Sept. 5, from Louie, Epilogue

Hi, guys,

Louie here.

Louie of the big faithful dumb ears.


Pops ‘n’ Louie at our welcome home dinner.

This is gonna be a short note, ‘cuz Pops is out on the patio grillin’ MEAT, ‘n’ Mom is flutterin’ around the kitchen with her salts ‘n’ seasonin’s, preparin’ all sorts of yummy stuff for our dinner, ‘n’ pretty soon we’re all three gonna have our snouts buried in our plates, lickin’ up all that meaty goodness.

So I just wanted to say before Mom rings the dinner bell…..

Louie’s goin’ on vacation for awhile. With Pops safely home ‘n’ Mom darned near her retirement, I’m not gonna haveta be on 24/7 patrol no more, guardin’ the homefront alone against orcs ‘n’ nefarious turkeys.

So there won’t be no more letters from Louie — leastways, not until next summer, when Pops goes back to the Stanislaus.

Until then, be good, be happy, ‘n’ save a Milkbone for Louie!!!!!!

Published in: on September 14, 2012 at 12:15 am  Leave a Comment  

Sept. 3, from Louie, belated Day 94


I am MOST annoyed with Mom.

She let me party so hearty with Uncle Tim yesterday that I TOTALLY forgot to write you a letter, ‘n’ now it’s prob’bly too late, ‘cuz I’m sure you’re all the way into Illinois by now ‘n’ you’ll never stop to check your email ‘n’ I’m just a poopyhead for lettin’ you down.

So as my much deserved penance, I’m parkin’ my butt RIGHT NOW in the foyer, ‘n’ I’m not MOVIN’, no matter how much Mom tempts me with Milkbones or tuna, until you ‘n’ Ms. Corolla come home. ‘N’ if that’s not for many many years yet, well, then so be it.

I’ll be waitin’ RIGHT HERE!!!!!!

Whenever you get here.

(Which I hope is soon, ‘cuz I’m hungry ‘n’ I gotta pee.)

Your faithful,


Pops replies:

Louie ‘n’ Pops, most joyously together again at home!

Oh Louie, you were right there waiting for me when I pulled into the driveway — as you always are, right there, happy to see me. Ask Mom to look in her camera and you’ll see how happy we both were. You are never a poopyhead … well, ok, perhaps sometimes when you dig holes to China.


Published in: on September 5, 2012 at 2:48 pm  Leave a Comment  

Sept. 2, from Louie, Day 93

Well, Pops, me ‘n’ Mom took our ceremonial final Midnight Stroll tonight, ‘n’ since the denizens of Canyon Trail (both four-legged ‘n’ two) tend to turn in early on Sunday night, it was most uneventful.

Louie returns unscathed from his final Midnight Stroll. (“Where’s dinner, Mom?”)

Even so, it brought a tear to my eye, rememberin’ all the quality time me ‘n’ Mom have shared out here in the dark — poopin’ ‘n’ peein’ in the neighbors’ flowerbeds ‘n’ meetin’ up with the Chivalrous Neighbor ‘n’ bein’ chased home by the thunder boomers ‘n’ bein’ surrounded by horny toads ‘n’ dodgin’ the Killer Skeeter Patrol. (I won’t bring up the buck o’ the other night, ‘cuz I’m still not convinced that happened, even though Mom swears it did ‘n’ there are many piles of deer poop in the side yard to support her contention.)

Don’t get  me wrong. I’m DELIRIOUSLY happy that you’ve made it all the way to Wyoming ‘n’ pretty soon, you’ll be in OHIO, but part of me is gonna miss them special moments with Mom.

(“Oh, for gosh sakes, Lou, get a grip! It’s not like I’m never gonna walk you again!” “But it won’t be the same in the daytime, Mom. You won’t NEED me anymore like you do now.” “Oh, come here, you big galumph. I’m ALWAYS gonna need you day or night!”)

Sorry, Pops, I was interrupted by a weepy interlude with Mom, who hugged me ferociously while I licked at her face. But that’s behind us now (sniff!) ‘n’ instead I’m lookin’ forward to tomorrow, when Mom has arranged an excitin’ play date with Uncle Tim while she ‘n’ Uncle Bob go gamblin’ away all his birthday presents. I got a full afternoon o’ games planned — tag ‘n’ fetch ‘n’ hide ‘n’ seek with all my soggy Little Buddies. (Yep, I’m afraid I left ’em out in last night’s storm, ‘n’ they’re drippin’ with mud ‘n’ slugs, but that’ll just make the games more enjoyable.) ‘N’ then Mom’s promised to save her last ten dollars so she ‘n’ Uncle Bob can come home with PIZZA loaded with PEPPERONIS! Won’t that be somethin’? (Mom says she planned it that way to take my mind offa the nervous anticipation of your homecomin’, ‘n’ I think she’s bein’ VERY wise. Right now, I’m so wired up, I might shred the couch while she’s not lookin’.)

ANYWAY, this letter is very short ‘cuz nothin’ excitin’ happened today, but I’m writin’ just to bring a smile to your face when you finally bed down tomorrow night in Iowa ‘n’ to let you know I’m countin’ the HOURS on my many claws ’til you come home (‘n’ I really hope you burst through the front door with bags ‘n’ bags of MEAT!!!!!).

Your most hungry (‘n’ loyal),


Pops replies:

Oh Louie, Pops here. Here in Iowa. Practically within walking distance of home. See ya soon, my boy. See ya soon.


Published in: on September 3, 2012 at 1:09 am  Leave a Comment  

Sept. 1, from Louie, Day 92

Oh, Pops, I’m so excited!

Mom drug out the big map tonight, ‘n’ that can mean only one thing!

You’re on your way home!!!!!

Pops savorin’ grilled MEAT from our past.

I’m spinnin’ around the kitchen in ecstatic circles even as I type (so please ‘xcuse any regrettable misspellin’s. I just can’t think!!!!)

“Now, Louie,” Mom said as she spread the map out on the table ‘n’ weighted it down with your Tom Hamilton bobble-head (which has become quite worthless this season), “you gotta settle down ‘n’ concentrate so’s we can track your Dad’s progress.”

“Where is he, Mom? Where? Where? Where?” I demanded most impatiently as I climbed up onto the stool. “Is he almost home?”

“Well, at this hour,” Mom said, glancin’ at the clock, “he hasn’t even left yet.”

“Whhhhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaattttt?” I howled in dismay. “How can that BE?”

“It’s still only Saturday where your Dad is, ‘n’ he’s only just startin’ to pack,” Mom ‘xplained. “So right now, he’s in that little dot right there in the Stanislaus.”

I narrowed my eyes suspiciously. “That can’t be  true, Mom. Pops is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too big to fit on that little dot.”

“Through the wonders of topography, he can,” Mom assured me. “But don’t fret. By the time we get up in the mornin’, he ‘n’ Ms. Corolla will be drivin’ furiously into the sunrise.”

I leapt offa the stool. “We gotta go clean the grill, Mom! He’ll be home with the steaks by noon!”

Mom just sighed. “Not so fast, Lou. He won’t get home for days.”

“Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyysss!” I wailed. “That LOLLIGAGGER!!!!!!”

‘N’ my steak-deprived tummy rumbled in protest.

“Your Pops isn’t lolligaggin’,” Mom said sternly as she ushered me back up onto the stool. “He’s gonna make VERY GOOD time, but he’s got hunnerds — no, THOUSANDS — o’ miles to cover, ‘n’ that takes time. Look at the map, ‘n’ I’ll show you.”

So I stuck my snout on Texas ‘n’ followed Mom’s finger from Arnold all the way across the table to Akron. “See, by tomorrow night, he oughta be in Wyoming, which is here,” Mom said.

Louie alone on the Towpath without Pops.

“That’s no progress at all!” I objected. “I can leap that far with my eyes closed!”

” ‘Cept in the map-makin’ world, your Pops is tinier’n even that speck on the map called Arnold, so California to Wyoming in one day is a very BIG trip.”

“If you say so, Mom,” I sniffed. It didn’t make no sense to me WHATSOEVER.

” ‘N’ then Monday, he oughta get way the heck to Iowa,” Mom said, ‘n’ she rested her finger on a squiggly blue line called the Mississippi River.

“I guess that’s better,” I pouted. But personally, I think you need to get better transportation. No offense to Ms. Corolla, but I don’t think she’s tryin’ very hard if all you can manage is two little folds in the map.
” ‘N’ Tuesday,” Mom said brightly, “Pops’ll cross into Ohio ‘n’ be home lickety-split.”

“I dunno, Mom,” I said doubtfully. “Tuesday is AWFUL far away.”

“It is,” Mom solemnly agreed. “But it’s not nearly as far away as all the way back to June, when Pops left. Trust me, Lou. With all the preparations you ‘n’ me gotta make between now ‘n’ Tuesday, them days is just gonna fly by.”

“Oh my gosh!” I said, ‘n’ leapt offa the stool once again in a frenzy. “I gotta round up all my Little Buddies ‘n’ give ’em a good lickin’ of dog spit so’s they stink, ‘n’ I gotta roll in the mud ‘n’ smear a really good layer onto the quilts you just washed, so they stink, too, ‘n’ I gotta find Pops’ slippers ‘n’ gnaw ’em back into shape, ‘n’ I gotta artistically plant paw prints all up ‘n’ down the carpets ‘n’ across the linoleum you just mopped, ‘n’ there aren’t nearly enough holes to China in the backyard, ‘n’ we gotta go MEAT shoppin’, Mom, ‘cuz Dad’s gotta grill MEAT, ‘n’ oh geez, you think I oughta get my nails clipped?”

The good old days, with Pops safely tucked into the couch at home.

“Don’t worry, Lou,” Mom said as she patted the map, “we’re gonna work our butts off the next coupla days, ‘n’ everythin’ will be shipshape when Pops ‘n’ Ms. Corolla pull into the driveway.”

I nuzzled Mom’s thighs ‘n’ looked up at her with my soulful brown eyes. “We done good this summer, Mom, but I’m gonna be sooooooooooo glad when Pops is home ‘n’ takes over the cookin’ chores.”

Mom give me a great big hug. “Me, too, Louie, me, too.”

So don’t you dawdle, Pops. Me ‘n’ Mom is waitin’ MOST anxiously for your return, ‘n’ we both promise you many, many belly rubs when you walk through the door.

Your loyal dog,


Pops replies:

Oh Louie, time and distance are such mysteries to you. But, don’t fret, I’ll be home soon. Then everything will be right in the world.


P.S. I’m in Rawlins, Wyoming, Lou and the people in the next room have a dog with them. I wish you were here.

Published in: on September 2, 2012 at 1:02 am  Leave a Comment  

Aug. 31, from Mom, Day 91

Well, Pops, Louie is too wasted from his double dose of allergy pills to write to you tonight, so I must tell you of his great adventures this evening from MY point of view. (It isn’t nearly as colorful, but the boy really is incapable of gathering two thoughts in his head right now, much less a whole letter).

We were taking our usual Midnight Stroll halfway up Malvern and back and Louie was really dogging it. (“Aw, geez, Mom, quit ‘xaggeratin’. It was HOT ‘n’ I’m just a little tired, that’s all. Quit makin’ it sound like I’m a lazy bum.” “Hush up, Lou, this is MY letter.” “Then tell Pops the truth, for gosh sakes.”)

All RIGHT, it was still VERY hot and humid, and Louie wasn’t as lively as usual. (“There. Is that better?” “Hmmmph!”)

Louie came through with a magnificent poop (“You betcha!”) and  being a responsible dog owner, I bagged it up. (“Only ‘cuz we was under a streetlight.” “Will you PLEASE hush up and let me tell the story?” “It’s pretty borin’ so far.” “Oh, go lick your butt!!!!!!” “MOM! Wash out your mouth!!!!!”)


With our mission accomplished, we turned back toward home, and just as we turned onto Canyon Trail, I looked down the street toward home, and my heart fell all the way down to my shoes.

Standing in the middle of the road, at the bottom of OUR driveway, was a MAGNIFICENT buck!

(“WHHHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAATTTT? What buck, Mom? You’re lyin’. I didn’t see no buck!” “Of course you didn’t. Your senses have been chemically altered. NOW SHUT UP!!!!”)

Louie contemplates a new career opportunity — flushing dog hydrants!!!!!

We were trapped, Pops. If we continued down Canyon Trail toward home, there would be a confrontation of the most violent proportions. (It was a really BIG buck, and I had visions of hoof prints all over my head and Louie’s.) And if we backtracked up Malvern and took the long way home, we’d be very VERY late in calling you, and you’d begin to worry unnecessarily about our health and well-being. So I did the only thing an aged Mom can do.

I dragged Louie up into the park, hoping the buck would cross over to the Barbaras’ side of the road and we could cut through the woods to our side yard unmolested. (“Mooooommmm, you’re makin’ things up! There wasn’t no buck. I woulda saw it.” “Are you calling your Mom a liar?” “If the shoe fits……”)

I tried to creep quietly into the trees, but Louie was tugging his bling this way and that. This wasn’t our normal route home, and he was quite discombobulated. (“I was only tryin’ to tell you we was goin’ the wrong way. Sheesh!”)

We slithered to the edge of the trees. I cautiously poked my head out of the foliage. The moon was very bright, and I could see the street was EMPTY!!!!!

So I squinted with my terrible night vision to our right, and our yard looked empty, too. There was a clear shot across the driveway to our front door, so I very, very carefully led Louie out of the woods to the magnolia tree.

And just as we were slithering OUT of the woods, a MASSIVE shadow slid by us not SIX FEET AWAY and slipped INTO the woods. (“Mom, that’s a GROSS misrepresentation. There wasn’t no BUCK!!!” “Don’t tell me you didn’t smell it.” “I ALWAYS smell deer. They LIVE in our woods!” “And he wasn’t but six feet away from us.” “No way, Pops. This story is all wrong.”)

I was terrified. The buck had outmaneuvered us. Any second, I expected him to wheel on us and come crashing through the vegetation.

So in utter panic, I hollered, “MEAT, Louie! Mom’s got MEAT for dinner!”

And Louie was so overjoyed, he bounded across the yard and up the sidewalk, and dragged me through the front door, panting for dinner.

And the buck was so startled, I could hear him thrashing through the woods and down over the hill. (“MOM. Is this TRUE???? There was a buck six feet from my snout, ‘n’ I never knew it?” “It isn’t your fault, Lou, you’re under the influence of drugs.” “I am soooooooooooooooooooooooo ashamed.”)

So because of my cunning and very quick thinking, Louie and I made it home without being stomped to death by a buck.

(“I will never live this down. I will be drummed outta the MIB. I’m humiliated, Mom, just HUMILIATED.” “Oh, get over it, Lou, and eat your wieners.” “Wieners? Did someone say WIENERS? Gotta go, Pops. Nice talkin’ to ya.”)

And that’s our story for Day 91. Sadly (of course) there are no pictures. You’ll just have to believe me when I say it’s 100 percent true.

Your valiant,


P.S. from Louie:  I still think she’s lyin’, Pops. I may be seein’ everythin’ in paisley, but no way I’d miss a buck!!!!!!

Pops replies:

Oh Mom! Is it possible the boy wouldn’t smell a huge buck, not six feet away? Hmm, I realize he’s on drugs, but really — how much of this 100 percent true letter is true?

P.S. Lou, you have been the absolute best this summer. No matter what, I knew I could always count on you.


Published in: on September 1, 2012 at 2:01 am  Leave a Comment