Sunday, April 27, 2014

Stopping to smell the flowers

Enjoying the daffodils at Wellesley College.
This week, while everyone in my family has been running around like crazy, literally (see: Mom, 118th Boston Marathon), engineering-ly (see: sister, Shell Eco-Marathon 2014), and academically (see: Dad, book publication), I've been holding up my end, doing what I do best: relaxing.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Don't hate me because I'm beautiful: spring cleaning reveals new me


Like most good dogs, I don't bathe often, but a rare warm day giving me the opportunity to cleanse myself of the last traces of winter, I submitted to the ministrations of my parents.

Although I protested mightily, I have to admit being clean felt kind of good, especially because I had become rather itchy after an all-advised roll on a tract of land that was mostly, shall we say, dirt.

I'm all for dirt, ordinarily. I'm renowned for my skills in earth-moving, shrub transplanting, and chipmunk hunting (yes, that was me on the lookout early Saturday,  2:41 a.m., I believe) skills. My prints, as well as my voice, are unmistakable.

Clean? Sort of. For one day, anyway.
Picture perfect, no?

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Wellesley unleashed!

Can't they read? Right above this sign is one reminding dogs to leash up.
While Wellesley College's "Sleepwalker" statue has been getting all the attention, little is paid to the unaccompanied, unleashed dog hanging out on campus.

I refer to the statue, hunched near the Margaret Clapp Library, not the live dogs, although little attention is paid to them, as they run around unminded while their owners jabber to each other or to someone unseen via Bluetooth.  That's to be expected. On my morning sojourn around Lake Waban, the first since I was viciously attacked last fall by an off leash dog, I counted 11 off-leash dogs, three leashed.

So Tony Matelli's dog sculpture is hardly eyebrow- or back-of-the-neck-hair raising. I gave him a sniff, then moved on.

In an interview with Jaclyn Reiss on, Matelli says the dog is a seeing-eye dog, a possible companion to Sleepwalker.

"The thing about the seeing eye dog is its owner is not there – that brings to mind a whole other set of questions," Matelli told the Globe.

Indeed, such as: 

  • should Sleepwalker have a cancer-sniffing dog check out his mole?
  • what's up with our educated Wellesley populace ignoring the "all dogs must be leashed" signs? and,
  • why wasn't I chosen as Tony Matelli's model? I'm much more handsome.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Muskrat love comes to Wellesley, Latin style

Foiled, yet again.
I'm trotting along the Brook Path, taking in the mallards, the warm sunshine, lapping up the cool water. All is right with the world, and I even give a bye to a muskrat who is chomping some reeds by the water's edge.

But something must have stuck in my craw, muskrat-wise, because while I am perambulating between the duck pond and town hall, just past where the boys on bikes hang out while smoking something they're not supposed to, I smell it: muskrat skull.

I'm not sure I actually identify it as muskrat, or just let my animal instincts take over. Nevertheless, I scoop it up, figuring it's some tasty morsel. I have it nearly all the way down my gullet when Mom intervenes.

Image by Ryan Somma. Mom threw
my find in the direction of the boys on bikes.
It's unlikely you will remember, but I am in almost exactly the same location where I went nose-to-nose with a scorpion a couple of years back. Not too far, either, from where I proudly carried a severed rabbit head for several paces. Hypervigilant Mom notices my swift, deft move and immediately pries open my jaws.

This takes bravery. Last year, Mom lost a finger of her favorite glove and almost her whole finger when attempting to remove a very juicy chunk o'chicken, with bones, from said gullet. What can I say? Her finger was coming between me and my lunch.

I guess I am not quite as enamored of the muskrat skull, because Mom delves down, down, down, and comes up with it. It is then she identifies it as Odontra zibethicus, or the remains thereof. The teeth are a dead giveaway.

Now, Mom knows her Latin pretty well when it comes to flora, and she's ok on some fauna, too, but it takes a visit to The Evolution Store to learn that she threw away not only an Odontra and my snack, but $12. That's how much one of these things goes for (although there's one for $15.99 at the Oddities Store (who knew?). And the scorpion she let get away? The store has one of those, for $249.

The cat skeleton ($169) is appealing, but the dog? That's a little bit too Canis lupus familiaris, if you ask me. I'll stick with muskrat instead.