Friday, February 3, 2017

The Super Bowl According to Dogs

I wrote this several years ago but thought I'd bring it back in honor of Super Bowl weekend.

The Super Bowl, According to Dogs

“What a boring football game! Lots of goodies on the coffee table. Are you thinking what I’m thinking?’
“I’m thinking of snatching that sausage and running for a touch down.”
“OK, go for it and I’ll block for you to stall them. “
“I’ll grab it when they least expect it.”
“Quick, they’re preoccupied right now by the Budweiser ad.”
“Oh, no, she saw you grab it. Look out, he‘s trying to tackle you. Don’t worry. I’ve got your back. Head for the kitchen and save half for me.”
“Oh, was I supposed to share?”
“Brat! Next time you block.”

THE NOISE


Mary had just put a load of laundry in the washer when she heard THE NOISE. She knew her husband, Tom was in the kitchen so she dismissed it as having come from one of his projects, which on occasion, could get quite noisy. Meanwhile, he assumed THE NOISE came from something she was doing in the basement.
That is, until they were eating lunch together and THE NOISE resumed.
“What IS that?” asked Tom. 
“I don’t know,” said Mary. I heard it earlier and thought it was you.”
“Maybe it’s the washer,” Tom suggested and he went to the basement to check it out.
“Well, I have no idea what it is. It sounded like it was coming from the washer but now it’s stopped. I have to run some errands but if you hear it again, let me know. We may have to call to have it repaired.”
Mary was relaxing with a good book when she heard THE NOISE again. With some trepidation, she descended the stairs to the basement. She stood by the wash machine for ten minutes but the washer only made its usual noises.
No sooner had she sat down to enjoy the intriguing story, when THE NOISE interrupted. Why do you always have to wait until I get to the best part? she muttered.
She removed the last load from the washer and put it in the dryer, figuring this would be the end to THE NOISE and she could enjoy reading in peace.
THE NOISE seemed to have other ideas and the banging seemed louder than ever to Mary. By now, she was not only exasperated, but somewhat frightened. She called Tom.
“It can’t be the washer. The wash is done.”
“I hope we don’t have squirrels in the basement again,” said Tom.
“Me, too.”
Flickertail, the llama was trying to snooze in the barn and was also disturbed by THE NOISE every time he started to doze off. However, he had more success in pinning down the source. He had a view of the side door of the house from his vantage point and noticed it banging against the siding as the wind blew, intermittently.
With his head, he tried to push the door closed so it would latch but the door resisted. Nosing it open, he discovered a plastic bag hanging from the inside door knob. Whatever was inside was bulky enough to keep the door from closing properly.
Mary, seeing Flickertail at the door from her kitchen window, was about to scold him for making so much noise and scaring Tom and her. As she opened the door, Flickertail showed her the bag. She opened it and discovered a wreath inside and a note from her friend, Lois.
“What a lovely and thoughtful gift,” said Mary.
Only later did she check her voice mail to find she could have saved Tom and herself several hours of needless worry.

7 year itch

Wow! That seven years went by quickly. My Flickertail and Paint book contract expires in a few days and will no longer be available on Amazon or anywhere else for that matter. In fact, all of my books will be out of print by the end of the year. I'm debating self publishing them and making them available as ebooks. Flickertail and Paint, Barnyard Sleuths is my most popular book.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Clothes Hangers and Chamber Pots


The other day, a neighbor, with a surplus of plastic hangers asked me if I could use some. I thanked her and carried them home. I chuckled as it reminded me, about 60 years ago, my mom asked me to take some hangers over to a neighbor. I did it but I objected on the grounds that it was embarrassing to walk down the street with hangers. My mom put things into perspective with a funny comment. "Well it's not like I am asking you to walk down the street with a turd in a chamber pot."
     Even 60 years ago, I couldn't think of a single person who would have wanted a turd in a chamber pot.

Door to Door

After ringing the doorbell, she stood on the stoop waiting for someone to answer. She could see someone moving inside so she tried knocking on the door. A young man finally answered. Taking in his disheveled appearance and pajamas, she said, “Oh I woke you. I’m so sorry. I’ll just leave you with this.” She took a pamphlet from her sample case. “I hope you can get back to sleep.” 
“What’s this?” he asked grumpily. “Watch Tower?”
“No, Fuller Brush.”
“Oh, my mom used to buy Fuller Brush.”
“Mine, too,” she replied.
“Really! I didn’t know it had been around that long!”
She chuckled.
He blushed and said, “Sorry, I didn’t mean to imply that you are old.”
Still chuckling, she said, “It is what it is. I’m supplementing my Social Security.”
He laughed and accepted the pamphlet.
She turned to leave. “Sweet Dreams.”
“Come back,” he called out.
“Sure, just call the number on the back and I’ll be happy to show you the products at your convenience.”
“No, I mean now. You remind me of my grandma,” he added impishly with a twinkle in his eye.

Monday, June 8, 2015

chapter 4 mike and deke

“Do you want to go to Alice’s?” asked Mike. I danced around barking. Alice is Mike’s best friend. Mine too. I ran out to the Jeep, in an effort to encourage Mike to get a move on. I hope she’s making lasagna.
Alice greeted us at the door and let us in. I definitely caught the scent of lasagna along with freshly made dog biscuits. Store bought dog biscuits are fine but Alice’s are so much better. She offered me one. I didn’t turn it down.
“How did your meeting with Jim go?”
“OK but I had to do some fast talking after Deke jumped overboard. I really hope I’m going to be able to trust him to have my back when it counts. He knows everything he needs to know, he has the instincts and the skills to be an effective canine partner, and we certainly have a bond. But he just doesn’t seem to know when it’s time to play and when it’s time to work.”
Alice thought it over for a while. “Have you ever worked with him on the boat?”
“No, we’ve always used the dog trainer’s boat for water training.”
“So, Deke associates your boat with fun times. Did you use any signals or commands to let him know he needed to be in work mode?”
“Not until he jumped overboard. I put him in a down stay. He behaved himself after that.”
“Sounds like your answer then, doesn’t it?”

Mike slapped himself lightly across the forehead. “How could I have forgotten something so basic? Thanks, Alice.”

Saturday, June 6, 2015

chapter 3 mike and deke

Chapter 3
I can tell Mike is nervous about making a good impression on our new client so I am feeling on edge too.
I hope I won’t have to get a bath. I love water but hold the soap.
I watch Mike pile up the paraphernalia he would be packing into the Jeep. Hmm, it looks like we’re going boating. This day might not be so bad after all. I started to get excited and I even helped by carrying what I could in my mouth.
My first load out to the Jeep, I can see the boat is already hooked up. YES. This day just got a whole lot better.
We have the boat in the water with everything in place on board, when the client arrives. Mike throws him a lifejacket and we’re ready to go.
“I thought this was going to be about business. What’s with the dog?”
“His name is Deke and he’s my partner,” said Mike. If Mike had hackles, they’d be rising. “When we’re working, he goes wherever I go.”
The man sighed. “Very well.” He squatted in front of me, reached out a hand to pet my head, and said, “Hi Deke, I’m Jim.”
About a half hour later, Mike drops anchor, offers Jim refreshment and they start discussing the case and Mike’s terms. I’m starting to dose off when I hear a splash.
Whoa! A fish!!! Before I knew what had happened, I heard another splash and realized it was me. Oops, that can’t be good. The client’s eyes narrowed and his brows furrowed into a unibrow. “Just what does your dog think he’s doing out there?” he growled.
Mike turned to look at me like he was surprised to see me in the water and seriously considering how in the world I might have gotten in it. “I have no idea what he’s thinking, but I think he’s doing the dog paddle. Yes,” he added thoughtfully,” It’s definitely the dog paddle. It’s the only stroke he knows.”
After what seemed like several tense minutes, but was only seconds, the man guffawed and slapped Mike on the back. Mike calmly reached for the boat hook, snagged the handle in my life jacket and pulled me in.
“Looks like you’ve done that a few times before,” Jim laughed.
By the disappointed look on Mike’s face, I suspected I’d screwed up. He confirmed it, when he put me in a down stay. Softly, he said, “I need to know you’re safe. Please behave yourself.”
He couldn’t have made me feel worse. I was worried he might start questioning his ability to depend on me when he needed me the most on the job. I licked his hand in apology and he patted me on the head.

He seated himself beside Jim and described my water retrieval skills as if this scene had been planned. Jim seemed impressed and I finally realized the importance of working together and depending on each other.

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