November 23, 2009

—Good just a regular day, you staying home, writing down our conversation, and then . . .

“Oh no, I forgot to write an e-mail and I’ve got to leave in a few minutes.”

—What?

“Yeah, it’s a regular day in that we’re both going to work and you’re going outside to protect the domain.”

—What?

“Yup, so I’ve got to make this a quick one and then be on my way.”

—Um, couldn’t we reconsider this plan of action?

“Sorry, duty calls.”

—I can protect the house from the inside.

“Right, by napping on the couch.”

—I’d never do anything like that.

“We know: your leaping ability has become compromised.”

—That’s not what I meant.

“One of these days we’ve got to talk about your recent bouts of denial.”

—But it’s cold outside.

“Well, then, protect us from any inclement weather, bark away the snow.”

—A regular day of agony, that’s all I can see.

“Look, I’ll make it worth your while to go outside, even though you’ve already gorged yourself on breakfast.”

—Really?

“Sure.”

—Okay, I’ll do what I can.

“You are so easy: those biscuits must taste fantastic.”

—You have no idea.

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November 18, 2009

[Editor’s Note: Lewis hears me say I need an extra hour of sleep.]

—Me, too.

“I hadn’t realized you were sleep-deprived; I assumed just the opposite.”

—When you’re awake an hour or more before you actually get up, it really disrupts my sleeping pattern: I think breakfast is imminent and then waiting . . . waiting . . . waiting . . . very upsetting.

“My profound apologies, I’m sure. Besides, nothing seems to disturb the rest of your sleeping, which I generously estimate takes up about 93% of your day.”

—How many times do I have to tell you that there’s sleeping and then there’s sleeping, the latter being a form of mega-intense High Alert Hair Trigger Guard Dog Napping.

“Guard Dog Napping: that’s a new one.”

—I’m applying for barkmark protection.

“Oh really? How does that work in the canine world: dogs send you biscuits for the use of your concept?”

—No, it’s more an honorary thing: it requires the other canine entities always refer to my idea as Lewis’ High Alert Hair Trigger Guard Dog Napping, though it wouldn’t really be Lewis, but my dog name, of course.

“Of course. Good luck with that. I hope you’re awake to hear the use of your barkmarked idea.”

—Very funny.

November 17, 2009

[Editor’s Note: Lewis learns that She With Whom He Abides has been designated a muse.]

—Aren’t I a muse?

“You?”

—Yes. Surely I can inspire you to write poems, since I already inspire you to write barks about me.

“I suppose, though right now you’d probably be a muse for hilarious slapstick poems, jokes, and the like . . .”

— . . .

“Was that a sigh? I don’t think I’ve ever heard a dog sigh before. In fact, I didn’t know dogs could sigh.”

— . . .

“Yeah, that, is that a sigh?

— . . .

“You’ve stopped talking to me haven’t you?

— . . .

“You’re insulted?”

— . . .

“Will you stop with that sighing: it’s kind of unnerving.”

— . . .

“All right, be that way: I’m sorry: I’ll try to write an extremely dignified poem about Lewis, Defender of the Realm, Powerful Protector of the Poop Yard, Fierce Enemy of Cats, Squirrels, and Birds, Indulgent Elder of the Stupid Little Dogs. What do you think of that?”

— . . .

“Please, quit sighing.”

November 12, 2009

“Explain something to me: why do you get so agitated about the little dogs on the east side of the house?”

—You seem to have mistaken me for a dog who gives a bark.

“C’mon, quit it: you know what I’m talking about: you get that whiny, high-pitched yelping thing going. Are they insulting you or something?”

—I do not yelp; yelping is for puppies.

“You’re in denial, bub, you practically squeak at those dogs. At first, I mistook it for your ‘I hate cats’ bark.”

—I’m not pleased with the direction this conversation is taking.

“Apparently. What do you want to talk about?”

—You’re not leaving today?

“No, it’s my day off.”

—Good. It’s too chilly out there: claws and ice do not mix.

“There wasn’t any ice, just a little frost.”

—Yeah, well, that’s how it always starts.

“True.”

—Nice chatting with you: time to practice my patented Sleeping Protection.

“Where you protect us by sleeping?”

—No, protect you WHILE sleeping.

“Oh, right, sorry.”

—You know how to be forgiven.

“Yes, but no, maybe later.”

November 6, 2009

[Editor’s Note: An inability to sleep gets this letter started at 3:30 in the morning.]

“You know, you don’t help matters by being so loud when you get up, eager to be fed several hours too early.”

—A famous dog saying: It’s never too early.

“What, too early to eat?”

—Not just that, too early to do anything, really: anything worth doing should be done now.

“How very Zen of you.”

—Zen? Phooey, everyone knows Zen ripped off dog philosophy, shamelessly and without attribution.

“No kidding?”

—No kidding: dogs are the original Zen masters, but because we’re masters, we don’t expend a lot of energy seeking credit for our wisdom.

“Or expend a lot of energy, period.”

—I could be insulted but I will not let your pettiness interfere with my oneness with the universe.

“Interesting, given your hysterical performance yesterday afternoon, yapping and yipping like a little dog at the cat next door.”

—That wasn’t about the cat.

“Oh?”

—No, it was . . . well, something like a dog political convention.

“What?”

—It’s hard to explain, but you humans had elections recently, right?

“Yes.”

—Dogs do something similar, on a smaller scale . . .

“So, you’re telling me all the yappings were political speeches?”

—Something like that.

“And what issues were you yapping about?”

—Well, dog things . . .

“Like?”

—Um, just things . . . resolutions about continued feline presence maybe . . .

“I couldn’t hear you, you began mumbling . . . did I hear the word feline?”

—Say, isn’t it close enough to 5:00?

“Quit changing the subject: I’m not feeding you for a long while.”

—But I’ve got a lot of campaigning to do today.

“No.”

—How does it feel to be an avowed enemy of a dog’s right to live free without fear of hunger?

“Is that one of your campaign planks?”

—Yes.

“If I were an avowed enemy, believe me, you’d know it; I suggest you do a little of your dog meditation, or whatever you call it.”

—Fine, but I’m doing so officially under protest.

November 2, 2009

“What’s with you this morning? You’ve been totally noisy and tail-thumping and head-shaking and making all sorts of racket.”

—Just pure excitement at having you two back from Seattle and a regular routine reestablished.

“And hopes for an early breakfast, no doubt.”

—No, no, no, no, not at all . . . not that I would have objected, mind you.

“You survived our absence without noticeable difficulties.”

—You were gone? I hardly noticed.

“You just admitted you were glad to have us back.”

—Did I? It must have slipped my mind.

“What is with you? You seem awfully distracted.”

—Me? Distracted? Whatever do you mean?

“Forget it: just be glad you don’t have to face the cold today.”

—Is it cold? I hadn’t noticed.