Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Inspired by but not attaining the heights of this week's New Yorker piece, Animal Tales by Simon Rich, here's the newest family member, Barko, having a few words with the unidentified dog on the other side of the stockade fence.

Unidentified Large Dog: How ya doin'?
Barko: Just getting them assimilated to me. Another week or so and I'll be telling Riley what Life is all about.
ULD: A week? You must be really good! Took me over a month and a half.
B: When d'ya hit the joint?
ULD: Oh, I think I was pushing a few years. I was at one of those species specific rescue places, when is was chosen. You know, even canine mercy has gone the specialty route these days. Back when my father, wherever he is now, was around he would....
B: Yeah, yeah Pops, put a doggy treat in your mouth and let me show you what the kids are bout these days.
ULD: Pops!? Doggie treats?!? Son, you could be my doggy treat if I was to jump this fence.
B: Chill out, Pops. Don't pull a muscle and listen up.
ULD: Ruffffff!
B: So, as I was explicating. I'm only 8 weeks old and this puppy stuff will only last me another 30 weeks or so. So listen up, maybe your kids can take it in when I've given you the facts.
ULD: (Growling..) O.K.
B : These humans are suckers for quite a few things. What is it with them and fur and wobbly legs? They seem to spend a lot of time yelling and grumbling at each other. But put a puppy in front of them? The tree spits out the sap in buckets.

So, here's a few choice bits that have worked quite well. The beauty of them is that I can repeat them over and over again and they never get bored. Like "Seinfeld" reruns except all residuals come to me.

The tilted head with a bit of the tongue showing is always good for some "oohhhh"'s.

Flopping one ear and then the other seems to work with both of the human sexes.

Licking, yep, licking is always good. Seems to suggest to them that I like them. Good to know they'll never realize it's my way of getting the taste of dry dog food out of my mouth.

Tail-wagging is o.k., but especially so if you can do it with an off-beat cadence. In a month, I'll have a Monk-ish wag happenin'; the old fart in the family will think he's seeing ghosts. Rump-moving and tail-shaking seems to make them feel I especially like them.
Laying down and then flipping on my back gets them into a petting frenzy. I think it's the paws pointing straight up and then flopping down at my elbow (I think I have one of those on each leg...or are they my knees?).

Finally, after all of these have worn them down to a bowl of goo, I direct my sparkly black eyes toward them, let out a slight moan, and then stand back as they totally dissolve to liquid.

This bunch I'm with are especially susceptible to my heart-pulling shenanigans. Wish I could spread out my paws on this Mac keyboard so I could e-mail the bro's and sis' at home and let them know all that training in canine hospitality has worked.

I mean, I've even peed on a rug several times and almost unloaded some back-end trash and all I heard as complaints from this family is "ahhhhh......".
ULD: The life, huh?
B: Oh, yeah. Although this 1 yr to 7 yr ratio I keep hearing about is a drag.
ULD: Yep, each day's a week.
B: Well, I'll just have to make sure I let them know my time here is limited and love and attention is all I need. Excuse me, I have to go back inside and work on my Catholic guilt bowling. They haven't seen my "barking at my reflection" bit yet. That's a sure-fired shot to the heart.


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