Sunday, July 29, 2012

Wellesley's where the wild things are: another scorpion sighted

Another scorpion in Wellesley? Yup. I found one this afternoon, on the trail that runs behind Town Hall and between the Duck Pond and the train tracks. Usually, the only wild things I see there are a bunch of tweener boys hanging out by the culvert.

But today, I smelled something...sniffed...and Dad yanked me away. Mom, being an ocean person, thought, "tiny lobster?" Dad, being from California, realized it was a kind of scorpion. And my sister, owner of every field guide known to man, identified it as a kind of whipscorpion, properly called a Vinegarone. Its usual hangout includes the southern U.S., so what it was doing here, I have no idea.
This Vinegarone photo comes from the wildlife files at

The creature was about 3 to 3.5 inches long, dark brown, and it was tough to spot its tail. Turns out the whipscorpion doesn't have a stinger and isn't venomous, unless you swoon at the scent of vinegar, because it releases that scent when annoyed. Unfortunately, no photo, because I not only swooned, I didn't have a camera.

This might or might not be a good time to point out that, upon closer scrutiny, the Morsie Monster turns out to be...a floating piece of deadwood.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Jubilant July in Wellesley Square

Jubilant describes me well: "feeling or expressing great
happiness or triumph." Especially the triumph part.
Took in July Jubilation yesterday in Wellesley Square, which was filled with people, dogs and bargains, and took in a foot-long hot dog, too, which was delicious.

Spectators stood by and admired me while I wolfed down the dog, suggesting I might do well in a hot dog eating contest given that I consumed said delicacy in one gulp. I met lots of terrific Wellesley firefighters; the hot dog and popcorn stand was set up in front of the fire station and raised funds to support the Muscular Dystrophy Association. Not only is it a terrific cause, it's backed my pals the Delaney family, who set up and ran the whole thing from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Matt even spent considerable time in the dunk tank) while Lt. Paul Delaney was on the job.

As for me, I did my part, and it wasn't tiring in the least.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Are you hearing me? Can you hear me now?

It seems like everyone would love their dogs to talk, but no one really wants to hear what they have to say.  Remember Martha, in Martha Speaks, by local author Susan Meddaugh? When Martha could finally talk, she bored everyone to tears.

So when Mom tried to take me for a walk last night, she did not want to hear that I preferred going out in the car instead of walking in the neighborhood. She did not want to hear that I preferred someplace different than the Lilja field (I mean, I can walk there, so why drive?). She did not like hearing that I did not want to stroll among the Bacon Street Farm flowers.

Did someone say something about getting off the furniture?
In fact, I had to tell her twice: first, when I slunk back against the very front of the wayback in our car, where she couldn't reach me; and then, when I performed an emphatic Plop O'Doom. She finally got the message when I sat down, because I never sit. It was kind of like screaming when, really, it all could have been avoided.

Because I screamed, then, I reluctantly—is there a word for "very reluctantly"?—deigned in Natick Center to exit my preferred form of transport. However, the route quickly became boring, and I returned to the vehicle. I thought we'd have a conversation about where to go next, so I waited to enter, but she said nothing. She can speak, right? But no. I indicated my preference to find another walking locale. She ignored me. Finally, I gave up, got in the car, and was driven home against my will, where I had a good long sulking nap.

I checked the thesaurus. Some alternatives to reluctant: hesitant (too weak); disinclined (that's more like it); unenthusiastic (that's putting it mildly); resistant (no kidding); opposed (well, that's certainly firm!). The question is: can anyone hear me?

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Kin of Loch Ness found in Morses Pond

Morsie, as I've been calling her, has been swimming around for the past month or two, but I wasn't fortunate enough to get a clear shot of her until now.
Believed to be the first photo of the Loch Morse monster.

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.