July 30, from Louie, Day 49

Darn that Mom! DARN her!

She dilly-dallied, changin’ from bed clothes to street clothes ‘n’ searchin’ for her keys ‘n’ such, ‘n’ we was late to the airport, ‘n’ my flight to the Galapagos was just takin’ off as we was gettin’ in. I barked in despair, ‘cuz I could feel them librarians breathin’ down my neck, but there was still one flight left for the night — to Shanghai. I was prepared to turn over my life savin’s for a ticket, but Mom put her foot down ‘n’ said, no way, Louie, you go to Shanghai, you’ll get shangai’ed ‘n’ end up prostitutin’ yourself, or rowin’ oars in the galley of a Japanese whaler or — gulp, worse — stewin’ in somebody’s dinner pot. So I sadly let her drag me home — but I insisted on ridin’ in the trunk, ‘n’ I wouldn’t get out until Mom had all the garage doors closed ‘n’ said it was safe.

Geez, I had no IDEA library books was so precious!

So today I had to skulk around in disguise just to get in our walks ‘n’ a brief excursion to the dog park.

I thought I was darned near unrecognizable in Mom’s floppy denim hat ‘n’ a pair o’ your old readin’ glasses, but sheesh, I no sooner slithered through the gate, tryin’ to look inscrutable, when Chopper charged up ‘n’ said, “Louie, what’s with the dumb hat?”

‘N’ Jake trotted over ‘n’ said, “Cool glasses, dude.”

“‘xcuse me,” I said stiffly, “but I never seen either o’ you guys before in my life.”

Chopper ‘n’ Jake just ‘xchanged chuckles.

“Louie’s in trouble,” Chopper said.

“Yup,” Jake said.  

‘N’ then Marley come over to sniff butts ‘n’ said, “What’s with the stupid disguise?”

“AW, guys,” I pleaded, “Keep your voices down!” ‘N’ I frantically scanned the park for bookish spies.

“Oh, boy!” Chopper said. “This must be good!”

‘N’ they hounded me ‘n’ hounded me until I caved ‘n’ told ’em about my terrible indiscretion with the library book.

They was shocked.

“Library books is bad, Louie,” Chopper said.

“Worse than chewin’ MONEY,” Jake said.

“Much worse,” Marley agreed.

“WHAT AM I GONNA DO????????????????” I howled.   

‘N’ they all immediately circled me to keep the humans outta earshot while we conferred on my options.

“You could blame it on your Mom,” Chopper said. “She looks ditzy enough.”

“My Mom is NOT ditzy!” I said hotly (even though you ‘n’ me both know it really is all her fault).

“You could blame it on the  cat,” Marley said.

“Miss Marigold is dead,” I said sadly.

“Well, then, THAT won’t work,” Marley agreed. “Unless her GHOST did it!”

“Librarian ladies don’t believe in ghosts,” I said despondently. “They just believe in the Dewey decimal system.”

‘N’ we pondered the unfathomable depths of the library catalogin’ system. (Well, SOMEBODY has to!)

It looked like all was lost, ‘cuz if the best minds of the dog park couldn’t think of a way out for Louie, I was doomed.

But then Jake got a big grin on his face. “Deniability, Louie. That’s the ticket!”

I cocked my head at him in befuddlement. I’d never heard this word “deniability” before.

But Chopper ‘n’ Marley, who have a long record of canine misfeasances between ’em, was suddenly shakin’ their heads in agreement.

“Look, Lou,” Jake said, stickin’ his snout up under Mom’s hat so’s no one else but the boys could hear, “you just put on your most lovable, innocent face, ‘n’ if anyone EVER mentions that library book in your presence, you just deny it ever happened. You know nothin’ about it. You never touched that book, ‘n’ neither did your Mom. Deny everythin’. EVERYTHIN’!”

“‘N’ that’ll work?” I asked.

The boys all nodded at me.

“Even with — ” ‘n’ I whispered the word most fearfully ” — librarians?”

“Absolutely,” Jake said.

“Positively,” Marley said.

“I always deny everythin’,” Chopper said. “I NEVER been convicted.”

“So I don’t have to go to the Galapagos ‘n’ hang out with tortoises?” I asked hopefully.

“No way!” Jake said. “Just act like a dumb dog ‘n’ smile toothily at the librarians. They’ll just fine your Mom, ‘n’ no one’ll be the wiser.”

“Well, ALL RIGHT!!!!!!” I said. ‘N’ I whipped off that dumb hat ‘n’ them silly glasses, ‘n’ me ‘n’ the boys went runnin’ off into the wind.

I feel soooooooooooooooooooooo much better, Pops. ‘N’ I’m ever so thankful that I didn’t go off to the Galapagos. ‘Cuz, geez, none of them tortoises looks half as nice as Stoli Jane — or Maria — or even Mom. ‘N’ if she hasta do a little fudgin’ to explain the sad shape of her library book when she returns it — well, that’s a small price to pay for havin’ the likes o’ Louie by her side 24/7.

I really am worth it, don’t you think?

Your lovable,


P.S. Mom ‘n’ me would give you an ovation any night, if only you was here to enjoy it.

Pops replies:

Oh, Louie, take it from me, deniability can get you only so far. Eventually, the truth always wins out. But, if you and the boys down at the dog park think you can get a temporary reprieve through deniability, then so be it. Beats wearing a disguise. Besides, once the dirty deed is done – after all, the library book will never again be the same – you may as well stop worrying about it. The consequences will find you; that’s just a fact of life.
P.S. I wish I had a photo of you in the floppy hat and glasses. Of course, that toothy grin of yours has gotten you out of so much trouble, who needs floppy hats?
Published in: on July 31, 2010 at 12:41 am  Leave a Comment  

July 29, from Louie, Day 48

Don’t got much time to write, Pops.

I am in REALLY big trouble this time, ‘n’ I gotta go dye my hair ‘n’ change my name in time to catch the last flight outta Akron-Canton for the Galapagos Islands. Mom says I might be safe there.

‘N’ she’s not comin’ with me, ‘cuz she says it’s ALL MY FAULT, ‘n’ she’s gotta stay home to face the music alone.

It is NOT my fault. It’s HERS.

As you’ll most SURELY agree.

You see, we was cuddled up in bed last night readin’ (OK, MOM was readin’, ‘n’ I was most fastidiously groomin’ my nether regions) ‘n’ Mom was feelin’ kinda mellow ‘cuz she had this great  big day off ahead o’ her, ‘n’ since SHE was in a good mood, I was, too, despite this regrettable disagreement over swimmin’. See, I can be reasonable.

So, like I said, we was just lyin’ there, ‘n’ after a while, Mom put aside her book ‘n’ toddled off to the bathroom to rid herself o’ the red juice she’d been imbibin’.

Well, she took an awful long time, ‘n’ I got kinda bored lickin’ my privates, so I looked around for somethin’ ELSE to lick while I was waitin’ for Mom to toddle back ‘n’…..


There it was, not two inches from my snout.

Mom’s book.

(“Oh, no! Louie!” you’re sayin’.  “Not the book!” Oh. yeah.)

So I started snifflin’ ‘n’ snufflin’ at it, ‘n’ it smelled kinda funky ‘cuz it was an old book from way before I was born, ‘n’ I couldn’t see WHAT Mom found in it that was so innerestin’, so I started pagin’ through it with my claws, ‘n’ I hit this really hot ‘n’ steamy part about naked nether regions, ‘n’ I pawed through a coupla more pages ‘n’ stumbled across some really naughty words, so I started pawin’ ever faster ‘n’ —


I kinda ripped some pages.

Totally unintentionally, Pops, I swear. I was just sooooooooooooo caught up in the naked frolickin’ of the story line that I totally lost control o’ myself ‘n’ —– RRRRRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP!!!

“Louie?” Mom called from the bathroom. “What’re you doin’?”

“Nothin’, Mom,” I said hastily, ‘n’ I shoved the book to the floor so’s she wouldn’t guess it was me what tore the pages.

Well, Mom come tearin’ outta the bathroom, ‘cuz she NEVER believes me when I say “nothin’,” ‘n’ she stumbled right into that book on the floor (which unfortunately had fallen with its tattered pages exposed). 

She looked at the book. She looked at me.

“Louie,” she said, “what terrible thing have you done?”

“Nothin’, Mom, I swear.” ‘N’ I tried to give her my most innocent look.

Mom planted her hands on her hips. “If you been doin’ nothin’, Lou, how come there’s printed letters danglin’ from your lips?”

I licked my chops ‘n’ swiftly swallowed the evidence.

But I was way too late. Mom knew EXACTLY  what I had been up to.

‘N’ she was MOST distraught

“Louie!” she wailed as she retrieved the book ‘n’ tried hopelessly to smooth out its pages, “do you have any IDEA what you’ve done?”

“I tore a book,” I admitted, ‘n’ hung my head in shame.

“Not just a book,” Mom admonished. “A LIBRARY book! This book belongs to the tax-payin’ citizens of Summit County! It was entrusted into your Mom’s care. I was sworn to guard ‘n’ protect it, ‘n’ now it’s been most defiled!”

“Aw geez, Mom,” I said. “How bad can it be? A little fine, huh?”

But Mom just shook her head. “You don’t unnerstand, Louie. Library books is guarded by the most fearsome creatures on Earth. More fearsome than bears or the DAR. Library books is guarded by — LIBRARIANS!!!!!!!”

‘N’ the very words just shriveled up my privates.

‘Cuz even us dogs has heard about LIBRARIANS!  They’re vicious haridans! They feast on the blood o’ poor folks whose books is even just one day overdue! They prowl the aisles of the library, just hopin’ to catch little children innocently wipin’ their boogers on book jackets. They wait breathlessly for some hapless homeless indigent old man to raise his voice, just so’s they can raise their fingers to their lips ‘n’ go “SSSSHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!”

‘N’ nothin’ riles ’em up more than a library book chewed upon by a dog. They have special dog roasts in the parkin’ lot, just for the likes of fellas like me.

So I got no choice but to flea, ‘n’ leave Mom behind to try to deflect their vengeance (they’ll go much easier on a white-haired lady with wrinkles than they will on me). I don’t know when we’ll get to talk again, Pops. Maybe when I find myself a nice warm spot on the beaches of the Galapagos ‘n’ has made friends with a tortoise or two, I’ll give you a call (‘cuz I’m takin’ Mom’s phone). Until then……

Well, it’s been grand.


P.S.  Oh, yeah, Mom took me to Bow Wow Beach this evenin’ ‘n’ it was fine.

Pops replies:

Oh, Louie — Oh, no, Louie — not a library book. ‘Cuz you know it’s one thing to chew on Mom’s slippers and to play laundry games and to sharpen your teeth on the furniture, but chewing library books is about the worst thing a dog can do. I don’t think the Galapagos is far away enough for you, son. You might think about becoming Chinese (oh, wait, maybe not) or Australian or becoming a sailor dog. Once you have librarians on your tail, well, you are dog meat!!!

But I’m glad you are having fun at Bow Wow Beach. I knew you had it in you.
Published in: on July 29, 2010 at 9:14 pm  Leave a Comment  

July 28, from Louie, Day 47

Dear Dad,

I am most disappointed in both you ‘n’ Mom. You guys just REFUSE to think outta the box — or even the HOUSE!


‘N’ all Mom would do this mornin’ was take me on a stinkin’ hot hike to O’Neil Woods. If it’d been up to ME, we woulda both been loungin’ on a nice sunny beach sippin’ sissified drinks ‘n’ checkin’ out the hot babes (or dudes, in the case o’ Mom), but instead, we was ploddin’ through the suffocatin’ forests of the valley, ‘n’ it was Mom’s own fault if she ended up gettin’ chewed on by the skeeters — ‘cuz everyone knows, skeeters aren’t allowed in Stow.

OK, it was a tolerable hike. There was many fine trees to sniff ‘n’ an abundance of grasses to munch (followed by a most satisfyin’ barf), ‘n’ we mighta even gone wadin’ in Yellow Creek if Mom coulda found a way down the bank without breakin’ our ankles on the rocks. ‘N’ we did meet up with a fine young pup named Bruno, who woulda raced with me all over creation if we coulda slipped outta our blings, but, o’ course, that didn’t happen, ‘cuz Mom won’t trust me offa the leash outside the dog parks. Here I am, a dog in my PRIME, ‘n’ Mom drags me around the trails on a leash like a baby.



I don’t see the problem with towin’ the house to Bow Wow Beach. It’s a FINE community, ‘n’ I’m SURE the tax rate is most accommodatin’. So WHAT if we gotta give up our most pleasant view of the valley? So WHAT if we gotta leave a few rooms behind? We don’t use ’em all anyway.

‘N’ so WHAT if come December, it’ll be so cold, even Louie won’t wanna go swimmin’? We just tow the house back to Canyon Trail ‘n’ staple the rooms back together. WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL?????

“But Louie,” Mom said as we was hackin’ our way through the dense foliage of the valley, “you need to ‘xpose yourself to MANY challengin’ environments if you want to be a well-rounded dog, attractive ‘n’ suitable for bitches of fine breedin’. You can’t narrow your focus to just SWIMMIN’ every day. You’ll turn into a beach bum, ‘n’ then no one but beach bimbos will want to have any part of you!”

So that’s a problem??????


‘Sides, there are many MANY literate bitches at Bow Wow Beach who know how to bark in more than one syllable. ‘N’ at the risk of bringin’ up an embarrassin’ name from the past, Stoli Jane just LOVED swimmin’, ‘n’ you ‘n’ Mom never once thoughta HER as a bimbo. Why, Pops, you wrote quite frequently of Stoli Jane’s many praiseworthy qualities (‘n’ a whole lot of ’em involved SWIMMIN’).

So I think you guys is just makin’ excuses ‘cuz you don’t wanna dislodge yourselves from our safe ‘n’ comfortable digs on Canyon Trail, when there’s a whole NOTHER aquatic world out there, just waitin’ for Louie to conquer it. So you better think up a way for us to move to the beach, or I’ll have to consult my union rep. I’m SURE there’s somethin’ in my contract that requires daily swimmin’. (‘N’ if there isn’t, there oughta be.)

Your determined,


P.S. In the debate over movin’ to Bow Wow Beach, I almost forgot to tell you the WUNNERFUL new enhancement Mom has dreamed up. It has become my LATEST obsession. I didn’t care much for Mom’s vegetarian spaghetti sauce, even if it WAS made outta our own tomatoes, ‘cuz there wasn’t no MEAT, so in a brilliant flash of inspiration, Mom run through McDonald’s ‘n’ picked up some CHICKEN NUGGETS ‘n’ chopped ’em up in my dinner. Ohhhhhhhhh, Pops, they was MOST fantabulous, ‘n’ only about a gazillion calories each (‘n’ since I’m a dog ‘n’ I don’t care about calories, WTF). I licked up my bowl so voraciously, I think I wore through the plastic coatin’. I know you’re gonna write immediately to Mom ‘n’ tell her to STOP THAT!!!!!

But I hope she don’t listen to you, ‘cuz them nuggets is divine.

P.P.S. I been hearin’ Mom utter the words “pet sitter” occasionally while talkin’ to you. Say, you guys aren’t thinkin’ of goin’ off on your errands without me this fall, are you? 

That would be most wrong.

Pops replies:

Oh, Louie, chicken McNuggets are perfect for you — they don’t contain ANY actual chicken meat; just all the grisly stuff that you like the most anyway. Perfect!
Now, about Bow Wow Beach. Maybe we can reach some accommodation here. Maybe we can deal on this — like, a weekly visit to the beach in return for one night a week without barking? Huh? And, Lou, we’ll be most understanding if you decide to leave your union rep out of this. That just complicates things.
Think about it.
Published in: on July 28, 2010 at 11:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

July 27, from Louie, Day 46


You must take the weekend off so you can come home ‘n’ help Mom dig up the house ‘n’ hitch it to Baby ‘n’ tow it to Stow. There’s a dandy little spot in the parkin’ lot at Bow Wow Beach, right under the trees, ‘n’ I think we can squeeze the house in there if we just lop off a room or two. ‘N’ that way, Mom’ll never again be able to tell me no to swimmin’ just ‘cuz we don’t have time to make the dreadful long drive.

Oh, Pops, we had such a marvelicious mornin’!

I let Mom sleep in, ‘n’ she was in such a jolly mood once she got coffee’d up, she immediately bundled me into Miss Corolla, ‘n’ we sped through all the multitudinous stoplights straight to Bow Wow Beach. Bein’ a Tuesday mornin’, it wasn’t too crowded — maybe two dozen dogs, ‘n’ in a park THAT size, that’s pretty sparse. But once I made my obligatory tour of the perimeter to decorate the posies, we come upon a coupla boys playin’ ball in the water. I give Mom a look over my shoulder ‘n’ said “Bye!” ‘N’ I didn’t come back outta the lake again for HOURS!!!!!!

Oh, golly, but it was soooooooooooo grand! I splashed up ‘n’ down the beach, rasslin’ with this fella ‘n’ playin’ tag with that one, ‘n’ gettin’ most soppin’ wet. ‘N’ Mom didn’t embarrass me once by wadin’ in with me. It was just me ‘n’ the guys (‘n’ an occasional darin’ bitch), water-boxin’ ‘n’ chasin’ balls ‘n’ (when we needed to slow down for a second ‘n’ catch our breath) snortin’ at the fishes. It was without a doubt the most exhiliratin’ excursion I’ve EVER had to Bow Wow Beach ‘n’ I wanna go back there EVERY SINGLE DAY ‘n’ I don’t care HOW much Mom’s gotta work. You ‘n’ her have just gotta find a way to make it happen!

Or I won’t love neither one of you anymore.

So there.

Wetly yours,


P.S. Akron dog park? What Akron dog park?

Never been there.

Pops replies:

Oh, Louie, I just knew that you were meant for the water. It’s in your genes. Don’t you remember last year when Stoli Jane was writin’ to you and she kept telling you about the water? Oh, that’s right, we don’t talk about her, do we? Anyway, I don’t think we can hitch the house to Baby and tow it to Stow. Maybe we can park Mother there and you can live there fulltime and we’ll come visit you? Nah, where would you get your enhancements? Maybe Mom can teach you to drive Miss Corolla.


Published in: on July 27, 2010 at 9:04 pm  Leave a Comment  

July 26, from Louie, Day 45

Hi, Pops!
Mom says me ‘n’ her is jinxed.
How else do you explain the fact that we woke up to a gloridacious mornin’, with clear skies ‘n’ moderate temperatures ‘n’ tantalizin’ breezes, ‘n’ when we  tooled on down to the dog park, ONCE AGAIN we was the only ones there? Not even a CHIPMUNK to tempt Louie into a rip-snortin’ run?
I did my research, Pops. I checked back on all my old letters, ‘n’ it’s been at least 1945 since we had us a good romp at the dog park. Every mornin’, we venture out with great expectations, ‘n’ every mornin’ our hopes is dashed! No Chopper. No Jake. No Marley. Not even Fat Annie. All the regulars is gone!
What the heck is goin’ on?
Well, Mom was determined to get some laps in this mornin’, whether we was alone or not, ‘n’ after a while, a lady come in with her brayin’ beagle Morty ‘n’ a VERY stout old Lab who did nothin’ but snarl ‘n’ slobber at me. ‘N’ Hugo (you know, the black fella who has the face of a pit bull) showed up, too, ‘n’ we sniffed butts ‘n’ said pleasant hellos. But when the old Basset arrived (the one whose face I humped a coupla weeks back) ‘n’ my first reaction was to hump his face again, Mom called it quits ‘n’ took me home. ‘Cuz none of the fun guys was there, ‘n’ it was a WORK mornin’ after all, ‘n’ the clock was tickin’ in Mom’s head.
We discussed it on the drive home, ‘n’ we aren’t ready to give up on the park just yet, but we’re both mighty concerned, Pops. There just don’t seem to be enough people (‘n’ dogs) usin’ the park no more. It isn’t a very fancy park to start with (certainly nothin’ like the luxurious accommodations of Bow Wow Beach), but it’s awful convenient on those work mornin’s when Mom’s too whupped for a serious hike. But without the regulars there……gosh, it isn’t much fun. I can’t remember the last time I got to run like the wind (‘n’ you know, a dog o’ my dimensions needs to run A LOT) ‘n’ with my ex-girlfriend Annie puttin’ on airs, there isn’t too many bitches to catch my eye, neither. It’s no fun bein’ Alpha if there’s no one to be Alpha over, you know?
Golly, Pops, what if EVERYONE abandons the dog park ‘n’ the city, in its budget-cuttin’ frenzy, decides to shut it down? WHAT WOULD WE DO???????? Where would Dingo of the Herniated Butt go to strain over his poops?????? Where would his old human go to feel needed ‘n’ useful? Oh, gosh, I’ve had so much fun there in the past with Chopper ‘n’ all the other guys……oh, geez, what’s gonna happen?????? Sometimes, when I’m on bear patrol ‘n’ the sun is broilin’ in the 90s, the only thing that gets me through my rounds is the thought that tomorrow, I can go kick back with the boys ‘n’ forget about WORK.
But what if they’re all GONE????
Oh, this is just too dismal to contemplate. I’m gonna go find one of my three Buddies ‘n’ gnaw on it for a while.
‘N’ maybe tomorrow, things’ll look better.
Maybe tomorrow, it’ll be even nicer out, ‘n’ the old gang will reappear.
Ever hopeful,
Your lonely,

Pops replies:

Dad's MOST amazin' snow bloom!

Oh Louie, it’s tough bein’ lonely, huh? Uh, but, uh, maybe you ‘n Mom are getting there a bit too late for the regulars? OK, maybe not. I dunno. Sometimes things just don’t work out. Maybe Mom will take you back to Bow Bow Beach, where there’s always something going on — ‘n lots of boys to romp with ‘n lots of girls to flirt with.
P.S.  The most amazing Snow Bloom has sprouted in the middle of the parking area for Mother.
Published in: on July 27, 2010 at 12:36 am  Leave a Comment  

July 25, from Louie, Day 44

Well, Pops, the thunder boomers finally dealt a cripplin’ blow to the heat goblins, ‘n’ we woke this mornin’ to much more tolerable temperatures, even if we still had quite a drippy hike on the Towpath. Me ‘n’ Mom got so wet, she said she shoulda brung along the shampoo ‘n’ we both coulda had us a nice shower ‘n’ hair conditionin’ down at Big Bend.

Unfortunately for Mom, cooler weather meant I was WAAAAAAAY too playful when she drug herself home from that Evil Work Place tonight. After so many days suffocatin’ under a blanket o’ heat, I was ready to rumble this evenin’, ‘n’ as soon as we stepped out for our Midnight Stroll, all my wishes come true.

Poor Mom.

First off, we no sooner got down the driveway when we was accosted by them nasty night-walkin’ dogs materializin’ outta the gloom up Tamiami Trail. They wanted to rip out my throat, ‘n’ I wanted to tear open their bellies, ‘n’ it was all Mom could do to drag me up into the park while their human dragged THEM down Canyon Trail. There was great gobs o’ slobber flyin’ in all directions ‘n’ fangs snappin’ ‘n’ boy, what a fight there woulda been if only we coulda got loose!

Well, Mom was grumblin’ at me mightily as she hauled me through the park, ‘n’ I was snipin’ back at her for not lettin’ me mix it up with them fellas, ‘n’ I guess that’s why we was neither of us payin’ too much attention to our surroundin’s, ‘n’ with no warnin’ AT ALL, we stumbled upon a posse o’ teenage boys sneakin’ a smoke at the picnic table.

Mom ‘n’ me gasped in startlement as we skittered to a halt. THEY gasped in startlement as they tried to hide their butts ‘n’ one of ’em mighta said an impolite word or two. They wasn’t really hooligans, but I was so riled up already, I uttered a growl or two myself, ‘n’ Mom had to haul on my bling — AGAIN — to head us back toward the circle and outta harm’s way.

But wait! Our startlements wasn’t over!

I’d no sooner found me a nice patch of impatiens to deflower when suddenly Mom groaned, ‘n’ with no explanation WHATSOEVER, she tried to drag me back in mid-poop toward the house.

 “Moooooooooooooooooom,” I complained, “I ain’t done yet!”

 “Oh, yes, you are,” Mom hissed.

 “Am not,” I said, ‘n’ I stubbornly continued to hunch over.

 ‘N’ that’s when I spotted ’em outta the corner of my eye — not one, but TWO deer, ‘n’ they wasn’t does! They was BUCKS with little horns sproutin’ outta their heads!

Well, Pops, if I hadn’t’ve been caught indisposed, Mom’s arm sockets woulda been history. But some tasks just gotta be completed, no matter how many bucks is frolickin’ about. So as I whined ‘n’ pooped, Mom stomped her feet ‘n’ waved her arms, ‘n’ those bucks took off for the Chivalrous Neighbor’s house, ‘n’ Mom was braced ‘n’ ready for me by the time I tried to leap after ’em.

Oh, if only I hadn’t’ve been compromised! It woulda been no contest. I’d still be chasin’ them boys down to Cincinnati! But Mom had a head start on me, ‘n’ all I could do was huff ‘n’ snort in disappointment ‘n’ prance backwards as she wrangled me home.

Well, Mom was quite breathless as she staggered back into the house ‘n’ I was still itchin’ to mix it up with some wildlife. So thinkin’ it would calm me down, Mom shooed me out to the back yard while she whipped up my dinner ‘n’ — wouldn’t you know it? I IMMEDIATELY treed me two Rockies on the island!!!!!!

Good golly, don’t ANYONE sleep at night no more?

So I howled ‘n’ barked ‘n’ run circles around the island while them Rockies stared down at me with their beady eyes ‘n’ taunted me to climb the tree — which, of course, I couldn’t do, but I tried mightily, believe me. ‘N’ Mom just moaned as all hopes of a restful evenin’ evaporated, ‘n’ she shoved me back into the kitchen, slammed the door ‘n’ hung her head over her knees, waitin’ for you to call.

Some nights is tougher on Mom than others. 

I’m still pretty revved up, so who knows what’s gonna happen before I finally call it a night?

Hee hee hee.

Your ornery,


Pops replies:

Oh, Louie, life is just one startlement after another for you. Life is so simple – every minute of every day is a fresh start on new adventures. We should all have it so good.
Published in: on July 26, 2010 at 1:02 am  Leave a Comment  

July 24, from Louie, Day 43

Oh, Pops, it’s been the most brutalest day of your long ‘n’ tiresome absence. ‘N’ instead of baskin’ in the air conditionin’, I pulled weekend patrol.
Am I unlucky or WHAT????
This mornin’ as we crawled outta bed (where I spent EVERY SINGLE MINUTE last night ‘cuz of the spine-bogglin’ storms), me ‘n’ Mom was ever hopeful that the thunder boomers had at least chased away the heat goblins, but as soon as we stepped out to the back yard to await the brewin’ of Mom’s coffee, we was IMMEDIATELY smothered by a stinkin’ hot cloak of smog. Mom was all for chuckin’ a hike ‘n’ takin’ a quick tour of the park next door so I could pee ‘n’ poop, ‘n’ then we’d crawl into a big tub of ice cubes ‘n’ just chill out until it was time for her to go to that Evil Work Place. So I had to sit her down ‘n’ ‘xplain federal regulations to her, ‘n’ how I was sworn to be a weekend warrior, no matter how life-threatenin’ the circumstances.
Well, Mom unnerstands work rules, so she reluctantly agreed to a mornin’ excursion to the dog park, so’s I could hunt for aliens ‘n’ bears ‘n’ such ‘n’ keep my work record (relatively) unblemished.
The long ‘n’ the short of it is, we didn’t run into ANY invaders ANYWHERE all day, but I DID sniff out some peculiar situations, which I faithfully reported to Tommy Lee.
No. 1 — Even though it was Saturday mornin’, there wasn’t a SINGLE ‘nother dog at the park. Now THAT was suspicious right there. No dogs on a weekend? Obviously, the dog park had been cleared out as a major stagin’ ground for somethin’ sinister. So I immediately made note of it in my log. (Another car DID pull up as we was leavin’, but it was only the lady with the jingle bell dogs, ‘n’ that only proved my suspicions, ‘cuz we all know the jingle bell dogs lean waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay to the right. Or to the left. Dependin’ on which way their bells is hangin’).
No. 2 — The driveway to the dog park ‘n’ the trail head was bein’ guarded by TWO beefy individuals on hogs. Wearin’ leather. With metal studs. I growled at them most ferociously as I hung out Miss Corolla’s windows, ‘cuz they was obviously the advance guard. (Or, as Mom pretended, they was just early arrivals for a poker run.) 
No. 3 — As we drug ourselves around the neighborhood for a Pre-Work Walk under a sun that just melted my ear wax, we come upon a house where the humans was layin’ out ramps all over their front yard. ‘N’ each ramp had a round hole in it.
“Mom,” I whispered, “what kinda implements o’ torture is them things?”
“Them?” Mom said, forgettin’ to keep her voice low. “Why those contraptions are used to play a lovely picnic game called cornhole.”
“Cornhole????” I repeated. ‘N’ the very name was ugly enough to send shivers down my spine.
“Why, yes,” Mom said brightly. “They must be plannin’ a party, ‘n’ everyone’s gonna get drunk on adult beverages ‘n’ have a cornhole tournament. Too bad we wasn’t invited.”
Cornhole, my butt, I thought as we plodded past the house. Them ramps with holes was surely evil devices for holdin’ dogs ‘n’ small humans prisoner. So I put that in my log, too.
Mom dismissed my suspicions as the paranoid delusions of a paramilitary mind, ‘n’ she blithely went off to that Evil Work Place, leavin’ me alone to continue my weekend responsibilities from inside the house.
‘N’ a coupla hours later, I was proved right, ‘cuz even though it was only 6 o’clock, it suddenly got black as night, ‘n’ the enemy ATTACKED when we least expected it, hurlin’ thunder ‘n’ lightnin’ ‘n’ great gusts o’ wind at our already battered homes on Canyon Trail, ‘n’ this time I had to defend the homeland without Mom as my backup. Oh, I was stretched terrible thin, Pops, barkin’ ‘n’ dashin’ from window to window ‘n’ scarin’ away the aliens that tried to get through under cover of rain. There was many times I thought I was gonna be overwhelmed, ‘cuz the aliens had planned well, ‘n’ the storm was STUPENDOUS! 
But I had warned Tommy Lee ‘n’ Will, based on what I seen at the dog park ‘n’ elsewhere, ‘n’ they rustled up a windstorm o’ their own to chase out the hail ‘n’ thunder of the aliens, ‘n’ by the time Mom come home, there was nothin’ left of the battle but a gentle drizzly afterthought. Which we walked in for our Midnight Stroll, ‘cuz it was quite refreshin’.
‘N’ Mom was never the wiser as to how close we come to surrender.
Whew, but it’s been a tough day here on the homefront.
‘N’ now I gotta chase Mom to bed, ‘cuz I am really pooped.
Gosh, but I hope tomorrow is cooler.
Your brother in arms,

Pops replies:

Oh, Louie, I can just feel your exhaustion. I hope the heat goblins go away soon. I’m not sure you can take much more. But, be assured, your efforts at guardin’ the homeland are much appreciated.
Published in: on July 25, 2010 at 12:38 am  Leave a Comment  

July 23, from Louie, Day 42

Well, Pops, we’re gonna have to make it short ‘n’ sweet tonight, ‘cuz it may be the end of the world as you ‘n’ me know it.
Mom tried — really, she says she tried, ‘n’ I believe her. (Why would she lie when she’s got a whole contract full o’ ironclad rules to get her outta a walk LEGALLY if she wants to?) So she says she saw the storm comin’ on the radar at that Evil Work Place, ‘n’ since things was well in hand by 10:30, she passed off to her second in command ‘n’ raced home to grab me for a quick stroll around the block before we was inundated.
But she wasn’t fast enough.
I was pacin’ the kitchen, hopin’ she’d come home early so’s I could relieve myself, but I KNEW we was in trouble when I could barely hear the sound of the garage door openin’ over the thunder boomers smashin’ into the house. ‘N’ the very moment Mom dashed indoors with a breathless “Louie!” the skies was torn apart by a psychedelic flash o’ lightnin’, ‘n’ a solid wall of water crashed down on all creation. (You musta felt it all the way out there in California, so you know I’m tellin’ you true.)  
“Oh, Mom!” I said in relief, ‘cuz I hate to weather thunder boomers alone, ‘n’ I squeezed myself around her thighs.
“Oh, Louie!” Mom said, ‘n’ she dropped all o’ her work-related belongin’s, ‘n’ she hugged me fiercely.
‘N’ the house shuddered all around us, ‘n’ the lightnin’ stabbed us in the eyes, ‘n’ tidal waves from the Little Cuyahoga broke against the patio windows.
Mother Nature is havin’ herself a serious Hissy Fit, ‘n’ me ‘n’ Mom is caught right in the middle o’ it. We can’t go out ‘n’ walk for fear of bein’ fried by the lightnin’, ‘n’ we can’t dash out to the back yard for a quick pee ‘cuz I still can’t swim that good, ‘n’ we can’t even huddle at the windows ‘n’ watch the madness for fear the wind is gonna whip an errant tree limb into the glass ‘n’ blind us forever. We are stuck in the maelstrom (cool word, huh?) ‘n’ for fear that the lightnin’ will travel down our computer wires ‘n’ sizzle my claws right offa my paws, Mom says I got to sign off IMMEDIATELY. She says  I can catch you up on all the news from Louisville tomorrow — providin’ we’re both still HERE tomorrow ‘n’ not doin’ the backstroke in Lake Erie. 
So good night, Pops. I’m sorry my letter isn’t more informative but —
AW GEEZ. but that one was CLOSE!!!!!!!

Pops replies:

Oh, Louie, when all else fails me, I can always count on you to cheer me up. Always. I’m sure by now you are able to uncross all of your legs and things are back to being normal there in Louisland.
Published in: on July 23, 2010 at 11:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

July 22, from Louie, Day 41

Hi, Pops!

Louie, here, recoverin’ from a day just reekin’ of adventure!

Hee hee hee.

Our adventures actually started last night, when me ‘n’ Mom was cuddlin’ up in bed to read. Well, MOM was readin’. I was lickin’ this ‘n’ that just to pass the time.

For no reason WHATsoever, Mom looked at me over the top of her book ‘n’ said, “Louie, what stinks?”

“Stinks?” I gulped. ‘N’ I kinda inched toward the bottom of the bed. “I don’t smell nothin’ stinkin’.”

But Mom wrinkled her nose ‘n’ sniffed. “You didn’t eat no beans ‘n’ wieners tonight, so it can’t be you. But somethin’ in this bed stinks!”

“Really, Mom,” I protested. “Nothin’ stinks.”

But Mom propped herself up on her elbows ‘n’ looked down at me. “Louie, whatcha hidin’?”

“Me? Hidin’? Why, I’m not hidin’ nothin’, Mom,” I said guiltily.

“Oh, yes, you are, Louie!” Mom said, ‘n’ she pounced.

‘N’ knocked me offa the perfectly wunnerful birthday bone that had been marinatin’ for the past three days in the back yard. Not only did it stink deliciously, it was — um — studded with absolutely yummy — um — well — maggots.

“LOOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEE!” Mom shrieked, ‘n’ she hopped outta bed like it was on fire, leavin’ a nifty little pile of maggots behind.

‘N’ before I could retrieve ANY of ’em, Mom wrapped ’em all up in the ratty old quilt, dashed to the garage ‘n’ stuffed the whole thing into the garbage.

End of quilt. End of bone. End of maggots.

I may never have me a bone again.

But that was just ONE adventure, Pops. We had many, many more!

‘Cuz this afternoon, Mom made up for breakin’ her promise yesterday, ‘n’ even though she was still quite perturbed at me for allowin’ worms in her bed, she took me to Bow Wow Beach.

Oh, yeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhh!

Well, it wasn’t nearly as crowded as on the weekend, but there was still a goodly number of dogs splashin’ in the water. ‘Course, Louie bein’ Louie, I had to do things MY way. ‘N’ that meant scoutin’ out the perimeter, peein’ here ‘n’ poopin’ there, before I dove in. Mom was afraid I was regressin’, so takin’ the lead o’ some other ladies, she stripped off her shoes ‘n’ socks ‘n’ waded into the lake.

‘N’ I immediately followed, ‘cuz, gosh darn it, Mom wasn’t gonna have no swimmin’ fun without me!

Oh, Pops, we galloped up ‘n’ down the beach, havin’ us a merry old time splashin’ water all over each other ‘n’ chasin’ away the fishes. (You woulda got yourself quite a chuckle, watchin’ Mom totterin’ in the shallows ‘n’ fendin’ off the other dogs that wanted to dunk her.)

I got wet ALL over, ‘n’ Mom did, too. ‘N’ as she dragged herself up the beach to retrieve her shoes, she warned me that we was both gonna come down with dysentery ‘n’ beri-beri ‘n’ probably tape worms from all the unsanitary germs floatin’ in the lake.

But who cares? We had us a GRAND swim!

‘N’ NEXT time, maybe I’ll even dive offa the dock!!!!!!

So we finally headed home (Mom was really quite PINK), but our adventures wasn’t over yet!  

We detoured to the condo, to police the patio ‘n’ pick up the mail, ‘n’ then ‘cuz Mom was so DEHYDRATED (she won’t lap up lake water like I do), we had to drive through McDonald’s ‘n’ get her latest obsession (strawberry banana fruit smoothies — yuck), ‘n’ then we stopped to give Miss Corolla some gas, ‘cuz she was feelin’ poorly after her mornin’ at the car doctor’s,

‘n’ THEN —

We was drivin’ up the Merriman hill, so close to home I could nearly smell it, and Pops! There was a DEER munchin’ peacefully on the grass at the side of the road!

Well, I barked in gleeful astonishment, ‘n’ I LUNGED for the window, ‘n’ if it had been ONE INCH lower, I’d’ve sailed right through it ‘n’ chased that deer all the way to Outer Mongolia. You ‘n’ Mom woulda never seen Louie again!

But, sadly, I couldn’t get my shoulders all the way out. Mom just managed to yank me back without wreckin’ Miss Corolla, ‘n’ she promptly closed all the windows ‘n’ the sun roof, ‘n’ I had to ride the rest o’ the way home in the artificially sweetened air of the freshener conveniently supplied by the car doctors.

Mom was pretty shook up by that close call, ‘n’ she lectured me fearsomely about the dangers of leapin’ outta movin’ cars, but I only half listened to her, ‘cuz I KNOW the next time we go out, she’ll crank down the windows so I don’t suffocate. That’s just Mom.

‘N’ finally to top it all off, we had PICKIN’ CHICKEN for dinner!

Is that an adventuresome day or what??????

I’m almost sorry it’s darn near close to tomorrow, ‘cuz I don’t think we can do anythin’ that’ll be more fun than this day — unless maybe it would be swimmin’ ‘n’ splashin’ ‘n’ cleanin’ up after maggots with you.

Multitudinous hugs, Pops.

Your exhausted,


Pops replies:

Oh, Louie, you must be exhausted. Wow, you had one wunnerful, wunnerful day, didn’t you? I’m not sure what you liked the most – the maggots, the splashin’, the deer or the pickin’ chicken. Of course, for you, it’s all good, all the time. Right?
Ah, but some days are better than others. Tomorrow you can re-live all those great memories from yesterday. Sometimes, that can be just as good.

Published in: on July 22, 2010 at 8:26 pm  Leave a Comment  

July 21, from Louie, Day 40

Well, Pops, I’ve had two big meals — with enhancements — so I guess in the great scheme o’ things, it don’t really matter that SOMEONE failed to live up to her promise to take me swimmin’.
But I am VERY disappointed in Mom, Dad. VERY VERY disappointed.
I probably shoulda known the day wasn’t gonna turn out right when, instead of sleepin’ in, as SOMEONE had planned, we was blasted outta bed at the crack o’ nine o’clock by the lawn-mowin’ orcs. ‘N’ since they was swarmin’ all over the back yard before Mom even had her clothes on, she couldn’t just let me out for a mornin’ pee. No, she had to get dressed without benefit of her coffee ‘n’ march me up to the circle ‘n’ back so’s I could stop crossin’ my legs ‘n’ whinin’. ‘N’ wouldn’t ya know it? The grass was so short anyway, by the time we turned up the driveway, multitudinous poop bags in hand, the orcs was gone. ‘N’ so was their nefarious equipment.
“All riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight!” I said, dancin’ on my leash. “Now we can go swimmin’!”
But Mom just pointed up at the big black clouds hangin’ over our heads ‘n’ said, nope, we had to wait for the storm to pass.
Not fair, Pops. Who cares if it’s rainin’ if you’re already in a lake? Huh? Huh?
But since Mom has custody of the car keys, I was her prisoner. So I stalked into the house ‘n’ sulked while she spent the rest of the mornin’ catchin’ up on her housecleanin’ chores.
Well, long about noon, Mom started gatherin’ sunglasses ‘n’ such — a sure sign that we was about to go on an adventure — ‘n’ I leapt around in glee, already picturin’ myself divin’ off the dock.
But nooooooooooooooooo, Mom had other errands planned in the opposite direction of Bow Wow Beach, ‘n’ instead of doin’ the backstroke, I had to settle for a shady but invigoratin’ hike around Oak Hill. It was pretty darned hot ‘n’ humid, ‘n’ I couldn’t help thinkin’ the whole time I was battin’ gnats ‘n’ mosquitoes ‘n’ horseflies outta my eyes that it sure woulda  been a whole lot more fun kickin’ up the sand on Bow Wow Beach.
So after a short stop to buy some fresh-picked corn (which made Mom absolutely slobber in anticipation — I don’t see why. It’s just a vegetable, for gosh sakes!) we went home, ‘n’ I pouted all afternoon in the livin’ room while Mom did MORE housecleanin’ stuff. (This woman don’t know how to enjoy a nice day off, if you ask me.)
At the hottest, humidest, suffocatin’est point of the afternoon, Mom started gatherin’ up keys ‘n’ such again, ‘n’ this time I KNEW we was goin’ to the beach. But noooooooooo, Mom just pointed up at the big black clouds that was rumblin’ to the west, ‘n’ she took off for a round of errands without me.
I was devastated.
Now when she got home, she did give me a MOST satisfyin’ belly rub to make up for my loneliness, ‘n’ she loaded my dinner plate with the last of the ground beef enhancements, ‘n’ they was most yummy, but when she hauled out the bling for the final walk of the day, she darned near broke my heart when ONCE AGAIN she pointed to the rumblin’ black clouds overhead ‘n’ forced me to settle for a steamy walk around  the block. (Good thing, too, ‘cuz the skies was ripped apart with lightnin’ not five minutes after we got home.)
So, OK, maybe she was lookin’ out for my best interests by refusin’ to take me to the swimmin’ hole when the whole darned county was under a thunderstorm watch, ‘n’ maybe I wouldn’t’ve liked it much if a bolt o’ lightnin’ had electrified my privates while I was divin’ for tuna, but gosh darn it, Pops, she PROMISED ‘n’ she didn’t come through.
You just can’t believe a word that woman says, ‘cuz she always just breaks your heart.
Your deprived,

Pops replies:

Oh, Louie, you wanna end up a toasted hot dog? Nope, Mom was right. When the elements ain’t right, it’s best to do nothin’. Besides, sounds like you had a very satisfyin’ day, with all those multitudinous (your word, Lou) walks and belly rubs to boot. You really can believe what a woman says to you, my son, it’s just not always apparent what she means. Especially for us guys.
Published in: on July 21, 2010 at 8:27 pm  Leave a Comment