March 30, 2009

“You sure looked worried all weekend.”

—Drastic change is not something that comforts those of us of a canine persuasion.

“I was just moving a bunch of stuff into the house, and She With Whom You Abide was simply moving other stuff elsewhere: what’s the big deal?”

—Nothing.

“C’mon, quit being a mope.”

—Well, I suppose we, meaning dogs, get worried that . . . that we’ll get moved during the process.

“You mean, moved out?”

—Yes.

“Moved to a new household?”

—Maybe that, too.

“You thought there might not be room for you?”

—I guess.

“Silly dog, you’re an integral part of the household, we’d never move you. Besides we thought you’d like all the new smells that came with the move.”

—That was a little bit interesting.

“You still look a kind of sad and discombobulated.”

—It has been a nerve-wracking past few days.

“Sorry. Hey, in a few minutes I’ll have a surprise for you.”

—What?

“Remember those steaks we had on Friday?”

—Yes.

“There’s one bone left.”

—That would go a long way to making me feel better.

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March 27, 2009

—How would you characterize our conversations?

“I don’t know.”

—How about “deep?”

“I’m not sure I’d call our conversations deep, exactly.”

—They’re inter-species, right?

“True.”

—Which is a rare and beautiful thing?

“I suppose.”

—So, the fact that they happen is the deep part, not necessarily the content.

“All right.”

—Though I think promoting understanding between any two individuals or groups has depth and meaning.

“Okay, you’ve made your point.”

—Truly comprehending the motivations of each other, the way different minds work: that’s important stuff.

“You mean, like figuring out why you sleep on the couch and then lie about it?”

—What? What did you say? It’s strange but suddenly I don’t understand what you’re saying at all—our communications link is breaking up—hello? hello? anybody out there?

[Editorial Interlude]

Lewis lump

About that lump mentioned near the end of the March 23rd post . . .

The picture above was taken soon after I met Lewis. At the time, the lump was big, but nowhere near the size it would eventually become. The lump above was the size of half of a volleyball; later it would swell to be the size of a watermelon, a rather large watermelon. A trip to the vet resulted in tests that confirmed that the lump was benign, even as it continued to grow. Removing the lump was not seriously considered, nor was it even suggested. Since Lewis clearly did not acknowledge the lump, and it did not appear to be causing any other health problems, there seemed to be no reason to intervene. While Lewis ignored the lump, it did eventually affect his ability to jump up on the bed, which distressed him greatly. However, even before the lump increased his weight by an estimated 15%, Lewis was much too big a dog to lift up onto the bed, so there was nothing we could do to relieve his stress. The couch, being much lower to the ground, remained accessible, much to the dismay of Those With Whom He Abided.

March 23, 2009

—We hardly talk anymore.

“Sorry, but responsibilities call.”

—I don’t hear them.

“Even with your super dog hearing?”

—No. They just hear the emptiness of the food bowl, the desolation of an unoccupied living room, the ice of a couch upon which no human buttock has rested, the sadness of . . .

“Wait a minute, the ‘ice of a couch’?”

—Yes, quite the poetic phrase, eh? I’m rather proud of it myself . . .

“But it also means you admit jumping up on the couch when you’re not supposed to.”

—No, it doesn’t.

“Then how do you know the couch is icy?”

—I, uh, just inferred it?

“Right.”

—No, what I meant was, I smelled that it was cold.

“You can smell temperature?”

—Didn’t you know that?

“No.”

—Then, yes, definitely, that’s what happened: I smelled the ice. The icy ice-ness.

“Wait a minute. You said you heard the icy couch.”

—A dog’s nose and ears work together. Synergistically, as it were.

“Really?”

—Oh yes. It’s almost as though there’s no difference between them, so well do they work together.

“One of these days I’m going to find out what dog noses and dog ears can actually do.”

—Who would know better than a dog?

“No one, but you’d have to be able to believe that dog.”

—Are you saying I’m lying about my nose?

“I’m saying you’re lying about the couch.”

—I guess we’ll just have to disagree about that.

“Big surprise. Hey, I also wanted to suggest that you begin taking your lump into account more: you’re knocking stuff over all the time now, and trying to squeeze into places that aren’t big enough for you and your lump.”

—What lump?

March 16, 2009

“And you! What do you have to say for yourself now that I have concrete proof that you snooze on the sofas when we leave you inside when we go out.”

—What proof?

“Playing the innocent naïf, eh? It won’t work: you’ve been busted. Does sprawling on my clothes remind you of anything?”

—No.

“How about clothes that were draped over the back of the sofa but somehow ended up scrunched up on the seat of the couch, suspiciously warm, and covered with dog hair?”

—Sorry, I have no idea what you’re referring to.

“Prevaricate all you want, beast, but from now on I think we’ll always put you outside, even if we’re only going to be gone for a very short time.”

—That seems harsh.

“What’s harsh is the possibility of your toenails puncturing the sofa.”

—It’s not my fault if my toenails are too long . . .

“Don’t go there, you blame-shifter, you hate getting your nails trimmed.”

—Okay, point taken, but I still claim that even if, and I emphasize the “if,” I did take the occasional nap on the sofa, there’s no real harm done, and sometimes new clothes need a dog’s touch.

“So you admit it.”

—If, remember, I said if.

March 3, 2009

—The most confusing part of this new routine is figuring out who the hell is going to actually feed me.

“Yeah, I realize we’re throwing your sleep cycle out of whack: it’s not easy getting that full 22 hours in every day.”

—Exactly, my timing is all off . . . uh, wait . . .

“Ha! Gotcha snooze hound!”

—What? What did you say?

“You heard me.”

—We’ve been conversing?

“Yes. And you started it.

—I’m sorry, but you must be mistaken. I’ve been involved in an All-Senses-Alert deep survey of the surroundings.

“Right. You might as well head back to bed: She With Whom You Abide has feeding duty today.”

—Oh, okay. I’ll go set up a command post in the bedroom.

“You do that.”

March 2, 2009

—What’s going on?

“It’s time for bed.”

—And yet you’re writing e-mail?

“Times have changed.”

—Have they ever: I’m always confused about who’s going to be where and when.

“And that will continue.”

—You really know how to hurt a dog.

“Sorry.”

—I think I’ll go lie down.

“You do that.”

—Come get me when things return to normal.

“Oh, I’m pretty sure you’ll return before I come get you.”

—How do you figure?

“Think about it. Here’s a clue: your stomach will be your guide.”

—Now I’m even more depressed.

“How so?”

—Given how infrequently and inadequately you feed me . . .

“Go lie down and quit whining.”

—I don’t whine.

“You have your story, I have mine.”

—Fine.

“. . .”

—Well?

“Well what?”

—It’s your turn.

“My turn to what?”

—Rhyme.

“What?”

—Whine / mine / fine . . . ball’s in your court.

“But, sadly, it’s outside the line. Now quit bothering me.”