July 28, 2008

Lewis is lying in the center of the living room with his front legs splayed to either side.

“That doesn’t look very comfortable.”

—I’m practicing doga.

“Doga?”

—When you humans appropriated the practice, you renamed it yoga.”

“Ah.”

—Yes, ah. The debts humanity owe the canine species, well, let’s just say, they are probably impossible to repay.

“No doubt. So what’s this position called?”

—Difficult to translate. Prostate Possum’s about the best I can do. It promotes flexibility and efficient digestion, particularly the latter. And speaking of which, how about some more breakfast?

I ignore this last request.

“I was thinking it might be called the Beached Whale.”

—Ha, ha.

“Or maybe Lopsided Camel.”

Silence.

Lewis is clearly not pleased with my allusion to his lump. He adjusts himself so that he is lying with his back to me and begins to actively ignore my presence.

Except for the pungent odors he releases in my direction.

July 16, 2008

Somehow Lewis is back inside the house even though I don’t remember letting him in.

Or maybe I did, and it’s become such a common an activity, I don’t remember it. Almost like an automatic, unconscious motor function.

Lewis won’t tell me one way or the other.

—It would interfere with my sleeping schedule.

“It’s a simple question. Your excuse for why you wouldn’t answer took longer than an actual answer would have.”

Lewis yawns.

—Do tell. I guess you’ll just have to take the issue up with the Canine Union.

“What?”

No answer. He’s already twitching from strange dreams.

July 15, 2008

Lewis keeps giving me sad looks. He’s not in the best of spirits today. Maybe because he missed catching the biscuit for the first time in a long time. He takes pride in his biscuit-catching and even though I tried to reassure him that I’d given him a bad toss, he began engaging in a lengthy bout of self-recrimination.

—The life of a dog is hard, oh so hard.

July 11, 2008

Lewis wants to remind you that he, too, has an exhausting schedule awaiting him. So exhausting, in fact, that he must immediately begin a few hours of intense napping to sufficiently prepare himself for what will no doubt be a grueling day. He sends his best and claims to know exactly what you’re going through at this time. Oh, and could you bring him some tasty snacks when you return home—the monotony of his diet has become slightly distressing, he claims, and interferes with his high-activity lifestyle.

July 1, 2008

[Editor’s Note: one of the perks of Andrea’s job is that drug company reps frequently wine and dine medical professionals at fine eating establishments under the guise of “continuing education.” So this e-mail began with the expressed hope that after work she will be well-taken care of at Churchill’s, one of Spokane’s premier steakhouses.]

Lewis would like to remind you that it is “Give Your Favorite Dog Leftovers from Fancy Steakhouses” Month, and that you should celebrate this appropriately—preferably with red meat.

Then, after a hard day of scarfing dog food, he retires for a well-deserved nap.

—It’s tough being a dog, Lewis tells me, as he flops down on the carpet with a resounding plop.

“Oh really?”

—You have no idea.

For emphasis, he farts in my general direction.

June 20, 2008

All over my computer, the keyboard, the trackball, my papers—dog hair, dog hair everywhere. Now that I think about it, an interesting Dr. Seuss-like poem / short book for kids might be possible using this theme . . . hmmmm. Lewis is already thinking about royalties and is demanding I take dictation as he draws up the necessary papers.

Warming to the project, Lewis suggests that with every copy of the book “Dog Hair Everywhere,” a small sample of actual dog hair could be included, say, in a little plastic bag attached to the inside of the back cover.

—Deluxe copies of the book would include my very own hair.

“Even a modest number of deluxe copies would leave you as bald as Kojak.”

—Who’s Kojak?

“Forget it. Besides, it’s fur, not hair.”

—What’s the difference? Besides, rhyme over truth, that’s my motto.

“Yeah, so I’ve heard. Hey, put down those sunglasses: you aren’t a celebrity yet.”

—But I need to go bark at Mikey and the sun hurts my eyes.

 [Editor’s Note: Mikey is the annoying, always-barking, Napoleon-Complex-Suffering dog that lives next door.]

June 18, 2008

Lewis insists that there is an unwritten law that states that leftovers left on a stove automatically become the property of the household canine.

“That’s the second time in two days you’ve tried this legal baloney. What are you, some sort of legal beagle?”

—Yeah, just call me the barking shark of fictitious litigious malarkey.

“So, you admit your legal citations are feeble fictions?”

—Let’s just say I enjoy rhyme more than accuracy . . . now about those leftovers . . .

June 17, 2008

Dog Report, Part One: Lewis agrees with me. He claims he hasn’t eaten as much as quickly lately simply because he is so distressed over how long and hard you work.

—I can barely even enjoy my morning biscuit, anymore . . . and water doesn’t taste as crisp as it used to.

And then he flopped down on his side and appeared to lose consciousness.

*

Dog Report, Part Two: Lewis perked up a bit when he heard me type “Luna’s” [he has very sensitive and discriminating ears, don’t you know]. And now that he knows that you will be having dinner at that restaurant, he’s making a case for his participation in leftover consumption, trying to convince me that he’s always been given wide discretion in this area, and that as a loyal and faithful dog for so many years, he deserves a bonus now and again. He further suggests that any red meat should be reserved for him, and him alone, under the provisions of the recently enacted BEEFF law (Better Eats for Eager Furry Friends).

“I haven’t hear about any such legislation, and I read thousands of political blogs every day.”

—I’d google it for you, but you’re hogging the computer.

“So, go use her computer.”

—As if. Windows XP was designed by cats and it makes my paws hurt.

Then he returned to his previous unconscious state.

*

Dog Report, Part Three: But then he roused himself for a brief time to plead:

—Legislation or not, red meat makes my arthritis less painful . . . you can look it up.

June 12, 2008

The Dog Report: Lewis attempted his usual leaping with joy as we head toward the feeding bowl, but he couldn’t get much elevation and his hind legs slipped and he landed on his keester. I pretended not to notice. He also seemed prepared to catch the biscuit on the fly, again, but I didn’t notice that until I’d already offered it to him without the usual tossing. So, he’s mostly back. I wonder what laid him low?

June 6, 2008

Lewis does seem a little lethargic. Even his desperate yips to request readmittance were sounding a little tired. And I’m shocked to learn he doesn’t eat his whole bowl in one ravenous gulp.

(He just looked at me a little reproachfully, as if he knew I was typing about him, which perhaps he did: who knows what dogs can sense?)