September 15, 2009

[Editor’s Note: After hurting my back at work (the result of attempting to help a large person move from one place to another), I tease Lewis . . . again.]

“Only a few more minutes, dog, and then out you go.

—You can’t be serious.

“Sorry, I’m giving up a day off to go work, so you have to give up a day of inside leisure.”

—That doesn’t make a bit of sense. You’re “giving up a day off”? What’s that supposed to mean? You had yesterday off, right?

“Yes. I called off, as they say, because of my back injury.”

—And you could have this day off, too, but you’ve decided not to take it?

“Well, sort of. I mean, I could call in sick, again.”

—But you’ve decided not to?

“Yes.”

—Aren’t you still injured?

“A little tender, but it’s manageable.”

—So, you’re really not giving up a day off, you’re just not taking another one?

“I suppose that’s a trifle more accurate.”

—But, basically, all the suffering I’m about to endure is because you got hurt helping a fat person.

“Only in the most tangential way.”

—I hate fat people.

“Now, now: you don’t even know every fat person; some of them probably like dogs very much.”

—Hmph, as if I care.

“Besides, it’s no longer considered polite to call fat people fat.”

—Hmph, as if I care. Again.

“They’re just people whose height and weight have suffered an unfortunate shift in proportionality.”

—Hmph.

“Anyway, it’s a beautiful day out, so what’s your beef? You can track in more grit to deposit on the bed when you make another uninvited visit.

—That wasn’t my fault: if certain people had placed a certain bed spread in a certain way . . .

“Or if a certain dog had just refrained from taking advantage of an open door and the lax supervision of a certain downstairs resident . . .”

—Hey! That’s right: I don’t have to go outside today because She With Whom I Abide’s Puppy is back home and sleeping downstairs. Why were you pretending I’d have to go out?

“Because I was joshing you, Muffin-Licker.”

—She With Whom I Abide told you to quit teasing me.

“I know, but it’s so much fun. Have a great day. Inside.”

—Hmph.

September 10, 2009

“You certainly were being defiant last night.”

—To what do you refer?

“Oh, don’t go all formal on me Mr. Jump-Up-On-The-Bed-Without-an-Invitation.”

—Bah. So?

“Such an attitude, what’s happened to you? You didn’t even exit the bed when threatened with a hanger on your sorry butt.”

—It takes more than a stupid plastic hanger to frighten me.

“Are you have a mid-life crisis or something, trying to relive your rebellious younger dog years?”

—No, I’ve just adopted a Take-What-I-Deserve Strategy.

“And what brought that about?”

—If the humans with whom I abide have decided to daily send me outdoors into the cold, I figure I deserve some recompense and I don’t care how I get it. Why should you two get exclusive rights to the bed? I deserve comfort, too.

“You have your own bed.”

—A piddly pitiful pillow crammed in a corner: if I could spit, I’d shower that minuscule muffin with saliva.

“So, I guess this means you won’t be needing me to provide food or biscuits or water: you’ll just be taking them whenever and however?”

—Let’s not get hasty . . .

September 4, 2009

“Just a word of warning, Lewis, I’m getting busier, which means, I’m afraid, less time spent with the dog, too.”

—What?

“I simply won’t have much time to do whatever we do together, anymore.”

—What?

“Everything will have to be cut back.”

—What?

“Even feeding times: probably, I’ll only have time to feed you once every other day or so, and biscuit distribution will fall dramatically.”

—What?

“Sorry, but that’s the way it is: the leisure class suffers when the working class seeks more work.”

—What?

“You’ll survive, just eat more grass.”

—What?

“I know, you’re in shock. Just take another nap and relax.”

—What?

[Editor’s Note: Sadly, mere print cannot possibly capture the face behind the “Whats” featured in today’s post. Lewis had mastered a look of complete and total stupefaction, as though he’d just been walloped in the face with a large halibut, and it always cracked me up. The “What?-look” often appeared when Lewis was being asked to exit the house when he did not want to. It was incredibly difficult to maintain a firm, stern, forceful demeanor when confronted by Lewis’s complete disbelief and incomprehension at being told to leave his warm home for a cold and forbidding back yard. Also, sadly, I never was able to get a photo of the “What?-Look,” leaving, as my only option, a series of “whats” and this note.]

August 31, 2009

[Editor’s Note: Lewis is less than enthusiastic about his editor having his weekends off again.]

—Let’s hope things don’t work out.

“Hey, why are you wishing me ill?”

—Nothing personal, it’s just that when you and She With Whom I Abide have the same day off, you go somewhere and leave your faithful companion behind . . . alone . . . in the yard . . . starving . . . thirsty . . . victim of an overbearing sun . . . or an ice storm . . . with lots of yellow jackets . . . and did I mention alone?

“That doesn’t happen every weekend.”

—Might as well, given how awful even one is: I can’t shake the memory for weeks and months afterward.

“Hey, wait a minute: I thought you couldn’t remember what you ate the day before thus explaining your enthusiasm for breakfast every morning.”

—Um, well, I . . . uh . . . only forget happy things?

“Sad, truly sad: get your stories straight, bub, then come whining.”

August 26, 2009

“Well, that was truly pathetic, a really sad performance.”

—To what do you refer?

“Remember yesterday . . .”

—Barely . . .

“Obviously. Anyway, you promised to tone down your pre-breakfast hop-fest so as to not annoy She With Whom You Abide as much as you usually do.”

—I did?

“Yes, you did, and yet today you were nearly jumping on the bed and knocking over people.”

—Sorry, but I just get so excited.

“Again, obviously. But explain something to me: it’s the same food, the same biscuit, the same proportions, day after day after day: how can that be exciting?”

—I’m not sure, but how did this whole conversation start?

“I asked you to remember yesterday.”

—And I replied . . . ?

“Ah, you might have something there . . .”

August 25, 2009

—She With Whom I Abide seemed a little sad this morning.

“You’re causing her all sorts of heartache.”

—Me? What did I do?

“What haven’t you done, or not done? Did you greet her like a loving dog this morning or did you beg shamelessly for food?”

—A little of both?

“Examine your conscience and you’ll see the truth.”

—But I was hungry.

“You’re always hungry.”

—But it’s worse early in the morning.

“When we traveled to Chicago we heard that you slept until 10:00 in the morning without apparently suffering any damage.”

—You heard about that?

“Apparently, you didn’t even try to wake up her son to bug him about feeding you: no whining or pacing or tail thumping; is that true?”

—Maybe, I don’t really remember.

“It was barely a week ago.”

—Dogs live in the present, we don’t spend a lot of time reminiscing.

“That’s obvious.”

—So what should I do about She With Whom I Abide?

“Be available, without all the neediness, and lots less begging.”

—Okay, I’ll try.

“Good.”

—Are you leaving soon?

“Why?”

—Um, no reason, just wondering . . .

“Wondering when you’ll get your next biscuit bribe to head outdoors?”

—Not at all! I was just curious . . .

August 24, 2009

—Wait a minute, does this mean you’ll be leaving soon?

“Yes, I am still gainfully employed even though I won’t have to walk out the door at 5:45.”

—So, more exile in the back yard for the faithful dog?

“Yep.”

—And I’m supposed to be happy about that?

“You can’t always choose what happens, but you can choose your attitude.”

—And now you go all new-agey on me? A decided downside: I get my hopes up for some lap-time ear-scratching and then poof: I’m out the door.

“I suppose that’s one way of looking at it.”

—I don’t want to look at it.

“Then live with it, dog. Your food supply depends on us walking out the front door after you walk out the back.”

—It just doesn’t seem fair.

“And in a few months, the back yard will be covered with snow.”

—Please! Must you torture me with the weather so far in advance?

“Just stating the facts.”

—Well, as you’ve probably heard, facts have a definite anti-canine bias.

“I think the line is, a ‘liberal bias’ . . .”

—Whatever, facts hurt dogs, liberal or conservative.

“Sorry.”

—No, you’re not.

“Quit pouting, I’m still here for a few more minutes.”

—Yeah, typing and ignoring me.

“Hey, next weekend we’re going to pick huckleberries.”

—Without me, I suppose.

“You suppose correctly.”

—More evil piled upon the innocent head of a dog.

“What do you expect me to do about it?”

—Can’t you guess?

“Too easily.”

August 5, 2009

“What’s with the head-shaking, anyway? Are you doing it to get kinks out of your neck or just to make noise to remind folks you exist and are still hungry?”

—The noise is incidental and your fault since you’re responsible for weighing me down with all these medallions of oppression.

“Medallions of oppression?”

—Kind of catchy, don’t you think?

“Kind of overkill, too. You have a pretty cushy life given all your supposed ‘oppression.’”

—Yes, well, symbols of oppression are just as oppressive as actual oppression, in my opinion; they suggest potential oppression which thus oppresses my being with the constant concern of possibly being oppressively oppressed by just-waiting-to-begin-oppressing oppressors such as yourself.

“Lots of almost-oppression almost going on.”

—Indeed.

“How do you ever cope with such burdens?”

—By shaking my head, for one, symbolically shaking off the symbols that rest heavy upon my innocent neck.

“And thereby waking up your potential oppressors from a sound sleep.”

—Symbolic actions can have real consequences.

“I guess you’ve answered my questions.”

—I have and I’d like to remind you that there’s a small fee levied for such matters.

“A small fee?”

—Yes, otherwise what am I to conclude except that you support slavery.

“And let me guess, your fee is a biscuit?”

—Actually, two biscuits, but I’m having a 50% off special today.

August 4, 2009

“I’m guessing it’s harder to do your happy hoppy dance when your stomach is bulging with an already-consumed breakfast.”

—Is your whole life dedicated to coming up with new ways to cast aspersions on my character?

“No, but I do set aside several hours a week to consider the matter.”

—I knew it.

“I do not: I was kidding you: I hardly give your character a second thought, much less brood about ways to cast aspersions on it. And how do you know what ‘aspersions’ are anyway?”

—I don’t know, probably picked it up from you . . . the same way I now know about ‘calumnious’ and ‘animadversion’ . . .

“Wait a minute, I just looked those words up in the dictionary.”

—I know. I saw you.

“Are you reading my mind or something?”

—If so, it’s the shortest story I’ve ever encountered. Ha ha. Two can play with calumny, my friend.

“So it seems, but only one can hand out the biscuits.”

—Oops.

July 29, 2009

—So, it’s true? You might be staying home more?

“Yes, it’s a possibility, but not all day like it was during the Dark Days of Unemployment.”

—Dark Days . . . ? . . . I thought it was a most excellent arrangement.

“I’m sure you did.”

—Only recently have the days been less than sunny, what with more exile time in the back-stinkin’-yard.

“And we know whom to blame for the stink.”

—As I’ve noted before, it’s not my fault that you confine me and my excremental needs; I’m perfectly willing to roam free and deposit my . . . deposits elsewhere.

“Granted, but there’s a leash law in this area and we’re not convinced you could find your way home, even if there weren’t.”

—Again with the insults: why did I imagine you staying around longer in the morning would be a good thing?

“I have no idea.”

—As far as finding my way home, I know where my biscuits reside . . . and speaking of biscuits, you could easily absolve yourself of your cruelty by liberating one, or two.

“Two? My, haven’t you become ambitious.”

—A dog’s gotta do what a dog’s gotta do.