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Doh!: A deer, a female deer

September 26th 2009 11:02 am
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Ray: A golden drop of sun

Me: A name I call myself

Fa: A long, long, way...

Wait an arfing minute. That makes no sense at all. Not even if you're from Bahston.

And golden drops of sun are all very well in their place, I'm sure. But the focal point of my story is the doe.

And the me.

I'm Dexter. My partner is the biped. We were working the early morning shift out of Garland Park. Our job: Chase things.

It was a nippy morning in Carmel Valley. The biped and I were headed for the Mesa Pond--same old, same old. It was a little buggy for late September. I didn't mind. I'm a dog. A large dog.

When we got to the pond, there was no one in evidence but a great blue heron. Just standing on the opposite bank like he owned the place. The biped didn't want to bother with him, but I decided he needed to be interrogated. I approached him with all four paws in plain sight. He took flight. I gave chase. He made good his escape. You win some. You lose some. There'd be another day for the heron. There always is.

I investigated the scene thoroughly, then the biped and I went back on patrol: We continued generally southnorthward on the Mesa trail to its junction with the Vaquero trail, where we made a sharp left and continued down hill.

I went on ahead to see what I could scare up, leaving the biped to sweep the trail for stragglers.

Some minutes later, I came upon a pair of adolescent mule deer. Or possibly they were white-tail deer. All deer look alike in the dark, as the saying goes. And these two looked like they could use the privacy, if you know what I mean.

When the pair spotted me, the young buck said, I'm pretty sure he's here to see you, honey. I've got to go point Percy at the pavement. I'll be right back. And with that, he bounded off nonchalantly through the underbrush.

Maybe he was trying to draw me off. Maybe he really did have to point Percy at the pavement--though there wasn't any for two miles in any direction. Either way, I wasn't having any of it.

Your parents know where you are, young lady? I asked the doe.

Look! she yelled, pointing one dainty hoof over my shoulder.

When I turned my magnificent head to look, she lit out like a shot out of a firecracker, making a dog-awful crashing through the underbrush.

But I was on her like stink on ugly or stupid on a cat, as the saying goes. And I'd've caught up with her, too, if the biped hadn't started blowing his whistle just about then.

I put on the brakes like a Ural falling off a cliff and headed back to see what was up.

What's up, Boss? I said when I reestablished contact with the biped.

You know that heron, Dexter?

The great blue one?

That's the one.

What about it?

Turns out it's turned up missing.


You know something about it, Dexter?

Not a thing, Boss.

Well, any way you look at it, Dexter, we're going to have to get you back to the station and bathed. The lieutenant wants to see you.



The long arm of the law...

September 8th 2009 3:41 pm
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...of unintended consequences bites him in the arse again.

Since that time before which the memory of dog runneth not to the contrary--and then some, I believe--the biped's front office windows have not opened. It's not that they were defective; it's just that they were not windows of the opening kind.

And the biped, I have only just learned, has long been dissatisfied with this derangement. One of the reasons, it seems, that he found his unopenable windows irksome, in addition to the poor ventilation, was yours truly, if you can believe such a thing.

It seems that, when I am out in the front yard, I sometimes bark, for reasons which either are not apparent to the biped, or which, being perfectly apparent, are, in his considered opinion, nevertheless inadequate. He would like to have been able to communicate his disapproval to me without leaving his office, walking across the front of the house, and opening the front door--what the lazy bastard wanted were windows that actually opened and could therefore be effectively yelled through.

All that has only just now been explained to me. I knew nothing about any of it until just minutes ago.

All I knew was that I got banished to the back yard quite early this morning, right after a couple of strangers in a white pickup truck showed up. And I stayed banished for several hours, during which time I heard much banging and sawing going on at the front of the house.

Finally, a few minutes ago, the biped released me from the back yard. Then he went back in the house to return to whatever sort of "work" it is he claims he does.

I had been wandering around inspecting my domain for some minutes before I noticed that anything was amiss. Then I suddenly realized that a part of the house that had never stuck out before was now sticking out. Having had no previous experience of casement windows, I had no idea what it was.

Well, of course, I did what any self respecting canine would have done, Littermates--what you would have done in my place--I barked at it! And barked and barked and barked. Until the biped came and gently explained to me, through the new window, that I should... ahem... shut the arf up.

I'm not sure whether that's ironic, or whether it's just what happened. But, either way, it is.


Sometimes, a dog likes a little privacy, that's all.

August 27th 2009 5:15 pm
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So, yesterday evening, we're out for our daily stroll, the biped and I, and I begin to feel the need to spit on somebody's lawn, as it were. And, as luck would have it, there is a very nice lawn just sitting there practically asking to be spat upon.

The owners of said lawn happened to be standing right there watching us go by, as it turns out. I myself was perfectly prepared to provide a public demonstration of my prowess, but the biped can be a real pain about these things. Apparently, he prefers not to have me spit on someone's lawn when they're standing right there watching, even though he does faithfully clean up after me.

So, when he realized I was getting antsy, he tugged me right along to the corner and thence across the street. To an absolutely barren patch of ground that he seemed to think would do nicely. But, by this time, he had succeeded in inducing in me an utterly uncharacteristic sort of shyness--I no longer wanted to do my business right there in front of God and everybody. I was having none of it.

So the biped sighed and led me on.

Presently, we were walking along next to the new Spreckels Elementary School building. The building is only about two and a half feet from the sidewalk. That two and a half feet, however, is very tastefully landscaped with bushes and ground cover and such.

By now, of course, I really had to spit, but I was still feeling shy about doing it right out in the open. So I sought privacy in the bushes next to the school. And it seemed to me that I had achieved it, too. I pushed head first into the bushes just as far as I could go before assuming the position and doing the deed.

That being the case, it is not quite clear to me how I ended up spitting right smack dab in the middle of the sidewalk.

But I did.


Mr. Dillon, Mr. Dillon!

August 1st 2009 10:47 am
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Miss Kitty down to the Long Branch says to come quick!

As I was saying, the biped and I ran into a couple of very old friends this morning at Garland Park--the Treat Pocket Lady and her now genuinely geriatric yellow lab bitch, Peaches.

It's a shame, really, how other dogs and people seem to age so.

When last heard from, as you may recall, Peaches was demurely sitting her vent down on the trail, so as to fend off my olfactory attentions. This morning, the best she could manage was sort of a half squat. Don't get me wrong--it's an alluring posture and all, but still... a bit sad.

When we first met, some four years ago, I think, Peaches was, as I recall, seven. Which, I confess, seemed positively ancient to me at the time. But here she is, all these years later, still plugging along at the ripe old age of... what? 10? 11? 17? Something like that. Inspiring I suppose, in a doddering, arthritic sort of way.

And, if I may be forgiven an ungentlemanly comment, the Treat Pocket Lady is no spring chicken herself. While the biped, who apparently recalls dogs' names better than people's, correctly addressed Peaches as Peaches, the Treat Pocket Lady had the temerity to call me Chester!

Well, I never!


Bobbing for koiz

July 29th 2009 3:56 pm
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Simply irresistible--that's me.

While many beings, both sentient and less so, seem to experience very little difficulty resisting the biped's charms--and that is assuming, of course, that they are even able to locate and perceive said charms--nobody can resist yours truly, not even the slimy little fishities.

While the biped is busy contemplating such esoteric minutia as how best to paint the fuzz on a bumble bee's arse, or further discourage paying customers from interrupting him with their idiotic phone calls, I am engaged in a 24/7 (well, OK, maybe 4/7) charm offensive.

And I have now won even the koi over to my side (the feeder-fish comets, Betty and Veronica, are still playing hard to get, but they'll come around).

As I believe I have mentioned a life time or two ago, I love to drink out of the koi pond. I don't give a flying arf about the fish themselves, but I appreciate the fine "nose" they impart to the water. So, whenever I am allowed into the hot tub/deck/koi pond annex, I immediately commence slurping from the koi pond (unless, of course, there is someone simmering in the hot tub, in which case I may opt for some nice hot broth).

I have never offered the koi the slightest violence, of course. But they are nervous creatures, utterly lacking a Gordon setter's bold joy de vivre, so I took no offence at their initial tendency to skulk on the opposite side of the pond while I was drinking.

Gradually, though, they seemed to grow used to me and paid me less and less attention. That, at least, was the biped's take on their behavior. He could not conceive that they were developing a real affection--nay, admiration--for my person.

Until two mornings ago, when he was privileged to observe all ten of the koiz actually flocking (if that is what fish do) to kiss my shiny black flews while I was engaging in my pre-breakfast hydration.

Lovely creatures, koi, in a scaly sort of way.

I hope I have not done them a disservice by teaching them that the bipeds' domestic mammals are trustworthy, honorable, and charming.

Phoebe is none of those things.


A Fred hOMage

July 27th 2009 9:26 am
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Apparently, I'm not supposed to pee upstairs, either. Who knew?


Bird shadow, bird shadow

June 26th 2009 8:42 am
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Well, Littermates, I believe the great black and tan hunter is starting to look pretty good to the bipeds, who once scorned him for his apparent lack of true "birdiness." Because, you see, whatever else you may say about bird shadows, you cannot deny that they are neat and clean--no muss, no fuss, no messy clean up. Whether you catch them, or whether you don't, you don't get a mouth full of feathers. Or a house full, either.

Whereas, little Miss Phoebe, the indoor/outdoor catch-and-kill hunting phenom, has become quite "birdie" indeed. Two straight consecutive nights in a row, while all sane bipeds and their ever-faithful Gordon setters have slept the sleep of the just, she has ventured out through le catdoor, as she insists on calling it, captured one of our little feathered friends, brought it inside to toy with it (whether alive or dead at that point, we do not know), left the grisly remains on the living room floor amidst a sea of feathers, and then--no doubt with a well satisfied grin on her evil little face--retired to the bedroom, curled up atop the bipedess, and slept the remainder of the night away in dreams of feathered mayhem.

So yours truly is looking like the good pet these days. I'm banking it.


Back by popular demand

June 15th 2009 10:59 am
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Well, the biped's latest birthday has come and gone. As has Flag Day. And here it is the one-th anniversary of the kickoff of the 2008 PupPal Tour. And what are we doing to mark the occasion? Not a thing, Littermates, not an arfin' thing.

I haven't even been in DexCorp 1 in a month of Sundays. Granted, the weather here in Greater Metropolitan Spreckels has been pretty abysmal lately. But that's all the more reason to hit the road and head for more salubrious climes, is it not? Apparently, it is not.

Unless, by hitting the road once means driving the Subaru up to Oregon in a couple of days. And by more salubrious climes one means staying just about as close to the ocean but going much further north. And I don't think I do. Mean either one of those things, I mean.

The biped just turned 58, which, as he never tires of pointing out, is "practically 60." I think his strategy is to get used to being 60 early, so that he'll scarcely notice it when it actually happens.

Meanwhile, I am just over 5 1/2. The biped tells me that makes me somewhere around 38 in human terms. Still in my prime of course, but no longer a pup. He likes to tell me that in another four years--if we're both lucky--I'll be older than he is.

Won't that be just arfing lovely?

PS: Thanks once again to all the great folks who put us up (and put up with us) last summer. You're all welcome here any time (though perhaps not at the same time).


I may be dumb, but I'm not stupid.

May 9th 2009 1:38 pm
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Well, Littermates, it has been an excellent day so far.

The biped and I got up at a little before six this morning. The first thing we discovered--to our unanimous amazement, I assure you--was Phoebe, that young hussy, pacing back and forth on the outside windowsill next to the back door. Apparently, she had been locked out all night, owing to a... ahem... wardrobe malfunction. It seems that she had misplaced her magnetic collar somewhere--left it in some Tom's litter box, I shouldn't wonder--and without it, she cannot enter through the cat door!

When the biped opened the back door to let me out--thank you, my good man!--Phoebe rushed right in without so much as pausing to hear my sincere condolences on her misfortune. Cats!

Once the biped and I had taken care of our respective morning duties, we hoped in/on DexCorp 1 and headed for Garland Park. Where at least one of us had a positively delightful morning chasing red-wing blackbird shadows.

Now then, I may be dumb, but I am not stupid. Or have I already mentioned that? No matter--you just cannot be too repetitious when you are dealing with simpletons. Not that I'm saying you are a simpleton. Necessarily.

Anyway, I am fully aware that birds and bird shadows are related phenomena. What with one being both causally and temporally connected to the other and whatnot. And if I do not know precisely which causes which, or which came first, or why either might wish to cross the road... well, I am in very good company, I assure you. Some of your best wheelchair-bound cosmologists admit to not really knowing which way is up. And not even Sir Isaac Newton every succeeded in discovering why the philosopher's chicken crossed the road.

So it is not the case that I am not aware of birds. I have even been known to flush a bird or two from time to time. It is just that I am interested in birds only to the extent that I know birds to be inextricably linked to their shadows. A bird just sitting on the ground, or in a bush, is of interest to me only to the extend that I know that, if I persuade him to take to the air, he will then produce a very chasable shadow. And I love chasing shadows.

So the biped was having a good laugh at my expense this morning (little does he know I’m using his credit card!) because, he says, he had never seen a dog so enjoying being dive bombed by blackbirds. The birds, he says, were attempting to drive me away from their nesting area. And I was loving it! My tail-wagging muscles will be sore for a week! By repeatedly diving upon my very dogson, the blackbirds kept me supplied with a veritable flock of shadows for upwards of half an hour. I must have run a dozen of them to ground.

Birds are so stupid!


If I had my way...

April 30th 2009 3:53 pm
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...I would burn this old biped down.

Well, I'm pretty sure my strength was already as natural as any old dog. Any old particularly magnificent Gordon Setter, anyway. There was no need to shave me all. arfing. over.

Yes, that's right, Littermates--I have once again been reduced to rat-tailed Dexter the black and tan coon hound. It's humiliating. It's degrading. It's dedoganizing.

The only positive thing about it--and I forget every year how lovely this feels (that's right, I did say lovely--you wanna make something of it?)--is that the family jewels are once again swaying in the pre-summer breeze. Ah!

Here is an interesting tidbit that you may not have known--certainly I didn't--according to Linda, the PetSmart groomer, if you shave all the hair off a pair as pendulous as mine, they become subject to sunburn. So she left a little on for the shade. Probably a wise precaution, considering that the sun so routinely shines right out of my vent.

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