Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Lost and found: the power of the microchip

Jelly enjoying the comforts of my crate. At least
someone found it useful!
Mom always has liked to collect animals, or at least look out for them. During my family's recent Plymouth sojourn, she was ready to rescue an exhausted-looking golden retriever, who dutifully went after a big stick thrown into the water...again...and again...and again...and again...the darn thing looked so pooped that even Dad, sitting aloft atop White Cliffs, worried that Mom would dash to the rescue.

Fortunately, the owners came to their senses and let the dog plop down on the beach, just like they were doing.

I tell this tale because of an interesting update regarding Jelly, the cat that my sister found last summer mewing in a group of bushes at the Lilja School fields. Noticing what a lovely cat it was, and keeping it carefully away from moi, my family betook themselves to the Cat Whisperer (aka Dr. Anthony Cosimini at the Cat's Hospital in Wellesley) hoping that it was microchipped.

Alas, it was not, but thanks to my amazing Amazonian caregiver, the only human who could possibly rassle me and win, we were able to return the  (I must say) adorable Jelly to its owners, feeling a bit like we had stolen the poor thing. The dad declared that the family would have Jelly microchipped immediately.

Later that fall, we learned that Jelly had again gone missing, and we lost track of the story. This morning, however, we had an update: Jelly had a cough, and was taken to the vet by a family who had taken her in. There, the vet had to inform the family that "their" cat actually wasn't—being microchipped, Jelly was reunited yet again with her true family. Lucky cat, to be given such care!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

My family went to the beach...and all I got was a leftover beach towel

The picture of exhaustion.
So while my family headed to the beach last weekend, I overnighted at Southboro Kennels. I sashayed around the premises with the best of them, including Martha, a fetching coonhound, and came home exhausted.

I was looking forward to a good long nap and some make-up decadent meals provided by my guilt-ridden family, and what did I get? A good curry combing and an immediate bath—believe me, I wasn't even allowed inside first. When I was done, I insisted on sleeping in the chair. The guilt having properly kicked in, Mom wrapped me in her beach towel, and when I woke up 12 hours later, I was given all the treats I could stand.

Monday, July 29, 2013

A dog's version of Where's Waldo

In my own, forgotten little corner. Mom later gave
me a blanket—voila! New sleeping place.

I have two modes: the first, and most common, is silent. My nails do not click, click on the hardwood floor. My hardware does not jangle. I do not pant like a Lab. My tail, when wagged, does not knock anything off the table. In short, I move about the house mostly unobserved, which is kind of fun for someone my size. I slip down the basement stairs at the slightest sign the door is open and take up residence on the couch, refusing to come up.  I pad upstairs, unnoticed, after baying a greeting to a visitor (my alternative mode, which is more like a proclamation than any bark you've ever heard).

Which leads my family to frantically believe I have somehow left the premises.  Because I have many, many hiding places, "Where's Tucker?" becomes kind of a game. Fortunately, I do not have to wear anything unusual—I'm distinctive enough to be recognized just about anywhere within a, say, five mile radius.

Today's storm downed trees in Wellesley and Natick and scared me enough to find a new venue for my game. I pushed between the armchair and the piano (a tight squeeze, in all directions, but I was desperate). You know how when you play hide and seek, it's at first exciting to know people are looking for you? Then it gets boring when no one can find you?

That's what happened to me. I shivered hoping someone would find me. Finally Dad appeared, as did my own personal rainbow.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Smile! I'm on Google Street View

What does this image communicate?
In this age of Instagram, where civilization seems to be returning to pictographs, I've been pondering life's essential questions, including "Why do living things communicate?"

I answered one of its many subsidiary questions, "How do living things communicate?" when I returned from vacation. I simply  hit "reply all with quote" on my p-mail, catching up with everyone along my route: an age-old solution. Hey, it works.

But I digress, sort of. Sometime last fall, I encountered the Google Street View camera during a spin on Oakridge Avenue in Natick. I smiled, hoping that I'd get on camera, then promptly forgot about it.

Images do have an enduring power, perhaps longer than a p-mail. Thinking about communicating through images, I checked Google Maps, and there I am, taking up all of the wayback in Mom's car. Just what does this image say about our culture?

Friday, July 12, 2013

Boston strangler mystery solved: I sniff out the answers to unasked questions in notorious case

Here's what I'd do if an intruder came by.
Dad's book spares no details.
With the latest in the Boston Strangler case connecting Albert DeSalvo's DNA to the last murder victim, my dad hit the airwaves with his expertise.

So I asked him the question no one else dared to ask: What role did dogs play in that notorious case?

"Dogs played a very important role, because they were protectors of single women who feared for their lives," he said, while munching on his breakfast after returning from an early morning appearance on New England Cable News.

Aside to readers: Lest the sarcasm is not apparent, let me elucidate: Mr. Boston Strangler Expert is eating his breakfast at 8 a.m. with my walk long overdue. I made sure the neighbors heard about this.

So dogs played a crucial role? (All good reporters ask leading questions.)

"Absolutely," he said. "Newspapers at the time told of how animal shelters were swept clean of dogs who needed homes. Because there was no pattern to the murders except that victims were all women who lived alone, women felt dogs could help protect them."

There you have it, live from the source.
Signing off,
Tucker the news hound

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Fourth of July cake pops!

Happy Fourth of July!

In celebration of our great country, Petco Unleashed is giving out free red, white and blue cake pops! I snagged a cake pop and some other freebies just by plopping down and refusing to leave until properly sated. More on my latest antics later.

Whatever way you get them, here's how you eat them. Or at least how I eat them:
1. Unwrap the pop.
2. Slide the pop off the stick.
3. Smush slightly, then swallow whole.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Post-vacation hangover

Post-vacation, I drape my sleepy body as far over
the living room chair as possible.
I bombed around with my pals. I stayed out as late as I could. I bayed until my voice cracked.

For five days, while my family was at the Jersey shore, I put myself up at Southboro Kennels, where I am well-known for my quirks, foibles and charms.

I practically knocked over Mary when I arrived. She was nonplussed. "He's the man," she said. "Will he need a go-home bath?"

I would, Mom replied. However, I believe such practical matters as bathing and grooming are best performed in the privacy of my home. In other words, the longer I could put off such stuff, the more time for play. It waited until I returned to my domicile (origin: from the Latin domus, meaning home).

Now, clean, shiny and utterly exhausted, I'm sleeping it all off. Happy summer!

P.S. Wonder what nonplussed means? I'm actually using it in a nonstandard way, which apparently has become standard. Originally from Latin, translating as not more, it meant that no more could be said or done. So if one was nonplussed, one couldn't be more, say, annoyed. However, nonplussed has come to mean the exact opposite. So Mary was not perturbed in the least. In other words, she couldn't be more happy that I had come for a visit.