Archive for dogs

Haiku# 30: My dog, the teenager

Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , on February 24, 2010 by 1writegirl

At first, a Mohawk
Then clothes, showers, chewing gum
Now, the dog wants bling.

Dogs with Mohawks

Posted in Poetry with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 20, 2010 by 1writegirl

My love and I
With nothing better to do
One rainy winter day
Took a look at my shaggy canine
And decided he needed a trim

We started slow
With a pair of shears
Behind the ears
Under the chin

And as we trimmed
We talked as always
About whatever came to mind

And the conversation turned
To the subject of what we’d imagined,
In the glory of dewy youth,
Our lives would look like today

I thought I’d be married, I said
As I swiped at Mugsy’s tail
Be grateful you didn’t go there
He grimaced
Believe me, it’s misery ad infinitum
Compounded by devastation

I should be teaching poetry,
He mused
At some prestigious, west coast college
Off came the left side of Mugsy’s beard

With co-eds hanging on my every word
Gone was his moustache too

I expected to be a famous writer
I exclaimed with an air of whimsy
As the clippers zoomed over Mugsy’s back
And flew up under his stomach
With at least one bestseller, I added
He nodded, I know, huh? he said
Then shaking his head in a daze of wonder
Started in with the scissors in earnest

I’d have a mansion by the sea
He explained with a faraway look
With servants to do my bidding
And an agent, an editor,
Stupendous advances

Fur was flying in all directions
Frenetic buzzing filled the air

And so it went for quite some time
With every word, another cut
For every lost dream
Another lock shorn
Until at last we were out of shouldve’s
And before us quaking in forlorn regret
Stood the product of our mutual despair

There was nothing left of him to speak of
He was half the size he’d started
And the only hair remaining
Was a strip from head to toe
A Mohawk of black and white
From his forehead straight up and spiking
Down his back to the tip of his tail

We put down the scissors, dropped the shears
And swept up the pile of fur
Thinking perhaps we’d made a mistake
Gotten too carried away
Until Mugsy stood up and shook himself
Then pranced up and down the room

Showing off his brand new do

Unencumbered, with nothing to block his view
Of cats and cars, food and chew-toys
And laps to settle into

I think he likes it, I gasped in amazement
He seems to feel freer, he agreed
Go figure, we said in unison
Then sighed and settled back down
To the one thing we both can’t not do for long

The process of writing our hearts out
To the tune of the pouring rain

I dig my new Do!

My Dog, the Would-be Vegetarian

Posted in Prose with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 29, 2009 by 1writegirl

mugsyblog2I don’t know about you, but I grew up believing that dogs were carnivores, like lions and wolves. Either I was led astray, or my dog is the exception to the rule. Knowing Mugsy as I do, I suspect the latter is more likely the case.

Mugsy’s favorite food is broccoli. Raw. Mushrooms (again raw) are a close second. The only vegetable so far that I’ve been able to determine he does not adore is scallions. He will, mind you, eat raw Vidalia or red onions. He also loves fruit. Apples, berries, bananas, pears… I haven’t tried oranges yet, but I don’t foresee a problem there. In fact, he’d probably even eat the peel. The truth is, he pretty much inhales anything you put in front of him and even what you don’t, and I do not qualify that as anything edible. He regularly consumes my socks. From what I’ve seen, there is nothing, except the aforementioned scallions, that Mugsy deems unfit for consumption. You get my drift.

This is not to say he doesn’t desire his “prescribed diet” of dog food when it presents itself, which contains not entirely meat, but a fair degree of meat (again, misconceptions from a dogless childhood: dog food is made from ground up meat.) In actuality, dog food is made from meat byproducts, which I have concluded means ground up bones and skin and whatever is left hanging on between the two, and things like corn meal, peas, carrots, potatoes… you know, vegetables!

I asked my neighbor Alice what her dog Sarah likes to consume in the way of human food. Sarah, in spite of her mixed breed heritage, is very regal in features and stature and behaves with the utmost decorum at all times, giving one the impression she could be descended from royalty. To be perfectly honest, I was expecting Alice to say something along the lines of, “Oh, you know, cucumber finger sandwiches and cavier with sour cream on toast.” She surprised me, however, by scoffing at my suggestion that Sarah would ever come in contact with human food in the first place. “Don’t you know,” she said, wagging a finger at me, eyebrows knitted together in consternation, “that people food is bad for dogs???” That was the end of that conversation, as I tucked my tail between my legs and slunk home. Of course I know this! Don’t we all?? But to be fair, it’s not like I feed Mugsy Doritos and Hostess Twinkies. I mean, really, how could a little broccoli be bad for him??

Which leaves me wondering if dogs were carnivorous to begin with, and those wily, scheming dog food producers figured out if they substituted a portion of vegetables for meat, not only would they make a healthy profit but the dogs would learn to like it over time; in fact, have evolved into a state of omnivorism as a result…Or have dogs always been omnivorous and I just didn’t know it? OR, are dogs vegetarians at heart, and we just won’t let them be true to their nature?

In Mugsy’s case, I blame it on his environment. He is, after all, living in Ashland. While I myself have resisted the pressure to ‘go vegan’ here, most people don’t have my strength of character. It is through sheer willpower that I don’t succumb, and shun everything that has any connection to anything that grazes, pecks, browses, or stands still while you squeeze its mammary glands without benefit of courtship. Mugsy, clearly, is more easily influenced by his environment.

It’s okay, the truth is, I find that if I give him little samples of raw vegetables as I’m preparing a meal he’s more responsive to my directions, like come, sit, and stay.  This is good practice for other facets of ‘real life.’ Now if only I could be fast enough on my feet to whip out the broccoli when he snatches my socks out of the dryer and takes off running.

Let’s face it, my dog is probably (okay, IS) retarded

Posted in Prose with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 27, 2009 by 1writegirl

Alas, while I have known for some time that my spastic but adorable puppy Mugsy is not what you might call “gifted” in the matter of, well, grey matter, I am recently forced to consider the possibility that he may indeed actually be mentally retarded. Severely mentally retarded, or in today’s politically correct lingo, mentally challenged. I say this not because of the annoying but typical behaviors puppies might engage in, such as chewing, running off with your freshly laundered socks and hiding them underneath the couch to be retrieved at a later date (then forgetting them), or even misunderstanding the word “toy” to mean, not his ball or stuffed animal or bone which he is given outright, but rather, anything that belongs to you and you care about. No, I say this because of the following persistent, troublesome behavior regularly engaged in by Mugsy.

When he’s let outside to do his business and placed on his long yard-lead, he proceeds immediately to run with vigor and purpose off into the grass and straight for the wooden pole that at one time, this being an old farm, was probably some sort of wooden farm pole. He has no interest in the pole itself, he just wants to be in that general vicinity. He dodges left, then right, then left, and so on and so forth, so that in a matter of ten seconds or less (yes, I’ve timed him), he has wrapped himself around the pole so many times that he is on the verge of strangling. No amount of demonstrating on my part about how to back track, no visual cues, commands or attention grabbing words (you fucking idiot! still leaves him unfazed) have any effect on him. Nor has he learned to avoid the pole, or simply to walk in a straight line. Even allowing him a few minutes to figure it out for himself is a complete waste of everyone’s time, not to mention an assault on our ears, as he proceeds to howl from the moment he realizes what has happened until someone, typically me, heads over to him to relieve him of his predicament.

Now this is bad enough. But when he’s released from his pole bondage condition (I expect the sexually adventurous among you are wondering if he might actually seek out this pole bondage, however I assure you, this is not the case), he makes a beeline straight back into the house, where, because he didn’t do his business outside like he was supposed to, he finds himself obliged, with all due haste and ceremony, to pee right smack in the middle of the floor (never mind those pesky newspapers put down for the very purpose of catching just such accidents.)

Now there are other behaviors as well which call into question Mugsy’s mental acumen, but I’ll spare you the gory details. I’ll just say this. If there were a laboratory test whereby a family pet could be hooked up to electrodes that would flash and glow at the merest hint of brain activity, I fear Mugsy’s headgear would remain depressingly un-lit, no matter the angle, snugness of fit, or duration of its attachment.

Fortunately for Mugsy, he has something going for him which, coincidentally, seems to serve the human community equally well. No matter how unintelligent he is, how stubbornly disobedient or pathologically obtuse, he’s got that cuteness factor working in his favor. Sort of the ‘dumb blonde’ deal. I can only wonder if, like humans do, he’ll lose his looks with age. Then I’ll be left with a retarded dog who isn’t even cute.

Oi. I’d rather not think about that right now.