe there's a Groupon for it.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The best car for dogs...

Won't someone make a car big enough for me?
Does not exist.

This, the finding of several years of research conducted by moi and Mom. However, being that old Bessie the Great needed reconstructive surgery, it was past time for a new vehicle.

Alas, boxy wagons seem to be seriously out of style. My family adored old Bessie and her predecessor, the Little Blue Bug (a Honda Civic hatchback, which ferried Sparky home from the kennel at Buddy Dog Humane Society). They were practical and held everything, from a full size couch to a giant cabinet to moi, the Giant Beagle.

Through our endless tour of new and not-so-new conveyances, I became more and more discouraged. Finally, we went for it: a 2009 Volvo XC70.

Pluses: automatic hatch opener. It makes getting in (and timing my escape out) that much more fun.

Minuses: Zero headroom. Minus-zero headroom. My head goes bumpity-bumpity against the roof liner when I try to look out the window. My neck is sore from continuous stooping. It's not continual stooping, which would be like a tall guy who has to duck through doorways, but constant.

Did you know that frequency makes the difference between continuous and continual? So, continuous means that I constantly have to stoop; of course, if I ever would sit down, then my neck pain would be relieved and my complaints would only be continual; that is, repeated frequently, i.e., all the time, but perhaps not constantly.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Father's Day features filet mignon frenzy, or Every Dog Has its Day

I contemplate the filet that Dad surely was saving for me.
So, what does a deserving dad have for dinner on Father's Day? Nothing less than filet mignon. And what about a deserving dog? When is there ever Dog's Day?  I lay quietly on my bed near the table, salivating. Literally. Waiting. Hoping. Putting on my forlorn look.

Mom gets up, gives me the lickings from the serving plate. Phone rings. She again gets up, leaving half her filet on the table. The phone's for Dad.

Cellphone rings. It's my sister. Needs a ride.

The filet is still on the plate.

I mean, if no one else was planning to eat it, right?

Here's the rub: I was offered a ride in the C-A-R. Or vehicle, as they call it now that I can spell.
Ride? Filet? Ride? Filet?

Dizzy with this Hamlet-like dilemma, I raced to the garage door, back to the table, to the garage, to table...
whereupon I was lassooed and duly dragged to the C-A-R.

Vehicle, that is.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

This enthusiastic gardener took McCullough's speech to heart

Taking the advice of David McCullough, Jr.—my sister's superb former English teacher currently perhaps more famous than his famous father for his Wellesley High School commencement speech declaring that "you are not special"—I am carpe-ing the heck out of every diem. Especially these gloriously sunny ones.

Any enthusiastic gardener needs a good drink afterward.
When I garden, I really dig. When I bay, it's loud enough to ring across the pond. When I run, I knock over my mom. When I chomp, I do so with fervor.

I am, at my essence, enthusiastic.
I find it's easier to dig up than to plant, to destroy rather than repair, to eat what's on the table rather than place food there.

Enthusiasm + persistence = results.
What is the difference between enthusiastic and ebullient? Enthusiastic, from the Greek meaning possessed by a god (or demon, in my case), means showing intense, eager enjoyment.

Ebullient, from the Latin meaning boiling up, is more like a bubbling over of joy.
So, Mom was far from ebullient when she observed what she considered my over-enthusiastic digging up of the hydrangea.  I consider it merely effective.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Vital statistics: dogs on campus

I can wrangle a dorm bolster with the best of them.
Having been left out of a party celebrating the graduation of a friend from the Middlesex School in Concord, I thought I'd bolster my complaining with some statistics that might open the door to my attendance at future events.

Right up there, on the Facts and Figures page just under the number of AP courses (22) and the percentage of faculty with advanced degrees, is the number of faculty dogs on the MX campus: 27. Could pets on campus be a trend? Turns out I'm on the tail end of this one: puts out a yearly list of top 10 pet-friendly colleges (at my sister's school, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, which did not make the list, one can have fish in a tank of 10 gallons or less). She was tempted by MIT's cat policy, though I nixed that idea. Bird-loving undergrads might appreciate the policy at Wellesley College that allows parakeets and canaries, but no cats.

Other pet-friendly schools: Sweet Briar, in Virginia, where you can board your own horse; Caltech, where two cats are permitted; Eckerd College, in Florida, which apparently accepts nearly any kind of pet—except ones as large as moi: I'm about 50 lbs over the weight limit. Plus, it's too hot for me down there.