Sept. 13, from Louie, Day 102

The afternoon is hot ‘n’ stuffy, ‘n’ I’m stuck here in the foyer, guardin’ the front window, while Mom runs all around town, takin’ care of her multitudinous errands without me.

Not fair, Mom. Not fair.

It’s borin’ here guardin’ the homefront. All the other guys is out horsin’ around in the sunshine, but not Louie. Noooooooooooooo. Louie’s gotta sit here at attention, many many feet away from his food bowl ‘n’ his water bowl. Louie’s gotta keep his eyes wide open ‘n’ his ears on red alert, scannin’ the driveway for signs of orcs ‘n’ never once sneakin’ a nap. Louie’s gotta work while everyone else plays, ‘n’ it’s not right. I been on duty all summer long, ‘n’ no one appreciates how hard it’s been. Not even Pops.

My shoulders ache. My paws is throbbin’. I wanna stand down. I —

Wait!!!!! What is that FOREIGN VEHICLE turnin’ into our driveway??? Who is that hairy-headed creature at the wheel? Omigod, I’m here all alone ‘n’ the invasion has begun!!!!!!!!


The orc is marchin’ up to the door, armed with backpacks ‘n’ cameras. I’m spinnin’ in such a frenzy, my tail is three feet ahead o’ my snout. Slobber is flyin’! I’m barkin’ myself hoarse. I MUST repel this uncalled-for attack. I MUST —

“Louie!” a most joyful voice from my past shouts.

A tantalizin’ aroma of popcorn ‘n’ beaver marshes ‘n’ boys’ nights out seeps through the door.

I slam on the brakes ‘n’ quiver as a manly shadow crosses the threshold.


Let the grillin’ begin!!!!


P.S. This is the end of Louie’s adventures from the summer of 2011. My letters is goin’ on hiatus (cool word, huh?) while me ‘n’ Mom ‘n’ Pops get reacquainted ‘n’ decorate the house for Christmas. Check back next spring, when the 2012 season begins. Until then, be safe ‘n’ happy, ‘n’ keep a smile on your face for Louie.



Published in: on September 14, 2011 at 4:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

Sept. 12, from Louie, Day 101

Good mornin’, Pops!

Mom says you’re in someplace called Davenport, which is like a couch only I can’t curl up in it, ‘n’ if all goes well, you’ll be home tonight in time for ‘shrooms. Wooooooooo-peeeeeee!

But gosh, where did all them 101 Days go? Most times, they seemed to drag by slower’n a slug, but here it is, the final countdown, ‘n’ me ‘n’ Mom just realized the many MANY projects we didn’t get accomplished in your absence.

We took inventory this evenin’, ‘n’ sadly, the front flowerbed is still overrun with weeds (though your azaleas is holdin’ their own).

The front door never got painted like Mom planned, ‘n’ with all the substantial cobwebs hangin’ over it, you’d swear we’d already decorated for Halloween.

Mom never got the plumber to come out, so the private bathroom sink is still clogged shut with toothpaste gunk ‘n’ other unpleasantries. Oh, well.

We never repaired the scratches on the back door ‘n’ painted over the leak above the dinin’ table, so THAT still looks kinda funky.

We never cleaned the patio windows, so they’re caked in DOG SLOBBER on the inside ‘n’ bug ‘n’ bird poop on the out.

Which I don’t really mind, but Mom considers QUITE disgustin’.

We never swept out the garage, so all the giant killer spiders is still safely in residence.

We never cleaned out the utility room, so there’s many old onions ‘n’ paint cans molderin’ back there. PHEWWWWW!!!!!

I’m still behind on my diggin’ chores by 17.23 holes to China, ‘n’ unless I stay up ALL NIGHT, I’m gonna miss my quota. Gosh darn it.

Mom didn’t get to a single auction or movie, ‘n’ ‘cuz of all the rain, I haven’t seen the gang at the Dog Park in weeks — decades, even — ‘n’ my membership card is in serious danger of bein’ revoked.

Mr. Rav is FILTHY, but the public bathroom has been cleaned, so you can brush your teeth in sanitariness.

The dryer is still holdin’ on, but as Mom ‘xplained to you, the phone is shot. That’s no big loss to ME, but Mom’s quite grateful the battery held on until you was headin’ home. Imagine her frenzy if it had died back in July!!!!!!

The big bush in the back yard is most definitely dead (as are the tomatoes), so even though I’ll miss the shade, I’m lookin’ forward most excitedly to many days of choppin’ it down with you. Oh, booooooooooooooooooy, many sticks for Louie to crunch into the livin’ room carpet!

The frigerator is half bare, but Mom promises to fix that in the mornin’. In the meantime, there’s a delightful array of Lean Pockets for you to munch on, ‘n’ a coupla wieners left over for Louie. So things aren’t ALL bad.

Mom says she has MANY errands to run tomorrow in preparation for your return, ‘n’ I can’t come with her. I protested mightily, but Mom says I gotta wait by the front door in her absence, so just in case you arrive ahead of schedule, someone will be here to climb all over you in welcome.

That’s a very serious responsibility, so I’m gonna sign off now ‘n’ prepare my lookout post by the front window. I’m gonna drag in one of the patio chairs, so I can curl up in it as I watch, ‘n’ I  think I’ll pile up all my Little Buddies around it so I have somethin’ to munch on while I wait, ‘n’ just so the afternoon glare don’t dazzle my eyes, I might pitch the big red ‘n’ white umbrella in the foyer to shade my knucklehead. I think Mom should leave a pile of Milkbones by the chair, too, so I have somethin’ to nibble on to fend off starvation while I diligently scan Canyon Trail for signs of Miss Corolla.

Mom’s decided on pickin’ chicken ‘n’ roasted taters ‘n’ a fresh green salad ‘n’ maybe even some ICE CREAM for our welcome home dinner, so make sure you arrive with a MIGHTY appetite. Otherwise, I might be forced to eat all that chicken by myself.

‘N’, oh yeah, Mom says it’s gonna be Tuesday, so she’s just gonna leave the garbage cans for YOU to haul down to the street. Hee hee hee!

The summer is finally over, ‘n’ though Mom takes VERY good care of me (‘n’ vice versa), I can’t wait for your manly return. I’ve had to put up with way too much GIRL stuff in your absence. So I’m gonna crawl off to bed now ‘n’ dream about the many HE-MAN activities me ‘n’ you will pursue while Mom is at that EWP.

You’re almost home, ‘n’ though you might be missin’ California already, I can’t WAIT to show you a good time in the mountains ‘n’ valleys of the Cuyahoga!

Your most loyal butt-itchin’,



Published in: on September 13, 2011 at 1:04 am  Leave a Comment  

Sept. 11, from Louie, Day 100

Dear Pops,

I KNOW you’re waaaaaaaaaaaaay too busy to stop in the middle of rush hour in Omaha to read a letter, but gosh, it’s No. 100! We hit TRIPLE DIGITS!!!!!

So I just had to sit down ‘n’ tell you about our day, even if you won’t have time to read it.

It started with a lovely stroll down Memory Lane.

It was still too muddy to go traipsin’ up mountains (that’s Mom’s story, ‘n’ we’re stickin’ to it), so today she took me to her old neighborhood in Highland Square, ‘n’ she pointed out the many landmarks of her 20-plus years there raisin’ that Bryan Guy.

We started in the parkin’ lot at the library, which was most sadly littered by Saturday night’s youthful revelers.

“Gosh,” Mom said as she tiptoed around empty beer cans, “don’t people have no manners no more?”

“Guess not, Mom,” I mumbled as I licked up a pile of hamburger wrappers ‘n’ wet french fries. Yum!

“Oh, stop it, Lou!” Mom scolded. “You’ll get worms!”

Double yum!

Mom tugged me away from my tasty treasures ‘n’ pointed out the buildin’s linin’ Market Street. “That used to be my grocery store,” she said. “I’d walk down here every other day with my little red wagon ‘n’ fill it up with groceries.”

My ears perked up. “You mean, MEAT?????” I asked breathlessly.

“Many wieners,” Mom said. “That Bryan guy liked beans ‘n’ wieners.”

I KNEW there was a reason I liked him!

We left the parkin’ lot ‘n’ started up a little side street called Conger. “That means eel,” Mom confided.

“Oh, yuck!” I said, ‘n’ danced around most trepidaciously for fear them slimy sea snakes would slither outta the grasses ‘n’ wrap themselves around my many paws.

“Conger is a much better name,” Mom agreed. 

“Let’s keep movin’, Mom,” I said in agitation, ‘n’ cautiously began sniffin’ for a place to poop. But my snout was gettin’ befuddled by the aromas. Hidden beneath the city smells was an old scent that was most definitely — MOM! ‘N’ there was a very faint whiff of — YOU!!!! ‘N’ the farther we trotted up the street, the stronger both smells got, ‘n’ when we landed in front of a big brown house, I knew INSTANTLY!!!!

“This is YOUR house, Mom!” I said in excitement, ‘n’ I whirled around the driveway ‘n’ the bloomin’ Rose of Sharons in ecstasy.

“Yes, it is, Lou,” Mom said, ‘n’ she stared quite wistfully at the tired brown shingles ‘n’ the saggin’ porch. “I had many good times here, Louie. I can’t take you inside, but aside from the sorrowful plumbin’ ‘n’ the river ragin’ through the basement, it’s a very pretty house inside. You’d’ve liked it.”

‘N’ we stood there for many seconds whilst Mom indulged in her memories. By my way o’ thinkin’, that house had waaaaaaay too many stairs, ‘n’ the yard was downright puny, with very little room for Louie to stretch his legs, ‘n’ there was no garages for Mr. Rav or Miss Corolla or Baby, so I nudged Mom along before she could get too teary-eyed, ‘cuz after all, OUR house is way much better. Even Mom agreed.

So we trotted up to the corner ‘n’ turned down another street, ‘n’ suddenly I could smell that Bryan Guy.

“Oh, look,” Mom said. “That’s the house where Bryan’s best friends Erik ‘n’ Cary lived. Bryan used to stay there after school while I was at that Evil Work Place. Their Mom used to make Bryan VERY good dinners.”

“Wieners?” I asked breathlessly.

” ‘N’ hamburgers,” Mom said.

“Let’s go see if they got any leftovers!!!!!” I said happily.

But Mom just tugged me away. “Erik ‘n’ Cary is long gone, Lou,” Mom said sadly. “Just like Bryan.”

So before she could dissolve into more memorial tears, I dragged her down the block ‘n’ across the street to a lovely little triangle of grass that the North Highland neighbors has manicured into a bright city garden. I was delirious with the opportunity to poop, ‘n’ fertilized the flowers most prodigiously, ‘n’ Mom didn’t try to stop me. I could smell that many other dogs had been there before me.

“Why, Louie,” Mom said in awe, “what a discriminatin’ nose you have! This is the triangle where I used to walk my old dog!”

I froze in mid-poop. “Your OLD dog? You had a dog before ME?????” This was MOST devastatin’ news.

“Well, sure, Lou,” Mom said. “Many, MANY years before me ‘n’ Pops rescued you, I had a sheltie.”

“A SHELTIE???” I howled. “How COULD you?”

“Oh, don’t go gettin’ your furs in an uproar,” Mom said, pattin’ my head. “He was a most crazy dog, even by canine standards, ‘n’ even though I stood by him through many years of aggravation, he could never take your place in my heart.”

But I quivered in fear. How could I be sure this sheltie wouldn’t come back ‘n’ kick me outta my rightful place in the big bed?

“Trust me, Lou,” Mom said as we recommenced our walk around the neighborhood, “your Pops dispatched him to a better place. There’s room for only ONE dog in our lives, ‘n’ that most assuredly is you!”

Well, I felt a little better after she said that, but you ‘n’ me has gotta have a long talk when you get home, just so’s we can get this all straightened out. ‘Cuz you guys gotta unnerstand, you’re MY humans, ‘n’ I’m not sharin’. So there.

After that, our walk wasn’t too excitin’, ‘cuz, frankly, I was gettin’ tired of Mom’s stories of long ago, ‘n’ since I’d pooped several times, my tummy was screamin’ for replenishment. So after a coupla more blocks, we circled back to Mr. Rav, ‘n’ I vehemently urged Mom to take us home.

My timin’ was quite fortunate. ‘Cuz even as Mom was sprinklin’ chicken on my breakfast, the skies broke open in the fourth millennial storm of the season, ‘n’ the Little Cuyahoga swoll up most rapidly ‘n’ was lappin’ at the patio windows before I could lick my plate clean.

Gosh, but the weather this summer has been most strange!

It’s nighttime now, ‘n’ I gotta sign off, ‘cuz Mom is promisin’ me a bedtime story with maps! She says you ‘n’ Miss Corolla made it all the way to Wyoming today, ‘n’ we gotta study your route ‘n’ speculate on where you’ll land tomorrow ‘n’ how late you’ll get home Tuesday, ‘n’ what wunnerful adventures you’ll have in between. I can’t wait!

So be safe, Pops. I’m gonna go grab a Milkbone ‘n’ snuggle with Mom under the quilts ‘n’ try to make sense of geography. It’s all very bewilderin’.

Your devoted,

Louie (even though I don’t look nothin’ like a sheltie). 

Pops replies:

Oh, Louie, congratulations on making it to triple digits. I am so very proud of you. So you and Mom took a stroll down memory lane, huh? Well, that’s sometimes fun. I do that too, sometimes. But you should never worry about that other dog. Just between you and me, Lou, you don’t have anything to worry about. That sheltie was … well, just plain crazy. You, on the other hand, are the World’s Best Dog!!!

Published in: on September 12, 2011 at 1:38 am  Leave a Comment  

Sept. 10, from Louie, Day 99

Dear Pops,

Mom says you might not get to read this letter until you get home, in which case it’s an exercise in futility, but JUST IN CASE you land at some Wi Fi Motel tomorrow, I wanted to make sure you had an amusin’ missive from Louie to keep your spirits up durin’ your long trek ‘cross amber waves of grain.

Today me ‘n’ Mom did what she’d been hopin’ to do all summer, only she got sidetracked by trips to the Cleveland Clinic — we explored the unknown greenways of Akron’s city streets.

We actually started doin’ this Thursday, when it was too darned wet for the park trails, so instead we went to some place called Forest Lodge Park, which is really quite small ‘n’ barely offers Louie enough bushes to poop on, but the surroundin’ neighbhorhood is quite comely, with a great big church called St. Sebastian’s ‘n’ VERY dry sidewalks. We investigated the nooks ‘n’ crannies where the last remnants of the middle class is hidin’ out, ‘n’ I got to pee on many VERY NICELY manicured lawns.

We met up with a golden retriever, ‘n’ while Mom ‘n’ his owner was exchangin’ pleasant hellos, he warned me it was HORSE CHESTNUT season, ‘n’ I really needed to watch where I walked. I was most appreciative of the warnin’, ‘cuz on the next block, we run into a whole passle of the darned spiky things, ‘n’ it was most challengin’ to walk around ’em without stabbin’ my paws, let me tell you. MOST challengin’.

But that was Thursday, ‘n’ today, ‘cuz it was still drizzly out, Mom opted for a park called Schneider in the same general vicinity as Forest Lodge, ‘n’ oh boy, what an education THAT was. We was exposed to a whole new subset of American culture called SOCCER MOMS, ‘n’ good gosh almighty, Pops, but they was frightenin’! They are very large ‘n’ quite muscular! 

Mom didn’t have her thinkin’ cap on when she chose this park — she forgot it was Saturday mornin’ —  ‘n’ we landed in a field just CRAWLIN’ with kids kickin’ big white ‘n’ black balls all over the grass.

Well, I was quite excited, ‘cuz all them balls flyin’ through the air just called out to me to run ‘n’ fetch. ‘N’ even though the squealin’ kids was kinda annoyin’, I was in a frenzy of desire, tuggin’ on my bling in hopes of breakin’ free ‘n’ grabbin’ some o’ those balls ‘n’ dashin’ off with ’em all the way to Venezuela. But Mom, the party pooper, wouldn’t let me go, ‘n’ she kept draggin’ me offa the field ‘n’ back to the street.

I didn’t realize what kinda harpies was standin’ guard over them kids until I stopped to pee on a most commodious cherry blossom tree ‘n’ a female human snarled at us, “Hey! My KIDS walk on that grass!”

Well, Mom don’t have no PEE bags, so she couldn’t pretend to clean up after me. So she just got very red in the face ‘n’ mumbled, “Sorry, sorry,” ‘n’ drug me off to a less populated part of the park.

“You BETTER be sorry!” the harpy shouted after us. An her ample companions all shouted in agreement.

I’m a peaceful kinda guy, Pops, so even though I was itchin’ to run after them balls with all the little humans, I let Mom lead me down the road, where no one would pay much attention to where I peed. But eventually, we had to turn back so’s we could get to Mr. Rav, ‘n’ while Mom most diligently kept me outta harm’s way, we had time for some innerestin’ sociological observations as we strolled past the far side of the games.

First off, I detected a sprinklin’ of hungover dads who was payin’ serious attention to the games ‘n’ shoutin’ instructions here ‘n’ there to their brightly uniformed offspring, but it was the MOMS who was in control of the park. They was standin’ guard in strategically placed clumps all around the field, ‘n’ they was communicatin’ telepathically with each other, watchin’ interlopers like me ‘n’ Mom. It was clearly the social highlight of their week, as they exchanged recipes ‘n’ horror stories about projectile vomitin’ amongst the little ones, but they kept very close watch on us. Mom tried a few cheery hellos, but they was met with stony glares. I guess white-haired ladies ‘n’ handsome dogs like me aren’t welcome in soccer land.

“Gosh, Louie,” Mom sighed, “I feel like a pedophile.”

“Me, too,” I grumped, though I had no idea what she was talkin’ about.

So once Mom counted off a mile o’ steps, we turned back to Mr. Rav.

A lusty cheer rose up from the soccer field.

Maybe some kid made a goal.

Or maybe the moms was just celebratin’ ‘cuz they chased us off.

We slunk back to the car.

“Sarah Palin land,” Mom muttered as she shooed me into the back seat.

“Got that right,” I said, even though I have NO idea who that Sarah lady might be.

So me ‘n’ Mom decided that even though it’s good to broaden our horizons ‘n’ explore new parts of the city, we won’t go back to Schneider Park anytime soon.

They don’t like dogs there.

I think that’s downright un-American.

Your insulted,


Pops replies:

Oh, Louie, your adventures never stop. Thanks for taking the time to write — and to cheer up your tired ol’ Pops.

Published in: on September 11, 2011 at 1:13 am  Leave a Comment  

Sept. 9, from Louie, Day 98

Dear Pops,

I am extremely sad.

‘N’ deliriously happy.

I’m sad ‘cuz Mom says this might be one o’ my last letters to you, ‘n’ I haven’t reached a hunnert yet. I was soooooooooo hopin’  to hit triple digits.

But I’m happy ‘cuz if I don’t haveta write letters no more, that’s ‘cuz you’ll be home ‘n’ I can tell you all my adventures in person. Whoopee!

I’m sad ‘cuz I’m gonna be banished from the big bed.

But I’m happy ‘cuz that means I won’t haveta put up with Mom’s thrashin’ ‘n’ midnight moans no more. She is a VERY spooky sleeper.

I’m sad ‘cuz you’ll be takin’ over at least half of the feedin’ duties, ‘n’, excuse me for sayin’ so, but you aren’t nearly so heavy-handed with the gristly enhancements as Mom is.

But I’m happy ‘cuz maybe you can put a halt to this extra poundage I’ve been addin’. Good golly, I’m huffin’ up hills as bad as Mom ‘n’ I can barely fit into my superhero red tights. What is it with THAT????

I’m sad ‘cuz with you home, Mom might not have the time to give me my special mornin’ belly rubs no more.

But I’m happy ‘cuz you’ll be here to give me extra special belly rubs at night.

I’m sad ‘cuz my prime directive to protect Mom ‘n’ the homefront will expire, ‘n’ what will I DO with my life?

But I’m happy ‘cuz the burden of savin’ Mom from orcs ‘n’ aliens ‘n’ her own bad decisions will be lifted from my shoulders. (That’s an exhaustin’ assignment, Pops, ‘cuz as my letters has pointed out this summer, Mom has INCREDIBLE ways of landin’ herself — ‘n’ me — in trouble when you’re gone, ‘n’ frankly, I don’t think I’m up to it no more. I think I need a vacation.)

I’m sad ‘cuz you’ll yell at me for diggin’ all my holes to China.

But I’m happy ‘cuz now maybe Mom won’t have so much time to yell at me for chewin’ the laundry. (Who CARES if there’s pumpkin-size holes in the bath towels? I certainly don’t.)

I’m sad ‘cuz me ‘n’ Mom won’t be takin’ our private hikes in the mornin’ no more — you know, those hikes when me ‘n’ her debate the great issues of the day: like whether to make MEATBALLS or CHICKEN for dinner or whether there’s any science to the big bang theory.

But I’m happy ‘cuz now YOU’LL have to listen to all Mom’s rantin’s ‘n’ ravin’s from that EWP ‘n’ I won’t.

I’m sad ‘cuz you don’t take no weather excuses for skippin’ a hike (I cherish the days when Mom announces, “Lou, it’s not fit for man nor beast out there! We’re just gonna curl up on our nice dry couch ‘n’ veg!”)

But I’m happy ‘cuz you won’t let Mom slide. I’ve spent WAY too many days ploddin’ around the dry sidewalks o’ the neighborhood ‘cuz Mom won’t risk her delicate ankles on the muddy mountains of the Cuyahoga. Once you’re home, she won’t have no excuse but to follow us up ‘n’ down the most challengin’ of trails.

I’m sad ‘cuz you’ll take the lion’s share of the MEAT at dinner.

But I’m happy ‘cuz I know Mom’ll still slip me the greasiest parts under the table.

I’m sad ‘cuz I’ll no longer be king of the house.

But I’m happy ‘cuz I’ll no longer carry the responsibilities of kingmanship.

I’m sad ‘cuz you’re gonna come home ‘n’ find many more lines on Mom’s face than when you left. It has been a very hard summer, what with Uncle Bob’s illness ‘n’ Mom’s many frustrations at that EWP.

But I’m happy ‘cuz I’m sure with you in residence, Mom’ll be free to laugh again.

I know that places a terrible, terrible burden on you, but I’m willin’ to shoulder half of the load.

I just can’t carry it all no more.

‘Cuz Mom is quite a piece of work.

Your devoted (‘n’ very tired),


Pops replies:

Oh, Louie, you’ve worked so hard all summer. I am extremely proud of you! And, frankly, I’m looking forward to resuming our sunset hikes. Soon, my son, soon.


Published in: on September 10, 2011 at 1:24 am  Leave a Comment  

Sept. 7, from Louie, Day 96

Hi, Pops,

Louie, here.

Faithfully standin’ guard at the front window, watchin the rain poundin’ the driveway.

‘N’ gettin’ nervouser ‘n’ nervouser.

I know it’s almost time for Mom to get home from that EWP, ‘cuz my tummy is growlin’ most fearsomely ‘n’ my many legs is crossed in knots, fightin’ back the urge to pee all over the foyer.

But the rain is fallin’ so hard — oh, Pops! What if Mom don’t make it????

It’s been a sneaky storm, Pops — no thunder boomers to give the creatures of the forest fair warnin’ that a deluge is comin’. First there was just a sprinkle, ‘n’ I didn’t care too much. ‘N’ then it was a drizzle, ‘n’ I still shrugged it off, ‘cuz even Louie can wade through a drizzle. But ’bout an hour ago (or maybe 13), the clouds burst open ‘n’ it’s been a torrent of millennial proportions ever since.

The gutters is cascadin’ all over the late tomatoes. I can HEAR the Little Cuyahoga swellin’ itself up just over the fence, ‘n’ pretty soon, it’ll be lappin’ at the patio — ‘N’ MOM’s NOT HOME YET!!!!!

What will I do? What will I EAT? All my favorite foods is locked away in the cupboards ‘n’ the frigerator ‘N’ I DON’T KNOW HOW TO OPEN ‘EM!!!!

Oh, I’m feelin’ weak from starvation already.

Canyon Trail has become a ragin’ Canyon River, ‘n’ all the neighbors’ garbage cans is bouncin’ merrily on the waves. The RV up the road has slipped its moorin’s ‘n’ is driftin’ toward our driveway, with a whole family of jabberin’ Rockies fightin’ over the wheel. Uncle Buck just swum by, doin’ the backstroke with two turkeys perched on his tummy ‘n’ givin’ him directions.

‘N’ I’m here all alone ‘n’ all that rain is just remindin’ me — I really gotta pee!


Oh, gosh, what was that????? The Evil White Dog just sailed by on a raft, ‘n’ he’s usin’ the Evil Black Cat as his rudder! Oh golly, is there no END to his Nefariousness????

The rain is hammerin’ our sorry roof shingles. The noise is deafenin’. I gotta stuff my paws into my ears or I might go mad!



Water is seepin’ under the doors ‘n’ around the windows. I’m whirlin’ in frenzied circles. There’s no escape! Oh, gosh, if only Mom hadn’t’ve painted the hatch to the attic shut! I could leap up there ‘n’ hide with all the friendly squirrels!

I need to find a pencil so’s I can write out my will. I got my 401 (k) ‘n’ my federal pension, ‘n’ my collection of chewed slippers, which I’m leavin’ to you ‘n’ Mom so’s you can eat well in my retirement ‘n’ maybe rescue another dog as my replacement. You should name him Louie, even if he’s a girl, ‘n’ think of me always when you look at him ‘n’ —

Oh, wait!!!!!!! WHAT IS THAT??????

Two bright cones of light is splashin’ through the waves! A shiny wet monster of red is swingin’ into the driveway, floods be darned! The garage door is openin’! ‘N’ in its brilliant light, what do I see?

It’s MOM calmly drivin’ Mr. Rav home.

She made it, Pops, she made it!!!!!!



Aw shucks, I always knew she wouldn’t let me down.


Pops replies:

Oh, Lou, there is always so much nefariousness runnin’ through that knucklehead of yours. I am sooooo glad you were able to eat your dinner. Uh, but, uh, don’t you think you should be out there savin’ Miss Sandra (with Reggie wrapped around her neck)?
P.S.  I’ll be chucklin’ all day after this letter.
Published in: on September 8, 2011 at 7:59 pm  Leave a Comment  

Sept. 8, from Louie, Day 97


You must cut your Yosemite trip short ‘n’ detour home AT ONCE!

GREMLINS has taken over the TV!!!!!!

Mom had just popped a heapin’ tray of low-cal waffle fries into the oven, ‘n’ while they was gettin’ a lovely tan, me ‘n’ her settled onto the couch to call up our favorite show — NCIS, of course — so’s we’d have somethin’ to occupy our brains while we was chowin’ down. But instead of Ducky ‘n’ my true love, Ziva, a great big WARNIN’ sign popped onto the screen!

“What the heck is this?” Mom said in exasperation.

“What’s it say, Mom? Huh, what’s it say?” I asked. (Even though I am now fluent in Gaelic, I still can’t read, ‘n’ I had no idea what dire warnin’ the TV was flashin’ at us.)

“It says,” Mom said in that strained tone o’ voice she gets when confronted with electronic gobbledygook, “that the tuner is too busy recordin’ too many shows ‘n’ if we wanna watch TV, we gotta stop recordin’.”

“Well, then, stop recordin’,” I said reasonably.

But Mom just shook her head. “We AREN’T recordin’, Lou. See, the little red recordin’ light isn’t lit!” ‘N’ she waved the remote at the TV.

I figured Mom was just havin’ hallucinations ‘cuz of food deprivation, but I obediently trotted up to the screen for a closer look, ‘n’ sure enough, there was no little red recordin’ light.

“This has got to be wrong,” Mom said, ‘n’ she snapped the TV off, ‘n’ then snapped it back on.

‘N’ the same aggravatin’ warnin’ popped onto the screen.

Well, she musta done that a coupla million times, always gettin’ the same message, ‘n’ I started pacin’ the livin’ room in agitation, ‘cuz this was SERIOUSLY cuttin’ into my Ziva time. “Do somethin’, Mom,” I growled.

“I’m tryin’,” Mom wailed, “I’m tryin’!”

‘N’ totally by accident, she hit the LIST button, ‘n’ up popped a list of all the shows we been recordin’ since the beginnin’ of time. ‘N’ Pops, it was a very LONG list, ‘cuz somehow, some nefarious spy has programmed our very own TV to record every single darned rerun of …..


I kid you not. Three or four episodes a day. ‘Cross many channels. Bevies ‘n’ bevies of GOLDEN GIRLS.

“Omigod,” Mom said. ‘N’ she started to shake.

“Who ARE them Golden Girls?” I demanded, infuriated that they was squeezin’ Ziva outta my schedule.

Mom ‘xplained how they was an old TV show about a bunch o’ old ladies who used to live together ‘n’ get into all sorts of trouble.

“Did they have dogs?” I asked.

“No,” Mom said. 

“Then I don’t see the point. SHOW ME SOME ZIVA!!!!!” I demanded, ‘n’ stomped a coupla paws to make my point.

“You don’t unnerstand the gravity of this situation, Lou,” Mom said. “I never programmed the TV to record this show. I don’t never watch it. But it was the most favorite show of my grandma and my Mom — your great-grandmother ‘n’ grandmother, respectively — ‘n’ Lou….”

“Yes?” I said breathlessly.

“They’re dead.”

“WHOA!” I said, ‘n’ dived behind the couch to hide. Dead people is messin’ with our TV!!! That’s waaaaaaaaaaay wrong, Pops, waaaaaaaaaaaaaay wrong.

Well, Mom fiddled frantically with the remote, ‘n’ she managed to delete many of the girls, but not all, ‘n’ she was HOPELESSLY lost when it come to tellin’ the TV to stop recordin’ future shows. It just wouldn’t listen. ‘Cuz after all, it wasn’t even acknowledgin’ that it was recordin’ shows in the first place.

So unless you hop into Miss Corolla ‘n’ come home immediately, I’m afraid the TV is gonna be so stuffed with old ladies that it’s gonna implode.

Me ‘n’ Mom can’t deal with this. It’s just too darned spooky. So we’re gonna go hide under the freshly laundered quilt on the big bed, ‘n’ we’re not gonna budge until you get home. ‘N’ if that’s not until Tuesday or Wednesday — well, the big bed is just gonna get REALLY stinky.

Your electronically challenged,


Pops replies:

Oh, Louie, how in the world of TV gremlins did that possibly happen? I have no idea. However, there’s no reason for you to hide. Pops to the rescue. In just a few days.


Published in: on September 8, 2011 at 7:44 pm  Leave a Comment  

Sept. 6, dia duit, from Louie, Day 95

Dear Dad,

I must type very quietly. I just tucked Mom most tenderly into bed ‘n’ she’s snorin’ softly into her pillows.

We don’t wanna wake her, ‘cuz Pops, I’ve never seen her so discombobulated.

She staggered into the kitchen tonight with big round eyes ‘n’ her many white hairs frazzled to their very tips, ‘n’ she was jabberin’ in tongues that musta been the language of her ancient ancestors, ‘cuz they sure didn’t make no sense to me.

But I was so overjoyed to see her (‘n’ so desirous of a pee) that I overlooked the delicate state of her aged psyche, ‘n’ I hopped ‘n’ jumped ‘n’ pawed ‘n’ slobbered until, despite the relentless drizzle outside, she wearily blinged me up ‘n’ let me drag her for a rip-snortin’ dash up the road to the Hiney’s ‘n’ back (punctuated with frequent stops to pee). ‘N’ when we got back, I was so darned hungry, I ignored the tremblin’ in her fingertips as she tried to towel me dry ‘n’ demanded supper. Vociferously.

She put together a luscious meal of crunchy wieners ‘n’ a yummy prime dog food called Purina One Beyond, ‘n’ I dived into it without a single word of thanks.

Mom just sighed ‘n’ called you for your nightly keepin’ in touch, ‘n’ I thought she was only a little incoherent, although you mighta thought otherwise. I was too busy chowin’ down to really take notice.

But when she hung up with you, she collapsed in the recliner, hung her head over her knees ‘n’ mumbled, “Ta an aimsur go fluich, Louie.”

I looked up with wiener juice drippin’ from my jowls ‘n’ said, “What, Mom?”

“Ar mhaith leat deoch?” Mom asked, a little more brightly.

I just shook my head. My ears wasn’t workin’ right, ‘cuz she was talkin’ jibberish worse than usual. (Human language is most annoyin’, but these words was nothin’ I’d never heard before. It sounded like she was tellin’ me to go fetch a bowl of water.)

“Ta, beaganin,” Mom said.

I backed away from my food bowl. “Mom,” I said, “you’re not makin’ no sense.”

“Gabh mo leithsceal,” Mom said, ‘n’ she leaned back ‘n’ closed her eyes.

Well, Louie is a knucklehead, but even I could see we was fastly approachin’ a crisis of homeland security proportions. I count on Mom as my backup, ‘n’ here she was, babblin’ in — geez, Pops — GAELIC!!!!!!

I reluctantly abandoned my supper ‘n’ put a consolin’ paw on Mom’s thigh. “Are you OK, Mom?” I asked. ” ‘Cuz you don’t sound so good.”

“Ta me go maith,” Mom sighed. “Conas ta tu?”

“Oh, boy, Mom,” I said. “Your brain is fried.”

“It surely is,” she agreed.

“You need to go to bed, Mom,” I said, ‘n’ I carefully nudged her up outta the recliner ‘n’ down the hall. My tummy had been countin’ on Milkbones for dessert, but I knew immediately that Mom was in the dreadful clutches of exhaustion, ‘n’ I valiantly give up my treats to help her outta her work clothes ‘n’ into her bedtime T-shirt, ‘n’ I plopped her onto the big bed, licked her face good night, ‘n’ turned off the light.

“Uisce beatha,” Mom muttered in the dark. “I need usice beatha!”

“I’ll get some immediately,” I assured her.

But she drifted off into a peaceful sleep, which was a very good thing, ‘cuz I have no idea what “uisce beatha” is, or even how to pronounce it.

Pops, I don’t think this frightenin’ turn of affairs has anythin’ to do with your absence in California. I think it’s all about that  Evil Work Place. ‘N’ when you get home, we gotta put our heads together ‘n’ come up with a plan to save Mom. ‘Cuz I’m havin’ a hard enough time livin’ with her in English. I don’t think I can learn another language, too.

Oiche mhaith dhuit.


Pops replies:

Oh, Louie, you must watch over her very, very carefully in the next few days. She’s just barely hangin’ on by her fingertips. You must make sure she doesn’t let go – ‘cuz it’s a long, long fall.
Published in: on September 7, 2011 at 1:35 am  Leave a Comment  

Sept. 5, from Louie, Day 94

Well, Pops, we have met the enemy, ‘n’ he is OURS!!!!

Me ‘n’ Mom have had us a pretty cool day — really, quite chillin’ly cool — ‘cuz first off, Mom didn’t haveta go to that EWP, meanin’ she had ALL DAY to devote to me, ‘n’ second off, we had MEATBALLS for dinner, so right there, the day is cool.

It started with a refreshin’ hike on the driest stretch of Towpath we could find, which meant Bruegger’s. Now I’ll admit, I got kinda nervous as we slowed down for the turn, ‘cuz Bruegger’s is only spittin’ distance from that sinister vet, ‘n’ I was throwin’ myself at Mr. Rav’s windows in great agitation, ‘n’ I didn’t settle down until Mom drug me over the sewer pipe onto the Towpath ‘n’ that evil vet’s office with its vile smells faded into the distance. Gosh, but that was so close, I charged up the path lickety-split, ‘n’ despite Mom’s squeals of protest, I didn’t slow down until I was FORCED to by the first poop of the day. Boy, but I DO hate the vet!

Well, I slowed down some after that, ‘n’ me ‘n’ Mom had a lovely time strollin’ by the river. Mom was actually shiverin’ a little, ‘cuz she’d gone out dressed like it was still August, but I was very comfortable in my luscious fur coat. I woulda gone on hikin’ for miles, but great rumblin’ gray clouds rolled in, ‘n’ we had to make a mad dash back to Mr. Rav before the storm broke. Oh, boy, what fun!

So then we drove home, ‘n’ Mom said, to heck with tradition, ‘n’ she tossed out the order o’ all our mornin’ rituals, ‘n’ me ‘n’ her crawled into the recliner for an unscheduled nap. Cool!

‘N’ when we awoke, extra special invigorated, we tore into so many cleanin’ chores, you woulda been left breathless. I was most helpful, too, delicately holdin’ the clean drapes in my jaws whilst Mom stabbed ’em with hooks ‘n’ hoisted ’em back up to the ceilin’; ‘n’ diggin’ bundles of clean clothes outta the dryer ‘n’ runnin’ up the hall with ’em to Mom, so’s she could wipe off the slobber ‘n’ fold ’em up ‘n’ put ’em away; ‘n’ lickin’ the most stubborn stains offa the overnight dishes; ‘n’ vacuumin’ the carpet. Mom let me drive solo, even though I don’t have a learner’s permit or nothin’. COOOOL!

But the most fun came when we was cleanin’ the day’s debris offa the kitchen counter. “Gosh darn it, Louie,” Mom said in sudden irritation. “There’s ants!”

 (Well, Pops, you may not know this, but me ‘n’ Mom has been fightin’ off a small invasion of ants in the kitchen all summer. We scrubbed, scrubbed, scrubbed down all the counters ‘n’ made sure no food was left open to entice ’em into stayin’, but despite all our best efforts, we still run into two or three of ’em every mornin’, doin’ sprints in front of the toaster oven. Now, given my recent attachment to Alfred the spider, you might think I have a soft spot in my heart for ants, too, but I don’t. They’re nothin’ but soldiers without souls or a sense of humor, so I been in full support of Mom’s efforts to obliterate ’em. We just haven’t been too successful.)

“Where are they comin’ from?” Mom demanded.

“Don’t know, Mom,” I said, as I happily squished two under my paw.

” ‘N’ what are they eatin’?” Mom demanded even louder.

“Don’t know, Mom,” I said, ‘n’ licked ant remains offa my paw.

“Louie, that’s gross,” Mom said distractedly.

“Could use some Italian seasonin’ ‘n’ a pinch of fennel,” I agreed.

Mom rolled her eyes in irritation — ‘n’ spotted two more ants nosin’ around the second drawer down, next to the frigerator.

Mom looked at me.

I looked at her.

“Aha!!!!” we both said.

‘N’ I yanked open the drawer with my formerly injured front paw, ‘n’ there in amongst the cookie tins was a forgotten bag of Christmas candies, ‘n’ it was swarmin’ with black ants on a frenzied sugar high!

“Eureka!” Mom shouted, ‘n’ she snatched that pulsatin’ bag of chocolate goodies outta the door ‘n’ marched it outside ‘n’ FLUNG it over the fence.

“Take that, you vile ants!” Mom declared.

“So there!” I added emphatically.

‘N’ we slapped many high fives.

The enemy has been unearthed, ‘n’ he has been evicted. Oh, there’s still a couple scramblin’ around the counter, wonderin’ what happened to all the good times, but me ‘n’ Mom scrubbed that drawer out real good ‘n’ without all them candies to sustain ’em, they’re gonna have to move on — cool!!!

With that victory under our belts, me ‘n’ Mom is gonna sit down now ‘n’ stuff ourselves silly with meatball casserole — yum yum yum and double cool! Mom says if you’re real good, she might even make you some next week when you come home.

Triple cool! (That’s one cool for meatballs, one cool for next week, ‘n’ a third cool for you.)


P.S. Mom is mildly dismayed. She says I’m gettin’ a pink butt again. I don’t see the problem. ‘Cuz miraculously, crunchy wieners returned to my food bowl tonight. Burp!

Pops replies:

A rainbow blesses Mark Twain 'n' Bret Harte.

Oh, Louie, not the pink butt again! Well, it’s a good thing that Mom knows what to do with you.

P.S. Here’s a photo of me and Mark Twain and a lovely rainbow.
Published in: on September 5, 2011 at 9:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

Sept. 4, from Louie, Day 93

Well, Pops, Mother Nature finally shook off her dreadful hot flashes this mornin’ (I think she was distracted by some stormy guy named Lee), ‘n’ our salvation come just in time, ‘cuz me ‘n’ Mom looked at the nifty calendar you made for us, ‘n’ we both realized you’re almost home ‘n’ we still got a GAZILLION things to do!

Between now ‘n’ your return, we gotta huff through 27 hikes (30 if you ‘n’ Miss Corolla is delayed), includin’ nine of the mornin’ mountain variety, ‘n’ six of the pre-work kind, ‘n’ six of the spooky midnight sort, ‘n’ sundry others thrown in between.

‘N’ I gotta stuff myself with 18 more of Mom’s wasted calorie-packed enhancements (20 if you don’t get here as planned) ‘n’ that’s VERY important, ‘cuz even though your menu is much, MUCH better for me, I need to fatten up so’s YOU’RE properly inspired to work off my excess poundage even when Mom’s not. (You know, we gotta set aside some mornin’s when it’s just you ‘n’ me so’s Mom can sleep in. ‘Cuz I think she’s just about had her fill o’ me leapin’ onto the big bed with all fours ‘n’ landin’ on her tummy with a great big thump before it’s even dawn yet!)

‘N’ we gotta give Mr. Rav a bath, ‘cuz he’s gotten quite musty with my many shed furs.

‘N’ we gotta change the linens at least once, so’s you aren’t offended by all my Milkbone crumbs.

‘N’ I gotta dig 32 more holes to China in the back yard (33.7 if you’re hung up in Omaha).

‘N’ I gotta figure out where Mom hid your slippers so’s I can break ’em in proper.

‘N’ I REALLY gotta break the black cat’s neck so’s he’s not around to disturb our pleasant evenin’s on the patio. (His real name is Miles, which brings a sad smile to Mom’s face, ‘cuz she says she had a black cat once named Miles, too, only he died young. She says I woulda liked him, ‘cuz he was a most pleasant fella. I THINK NOT. No cat but Miss Marigold has ever been worthwhile by my way of thinkin’, ‘n’ even SHE had her nasty moments.)

‘N’ Mom’s gotta go on a very big grocery trip, ‘n’ she’s gotta take me, too, to make sure she gets all the right stuff — like BEEF meat ‘n’ PORK meat ‘n’ CHICKEN meat ‘n’ WIENER meat ‘n’ STEAK meat, ‘cuz you’re gonna be VERY hungry after your cross-country trip, ‘n’ we don’t want you passin’ out from starvation before you can demonstrate to me ‘n’ Mom just how much you missed us all summer. (“But Louie,” Mom said, “you aren’t allowed in Acme, nor Giant Eagle neither!”   “Not a problem,” I assured her. “We’ll just pretend I’m a service dog, just like that Chris Eck fella’s dog. I can be VERY well behaved.” “Around MEAT?” Mom said. ‘N’ she just rolled her eyes.)

In between scrubbin’ all my slobber offa the windows ‘n’ the kitchen floor, Mom’s gotta find time to give me nine lovin’ belly rubs (10 if you’re detoured to Chicago) so’s I’m not so excited when you finally pull into the driveway that I knock you on your butt with an overly joyous hello.

‘N’ we gotta pick up all the sticks (‘n’ I gotta eat up all the slugs) on the patio, so’s you don’t think we’ve let everythin’ go to heck in your absence. (In all fairness, Pops, our maintenance responsibilities was knocked way off schedule by our obligations to nurse Uncle Bob, so the homefront isn’t exactly in pristine shape. We hope you aren’t too appalled by the deterioration.)

‘N’ Mom says I gotta pack away all the STUFF that I’ve accumulated in your spaces so you have room to spread out YOUR stuff when you return.

‘N’ we gotta make room in the garage for Miss Corolla, which will mean harnessin’ me up to the garbage cans ‘n’ such ‘n’ pushin’ ’em back against the walls. Mom’s let the garage turn into a one-car home, ‘n’ that just won’t do for Miss Corolla. She’ll be most miffed if she thinks she’s been evicted durin’ her summer vacation.

‘N’ most important, I gotta edit my wiener boycott posters so’s they say “Welcome home!” instead. (I am very committed to recyclin’, Pops, so if the banners draped across the driveway ‘n’ the front door sound more like a protest than a jubilant celebration, well, you just gotta cut me some slack. I’m only tryin’ to save us some trees, which you as a forest ranger will most certainly unnerstand.)

I’m sure I’ve missed somethin’ here, but I got nine (or maybe 10) days to make up for it. ‘N’ when you get home, I promise not to bark (too much) durin’ the night, so’s you can get your well-deserved rest after the long drive across our purple plains of grain.

Whew! I’m exhausted just thinkin’ about it!

So I’m gonna drag Mom to bed now, so’s we can rest up ‘n’ tear into all our many chores tomorrow. After all, it IS Labor Day, ‘n’ we’ll be laborin’ in great anticipation.

Your most excited,


P.S. Say, Pops, you don’t think you can stuff a California girl into Miss Corolla, so I can have some canine companionship whilst you ‘n’ Mom is gettin’ reacquainted, do you? That would be most fine.

Pops replies:

Oh, Louie, you have a fine, fine list of things to do. More than anything, though, you need to be waitin’ at the front window when I pull into the driveway.
Published in: on September 5, 2011 at 1:32 am  Leave a Comment