July 15, 2009

“Hey, that was rude, waking me up with a footlicking.”

—Are you talking to me?

“Who else, bozo, I highly doubt anyone else is going to be up at this hour, much less licking my feet.”

—Yes, well, can we just chalk it up to an instinctual impulse?

“Nothing about trying to fool me into feeding you again?”

—I’m shocked, shocked I tell you, to hear such accusations.

“Right.”

—Not that that wouldn’t be such a bad idea.

“Yeah, well, She With Whom You Abide clued me in with a note.”

—Curse your human writing and curse the log from which the paper pulp was made.

“Temper, temper.”

—If you only knew the full canine loathing for that accursed tool . . .

“I have an idea.”

—I doubt it.

“Say, switching topics, which I know will be difficult for you, if you call her She With Whom You Abide, what do you call me?”

—I’d rather not say.

“Why, is it insulting?”

—Hardly . . . it’s . . . uh . . . descriptive, that’s all.

“C’mon, cough it up.”

—It’s kind of long in human.

“C’mon.”

—He Who Is Most Likely to Provide Many Biscuits.

“I see.”

—That’s the short version.

“Uh huh, why don’t you just call me Biscuit Sucker and leave it at that?”

—Because that would be insulting and you know the old saying about biting the hand . . .

“I think there should be a saying about licking the feet.”

July 14, 2009

[Editor’s Note: Lewis learns that the Editor and She With Whom He Abides are celebrating their second anniversary.]

—And I guess it’s our 14th year anniversary in dog years, which mean 14 celebratory biscuits.

“We’ve talked about this before, remember? The 1 human year = 7 dog years calculation is inaccurate.”

—What do you mean?

“You’ve forgotten?”

—Maybe. Remind me just in case.

“All right, but only because you look so pathetic right now. So, actually, it’s more like 15 years for your first year, 8 or so for the second, and then 3 ½ for every subsequent year, or something like that.”

—So that means I get 23 biscuits?

“No one said anything about you getting any biscuits.”

—I did.

“Besides you, and no, that doesn’t mean you get 23: the first two years reflect how fast a puppy becomes an adult: you were already an adult when I first met you, so the two years I’ve known you equal 7 years, at the most.”

—I’ll take 7 biscuits, then.

“You might get one, if you’re lucky.”

—Not very sentimental are you? But okay, I’ll take one biscuit.

“You probably should do something about that one-track mind of yours: there’s more to life than biscuits.”

—True. What do you have in the refrigerator?

July 9, 2009

“And in case you’re wondering, the Subject line of this message I’m writing—‘Another despicable con-job’— refers to you, Mr. Dancing-Like-You’re-Starving.”

—Dogs gotta do what dogs gotta do.

“So you admit your perfidy?”

—Well, I wouldn’t give it such an evil-sounding label, but sure, I was hoping I might score another meal: after all, it’s a proven fact that I am criminally underfed on a regular basis.

“Proven fact?”

—Yes, the International Council on Proper Canine Nourishment has definitively established that I don’t get enough to eat.

“An international council? I find it difficult to believe that you merit such attention.”

—The Council is, if you’ll forgive me, dogged in its attempts to make certain that every dog, wherever he or she may be, gets fed properly.

“I see.”

—Yes, so if you want to escape the inevitable censure that will be yours unless you reform your ways, I’d increase my rations.

“Censure? What does that mean?”

—Let’s just say you’ll be hearing a lot more yapping from some nearby little dogs . . .

June 29, 2009

“You have be more careful, Lewis, you almost dived face first into the cement this morning.”

—I did not.

“Yes, you did: you were in such a hurry to get down the steps you nearly missed the last couple and if you had you’d have a very sore nose right now.”

—It was nothing: a little near-slip, nothing drastic.

“You’re not a spry young dog anymore: you got to slow down: it’s not like you’d get that biscuit any faster since you’d still have to wait for me to open the food barrel anyway.

—I’m just fine, thank you.

“All right, if you say so, but if you get pizza-faced one of these days, don’t say I didn’t warn you.”

—You’re going to serve me pizza?

“No . . .”

—Because how did you know that I love pizza more than anything?

“I’m not serving . . .”

—The combination of crunchy dough and delicately cooked meats is this dog’s idea of paradise, even the vegetables are just right and my stomach just rumbles with pleasure.

“That’s not all that rumbles after you eat pizza: you become particularly malodorous a few hours later.”

—So, when’s the pizza arriving?

“It isn’t: pizza-faced means smashing your face against the concrete, you idiot, not stuffing your face with pizza. I was still warning you about hurting yourself, not announcing a menu.”

—Oh . . . that’s a little disappointing.

“I’m sure.”

—Disappointment can be partially cured though by . . .

“Yeah, yeah: forget it: I’ve got an e-mail to write.”

June 24, 2009

[Editor’s Note: Lewis learns that I have a lot to do.]

—Which means my bark will forever be unbarked.

“Delayed perhaps, but not abandoned.”

—It might as well be abandoned, given how long it takes you to finish things, like that Writers Group project you dithered with for who knows how long.

[Editor’s Note: And with which I’m still dithering!]

“I just like to do things right: rushing things promotes sloppiness.

—At this point, I’d prefer a sloppy finish to never-achieved perfection.

“Yes, your ability to delay gratification is well-known.”

—I live in the moment, for the moment, and I’m not ashamed of it.

“Obviously.”

—You know what? Stop talking to me and finish whatever you’re going to finish so you can begin procrastinating over my bark again, okay?

“Okay.”

—Um, a biscuit while I’m waiting?

“You wish.”

June 6, 2009

[Editor’s Note: After I’ve mowed a message (“I <heart> U”) into the backyard lawn, Lewis adds some . . . punctuation.]

“Hey, I noticed you’ve left your . . . um . . . ‘calling card,’ or shall we say, ‘dumping card’ on the heart I carved in the lawn with the lawnmower for She With Whom You Abide.”

—Oh, is that what that is? I thought it was an arrowhead.

“Well, yeah, I could have done a better job, and made it more heart-like, but you’re avoiding the issue: you pooped in the middle of her heart.”

—I did?

“Don’t play innocent: that wasn’t very nice.”

—I guess . . .

“You guess?”

—Couldn’t it be seen as a . . . greeting, or my way of acknowledging your message and seconding it, a way of adding my own . . . heart-felt sentiments?

“Pretty lame: I seriously doubt what you left came from your heart.”

—I suppose it could be misinterpreted.

“You think?”

—You think she’ll notice?

“After she receives this message she will.”

—Yeah, and who do I have to thank for that? Cursed writing.

“Hey, don’t blame me: you’re the one who did the squatting.”

—But I didn’t know it was a heart until now.

“I still think you have some explaining to do.”

—How about: the yard’s really not that big?

“Again, lame.”

—It’s not easy being a dog forced to roam in such a restricted space.

“Whatever. Next time just think . . . and look . . . before you poop.”

—I think I’ll look for a place to nap, if you don’t mind.

“Typical.”

June 3, 2009

“So, we had a little accident last night?”

—What?

“The dog barf on the rug.”

—Oh, that. Yeah. Sorry. Though the fault lies with you.

“How’s that?”

—You starve me so much, I’ve been reduced to eating grass like . . . like a cow. And the grass upset my stomach.

“Wait a minute. You’d eat grass anyway. All dogs eat grass.”

—Perhaps, but I’ve been forced to eat far more grass than normal because of the hunger pangs I suffer nearly every minute of every day.

“I see. So, I should be apologizing to you?”

—No, that’s not necessary, but a little increase in my rations would be appreciated.

“I’ll discuss it with She With Whom You Abide, but don’t get your hopes up.”

—How about a biscuit to tide me over?

“Don’t push it.”

June 2, 2009

—Speaking of alert, have you noticed how alert I am?

“Can’t say that I’ve detected any difference in your snooze rate, no.”

—Ha, ha. Always with the nap jokes. Don’t you ever tire of them? . . . Get it? “tire?” “nap?”

“Uh, yeah. Pun noted.”

—You don’t seem amused.

“Let’s just say your comedian skills don’t rise to the level of your watchdog skills . . . and we both know how hard it is to get you to rise to anything . . . get it?”

—Barely. Let’s just say, using a classic dog aphorism, that you telling me I’m not funny is like a little dog telling me I’m annoying.

“Ow. That’s harsh.”

—If the poop smells . . . as we say . . .

May 22, 2009

“And by the way, and I know I’ve mentioned this before, it’s not nice to try and fool someone into feeding you twice.”

—What are you talking about?

“All the eager leaping and dancing that greeted my rising. The rush to the back door followed by more leaping and dancing. The plaintive look when I let you out that asked, ‘Why aren’t you following me to the food bowl?’ That’s what I’m talking about.”

—Oh, there was no fooling involved: I was just happy . . . ecstatic . . . to see you again.

“Uh huh. Fortunately, we humans have developed a useful tool called writing that allows us to communicate even when we’re absent . . . I know you’ve heard of it.”

—Yes, and it is cursed by all dogs at least five times a day.

“This a ritual of some kind?”

—No, just an ordinary oath, like a minor swear word.

“Care to let me hear it?”

—It’s untranslatable.

“Right. You realize, of course, that you’ve just admitted your charade.”

—Shhhhh. Don’t bother me, I’m in the middle of an intense round of surveillance.

May 18, 2009

—Ahem. . . . . ahem.

“Did you just cough at me?”

—Sort of, just trying to get your attention.

“Why?”

—You’re ignoring me and my . . . our . . . bark.

“Oh yeah, well, I wanted to talk to you about that. See, I think I’ve got enough material, and we seem to be repeating ourselves. There are only so many ways to talk about your love of food and sleep.”

—Don’t you mean vital sustenance and eternal vigilance?

“Of course, how insensitive of me. Anyway, I’m just not sure we have all that much new ground to cover or discover or however you want to describe it.”

— . . .

“So, you’re not talking to me now?”

— . . .

“Don’t look like that. Of course, we’ll still chat and hang out, it’s just that I’m not sure there’s much more to transcribe.”

— . . .

“You’re upset.”

— . . .

“C’mon, don’t pout. I just think I should start putting together all the great material you’ve generated into a more finished, polished state.”

— . . .

“You’re really upset aren’t you? I can tell. Would a biscuit make things easier?”

—Took you long enough.

“Hey, get your nose out of the box: I can’t get you biscuit with your face in the way.”