"Cry 'Havoc,' and let slip the dogs of war...."
-- Julius Caesar

"Life...is a tale...full of sound and fury...."
-- Macbeth

"No woman can be too rich or too thin."
-- Wallis Simpson

"Let them eat cake."
-- Somebody, but not Marie Antoinette

Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Good One

Today, when there was no one in authority in the room, I climbed up on the dining room table. Mommy's handbag was sitting there. It was open. Because I am a dog and can get away with such things, I, Poppy, ignore the unspoken admonition against reaching into a purse that is not your own. This is a useless rule when there is an empty food wrapper in the purse in question.

I took out the wrapper and began to chew on it. Somehow Mommy knew that I was up to no good. She called from upstairs, "Poppy, stop whatever you're doing." It is interesting that Mommy assumed it was me playing with the wrapper. After all, Duncan was in the dining room, too.

It is a waste of breath to command small, willful animals such as I from out of our lines of vision. I continued to chew on the wrapper. From past experience, I knew I didn't have long.

Mommy descended the stairs. "What are you doing?" She demanded. I dropped the wrapper and ran under the table. I peered out from my hiding place to assess the situation. I witnessed this: Duncan, smiling and gazing into Mommy's eyes his tail pounding the floor in happiness, saying, "It wasn't me. I'm the good one."

The character of my anxiety changed immediately from anxiety based on my fear of Mommy being mad at me, to anxiety based on my fear that Duncan will receive a greater amount of attention than I. I ran out from my hiding place -- the fear of being yelled at trumped instantly by the fear of never being petted again.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Last in Line

The other night we went over to my other grandparents' house. There are dogs that live there. We were outside for a while. When we came in, we came through the door in a line according to our rank in the pack. First Duncan came in. Then Pepsi, then Cassie. Then I followed. Pepsi and Cassie are both old, blind, and don't walk very well. Even in that pack I am still Omega Dog.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Hot Car Ride

We really like riding in the car. That means that we get to be with you. Sometimes we have to sacrifice comfort, like on hot days.

The Real Me

It has come to my attention that my fans might think that I am a prima donna, or in other words, a diva. While the stories about myself that I publish on this blog often highlight my drama queen nature, I, Poppy, am really very sweet. I am as sweet as pumpkin pie. I am as sweet as pudding cake. My mommy says so all the time.

Take for example my eyes. I am watching you all the time. What are you doing? I am curious. What do you have? What does it smell like? I am not always interested in it because it may be for me, I just want to investigate.

When I see you see me, my body stays completely still, while my tail begins to wag. This exact same thing happens when I am dreaming a happy dream.

I love you, so I want to be as close to you as possible. I sit next to you on the sofa. I put my chin in your lap. When you are sitting in a chair, I am lying on the floor next to you. When you are in bed, I am a the foot, lying on my bed.

Sometimes the world is oppressive. Like the heat. It wears me out. Sometimes I sleep in the bathroom because the tile is cool.

I am Omega Dog, so in company other dogs ignore me, or even snap at me so I will go away from them. Instead of playing with them, I go to a far away part of the yard and sniff around by myself. Every once in a while I come over to you, so that you will pet me, and remind me that I am part of a pack.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Family Event

We went to my Grandma and Grandpa's on Sunday to play with my cousins, Lucy and Bear. They are both bigger than I am, but not bigger than Duncan. When they are all together, I am caught between wanting to pay with the big dogs, and being afraid of being trampled by them. Further, they are all retrievers, and I am not. They bring the ball back to the One With Thumbs. I, Poppy, run after the ball, and then sit in the grass with it.

Late in the day my Uncle Josh was at the other end of the yard, throwing the ball for Duncan and Bear. We had been chasing the ball for a long time, and it was very hot. I was sitting in the shade under a chair, next to all of the humans. Duncan was stiff, and instead of running after the ball as he had been doing earlier, he was walking after it. Duncan was paying attention to the ball. Bear was really only paying attention to Duncan. Bear wants to be Alpha. Duncan will not let him. Lucy just wants everybody to let her alone.

Uncle Josh threw the ball toward our end of the yard. Duncan started to run after the ball, and Bear started chasing Duncan. No one had counted on me. I had been watching the ball the whole time. I dashed out from under the chair, and grabbed the ball. I laid down in the grass and put my paw on the ball, in the manner of a statue of a lion. No one tried to take it from me.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


The postal carrier and delivery people all carry treats with them.  This fact is one of the reasons that I am very excited every time they come to the door.  When one of them comes, I sit to tell him that I would like a treat.  If one is not forthcoming, I stand on my hind legs and extend my long, stick-like, pug legs through the bars of the security door, reaching for the delivery man, in case he hasn't seen me.  

Saturday, July 5, 2008


The bombardment has let up. The only sounds from outside are the pigeons who live in our eaves.

I am still on guard. Mommy sneezed, and I jumped.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Still Under Attack

We are alone now. The Ones With Thumbs have sealed up the house like it is a fortress. The blinds are closed. The doors are closed. We go out into the yard only for emergencies, then run right back in, bright chrysanthemums of light exploding behind us.


We are under siege and have been since last night. The popping and whizzing noises from outside subsided for a while this morning, but now they are just as intense -- perhaps more so -- than ever before. The explosions are loud, and they are always followed by strange primate screams and laughter. Something very cruel is going on out there. I respond by barking and then lying with my eyes open extra wide, my chin in between my paws. Will this never end?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Post-election White House Dog

After exhaustive research to bring you, my fans, incicive political commentary, I have discovered that the AKC is helping the Obamas to pick out a dog for their daughters. You can read about it here: http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2008/07/02/the-08-race-for-the-obama-dog-house/

Now, as promised, I, Poppy, am carefully considering the issues for you so that I can, at the appropriate time, endorse a candidate for president. The issue of a dog is a very important one. Remember how loyal all of the political dogs have been! Checkers stood by the Nixon family in times of crisis, and that family's love for him only kept them from being embroiled in Checkersgate. Fala stood by FDR even so much as to come under criticism and have to be defended by his master in a speech to the Teamsters. The Ford's dog, Liberty, made the Golden Retriever breed famous, and Buddy was the only Friend of Bill in the midst of a crisis. Millie went so far in her loyalty to developing a similar autoimmune disease to both her master and mistress.

And think of the controversy that dogs could get presidents into! Some people think that Lydon Johnson should have been impeached for picking up beagles by the ears.

If you want to know more about presidential pets, you can go to the web site presidentialpetmuseum.com.

So who is the most dog-friendly candidate? I am heartened to see that the Obamas are briging a dog into the family. That will be a very important step toward receiving my endorsement. However, the McCains seem to have a pet-centric household, having, by my reaserch, 24 pets, including dogs. If sheer numbers of pets qualify a man to lead the country, then this is the guy to vote for. Though I do wonder what with 24 of them, whether the pets get the amount of doting that I, Poppy, find appropriate for pets. Hmmm. I also wonder how many of them will be allowed to live in the White House.

The Obamas have young girls, so their dog will get appropriate doting, if the White House lifestyle is not the high-achieving yuppie lifestyle that I suspect the Obamas practice. My parents lead such a lifestyle and I am often disappointed by their failure to dote upon me constantly.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Dogs at the White House

I, Poppy, have recently discovered the White House web site. I am not talking about the white house next door. No. I am talking about the house in Washington D.C. that was built for the President and his/her dog(s).

Navigating the White House web site is like sniffing around the back yard. It is not a linear progression, rather, it is a a path with stops, starts, turns, backtracks, and delays. A dog sniffing through this web site might go from the Oval Office straight to the East Room and then to the Roosevelt Room. My favorite is the State Dining Room. Such feats of cybernavigation are much like the way I experience riding in the car: I am stationary and everything around me is moving.

After much sniffing on the White House web site, past unimportant information about White House visitors, history, and scary images, such as the photograph of Condoleezza Rice admiring a portrait of Ronald Reagan, I found the dogs.

There are currently two dogs and one cat living at the White House. You can visit their pages and read their bios. Additionally, there are several films of the dogs that you can watch. But I have a problem with the way these films play on the computer. The images are so small. When I watched them I couldn't quite see the dogs. I could only hear them. It gave me the impression that there were dogs playing outside the window next to the computer desk. So I stood next to the monitor and barked toward the window.

I have included the White House Dog web address below.