December 10, 2008

[Editor’s Note: In which we discuss “Poop Patrol,” i.e., the periodic need to gather Lewis’ excremental offerings.]

“How often to you make a deposit, so to speak? I went out a couple of weeks ago, just a few days after She With Whom You Abide went out and there must have been 3 dozen piles: are a three-or-four-times-a-day dog?”

—You know the old saying: Clean bowels, happy dog.

“I know no such saying: it must be a part of dog lore.”

—Regardless, it is true.

“But I swear more is coming out than goes in. It’s like alchemy or something.”

—Alchemy?

“Forget it, it would take too long to explain. But face it, you’re basically a crap machine.”

—And you’re a crap gatherer.

“Touché.”

December 9, 2008

—Oh no, not another day when I’m put out early.

“Sorry, dog, but you’ve got to get used to darkness.”

—No I don’t, everyone knows the enemy is sleeping right now.

“So there’s never anything to worry about at night?”

—On the inside, maybe, that’s why I should be inside.

“Internal enemies, eh?”

—Yes, nefarious and sneaky ones, too, requiring extremely sensitive senses to thwart their evil . . . You’re not buying this are you?

“No.”

—Okay, where’s my biscuit? Time to freeze my tail off.

December 8, 2008

[Editor’s Note: After returning from Seattle I mention how nice it is to be back in a familiar bed.]

—And it must also be nice to have a fierce but loyal dog in place at the side of the bed, ready to fight off any surprise incursions by psychopathic criminal home invaders.

“Oh yes, that is a particular comfort to me, knowing that your raging canines are just waiting to save me from harm.”

—You’re welcome.

“I didn’t actually thank you, yet.”

—I know, but I also know that you wanted to, but were still feeling a bit guilty for abandoning me for so long, so I went ahead and saved you the trouble of actually thanking me. Plus, you don’t have to thank me for making a thank you unnecessary. All in a day’s work for a fierce but loyal dog like me.

“Oooookay, I guess that’s settled.”

—And with a fierce but loyal dog in the house, everything is settled, all the time, no disruptions allowed, just fierce but loyal protection 24/7/364.

“What happens during the 365th day?”

—Oh, that’s my vacation, but don’t worry, fierce but loyal dogs don’t need a lot of vacation: our work is everything, we find contentment in the constant fierce but loyal service we provide around the clock.

“I take it fierce but loyal is your new motto or slogan or something.”

—Oh, you noticed? What do you think? I thought it was a solid foundation upon which to build a good campaign.

“Campaign?”

—Sure. Marketing, everything’s marketing these days, and I can’t be left behind.

“But what would you be marketing for: you already have a job.”

—Even when you’ve got a job, it’s necessary to reinforce your brand, keep it before the eyes of the public, don’t let it get forgotten.

“Wouldn’t want folks to forget all that fierce loyalty, I guess.”

—You guess right: “Lewis, fierce but loyal.” I still think there needs to be a second phrase, though, a tag line of some sort.

“How about: . . . fierce but loyal and eager for a biscuit?”

—I’m not sure why I ever was hoping you’d return from Seattle.

“Fierce but loyal with a black belt in napping?”

December 5, 2008

“So, not much time to write our conversation today since I’m leaving.”

—What?

“Yeah, I’m going to Seattle.”

—What?

“Just for a couple of days.”

—What?

“And I won’t be able to feed you.”

—What?

“Plus, you’ll be spending a very long day today outside.”

—What?

“Probably beginning just 10 or 15 minutes from now.”

—What?

“You’ll certainly earn your guard dog keep today.”

—What?

“Okay, well, see you in a couple, have a great weekend.”

—What?

“Bye.”

—What?

December 3, 2008

“Thanks for nothing, dog. Why didn’t you remind me to write She With Whom You Abide yesterday?”

—What, I have to do everything?

“I’d be happy if you simply did something.”

—Oh no, not this discussion again: I refuse to be lectured about my work habits by the likes of you.

“And what does that mean?”

—I’m sure your superior human brain can figure it out.

“No time for that. I’ve got to return to my apartment to retrieve my computer so that I can fill out some holiday employment applications.”

—You’re leaving now?

“Oh, I’ll be back.”

—When?

“Soon enough.”

—So, I don’t have to go outside?

“I wouldn’t want to keep you from your appointed rounds.”

—Oh, I’m sure any threats have been minimized by the cold: have you been out there? It’s really icy.

“I’m sure you can handle it, c’mon, let’s go! Outside, now!”

[Editor’s Note: At this point, I hoped to include a photo of the look of shocked incredulity Lewis would get when asked to go outside when he didn’t want to. Unfortunately, attempts to take such photos were either foiled by Lewis being unable to hold a pose, or by a flash that obscured his eyeballs. Believe me, though, the look cracked me up every time: rarely has any creature looked so hurt and confounded. Simply priceless, that look, priceless.]

December 1, 2008

—Hey, when are you going to finish my bark?

“You mean our book?”

—Whatever: it’s just that you have to make that a priority, don’t you know?

“Okay, okay, there is some stuff I could do on that today, too.”

—Good. The longer you wait, the longer you’ll miss out on the profits from what will obviously be a best-seller.

“True.”

—So, get cracking already. Time’s a’wastin’!

“You are a harsh taskmaster.”

—That’s right and I’ll be keeping an eye on you.

“While you’re napping?”

—I’m an excellent multi-tasker.

December 24, 2008

[Editor’s Note: In honor of the holiday, The Lewis Letters will again veer from strict chronology and present this brief mention of Xmas Past. A vast amount of snow fell in 2008, unlike this year’s rainy and snow-less season.]

“Do dogs celebrate Xmas?”

—Not really. We’re more an “every day is a holiday” species.

“I kinda figured that.”

—We don’t mind that sometimes we get extra treats and such this time of year, but Xmas is your thing, not ours.

“What about all this snow?”

—We’re with you on that: it sucks.

November 25, 2008

[Lewis asks me to apologize for not sending one of his conversations.]

—She With Whom I Abide depends on those daily reports! Surely yesterday must have felt like a huge void had invaded her life, rendering everything cold, gray, dreary, and sad.

“A tad melodramatic, don’t you think?”

—Not at all. If anything, I’ve understated things.

“Well, remind me what you said and I’ll send it today.”

—I forgot.

“What?”

—I’ve forgotten what I told you.

“How is that possible? Supposedly dogs remember and transmit whole books . . . barks, pardon me . . . transmit whole barks, but you’ve forgotten some idle chatter from just a few hours ago?”

—You don’t feed me enough; you’ve weakened my brain.

November 21, 2008

[After Lewis hears about plans his humans have for the weekend . . .]

—I’ll be happy to help out.

“How?”

—By providing a compelling example of blissful non-activity.

“Um, I thought you were the ever-vigilant, always-ready, hyper-aware watchdog eternally patrolling the fence to keep the household safe from evil?”

—I am.

“I don’t see how the two roles are compatible.”

—That’s because you are a mere human being, someone who aspires to dog-hood, but will, sadly, and completely, fail.

“Wait a minute, how did this get to be about me?”

—Silly human, you folks are constantly making it about you.

“I didn’t do anything . . .”

—Exactly, and we dogs must, more often than not, pick up the slack.

“What?”

—Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some power nap patrolling to do.

November 19, 2008

[Editor’s Note: Lewis overhears me admit that sometimes my cooking “lacks the necessary subtlety.”]

—Or sometimes, it’s too subtle.

“And what do you mean by that?”

—I’m talking bland, dull, unimaginative, repetitive, boring.

“I presume you’re talking about your breakfast?”

—And my lunch and my supper, since everything has been rolled into one insufficient meal per day. And you must admit, it doesn’t take a genius psychic to predict the menu of that single, solitary, inadequate, minuscule meal.

“We’ve discussed this before: your delicate constitution can’t take too much variety without exploding forth with unfortunate gaseous emissions.”

—I haven’t noticed anything.

“A skunk never smells itself.”

—There’s a skunk about? Where? Let me at him.

“There is no skunk and if there were, I certainly wouldn’t let you near him.”

—I’d be careful.

“Look, I read a story about a dog who got sprayed in the mouth, then came into the house and started drooling skunk-stink-impregnated saliva all over the rug: it apparently was not too pleasant for the humans involved.”

—All right, you’ve made your point. Who cares about skunks anyway? Just cats that smell worse than regular cats . . . but to return to our previous topic: are you sure a little variety couldn’t be added to mealtime? Or even, more meals? You guys get to eat three times a day.

“Instead you wolf down your food in 30 seconds.”

—I can tell that you are not open to discussing this calmly and rationally . . . if you need me, I’ll be over here, the one with the growling stomach.