The Maddie Wars, Installment 5

Whoa! Get THIS, guys!

Seems sassy Maddie isn’t so brassy after all.

Sassy Maddie turns into a SISSY at the slightest hint of thunder boomers!

(“I do not!”

“Do so!”

“Do not!”

“Then whatcha doin’ quiverin’ under the bed, Mad? Huh? Huh? Huh?”

“It happens to be very cozy under here. But you wouldn’t know that, seein’ as how you’ve never been down here ‘cuz your big butt is too fat to get under the mattress.”

“Is not!”

“Is so!”)

Mom! Dad! There's THUNDER BOOMERS out there!

Mom! Dad! There’s THUNDER BOOMERS out there!

AS I WAS SAYIN’, Maddie’s scairt of thunder boomers.

We had a coupla good ones the first day Maddie moved in, but bein’ a gentleman, I assumed she turned into a jigglin’ lump of Jello on account of everythin’ bein’ new, ‘n’ not ‘cuz she was CHICKEN.

But this afternoon, a rip-snortin’, twister-spawnin’ storm front tore down Canyon Trail, ‘n’ Maddie squeezed HER big butt under the box springs faster’n you can say THUNDER BOOMER! ‘N’ she’s STILL hidin’ down there, with her scrawny little tail tucked between her legs.

(“I am NOT hidin’, Lou. I am simply followin’ weather bureau instructions to take cover in case of a catastrophe. I’M bein’ prudent. YOU, on the other hand, are recklessly exposin’ yourself to danger ‘n’ will be swept all the way to Topeka when the cyclone hits. Not that I care….”

“Maddie’s a scaredy-cat! Maddie’s a scaredy-cat!”

“Am not!”

“Are so!”)




Move over, Mad, I’m comin’ in!!!!!



Published in: on September 10, 2014 at 7:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Maddie Wars, Installment 4

Tense times on the home front, folks. We’re locked down and on red alert —

(“Super DUPER red alert, Lou.”

“Stop bein’ hysterical, Mad. It isn’t that critical.”

“Who’s the trained huntin’ hound, Lou. You or me, huh? Huh? Huh? I’m tellin’ ya, it’s super DUPER!!!!!”

“Oh, for God’s sake, if I call it super DUPER, will you SHUT UP and let me get on with the story?”

“Only if you tell it right.”


We’re locked down and on super DUPER red alert (are you happy now, Mad?) ‘cuz last night, we was invaded — right in our very own home!!!!

We was all snuggled up ‘n’ asleep — Mom ‘n’ Pops in the big bed, me stretched out on my luxurious quilt ‘n’ pillow at the foot of the bed, ‘n’ Maddie snorin’ (“Was not!” “Were, too!”) in the corner with her ratty blankets where she belongs, when suddenly I heard —

(“I heard it first, Lou. Tell it right!”

“I heard it first, Miss Smarty Pants. YOU just barked first.”

“Only ‘cuz your reflexes are so bad, old man.”)


When suddenly there was the stealthy scurryin’ of alien creatures on the roof right above our heads.

Maddie and Louie patrol the perimeter.

Maddie and Louie patrol the perimeter.

Well, me ‘n’ Maddie snapped right to attention — (“I’ll you that. You always do your duty.” “Why, thank you, L0u. I’m touched.” “Don’t be.”) — ‘n’ we tore up ‘n’ down the hall, bark BARK BARKIN’ our fool heads off for many, many strenuous minutes. We could hear alien footsteps skitterin’ all over our new roofin’ tiles, ‘n’ we was determined to scare them intruders off the premises.

Mom ‘n’ Pops were just as determined to sleep, ‘n’ instead of gettin’ up to investigate the vile proceedin’s overhead, they just growled at us to shut up ‘n’ go back to bed.

Which we did — eventually. But even so, me ‘n’ Mad took turns sleepin’ with one eye open, so we wouldn’t be caught unawares by hordes of orcs. (“Orcs, Lou? I thought they were raccoons.” “Raccoons….orcs….same difference. Now SHUT UP!!!!!”)

By mornin’, we were both feelin’ sleep deprived, but that didn’t deter us from our early hike with Mom ‘n’ Pops. Only as soon as we stepped into the garage, we knew somethin’ nefarious was afoot.

“That’s odd,” Mom said, starin’ at the poop bags ‘n’ other garbage scattered around Mr. Rav.

Pops immediately ordered us into the safety of Baby while he bravely investigated the garage by himself. (Pops is like that. Always thinkin’ of others instead of himself. You gotta love the guy.) He didn’t find any live intruders nor carcasses neither, but when he finally crawled in behind the wheel, he was shakin’ his head ‘n’ admitted to Mom, “We got varmints.”

“Oh, yuck,” Mom shuddered, just like a girl. “Get rid of them.”

So after our hike ‘n’ while me ‘n’ Maddie was digestin’ our breakfast, Pops painstakin’ly cleaned out the garage, shovelin’ up alien poop, using his new jet-powered leaf blower to blast out a summer’s worth of dirt ‘n’ cooties, ‘n’ generally returnin’ everythin’ to where it belonged. When he was finished, Mom praised him lavishly for the tidy state of the garage, but me ‘n’ Maddie just rolled our eyes at each other. Somethin’ still didn’t smell right.

‘N’ sure enough, late this evenin’, while Mom was engrossed with computer games ‘n’ Pops was clear in another county playin’ his weekly poker game, there came a commotion from the garage!

Me ‘n’ Maddie was on it in a flash, barkin’ ‘n’ growlin’ ‘n’ snarlin’ ‘n’ clawin’ at the back door. Mom stared at us in dumbfoundment, ‘cuz she never heard it comin’. One minute she was lost in her computer, ‘n’ the next she was in the center of a howlin’ whirlwind of canines. Our fangs were bared. Our hackles were raised. We were ready to rip them Rockies to pieces!!!!

Only Mom wouldn’t let us out into the garage.

“Over my dead body!” she swore as she flung herself against the back door. “You know what happened the last time you tangled with a Rocky, Lou. You bled all over my kitchen!”

“But I killed him,” I reminded her.

“Really?” Maddie said in astonishment. “How cool!”

“Aw, shucks,” I mumbled. “It was nothin’.”

“Killed him DEAD?????”

“Don’t egg him on, Maddie,” Mom warned. “There will be no repeat performance, not in my garage!!!!”

Well, Maddie howled in protest ‘n’ threw a hissy fit all over the house, but I know Mom, ‘n’ I could see her mind was made up, so I just slunk back to the bedroom to pout. I really wanted to get my jaws on one of those Rockies, just to show Maddie a thing or two, but Mom wouldn’t give me a chance. Sometimes she really gets in a fella’s way.

‘N’ to make it worse, when Maddie finally calmed down enough that Mom could slip out to the garage by herself, she found all Dad’s fine handiwork from the afternoon had been destroyed. Everythin’ — includin’ this evenin’s fresh poop bags — was tossed willy-nilly all over the garage again.

Pops is gonna be so mad when he gets home.

NO one’s gonna sleep tonight.

Published in: on September 3, 2014 at 11:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Maddie Wars, Installment 3

That stupid bitch (I’m allowed to call her that, ‘cuz I’m a dog) just won’t get with the program!

Everyone KNOWS it’s that silly human time of the year called football season.

Everyone KNOWS that all male humans like Pops turn into lunatics with the first kickoff (whatever the heck THAT is).

Everyone KNOWS on Saturday afternoon, Pops adheres to his most serious of rituals, all having somethin’ to do with Buckeyes. (I don’t get it myself. Buckeyes are kinda ugly ‘n’ you certainly don’t wanna EAT one, so what good are they?)

Oh, no, Maddie!! Not Dad's Ohio State pillow!!!!!

Oh, no, Maddie!! Not Dad’s Ohio State pillow!!!!!

First, he gathers his multitudinous remotes ‘n’ lines ’em up on the coffee table, all within easy reach so’s he don’t strain his back or his wrists tryin’ to reverse the action — or jump ahead, however the mood strikes him. Then he collects his nutritious snacks, like tortilla chips ‘n’ Mom’s homemade salsa (waaaaaaaaaaay too much lime juice for my tastes) and pours himself a tall beverage (always ice water or V8, ‘cuz, after all, it’s MUCH too early for the cocktail hour). ‘N’ then he stretches out on the couch with his Ohio State worry pillow clutched to his chest, ‘n’ he proceeds to spend the afternoon starin’ at the TV ‘n’ occasionally groanin’ ‘n’ burying his head in his pillow whenever the Buckeyes do somethin’ really stupid.

Me ‘n’ Mom has got pretty used to this routine, ‘n’ though we sometimes sit beside him and worry right along with him, we never PRESUME to interfere with his most sacred of superstitions. It all looks pretty dumb to me, but it makes him happy (‘cept when he’s groanin’), so I try to cut him some slack.

But does Maddie cooperate?


Pops no sooner hops off the couch for a pit stop durin’ a convenient commercial break than Maddie ever so craftily slithers up onto the couch in his place, curls around his worry pillow ‘n’ begins kneadin’ it with her big goofy paws.


That’s one of Dad’s most precious possessions — second only to me ‘n’ Mom — ‘n’ she’s RAKIN’ IT WITH HER CLAWS!!!!!!!

‘N’ the stupid bitch wonders why Pops gets so ticked off at her.


Maddie retorts:

Well, excuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me, Mr. Know-It-All. It was a pillow. It felt good to squish it up between my claws. How was I supposed to know it was Dad’s favorite thing in the whole wide world? Huh? Huh? Huh?

Does anyone ever bother to TELL me stuff like this BEFORE I get in trouble? Nooooooooooooooooooo. My big brother just sits back ‘n’ lets me step into big piles of doo-doo, ‘n’ then he SNICKERS at me when Mom ‘n’ Pops give me a good scoldin’.

If our positions were reversed, I’d NEVER do that to a fellow dog. NEVER. I’d ALWAYS warn my brother if he was about to do somethin’ dumb. ALWAYS.

But, no, Louie, you have NO compassion whatsoever, ‘n’ (sniff) it really hurts.

Louie snipes back:

Whine, whine, whine. You are just a big baby.

Maddie snarls:


Louie growls:

Are SO!!!!!

(This installment has been suspended because Mom had to send Louie and Maddie to bed without their supper for boxing it out in the living room.)




Published in: on August 30, 2014 at 6:50 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Maddie Wars, Installment 2

Hee hee hee hee hee!

Ho ho ho ho ho!

Maddie burnt her snooouuuuuuuuuut! Maddie burnt her snooouuuuuuuuut!

Louie knows better than to stick his snout into a hot frying pan!

Louie knows better than to stick his snout into a hot frying pan!

Mom was cookin’ some yummy meat sauce this afternoon, but Maddie, the greedy glutton, couldn’t wait until dinner time. Mom turned her back for ONE MINUTE to chop up some foliage from the herb garden and Maddie just HAD to jump up on the stove and shove her nose into the frying pan.

Hee hee hee hee hee!

Mom yelped!

Maddie yelped! And I don’t feel the least bit sorry for her. Even dumb ol’ Louie knows to keep his snout outta hot frying pans!

Hee hee hee hee hee!

Bet Maddie’ll think twice before she tries that again!

Maddie retorts:

Vewy funny, Lou. Just fweakin’ hilawious.


Published in: on August 29, 2014 at 6:31 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Maddie Wars, Installment 1

Hi, guys.

Long time no see.

But there’s a reason for that. Pops has been home for a whole year now, ‘n’ there hasn’t been no need to write him letters. I can snuggle up to him on the big bed ‘n’ tell him everythin’ I’ve done all day, ‘n’ he knows just what I’m talkin’ about, ‘cuz he’s been right beside me ‘n’ Mom the whole time.

But now I gotta write again ‘cuz….

Ah, geez, I got a new sister.

‘N’ I hate her.

Don't let that come-hither look fool you. Maddie is EVIL!!!!

Don’t let that come-hither look fool you. Maddie is EVIL!!!!

The reasons are almost too many to count, even for a highly trained special government agent like me. BUT….

No. 1, she tries to hump Mom’s leg. What RESPECTABLE dog (besides me) tries to hump the leg of a fine mom like Mom???? ‘N’ she’s not even a boy dog. She’s a GIRL. What is her problem??????

No. 2, she doesn’t act her age. She’s seven years old, plus change, ‘n’ that makes her ALMOST as old as me. But does she act like a dignified, mature canine? I THINK NOT!!!!! She tears around MY back yard like a pup barely out of its teens, ‘n’ she prances so darned pretty when we’re out on our walks that she’s makin’ me look bad. Used to be, joggers would pass me ‘n’ Mom on the Towpath and stop in utter amazement. “Isn’t he just a HANDSOME dog?” they’d gush. ‘N’ I’d puff out my chest in pride ‘n’ Mom would beam in pleasurement, ‘cuz me ‘n’ her really were a stupendous couple. But now joggers stop ‘n’ gush, “What a beautiful hound!” ‘N’ they don’t look twice at me.

It’s not right.

No. 3, Maddie is a hog. (That’s her name — Mad Maddie, the Hound from Hell. Even Mom ‘n’ Pops call her that, ‘specially when she does stuff like bustin’ out our new custom-made back screen door. But I digress.) I like to savor my meals. I’m a gourmand of refined tastes, ‘n’ sometimes, I just wanna let my food marinate in my bowl while I contemplate the rich aromas and the perfect balance of crunch and grease. But now that Maddie’s around, I can’t do that no more, ‘cuz if I turn my back on my bowl, she snarfs up all my marinatin’ Kibbles, so I gotta wolf down my breakfast just as fast as she wolfs down hers, ‘n’ then I got gas the rest of the mornin’. It’s just not right, I tell you. Not right at all!!!!!

I called my union rep, Bruno, as soon as Maddie moved in, ‘n’ he told me he’d research my contract, ‘cuz he thought there just might be an exclusivity clause, whatever the heck that is. But he hasn’t filed any kind of grievance against Mom ‘n’ Pops yet, ‘n’ now I’m startin’ to wonder if maybe he’s got a conflict of innerest. The last time he come over to talk to me about it, he let Maddie sniff his butt waaaaaaaaaaaaay too long for a simple hello.  I think something nefarious may be goin’ on.

There’s many, many, MANY more reasons I hate Maddie, but those are the top three, ‘n’ you gotta agree, I’m perfectly justified in my feelin’s. Just don’t be swayed by any lies you might hear from the other side. Maddie is evil, evil, evil, ‘n’ she will never ever be my best bud.



Published in: on August 28, 2014 at 10:07 pm  Leave a Comment  

Epilogue, from Louie

Hi, folks,

Pops has been home more’n a week now, ‘n’ me ‘n’ him have been so darned busy takin’ multitudinous hikes ‘n’ joyously playin’ tag that I forgot to tell ya how he ‘n’ Ms. Corolla got here safe ‘n’ sound.

Me 'n' Pops playin' tag. All is well.

Me ‘n’ Pops playin’ tag. All is well.

He’s kinda skinny, but Mom has plans to cook up a lot of MEAT so’s we can bulk him up. ‘N’ that’s not all she’s cookin’. Now that he’s retired, me ‘n’ Mom has many, MANY ideas on how to keep him busy on the home front. ‘N’ Mom says we might even take a little trip — all THREE of us — in a coupla weeks, once Ms. Corolla’s had a chance to catch her breath.

Meanwhile, we’re doin’ lots of grillin’ ‘n’ climbin’ the mountains of the Cuyahoga ‘n’ snugglin’ in the big bed with our library books.

Pops 'n' Mom celebrate at Blossom. (No dogs allowed, sniff, sniff.)

Pops ‘n’ Mom celebrate at Blossom. (No dogs allowed, sniff, sniff.)

Now that Pops won’t be leavin’ us no more, I won’t be writin’ any letters. So this is goodbye.

It’s been a grand adventure.

But havin’ Pops home is grander.

All is well.





Published in: on September 9, 2013 at 9:57 am  Leave a Comment  

Aug. 29, from Louie, Day 90

Dear Pops,

The minutes is countin’ down rapidly toward your homecomin’, ‘n’ me ‘n’ Mom is like two whirlin’ dervishes gettin’ everythin’ ready.

The quilts has all been laundered so’s the big bed don’t smell like me no more (although I’m still quite miffed that Mom thought nasty detergent chemicals smell better’n Louie).

Three of the five deer who stopped by for an evenin' snack.

Three of the five deer who stopped by for an evenin’ snack.

My little buddies is all present ‘n’ accounted for, even my birthday buddy who you haven’t met yet, but I’m plannin’ on introducin’ you guys first thing.

The kitchen floor has been mopped so all my muddy footprints ‘n’ chicken sprinkle slobbers has been removed, ‘n’ the carpets has been vacuumed so’s all my Milkbone crumbs has been sucked up ‘n’ dumped in the trash. (It took Mom many, many trips to the garbage can to get rid of all them crumbs, let me tell you.)

I’ve ex-HAUST-ed myself rollin’ in all the dirty laundry Mom’s been gatherin’ for the washin’ machine. Gosh, she’s been doin’ so much laundry, you’d think she wore nothin’ but dirty clothes all summer. (“Lou, I’m just tryin’ to make sure Pops has lotsa clean towels ‘n’ such after his many distressin’ days on the dusty roads.” “Mom, I don’t think clean towels’ll be the No. 1 thing on his mind.” “Oh? ‘N’ just what do YOU think will be topmost in his mind, Mr. Smarty-Pants?” “Why, tag with my little buddies, of course.”)

Mom yoked me up to both o’ my blings so I could drag the heaviest stuff outta your office ‘n’ back to the storage room for her. ‘N’ I was so careful, I didn’t damage the new paint job at all (‘cept for one unfortunate scratch on the woodwork that we’re not gonna show Mom, OK?) So now your office is back to the way it was before you left. (Mom’s real sorry, but she got so caught up in the paintin’, she never did clean out that stinky closet, so it still stinks, so I guess you’ll have to scrub it out yourself. Welcome home.)

We almost got all the brick work in the back yard exposed, but it’s been kinda rainy this week ‘n’ Mom’s got about six more feet to dig up. But to make up for her shortcomin’s, I spent part of this afternoon frantically diggin’ up a coupla patches of grass that dared to sprout in your absence. I did it all for you, Pops. I didn’t want the sight of real grass to give you a heart attack or nothin’.

‘N’ just before I settled down to write this letter, me ‘n’ Mom finished scourin’ out the bathtub, which somehow got littered with a thick layer of black hairs while you was gone. (“Honest to gosh, Mom, I haven’t been bathin’ in Dad’s tub. Yuck!” “Well then, you tell me how all them black hairs got in there.” “Well, geez, Mom, you’re the only one who takes showers around here.” ” ‘N’ do I look like I got any black hairs left on my head?” “No comment, Mom.”)

Louie personally supervises the welcome home cookin'.

Louie personally supervises the welcome home cookin’.

‘Course, the most important item on any welcome home list is the menu, ‘n’ I’ve been supervisin’ Mom most strenuously to make sure there’s plenty o’ meat. We got a nice casserole planned that we can whip together no matter WHEN you get home, ‘n’ I’ve checked over the recipe, ‘n’ the No. 1 ingredient is CHICKEN. ‘Nuff said. (Oh, yeah, Mom’s been beverage shoppin’, so that’s covered, too.)

Now the only thing left is for me is to patrol the perimeter tonight while Mom tries to sleep, makin’ sure to bark bark BARK at anythin’ that moves so we aren’t bothered by any orc invasions while we party tomorrow. ‘Course, that means I won’t get much rest tonight, but it’s a small sacrifice if it means your homecomin’ will be all the more pleasurable. So Mom will just have to suck it up. I am on duty until the moment you ‘n’ Ms. Corolla pull into the driveway, ‘n’ I take my ‘sponsibilities most seriously.

So drive safe tomorrow, Pops, ‘n’ come home hungry.

Me ‘n’ Mom are starved.

Your best bud,


Pops replies:

Oh, Louie: You look so … uh … so domestic in that apron. Try to leave some chicken for Pops. Meanwhile, soon, Lou. Real soon.

Published in: on August 29, 2013 at 9:14 pm  Leave a Comment  

Aug. 28, from Louie, Day 89

Hoo-eeee, Pops,

I never seen Mom so spittin’ mad. She even scairt me.

See, I’ve been lethargic, as Mom told you. I don’t see paisley no more, but I think there’s still some downers floatin’ through my system, ‘cuz I wasn’t at all innerested in our afternoon stroll. Mom had to bribe me outside with a promise of some chicken sprinkles when we got home.

So we was moseyin’ through the park next door, ‘n’ I’d just stopped to snuffle some well-aged Pringles in the grass where the little kids play ball, when suddenly from outta NOWHERE, a big gray dog come runnin’ up to us.

Well, I’m not so lethargic that I’ve forgot my manners, so I lifted my tail in greetin’ ‘n’ prepared my snout for some mutual sniffin’ to say hello.

Only this guy immediately invaded my space before there’d been proper introductions, ‘n’ he started to snort in my face.

‘N’ me ‘n’ Mom both knew this was trouble, ‘cuz he was wearin’ a spiked choke collar.

Way off in the distance, clear on the other side of the playground, a female human started callin’, “Come! Come!” but not too urgently.

Well, I can handle one big fella, even if he is bein’ rude.

But then an even bigger black guy sportin’ an even nastier spiked choke collar come gallopin’ up to us, ‘n’ I could smell the nervousness squirtin’ outta Mom’s pores. (She couldn’t help it, Pops. Humans sweat. But it sure did put me at a disadvantage.)

Off in the distance, in the middle of the playground, two female humans was callin’, “Come! Come! Come!” But again, not too urgently.

Well, the gray guy ‘n’ the black guy closed in on me, nippin’ at me ‘n’ gruntin’ so as to let me know who was boss. But I curled my lips ‘n’ nipped back. No one actually got bit, but we was all nippin’ ‘n’ swirlin’ around Mom’s bare thighs ‘n’ pretty soon, there was just a frenzy of black ‘n’ gray fur, ‘n’ Mom in the middle of it.

The two female humans meandered out from under the trees, leisurely swingin’ their leashes.

Well, the black guy lunged for my eyes ‘n’ the gray guy went for my butt, ‘n’ I bared my fangs for a pre-emptive strike when suddenly Mom stomped her foot ‘n’ a “NOOOOOOOO!” the volume of which you never heard before erupted outta her mouth.

Me ‘n’ the other dogs froze, stunned that such a great big roar could come outta such a scrawny chest. (Sorry, Mom, but ‘cept for your chubby tummy ‘n’ butt, you really are scrawny.)

The two female humans suddenly realized that their dogs was misbehavin’ ‘n’ hustled over to get their growlin’ animals under control.

“Oh, gosh,” one of them blathered, “I’m so sorry. We didn’t see you way over here.”

Well, you know Mom, she usually caves when someone apologizes ‘n’ tries to pretend that everythin’ is all right,

Me 'n' Mom lookin' for Pops at Big Bend.

Me ‘n’ Mom lookin’ for Pops at Big Bend.

But this afternoon, she was hot. Maybe her nerves was on edge ‘cuz of your precarious situation car-wise. Maybe she had a fright ‘cuz I was outnumbered by dogs wearin’ spikes. Or maybe she was just tired of humans takin’ advantage. Whatever. So instead of retreatin’, she said quite angrily, “Your dogs should be on a leash!”

“Oh, they weren’t gonna cause no trouble,” one of the females said by way of an excuse.

“If they need to wear spiked collars, they need to be on a leash!” Mom insisted.

“Hey,” the other female huffed, “we was just lettin’ ’em run a little.”

“You want ’em to run?” Mom shot back. “Take ’em to the dog park. Don’t let ’em run loose in a park where kids is playin’.” ‘N’ Mom waved to the toddlers conveniently playin’ on the slidin’ board.

“Look,” the first female panted, strugglin’ to get the black dog under control, “your dog is just as much at fault. He was bein’ just as mean.”

“Louie?” Mom said in surprise. “You mean this dog here?”

‘N’ when Mom ‘n’ the females turned to look at me, I was presentin’ a perfect RCA dog moment. I never sit so pretty before in my life, ‘n’ I prob’bly never will again, but for that moment, I was the picture of obedience ‘n’ control. (Quite handsome, too, I might add.)

The females muttered unkind words under their breath ‘n’ begun draggin’ their protestin’ dogs to the sidewalk.

Me ‘n’ Mom strolled majestically around the perimeter of the park.

We met the enemy, ‘n’ Mom won.

She’s full of suprises for an old girl, isn’t she, Pops?


Pops replies:

Oh, Louie: Your Mom can still surprise us, can’t she? I’m glad you stood your ground, Lou. They was in your park and offa their leashes — you did the right thing.

p.s. Shrew! It’s a good thing I saved up all that good karma. Clear sailin’ all the way home, Lou. All the way home. Tonight I grabbed the last of 500 motel rooms in Sydney, Nebraska, and it was only because I walked in at the Comfort Inn when a no-show was cancelled. Good karma, Lou. It’s what you get when you do the right thing when there is nothing to gain by doing the right thing.
Published in: on August 28, 2013 at 9:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

Aug. 27, from Louie, Day 88

Well, Pops, it’s been a day of big highs ‘n’ lows here on Canyon Trail.

My insides nearly burst outta my tummy ‘n’ snout when I read this mornin’ that you was already on the road ‘n’ headin’ home. I tried to keep it a secret from Mom like you told me, but she caught me doin’ cartwheels in the kitchen, ‘n’ you know, I don’t do cartwheels over just any old thing. So I had to tell Mom what was up, ‘n’ then SHE was doin’ cartwheels, too, ‘n’ it woulda made quite the picture, ‘cept neither one of us thought to get the camera ‘cuz we was so busy cartwheelin’ ourselves.

‘N’ then Mom flew into a frenzy of throwin’ everythin’ back into the storage room so’s your office would be empty, ‘n’ I went into a frenzy of collectin’ all my little buddies so we’d be ready for a rousin’ game of tag as soon as you got home. ‘N’ that was so exhaustin’, I didn’t even mind it when Mom took off for some doctor’s appointment without me, ‘cuz by then, I really needed a nap.

But Mom was gone an awful long time, ‘n’ I was startin’ to fret that in her excitement, she’d wrapped Mr. Rav ’round a telephone pole, ‘n’ wouldn’t THAT have been a disgustin’ way to welcome you home?

But no, on the way home from the doctor’s (where she was told she’s in fine health for someone her age, thank you), Mom stopped at Acme, ‘n’ she loaded Mr. Rav from top to bottom with all your favorite things — you know, some nice Gala apples ‘n’ some oatnut bread (yech) ‘n’ some Lean Pockets ‘cuz they was on sale ‘n’ a nice lime for your refreshin’ evenin’ libations ‘n’ a big bag of pretzels (also on sale) ‘n’ (even though she’d threatened not to do this ever again) ANOTHER pickin’ chicken so’s she could make a wunnerful casserole that could be sittin’ in the oven while you ‘n’ her said hello on Thursday.

‘N’ then we took off for a drizzly hike on the Towpath, ‘n’ that was why we missed your phone call with the distressin’ news that you was stranded in Salt Lake City ‘cuz Ms. Corolla had a dreadful chest cold.

Me 'n' Mom is waitin' for Pops.

Me ‘n’ Mom is waitin’ for Pops.

Oh, gosh, Pops, when me ‘n’ Mom listened to that message, we slapped our butts down onto the kitchen floor ‘n’ had us a good cry. You was soooooooooooo close to gettin’ home, ‘n’ now you’re so far!!!!!

Well, we dried our eyes ‘n’ blew our noses on Mom’s T-shirt ‘n’ consoled ourselves with the thought that at least we had each other to cuddle with on the big bed, whereas you was stuck alone somewhere in a Mormon Chinatown.

“Just where is Salt Lake City, Mom?” I asked, still snifflin’ a little.

So Mom dug the atlas outta her closet, ‘n’ we huddled over it on the coffee table (well, Mom was actually on the couch) ‘n’ she pointed to Salt Lake City on the map.

” ‘N’ where’s Canyon Trail?” I asked.

Well, Mom’s finger had to slide clear on over to the middle of the next page before it come to a stop on Akron.

“OMIGOD,” I wailed, “that’s waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay far away!!!!!”

“It’s a goodly distance,” Mom sadly agreed. “But look at it this way, Lou, it’s still at least two inches closer than the Stanislaus, which is where Pops woulda been if he hadn’t’ve tried to surprise us with an early arrival.”

“But Mom,” I said, my voice quiverin’, “it’s gonna take DAYS for Pops to get over a whole page ‘n’ a half of the atlas!” ‘N’ I was so distraught, I toppled offa the coffee table ‘n’ onto the floor.

Fortunately, it’s carpeted, ‘n’ I didn’t do myself no damage. ‘N’ Mom IMMEDIATELY crawled onto the floor beside me ‘n’ administered emergency belly rubs.

‘N’ eventually I felt better.

But I’m goin’ to bed tonight sadder’n I expected. As Mom said, we’re lucky Ms. Corolla didn’t go into a coma when you was alone out in the desert, ‘n’ we’re most hopeful that the doctors in Salt Lake City will be able to pump her full of antibiotics ‘n’ get her back on the road before too many more seconds pass. ‘N’ we’re both most sorry that you’re gonna have to eat takeout moo goo gai pan for dinner.

But we sure do wish you was in Wyomin’ instead of Utah.

Hang in there, Pops.

We’ll be waitin’ for you no matter WHEN you get home.

‘N’ tell Ms. Corolla I’m thinkin’ about her.

Your most devoted,


Pops replies:

Oh, Louie: I am so sorry that you had such a distressing day. I know that my earlier news had you ecstatic, only to have you come crashin’ down to earth with my later news. But, don’t worry. I’ve been storing up good karma and I think I’ll use some of it now. Mormon Chinatown — you are such a hoot, Lou. As I sit here in the middle of the night with lots of voices outside my room, your letter brings a big smile to my face. You are, indeed, the WBD.

Published in: on August 27, 2013 at 10:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

Aug. 26, from Louie, Day 87

Well, Pops, today we’re just gonna send you some nuggets, ‘cuz nothin’ really spectacular happened. (I’d send you 87 nuggets to mark Day 87, but there aren’t that many nuggets in a whole bowl o’ Kibbles, let alone one day with Mom.)

Louie 'n' Mr. Rav lookin' handsome.

Louie ‘n’ Mr. Rav lookin’ handsome.

Nugget 1: Our mornin’ hike was a measly hop through Sand Run ‘cuz Mom wanted to take Mr. Rav to the car wash  before it got too hot. Once upon a time, that woulda made a HILARIOUS letter all by itself, but Mom’s gotten pretty good at controllin’ that hissin’ snake of a hose, ‘n’ she didn’t fall on her butt once. But she did get a flatterin’ photo of me posin’ with a shiny clean Mr. Rav.

Can you spot Mom's spider web?

Can you spot Mom’s spider web?

Nugget 2: A coupla days ago, me ‘n’ Mom found a most intricate spider web hangin’ over our new back door. Mom even tried to take a picture of it to send to you, but you know, spider webs don’t photograph too well unless the light’s special right, so she had to scratch that idea. Seein’ as how Mom is so terrified of spiders, you’d’ve thought she’d’ve wiped out that web as soon as she saw it, but as she solemnly ‘xplained to me, some spider tore all its insides out just to make that design ‘n’ catch it some dinner, so Mom decided to just leave it alone. ‘N’ that woulda been the end of the story, ‘cept this mornin’ whilst I was tryin’ to get a tan on my bare nether regions, Mom suddenly started howlin’ like she was bein’ attacked by a band of orcs, so naturally I leapt to my feet most adroitly ‘n’ galloped to her rescue. Well, Pops, I slid to a stop on the patio, ready to sink my fangs into some fat orcs, ‘n’ ended up laughin’ my head off instead. You woulda, too, if you’d’ve seen it. Mom had been sweepin’ the patio, ‘n’ in her befuddled old age had forgotten that darned spider web, ‘n’ she backed her head right into it. So there she was, hoppin’ up ‘n’ down ‘n’ battin’ frantically at her head with the broom ‘n’ wailin’ somethin’ pitiful. I got quite the belly laugh out of it, specially when she run into the house ‘n’ stuck her head under the shower, frantically tryin’ to get the spiders outta her hair. (There weren’t none, but you couldn’t tell Mom that. She was havin’ hysterics.)

Nugget 3: Despite my lectures, Mom hasn’t got the ‘xplorin’ bug out yet, ‘n’ this afternoon, she drug me to some place called Patterson Park a coupla blocks off Tallmadge Avenue on some place called North Hill. Well, it wasn’t QUITE as bad as that Waters Park place, but it had vibes I didn’t appreciate. At first glance, it looked like a nice little park with a coupla rollin’ hills ‘n’ a softball field or two ‘n’ some nice shady spots where a dog like me could take a leisurely poop. But we was immediately surrounded by piles ‘n’ piles of litter. (Fortunately, Mom had forgot her garbage bag, or we’d STILL be there pickin’ up beer cans ‘n’ potato chip bags ‘n’ pieces of trash that shouldn’t be touched by human hands nor canine paws.) There weren’t any men (?) sleepin’ on the benches, but there was LOTS of young gentlemen hangin’ about here ‘n’ there conversin’ in words neither me nor Mom understood. ‘N’ the ballfields was most sadly neglected, even though the grasses had been recently shorn. Well, I did my business post haste, let me tell you, ‘n’ I tried to haul Mom back to Mr. Rav, but she squared her shoulders ‘n’ said as long as we was there, we was gonna hike the perimeter. So we did. But it was a sad hike. As Mom said, it coulda been an oasis in an otherwise downtrodden neighborhood, but it was poorly maintained, ‘n’ the few folks who was usin’ it didn’t look like playin’ in the park was their main purpose, if you get my drift. So we escaped, ‘n’ Mom acknowledged that we prob’bly won’t be takin’ you there for any hikes. Thank Dog.

Nugget 4: I was takin’ a well-deserved late afternoon nap while Mom hid in the storage room, paintin’ AGAIN, when I was rousted from my dreams by yet another howl from Mom. So I dashed from the couch, through the kitchen ‘n’ into the laundry room (which is really as far as I care to go), fearin’ the worst. You know how Mom is with ladders. But instead of writhin’ in pain on the floor, she was hootin’ ‘n’ hollerin’ ‘n’ raisin’ her fist in triumph. “Done, Louie!” she jabbered. “Done, done, done, ‘n’ I’m never ever paintin’ again!!!!!”

Well, I cheered right along with her, ‘cuz, Pops, that paint is really stinky ‘n’ it fogs up my finely honed sense of smell. I’ve had to put up with this atrocity since the end o’ June, when Mom first started on the new doors, ‘n’ then worked her way around to all the back windows, ‘n’ then the fireplace, ‘n’ then the water heater door, ‘n’ then the liquor ‘n’ dog food cabinets, ‘n’ then the door to the laundry room, ‘n’ then to the many walls ‘n’ ceilin’s ‘n’ cabinets of the storage room. I didn’t think the agony would EVER stop. But Mom swore tonight she’s finished, ‘n’ tomorrow she gets to start the really fun part — puttin’ everythin’ back together again.

I don’t see where all this paintin’ has made things any nicer — in fact, everythin’ smells a whole lot worse — but Mom is now happy, so I  guess we should be, too. ‘N’ maybe by the time you get home, the house won’t reek of paint fumes.

Hopefully yours,


Pops replies:

Ms. Corolla suffers through the Stanislaus fire.

Ms. Corolla suffers through the Stanislaus fire.

Oh, Louie: Your nuggets are always so tasty. I can just picture Mom all tangled up in that most intricate spider web. But about that park … hmm … me thinks sometimes it’s a darned good thing that you are so ferocious looking. Thanks for protectin’ the homeland, even when it’s traveling.

p.s. Here’s a photo of Miss Corolla taken on Ash Wednesday.
Published in: on August 26, 2013 at 9:29 pm  Leave a Comment