References to Acme and DW are to old versions of the Acme Pet and Dog World message boards. 
A Puddle of Dogged Reflection (on losing a dog) In Dogged Pursuit of the Doodle Briefly Squeaking: A Wee Poodle History
Get the Baby The Perils of Pearl
A Miller's Tale
Flesh Ecstasy Hosed Down
Fire and Ice The Sultans of Swing The Best German Shepherd




A Puddle of Dogged Reflection~

Pack up the babies and grab the old ladies! Sister Lazer is about to testify! Through the halo (by the way, Diana Ross failed to recognize that word and apparently nobody else noticed it either, thus her song, "Reflections" forever immortalized the phrase "Through the 'hollow' of my tears." There could be a metaphor there somewhere about my words ringing hollow, but never mind digging into it now. We shall move right along. Where were we? Oh, yes: Through the halo of my tears, I see a dog that's lost...

Well, we all know from the minute that a dog enters our lives, its time with us is finite. The clock is ticking. Still, knowing the pain and sorrow such a loss shall cause us, we continue on. Time after time. Dogs of our lifetime.

Now, let's get all maudlin, here. I loath it when that happens. I know Carl Maldin meant well, but despite his advice, let's leave home without it. This writer shall not and you readers may not maudlin-out amid essay. I 'm not a card-carrying sentimentalist. If you're expecting me to imbue our canines with anthropomorphic (Oh my. big words. Let's rest a moment. OK. I'm feeling better. Are y'all all right? Good!) schmaltz, you'll be disappointed.

There shall be no gushing over with Baby Love. (Something Diana did manage to correctly pronounce.) We Poodle people get enough bad press as it is. And, while I'm on the topic, I've never once seen a blue-haired matron dripping diamonds and toting a Toy Poodle on her sleeve. As a matter of fact, most of the Toy Poodles I've known would far rather eat bugs, chase squirrels and cause general mayhem.

However, generally, neither the press nor literature has been too kind with their broad over-generalizations of my breed. As I recall, only James Herriot had the good grace to make his flop-botted Tricky-Woo another breed. We shall not name it. Oh, baby love.

No baby love. No schmaltz here. Just the blessing of loving canines for the joy they bring Each dog we own is different and as we go through our lives loving our dogs, sharing our lives with our dogs, there will come that time certain when our dog dies. We are left grief-stricken. Weeping. We are pitiful. We are wretched. Carrying around an empty dog collar. That is the price of loving a dog. (We're lookin' at ghosts and empties, as Paul Simon sang, after Art left. Art was never here but, y'all are likely beginning to smell that.) We knew the terrible day would come. We understood it is worth it. The years of joy shared with our dogs are worth the pain of loss!

If we are lucky, over the course of our lifetime, we will come to love and understand each unique dog we own, and then that dog shall die and it shall cause our hearts to shatter all over again into a thousand pieces. No two dogs are ever alike. People who think one is the same as the next, or that they may ever again own a pup like their last, are sadly mistaken. Their last dog was one of a kind.

Each dog's death leaves a new hole in the heart that never quite mends. If we are fortunate enough to live a long life, (made longer by our canines, let's not forget and also, by reading this rediculous essay!) we will all have hearts like swiss cheese and we will have lived all our days with God's gift of resounding love, our unique dog. Each one special. Each dog measuring a span of our life and each dog enriching our experience on earth.

Dogs don't care for long goodbyes. Much better is a cheerful greeting. Our dogs do not like us to feel sad for too long. Our dogs seem to understand that life's a circle, like a poodle in a joyful tailspin. (Oh, all right. Picky. So, I got in one tiny plug for my breed!) Our dogs don't wish us to mourn and cry for too long. Much better; a play bow greeting for a new puppy. Much better; to begin again with the next great adventure. Much better; to have loved and lost.

I'm off to play hide and seek. This unique dog of mine smiles when I "hide" in the shower. She sticks her nose in through the curtain just so, to let me know she does not suffer a fool like me for too long and therefore, we'd better get on with the game!

Dogs make us understand life's circle is a renewal of joy. We know that in our lifetime, there will never be any other dog like this one. And, if we are blessed, we shall carry in our swiss cheese hearts the echoes of each dog's uniquely joyful bark and we shall reflect with gratitude upon God's temporary gift of stewardship, each time we see the flash of life and love in our new pup's eyes. Amen, Y'all!

(This concludes Sister's Lazer's evening service, caninely squeaking. Howling Lulu! ROFL) Make a joyful noise unto the board! 




Back to top

In Dogged Pursuit Of The Doodle:
Or, WHY The Art Of Housebreaking Our Canines Is So Important.

A couple (one half of which, a Floored Board might know) collects antique advertising posters. Let us call this imaginary pair: "Moe and Curly." One reading this shaggy dog story, could strongly suspect one has oft sniffed the fuzzy tales of the curlier of this bracing, caninely fictional pair of nuts. Thus, let us unleash the plotz:

 One day, Moe mumbled "Hey, Curly! That restaurant with the fancy Yuppy Puppy Chow is closing. I wonder if the new owner will be selling all those fabulous genuine Art Deco advertising posters which adorned the walls? I seem to recall that there were several Zigs and Gesmars."

 Curly said "The restaurantís toney food was doomed. -All corn fillers. And, no doggie bags. So, no wonder! What do you have in mind, Moe? Are you thinking then, I guess, more of zigging toward locating the new owner of the place?"

 Said Moe "I yam in deed, Curly!. Iím going to dig around. And, by the way, as DeLite sang to the rest of the group, Your groove, I do deeply dig." -For Moe was a man of gentle Southern charm and therefore, he intoned a graceful acceptance of wee Curlyís quirky speech patterns, for the groove; like the song of delight, was in the heart. (Or, perhaps, Moe was most mercifully hard of hearing.)

 In Dogged Pursuit Of The Doodle, Moe dug like a Terrier in search of choice bones He located the new owner. Yes, the man was selling all the Deco posters. And, Yes, Moe and Curly could come right on over to his home; where the treasure was being stored! Oh, hot puppies!!!

This adventure would be like discovering a crate full of enormous treats! There was much excitement and great wagging of tales, as Moe and Curly trotted to the restaurant ownerís kennel. Along route, Curly said to Moe "I wonder if this guy is a dog person?"(For, Curly believed those who loved dogs were the best folks to deal with.)

 Said Moe "Believe so! I heard something squeaking pleasantly in the background while I was talking to him on the phone."

"Oh, joy!" said Curly. "We have a chance then. Weíll talk dogs to this guy! Then, heel give us a better deal, I feel, re: our mutual squeal-appeal!"

 "WHAT?" said Moe.

Moe and Curly zoomed along in the BIS neighborhood where the gentleman with his unwanted posters and his pleasant squeaker-dog lived. "Good grief!" said Moe. "Thereís the house! Look at the size of those pillars! Look at that front door! Itís a palace. We are doomed, wee Curly one." muttered Moe.

 "I wonder if there will be a butler?" whispered Curly all a-tremble.

 "Oh, Hades!" said Moe, while patting down his rough coat and straightening his collar, as they walked up the manicured lawnís stone path toward the imposing double doors. "Oh, Hades!" said Curly right back at Moe and then she said "Iím kinda worried about this deal. Maybe we ought to leave! What did this guy sound like on the phone, Moe?"

 Moe replied, "Curly, I could hardly understand a thing he said! I donít think he is from any place around here."

 Said Curly, "Well, where is he from? Do you know? Perhaps we could chat about that too, along with the subject of dogs! Maybe it might help soften the price of our would be Zigs and Gesmars."

"I donít have a clue!" said Moe. "It was absolutely like no accent Iíve ever heard before in my entire life! Better stick with discussing dogs."

 Just as Curly rang the chimes and Moe struck the shining brass door-knocker, a shadow crossed the frosted panes of leaded glass and the doors swung open! It was the restaurantís new owner! Moe gulped and Curly tried not to do the submissive urination thing, at the sight of this enormous exotic Alpha Dog from a very unusual pack.

 The Big Dog showed his full set of expensive teeth and made a sweeping gesture of welcome! Curly and Moe crossed the threshold into the foyer, which was covered in the most magnificent enormous Aubusson carpet.

The carpet, in turn, was covered with the most magnificent assortment of, what appeared to be Unwrapped Tootsie Roll Minis! - A veritable truckload of Mini Tootsie Rolls had most surely exploded and landed right there, smack in the elegant plush.

 The reader might remember Princess Di in her protective shield. The reader might think of a PBS special on the caves full of bat guano. The reader might hold his nose.

 Curly jabbed Moe in his ribs, by way of a warning and also by way of a signal NOT to burst into absolutely hysterical laughter while traversing this dangerous Aubusson Mine Field of canine excrement to reach the Decorous riches.

Up until now, nobody had uttered a single sound. -Just hand-shaking and tooth-showing and some head-bobbing; by way of mutual greeting, had been going on. It was time for somebody to speak the first word!

 Moe said to our gracious host "You have a lovely home, sir!" Curly nodded in agreement, while trying not to squash a fresh Tootsie Roll with her right purple suede designer shoe. -A little something Moe caught out of the corner of his eye and which caused Moe to say , most unfairly to Curly , under his breath "Smells ripe for a swift profit and a careful exit!" (Curly again bonked Moe in his ribs and bit her tongue to prevent major giggling and far worse.)

 In response to Moeís compliment, our host smiled broadly and he replied "Freem fribble! Sqeamly fram-u-lations!" ( Or, it was something along those lines.)

 Moe said "Might we see the posters?"

 Our host said "Flem-but naturally! Sqibble frump-lump frem and loot -toot squeeble!" They took him at his word, and carefully, very carefully followed him down the hall. And, -There THEY ALL WERE! -The most wonderful array of posters! "Holy Zig!" zagged Moe!

"Great jumping Gesmars" expressed Curly con brio, her entire head whirling like a Linda Blareful of beans, in a canine Deco poster version of ĎThe Exorcist.'

"What is your price, sir?!" mumbled Moe, his glazed expression twice normal,due to the recent issue settled there on his tasseled shoe. - The left, I believe, it was.

 "Frem-frem! Frabble de dart de Deco! Em could be sumple-mumple wambo-wumbo!" said our amiable host.

 And, of course he was absolutely correct! The posters were in deed, seriously and completely "Wambo-Wumbo!" And, the posters would have been even more so - Had this gentlemanís pleasant-squeaking, Tootsie Rolling Little Whizzer Dog been trained NOT TO LIFT HIS LEG upon the priceless treasures stored there, in the spare room! Oh, what a canine sumple-pumple! Oh, now not so simple, doggone it. Still-

 Moe and Curly managed to locate some stainless posters which had been spared The Spare Room Torture. Fortune had smiled upon Curly and Moe, after all! In life, one must trod through much dog doodle to reach oneís great poster expectations, reckon is the moral of this shaggy, but way true, DOG STORY.

 Moe and Curly selected the premier pee-and-poop-free posters and in sotto voce,offered a price to their host. He said "Frem-bleem! Oh-kay. Dough-kay. Rama-lama ding-dung!" (Or, words to that effect.)

 Moe and Curly carefully, carefully hauled their new old posters down the Aubusson dog poop mine field, through the great hall and, out the imposing double doors.

Every once in a while though, Curly and Moe wonder what might have happened, had only that delightful gentleman simply: Housebroken His Danged Dog!

Occasionally, Curly thinks of sending him some links on crate training. But, what the ding dung! Being a southern belle, Curly was glad to ring any Wambo-Wumbo from behind that big ding-dongís door and, to escape without two shoes full dog doodle.

 Curly and Moe crated the posters nicely and mailed them off to a Big Alpha Poster Broker in the Windy City. -Normally, a growling Rot-a-whiler, the Alpha Broker broke into the crates and he did a big belly roll and showed all his teeth with a wag!

 Thatís the Curly story of a Zig with much zag. Moe knows itís exactly so. Gesmar to this tale would be too much. (Housebreak Your Canines. Housebreak Your Canines!)

 After loading the posters in their car, Moe said to Curly, "Just LOOK at the bottom of my shoe!" She did.

Said Curly, caninely- "Yes, but is it ART?"

Said Moe,"Gesmar not."




Back to top

Briefly Squeaking: A Wee Poodle History
(As barked by LP~)

Ah oui, BB! Your readers mais well flea, best quickly tick off my tiny tale-wagging version.

 Poodle first became Poplar in Germany -Where the Puddle Dog always saw the forest, dee spite la-la tree.

Poodles,(like The Cone Heads) are really NOT from France. Poodles became popular there when it was the Frankish fad among the French peep elles (read chic chicks) to have human barbers trim Poodles into the most intricate patterns - Including: the owner's monograms, coats-of-arms and a whole lot worse then we care to put here in verse.

 During the reign (of explain) both The Lou-Lou Boyz (1715-74 & 1774-1792), (she did parlez-rap), Poodles were seen in the fashionable salons of the great French-Fried families. Canine barbers practiced their trade on the streets of Paris and alongthe banks of the Seine and the insane alike.

 During Victorian times, she said modestly and so full of virtue, the Poodle became the pampered darling of the English Upper Crust, and what crust they had, all write. (An arf-tickle, published in The Strand Magazine in 1896) devotes some fourteen pages to describing services and products available for dogs-

Including "Gold Collars" and "Sailing Clothes." Let us not malinger, but wag on and dog paddle out of the Pampered Poodle topic by quoting dis cheer:

"A made-to-measure canine driving coat in fawn cloth lined with dark red silk!" (Called the "Lonsdale") was tray shriek. This garment had a cape which fell across the dog's shoulder amd had a frill at the neck, gold bells and fur trim. Shouldering on:

 However, the orgin of the Poodle goes back much further than the Poplar Tree, or Dem Boyz Lou-Lou Wee, Or Olde Queen Vicky. Dogs similar to Poodles are seen on anicent Greek and Roman coins; dating to the time of Augustus, That Hot Emperor (around 30 AD) Clipped Poodles illuminated midieval manuscripts, the 15th Century engravings of Durer (I'm a such doer, huh?) and many paintings of the 16th and 17th centuries.

 In closing, oui mais say the Poodle is an ancient breed superior in all ways to any other. Ooops! We may think that but we may not say that! LOL

All this French twist of fuzzy thinking to say, the poodle has been Roman the face of the coin and earth for a danged long dern time and has jumped over all the puddles of fancy French-fried trims and England's crusty whims and still the Poodle remains more August than Augustus!

Just a gust from Elle Pea.

(Source: Dogs 1993 Annual and my own fuzzy thinking.)

Back to top

Get the Baby

Hiya Buffalo Gal~
Your post on teaching canines tricks proves once again you are completely at home on deranged.( I like that in a poster! ROFL)

Here's a Steve King-esque canine behavior we taught our last puddle dog. If our guests began making noises about Toy Poodles being mere fluff and not being real dogs or the like, our tiny dog got this command: "GET THE BABY!"

Our TP would be overcome with that "Canine on a mission. Red alert!" look and trot purposely from the living room on her quest, rummage loudly through her toy box and proudly return high-stepping, while carrying (clenched in her powerful canine jaws) the scale replica of a human baby. Just the HEAD.

On the command "Get the REST of the baby!" our dog would then fetch the doll's torso. She'd bring the yummy tummy into the room, and rip out either of the baby doll's pop-off arms (with much tearing and growling.) The baby's arms pooped out with a most satisfyingly loud suction noise. Then, she place the baby doll's chubby pink arm at the feet of our astonished visitor.

The total effect was quite stunning and usually resulted in all guests keeping an arm's length away from any further remarks on the "Not A Real Dog" topic.
Guests understood the baby's still-missing legs might appear at any moment! And, the idea of dimpled baby knees being mauled on the Oriental was far more than even our most hardened visitors could stand. 

"The REST Of The Story"

LP, that is disturbing. And hysterical. Just enough of the macabre to make it interesting. Was this clever pup's name Paul Harvey, or Cujo? ....So, did you deliberately hide the baby parts in different places, or just how she left them after the last attack? And what DID happen to those missing legs? Regards, BG.
Hiya Buffy~
For the most part, actually it was rather fluffy behavior. Guests usually roared with laughter until various fluids drained from their assorted orifices. (Recall one toney, white wine-waver nearly lost his bridge...)

Abridged version is: Those doll parts were simply chew toys to our dog. The baby doll was made of vinyl- smelled like regular chew toys, reckon. All parts, assembled or dis, were kept in her day bed in the kitchen.

She did prefer the baby doll's head, but would, if the moment seemed right, dart up and down the halls at lightning speed, carrying a leg or an arm. Then, she'd rest finally on the powder room's cool tiles and leave the appendage du jour on the rug after. This behavior was a great surprise for any guest using the hallway powder room.

As often, our vistors would get a real leg up on more quickly discovering whether we had the two or the three ply, once they got a good gander at the life-like infant's limb lying casually akimbo there on the tub mat!

Our dog, Lily knew where it was at, Buff. (It is she there on the "YAP" canine illustrated acronym, looking deceptively sweet between the teddy bears.) She had another trick you might enjoy:
On the command "Give us a hand!" Lily would dash off to the studio and return with a huge replica of the left hand of Michelangelo's David. Just the HAND.

She had to drag Dave's enormous hand along the floor, for the most um, part. It took her quite a while. She used the "thumbs-up" method and would frequently bang into walls along the way, when say, a finger or two of Dave's tangled with the rug fringe or smacked into a table leg.

I think she was most artful and believe Mic himself would have laughed the ceiling off, upon seeing this creative new use for old Dave's digits. Toy Poodles are not for the lily-livered dog owner, Buff.

PS. Because of my remarkable self restraint, I shall not mention what happened with the replicas of Dave's eye, his nose and that one unfortunate incident with Dave's big ear! Well, maybe just the one eerie tale; The ear is STILL missing. That's all I'm going to say on the subject.


Back to top

Mill over "The Perils Of Pearl"
- a serial tale without end.

Thought I'd recount the story of one mill dog.
Here's where I came in:

Our neighbors believe I'm one of those "nutty dog people." This means they call me to shell out everything "doggone-it-all-ish" (real quotes follow) FROM: "Why is our Mugsy vomiting? Do you think it was the tomato and onion casserole and the pork chops he had for his dinner? We ate that same thing and we didn't get sick!" TO: "There's a stray dog in our yard. Will you come get it right now?"

The answers are "Yes" and "Yes." Doggone it all anyway-

A neighbor calls. "LP, there's a mean looking grey mutt in my yard and its just leaning against the side of our house. Its been there for several hours now out in the rain. The dog is shaking and it seems sick or something. Come get it, OK?"

Not really. Over I go with a leash, treats (and heavy gloves on. Just in case.) I see the wet utterly miserable and frightened dog. Why, it's a pathetic specimen of a West Highland "Grey" Terrier!

I call out "Here doggie" in a gentle voice to the Westie. Nothing. No bark. No sign of greeting. No reaction at all. I slowly approach the dog. Nothing. I allow the dog to smell my hand. Nothing. I offer the dog a treat. Nothing. I stroke the dog's head-

Ah, now we finally have something! We have fleas and plenty of them. Fleas and ticks. Fleas and ticks and mats. Fleas, ticks, mats, and mud. Fleas, ticks, mats, mud, and an ear infection. Fleas, ticks, mats, mud, an ear infection, and fecal matter. And oh look, why it's one infected paw pad from chewing it nearly down to the bone. I won't go on... You get the drift. Speaking of drift; wafting my way is bad breath, the sign of rotten teeth. Terrible smells end to end.

IIMHO- The Westie has all the signs of very recently being mill dog, all right. No response to humans because she's had so little experience with them. She's leaning against the side of the neighbor's house and walking only on the concrete areas by the pool and driveway, etc. because: She does not know what grass is and she is so terribly afraid of everything. Probably, a narrow concrete run has her only experience in what I estimated to be her six or seven years on this earth. A Terrier who has never been on the earth. Going to ground, is nothing she knows about.
I pick her up. No reaction. I carry her home. I offer her a treat and a pat, while gently placing her in the tub. A poor zombie of a dog. No reaction at all. Neither wimper nor wag. Then fun of temporary canine stewardship begins. Nearly three hours later, a white terrier, only most meagerly merrier emerges. Nothing to it. Phew. I feed her. I walk her. She relieves herself on the sidewalk only and she will not walk on the grass. I call the rescue orgs. (full up) I call the shelters. (no report) I call the radio stations. I call the newspapers and place info. I call and then I call some more. ( I also call the dog's mystery miller extremely bad names under my breath.)
Balkin' The Doggerel

When dog folks nick puppy millers in their "why?"
-knotted tale,
Experience teaches, those puppy millers often
twist and wail!
For soon, less there shall be, 
Of those mills doo puppy,
Less brokers, less bunchers, 
And less doggoned travail! 

No tags. No id. Nothing. Several days go by. This zombie of a dog is attached to me 24/7 on a long leash. She is squatting without any warning. No sign at all- just squatting and peeing anywhere. which is frosting the trained poodle short stuff about the place, who never do do that. But we are doing all right. The once grey zombie has learned to eat a treat and to wag her tail at the age of seven years. Progress.
Hark . The phone.

Why it's the Westie's "new owner." She saw the newspaper. She has the right data when I question her but(t) good. It IS her dog. She explains: "I just got that dog from a 'breeder' only a a little while ago before the dog took off." He's a really nice guy who raises all different kinds of dogs for pet stores. You know, he just let me have that dog for free, because she is too old now to have any more puppies! I put her in the kitchen. She stays there all the time because she pees everywhere and I don't have time to train her because I'm never home. I guess she got out somehow while I was away for a couple of days. " (phew. delightful.)

Says I: "Your dog was severely infested with fleas and she should checked by a vet for heartworms and she should be spayed. I've bathed and brushed her and made some slight progress with the instant peeing situation but this old girl really needs more attention and human interaction and a trip to the vets asap, if she is ever going to become a companion dog. She's really sweet, but she simply doesn't know anything about living with humans. "

Says the woman: "I'll come get her. Do you have a leash I can borrow? Also, I'm out of dog food because when she left, I threw away the can I had in the fridge. " (oh delight.)

Twenty minutes pass. Here comes an extremely fancy car. Here comes a really well-dressed and a well inebriated woman; staggering up my sidewalk. Ah. Here comes the dog's new owner. Ding dong.

I greet her at the door with her Westie on a leash."Hello. Here is your girl."

"Good heavens! Is that really my dog? (Dog has no reaction of a sign of recognition to this woman at all.)  She's so clean now! I don't know how to thank you? She's so cute! Listen, let me at least give you a plant or something for all your trouble! Do you have an extra leash? Will you carry her to my car for me? Can I have some dog food you've been giving her and the brush you used? What about the shampoo? Did you use a special kind? Do you have any extra?"

Says me:"Yes, yes, yes." Thinks me: "Oh no. Oh no. Oh no. Poor dog." Says me handing her a booklet, "Here's a lot of helpful information on how to care for a dog." "Oh, thanks!" says she, throwing it on the floor of her car.

Several days later, here comes the tipsy lady up our walk again. This time she is carrying a half dead rubber tree. Ah, my just reward.

Several weeks go by. The phone rings. "Hi! Can I bring my Pearl over for you to groom? You did such a nice job the last time. I'd be willing to buy the shampoo and of course."

Says I:"Are you the woman with the Westie? Here are the names of a good groomer and a wonderful vet. I've the names of dog trainers too, if you would like them."

Says she in wounded tones: "Oh! You mean YOU don't want to groom my dog any more for me? I thought you liked dogs? Don't you want to do this little favor for me? "

Says I "I'm sorry. Most of all, I'm sorry for your poor neglected old dog who is in great need of a vet's care , a trainer and a groomer. Have you taken her to a vet yet?" CLICK.

She continued calling me for several months afteward, insisting that I groom her dog. She said she'd bring the dog right over and I did not have to even come to her house! I'd ask her if she'd called the vet, etc. Did she wish me to help rehome her dog? She'd hang up.

About six months later, A mutual accquaintance (who knew nothing of my encounter with the grey terrier "retired mill brood bitch") but knew that I was a dog person - and therefore thought that I would be interested in any canine tale of tragedy, mentioned a woman she knew; who was simply heartbroken when her beloved West Highland White had suddenly died after less than a year. Its name was Pearl.

The Westie owner had told this mutual acquaintance that she'd taken such good care of this dog and she simply could not understand why it had died. After all, Pearl was not even sick when she left her in the kitchen with plenty of treats and papers down. She'd found her "beloved" Westie, Pearl dead in her kitchen one dark evening, when she'd returned from "a brief trip." She was going to get another dog soon. But of course, there could never be another dog like her little Grey Pearl. It was just so tragic!

Yes. Yes. It was. It also was The Miller's tale. it is told over and over again. No Puppy Mill dogs. No Pet Store Dogs. All Pet quality dogs sold or adopted with spay/neuter clause. Dogs sold only to pre screened buyers. But for Pearl and all the thousands of dogs exactly like her, this wisdom is too late.


Back to top

Flesh Ecstasy Hosed Down

We used to own an old beige car. It was all we could afford at the time and so it was pressed into service, despite the fact that the poor car needed to be retired to an automobile junk yard, at least a decade prior.

The elements had played an unkind trick on the car's paint and had turned the once tasteful beige into a badly cracked and rusting florid pink tone; which looked as though it badly needed the services of a plastic surgeon. The engine, worn and weary, made the most obscene sorts of moans and groans. So naturally, we had to call this pitiful vehicle: "Flesh Ecstasy."

There came a sunny day! (Rare in these parts.) We loaded Flesh Ecstasy with our tiny dogs and headed toward the park. We pulled up to the stop sign in front of the neighborhood fire station. It was a charmingly bucolic scene. The firemen, seated on benches under a large maple tree, were waving like they always did. We waved back. The firemen kept waving. We waved back some more!

The firemen were pointing and gesturing. We pointed and gestured back! The firemen were coming toward us with a big hose. We thought "Oh what silly, funny firemen they are!" We laughed at the good joke.

Then- a fireman opened my car door and grabbed me and a pile of fuzzies from the car! Meantime, another fireman had pulled my husband out from behind the wheel.

Flesh Ecstasy was a blaze. Yes! The groaning old car had caught on fire! Fortunately, the firemen had seen the smoke and flames begin to rise from under the car and they hauled down the hose, just in time! Thus, saving the hub, your correspondent here and all our dogs. (Our name is still legion at that particular fire house, all these years later. ROFLMBO!)

Smoldering Flesh Ecstasy had to be hauled off to rest in peace. The guy who came to tow away the molten pink wreck said "Holy Excrement! What the hades happened here?!" And, he also added "Oh, we have a poodle, too! Your poodles didn't have anything to do with this car fire, did they?" (Clearly he knew the breed. LOL)

Well, I must unplug. So, y'all are saved from reading the second dog story. But, I'll be back tomorrow
or soon! (Get the hose.)

And meantime, check under the hood and also check those smoke alarms in your house. -Because, I know for a fact, an overly alarmed poodle is apt to bite into a fireman's boot! And, then the hilarity and mayhem will begin. ROFL

Hope to boot up soon, my derned self. TTYL 


Back to top

Fire and Ice

During the wee small hours of the morning, we were awakened by a nearly simultaneous combustion of hideously ear-shattering noises! Our Poodles were barking wildly! Lassie warning Timmy of Armageddon could not have barked any louder! And, the smoke alarm was wailing like a banshee.

"Probably just the battery!" said the hub. "Well, I smell smoke!" said your correspondent. "Freaking-fracking phooey!" said the groggy hub. "Better check the kitchen!" said your correspondent. "Freaking-fracking phooey!" said the groggy hub, while staggering down the hallway with the Poodles in Full Prance Formation at his heels.

The next noise, under the din of the barking dogs and the smoke alarm, was the sound of hysterical laughter from the kitchen. "Come see this! Come see this, Lazer! You won't believe it! Our ice is on fire! Our ice is on fire!"

We had a brand new fridge with an automatic icemaker. Every morning at about 3 AM, we'd all gotten used to the diabolical noise of the silly machine cranking out ice for the next day. But, firey tropical drinks were not our speed. We like iced tea, sure. This, however, was ridiculous!

I ran down to the kitchen. The sight of ice on fire at 3 AM, while smoke poured from a frozen chicken, is more than my writing skills can describe. We pulled the new fridge from the wall. We unpluged it and we smothered the ice maker with melted ice. Yes, we did. The smoking chicken would just have to fend for itself. Our Poodles were in a frenzy of joy and delight at this extra special bonus play time! They were running in circles of glee! Puddles and chicken and mayhem, it was exactly the Poodle's favorite sort of event.

I called the fire station. I said "Hello, our ice was on fire. We pulled the plug. There is no more smoke, except from the chicken. Is there anything else we should do?"

The fireman said "Lady, is this a crank call?" He was laughing. I took that as a good sign.

I said "Sir, the ice maker in our brand new fridge must have caught on fire. Our Smoke Alarm Poodles woke us up. So, we were able to put out the fire with the melted ice."

The firman said "I don't think we need to come out, but I want to see this! We're coming over. We'll just bring the small truck."

I said "Oh, please don't bother. I simply wanted to check if there is anything else we should do. Don't sound your sirens, if you do come. You'll wake the neighbors. And besides, I'm cooking a chicken."

Well, that was all they needed. Within five minutes, here came the firemen. Small truck. No sirens. But in full gear. The Poodles went wild!

The firemen (two) came in. One said "I smell chicken in wine and garlic sauce!" The other said "Oh, Mike. You just ate! Where's the icemaker, Lady?

I lead them to the kitchen. "Yummm!" said Mike. "Oh my gosh!" said the other guy, "The icemaker really did catch on fire!" Just then, my husband popped out from behind the fridge and he said "Would you guys like a drink? Sorry, but we have no ice!"

At this point, there was some serious back-slapping and general hilarity. One of our Poodles, a particularly non violent type, really loathed handshaking and back-slapping between her Alpha and those who were not in her pack. She seemed to think of such interactions as unwarranted aggression.

This one Poodle had about enough. She'd reached her limit, watching these strangely clad humans in her house handshaking and smelling her own personal chicken! It was clear that this Poodle generally thought badly of all such untoward warmth.

I saw it coming. Our smokey blue, seven pound Poodle lowered her head and she charged at Mike; the happy handshaker and the would-be chicken eater, her teeth bared! She growled a warning and promptly sunk her canines into Mike's left boot, where she hung on like a bulldog!

Mike said "John! I'm being attacked! Let's call the police!" The other fireman roared and said "Mike, they wouldn't believe it! What do you want me to say 'A killer Toy Poodle has attached itself to my buddy's boot, while we were putting out an ice fire?'" "Yes!, said John, "And, tell them to bring the 'Jaws Of Life!'"

I pried the dog off the fireman's boot. My husband served John and Mike semi cool cola and we all sat down in the living room (the killer Poodle in the lap of the bite-ee) to jaw a while. We thanked the firemen for stopping by and they left laughing but, ever so quietly and without any sirens.

And, then at 4:30 AM, we dined on the most delicious smoked chicken. As the sun came up and we were going back to bed, my husband said "All right, I'll flip you for which one of us has to call the appliance store with this story."

We fed the Poodles some white meat from close to the bone (Not Mike's) as a reward for their barking beyond the call of doggie duty and then we went back to sleep. One never knows what might happen! Barking Smoke Alarm Poodles often have a good point, is my point, I suppose. Little heart melters and ice breakers, aren't they, though? ROFL 


Back to top

The Sultans Of Swing;
A Sultry Holiday Turkey For The Groaning Board
(A Childhood Memory Of The Season To Be Jolly)

It all started out so simply! We would have a little party for an honored visitor (who'd just recently arrived from Turkey) to mark her first trip to the United States of America. It would be just a casual reception. We would serve Turkish coffee and light refreshments. We would show our Turkish guest of honor what an American holiday was like in a "typical" American home! (You're probably already beginning to smell something brewing here, besides the strong aroma of fresh coffee.) The reception's guests would leave after an about hour or so of pleasantries, and then the a few folks and the family would have dinner with the guest of honor. This was the plan of action.

Our would-be Turkish guest on her first visit to the US, was the mother-in-law of Aunt ChantSong . (Our pet name for her.) Aunt Chant was one our family's dear friends; a classically trained lyric soprano, she was an Irish Catholic; complete with mandatory beautiful red hair and a lilting Dixie brogue . Aunt Chant had married herself a dandy Turkish gentleman; Uncle Sammi. Faith!, the irony of the union was not lost upon me, even as a Methodist youth. Sammi was civil engineer. He was quite civil, actually and working on his umpteenth doctorate involving something rather complicated having to do with slide rules.

Speaking of sliding rules, Chant's and Sammi's children (thousands of them, or so it seemed to me later on) were all to be raised as Southern Baptists. ROFL.Phew. The important thing was Aunt Chant and Uncle Sammi loved eachother, and us and our dogs just fine. Also, the dogs like them right well. We've pictures to prove it. Cockers on the beach with Uncle Sammi throwing the ball. Cockers singing with Aunt Chant. (The Spaniels were less lyric than she and leaned more toward being coloratura in their vocal range, I'd say. But my favorite, a dog name of "Silly" (short for Silver) seemed to harmonize beautifully, especially during Aunt Chant's bang-up version of a Stephen Foster medley finale, with all the verses of "Suwannee River" coming into play.

Sammi's Turkish mommy spoke zippo English. Not a single word, we were told. So, my mother decided that the wise thing and the good thing to do would be to simply place a little notice on a particular campus bulletin board. The note was written in (extremely bad!) Turkish, inviting any lonesome students far from their own homes and families, to come right on over to our house at the appointed time and date, to chat with dear lady from their homeland! We'd figured about a a half dozen or so students would show up for the event. We'd figured completely wrong! Get out the slide rule and re engineer the doctor the entire notion to the enth degree. There was an awful lot weíd not figured on.

When evening of the gala arrived, we found to our dismay that we were invaded by Turks! Armies of Turks swarmed into our small house. Turks were everywhere. Turks were in the living room. Turks were dining room. Turks were on the front porch. Turks were in the kitchen and Turks were the hallway. There were also assorted Turks in the back yard. And, some more Turks appeared to be in the side yard also. Still, they kept right on coming!. Ding Dong! "Mom, there's three new guys at the door. Shall I put them in the carport?" More and more Turks poured into the house and what we laughingly referred to as "the grounds," It was a typically hot, humid evening in the tropical South and, our place was moist with best-pressed suited and necktied, freshly bathed but, completely deodorant-failed young men; each confused but hopeful guest holding his own cup of boiling coffee, while our Cocker Spaniels darted about trying to eat his light refreshments from his napkin. ROFLMBO Phew. It was a sight. Did I mention the guys in the carport? Well, they were.

The phone rang. A perspiring perplexed Turk answered it (of course!) and handed it to my equally perspiring and perplexed mother. It was Aunt Chant saying they were running so late but they were on their way - about one half hour ETA to reach Mecca. Oh, dear holy heaven. We spoke NO Turkish. Our fifty plus guests (not counting those in the yard and hall and near about every place else a person could sit or stand while holding a light refreshment and a cup of boiling coffee) spoke almost NO English. The Cockers were panting. Everyone and everything in the entire place was quietly sweating and dripping and wondering what in the wide world would happen next! Oh, it was festive, all right!

Suddenly my mother began to laugh out loud!. I'd thought, "Well, this is the end. She's having a sort of heat stroke combo anxiety attack." Here we all were; more than sixty human (not to mention the wild parti Cockers) folks with no clue how to communicate or about what, no spoken language in common, just sweating and panting all dressed up and itchy with heat rash and nerves, staring at eachother amid the multitudes of absolute total strangers! The light refreshments were running out. The guest of honor was past late into the next time zone. The air conditioner had long since given up even making a sullen attempt to function. The Cockers were drooling. Why, the occasion was rapidly turning into a sort of: "Hell on earth. Bad will to man." sort of soiree!

But mammy had hit upon a notion. In the absolutely hilarious desperation which is so common in my strangely non typical/ totally typical American family, my sainted mother stood in the middle of the crowded living room balanced high atop a chair cushion and loudly said: "Turkish Bath! Turkish Bath!" One student got the drift my momma's silly breeze and blew right back to her with cool alacrity: "Turkish Towels! Turkish Towels!", as he made a show of mopping his brow with his shredded paper napkin. Well, then lots of folks began to chime in, "Turkish Taffy!" said a steaming be-spectacled eater of light refreshment while pointing at a buff cocker standing on his shoe. People started to giggle. People took off their coats and ties. People began having, of all miraculous things, a good time!

Just then, Uncle Sammi and Aunt Chant burst upon the scene with her foreign MIL. The mother-in-law took one look at the proceedings, smiled brightly and requested an apron by pointing to the one my mother was wearing. Soon, she was in the kitchen cooking rice with raisins and I don't know what all, by way of Turkish delights. Mother was right beside her putting the finishing touches on the other oven-roasted turkey, as well as the candied yams with marshmallows, the cranberry relish with fresh "yard oranges" and the cornbread stuffing with everything! Pecan pies appeared as if by magic. It was truly a strange and wonderful new Dixie version of the miracle of the fishes and loaves.

Aunt Chant was busy teaching the Turkish students how to sing "God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman." (Accent on the "Let nothing you dismay part!") A beautiful sound rang out, with my mother on alto in the kitchen. On the songs went to the round of "Hark How The Bells...." All our Cockers were harkened into the kitchen inhaling and begging to the Turkish and the Southern alike, in universal language of canine eyeballs. (Except for Silver who was of course, dancing with Uncle Sammi. the sliding glider ruling the dance floor/carport. )

Apparently, while they worked together, my mother had somehow taught Sammi's mommy how to say "Dinner is served!" in Dixie-Speak. When it was time, the tiny Turkish lady walked calmly into our living room, still wearing her borrowed apron, she stood on the same chair that my mother had warmed up earlier, she clapped her hands softly and she said: "Y'all come and git it!" (My mother added: "While it's still hot!") The Sultans of Swing laughed and understood both women perfectly! Thank heaven.

Even after all these years, when thinking of The Sultan's Of Swing and our nearly dire straits averted by the ability to share and communicate pure joy, it's still impossible for me to say just who actually had the most fun! I'd guess it was the fetching Spaniels, though, y'all. They always loved to eat and to sing as much as anyone anywhere ever could. And, hot puppies!, could those dogs ever shake a boodie  in glorious celebration!

"Hark how the bells, sweet silver bells ...all seem to hear words of good cheer!"

Happy Holidays to all. Peace on Earth. Good will to dogs. 


Back to top

The Best German Shepherd

Posted by LP~ on April 01, 2001 at 23:09:49: 

Today, I took all the heavy winter quilts and such to the laundry- need an industrial sized washers to help us hurry in Spring. *G* Had Lazer in her travel carrier along with. She folds. Naw. No opposable thumbs, else she would assist, as she is certainly smart enough. 

There was a young man in the laundry with his dad. The boy was in a wheelchair. The child was severely handicapped; physically and mentally. But he was smiling all the same. (So much for our own little miseries and complaints.) Anyway, the boy was obviously trying the patience of his dad with incessant chattering and questions. Dad was tired. Dad also seemed to be concerned his boy was disturbing folks with his noises, many of which the child could not seem to control. 

I walked over to the kid's father and asked "Sir, does your son like dogs?" "Oh yes" said the dad. "Why, do you ask?" I said "Well, look here." And I opened Lazer's carrier top. Up she popped! 

The dad said "Son, look at that! A tiny puppy! " The child was delighted. I said "Would you like to hold Lazer?" The child could not use but one hand, but he was reaching for Lazer. So- I placed her ever gently in his lap. (and whispered a 'sit stay' to Laze on the q.t.) The boy beamed with happiness. He asked "What's is your dog's name?" (Took me a while to understand his speech.) "Lazer is her name. And, she is nine years old!" said me. "I am older than her and I am bigger than her, too!" said he. He was in deed. He patted Laze, and what a struggle of pure will for the boy to do so, -for his hand was almost a ball and was shaking. Lazer sat still in his lap and looked up to his face. The boy could not keep his head still. Yet Lazer managed to find his focus, though his head wobbled and he could not control his motions, but Laze reached up -steadied herself somehow and gave him a kiss right on his nose. (Lazer kisses no one.) She seemed know to be quite gentle and calm with this dear little boy. And not to rough-house and play bow; as she usually does with all the romping and running children of her previous acquaintance. 

The boy said "How does her leash work? Can I take her for a walk?" "I'll show you just how her leash works. And yes, you can." said me. Lazer (five pounds and never before around a large wheelchair) walked steady at heel beside this amazed and delighted child. Around and around they went. I could not believe it myself. Phew. The child's father stood there in speechless amazement. *G* 

Then the boy said "Does she do tricks? Can I make her do a trick.?" In deed she does and you can." He loved "training" her. He clapped with one hand to get her attention against the arm of his chair. Yes, the sound of one hand clapping. Wonderful! And- soon, he had Lazer dancing on her hind legs and doing triple turns. I'd showed him how to command her. Then - with great and mighty effort, all by himself- he fed Laze a dog biscuit .... 

And the child said, at the top of his lungs: "Lazer! You are the best German Shepherd dog that I love!" (Yes.) 

I asked his Dad, "Do you all have a German Shepherd?" Dad said "No. No. We don't. A long while ago, we used to have a Collie though." We both laughed, and the child, catching the mood, laughed right along with us. And Lazer, knowing things were simply fabulous, barked the once- at the little boy's bon mot, and at the fun daily life may bring to us all, -when dogs lead the way. lp 

Back to top

Photo and text Copyright© 1998-2001 Lazerpoodle
All rights reserved
Used with permission