"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

Sunday, August 31, 2008

New Friend

I have a new friend. This new friend is not a new Friend, my toy replica of a pug. This new friend is a little girl who I met last night when my parents had guests over. I like children, not only because they are small, like I am, but also because they have endless energy. This little girl was no exception! She found all my little golf balls and rolled them across the floor for me. I love that. She called me "Little Doggie!" and chased me around. I was possessed with happiness. I ran and ran around the house. I ran through the chair legs and around the island in the kitchen. I ran and ran.

After a while I got tired and had to hide under the table. It was about that time the little girl went home. For the rest of the night I lied on my side, panting heavily.

When Things I Find Are Not Toys

I have found very interesting chew-toy shaped objects in Mommy's study room. They also have a very attractive smell. They are perfectly shaped for my paws and jaws -- so easy to chew! I took one out of the room and left it by the stairs, with the little marks from my sharp, little teeth on the end. Later, I found another one on my Mommy's bench. I started chewing on it. It was very satisfying. But Mommy took it away. She said she needed it for school. She said it was the color she uses to highlight the precedent.

Obama Dog Update

The winner of the important AKC Obama family dog election is the Poodle. Please look to previous posts to see that I, Poppy, endorsed the Poodle as the Obama family dog.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Obama Dog

I live in Denver, not very far from Invesco Field at Mile High, where the Big Speech will be made. This means that there have been very important issues on my mind lately. Those are,
  • Since Mommy's professors are canceling class that night does that mean I get fed twice that day?
  • What is the affect of tear gas on big, bulging eyes?
  • For how long are all of those helicopters going to continue flying over our neighborhood?
  • What breed of dog are all of those people who voted on the AKC web site going to pick for the Obama family?
Voting is over, so if you didn't exercise your right, you are going to have to wait until another dogless individual gets nominated by a major party. You can go to the AKC web site and see who you could have voted for, or I, Poppy, could just tell you right here on Poppy's Blog who would be the best First Dog.

First, let me be clear that the AKC erred in not suggesting a pug for First Dog. As support for this decision they gave us the reason that the little Obama girls have allergies. It is true that pugs are dander machines, but we do have large personalities, which Senator Obama is going to need to offer to the press when, as president, he finds himself in a sticky wicket. They don't call it wagging the dog for nothing.

It has been suggested to me that I not dwell for too long on that which is not mine to have, like Duncan's food. I have not given up that option. However, I will turn my attention to the other breeds of dogs that were in contention for this hallowed role.

The nominees are: the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier; the Poodle; the Bichon Frise; the Chinese Crested, and the Miniature Schnauzer.

I, Poppy, have only met representatives of the Poodle breed. So, there. The Obamas should get a Poodle.

How Many Residences? What Does This Mean?

The radio is an important source of information for me. For example, in the morning it tells me when I am going to be fed. I know that the first time it comes on in the morning I am not going to be fed. I have to wait for the third or fourth time it comes on until one of the Ones With Thumbs feeds me. Occasionally, I ask to be fed after the first time the radio comes on, but that is rare, because I really never get anywhere with that. It is just sort of like procedure in a lawsuit. I petition to be fed. The court says no.

Additionally, the radio tells me when my parents are leaving for the day. When they shut it off, I know that I am going to be shut in the mud room.

Despite the radio as parental cipher, Fans, this post is not about the radio, but about what I heard on the radio. John McCain does not know how many houses he owns. In fact, he must have his staff tell him how many residences he keeps. This information is a distress to me. Why, you ask, should this distress me, for I, Poppy, have a city residence and a country estate? Fans, it is not about the number of residences one keeps, or that number added to the number of rental properties one is responsible for. Instead, I wonder how, if Senator McCain does not know how many residences he keeps, then does he know how many pets he lives with? The campaign has indicated that the McCains have 24 pets. If the Senator cannot keep track of four houses, how, then, can he keep track of 24 pets? Has any one ever asked him to name all of his pets, and list their ages, genders, and species? Does he know -- one can only hope! -- what kinds of foods these pets eat?

Please do not think that I am committing the fallacy of equating good leadership with good pet stewardship. I, Poppy, am not a very rational or logical pug, but even I look to the current residences of the White House and see dogs who are blinded by love and loyalty to a person who -- to put this gently, as I, Poppy, so very often fail to do -- is a better leader of dogs than he is of men.

The example of the White House today lends excellent support to the idea that all leaders, despite their greatness, or lack thereof, need great pets. How, Fans, can a pet provide appropriate service to a leader when that leader does not know how many pets he has to begin with? It seems to me that this lack of knowledge, if proven, is a fundamental breach between guardian and pet. I, Poppy, go so far as saying that it undermines a sacred relationship.

For these reasons, I, Poppy, am seriously considering not giving McCain the nod.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

2003 Pug

Last year the Onion, America's finest news source, reported that breeders were issuing a recall of the 2007 model pug. It was a dark day for pugs everywhere. You can read about it here and see a slide show of chronic pug problems:


I, Poppy, am a 2003 pug. I have not been recalled. Unlike the 2007 pug, which apparently is like a car engineered and manufactured in in Detroit in the 70s and 80s, I am more like a fine, Italian race car that demands frequent maintenance and almost obsessive upkeep. My quirks include:

  • Frequent ear infections
  • Frequent reverse sneezing
  • Frequent itching, especially after grooming
  • Allergies to all vaccinations, causing me to have preventive cortisone shots
  • Pleasant plumpness
  • Difficulty breathing without sounding like a distant train engine
  • Snoring (see above)
  • Compulsive shedding
  • Delusions

Saturday, August 2, 2008


It has come to my attention that some of my fans think that I am an Unreliable Narrator. In fact, I, Poppy, am a very reliable narrator. When am I inconsistent? Indeed, when am I inconstant? When am I not There For You? I am always standing guard at the door. I am always watching closely to see if the cupboard with the treats will be opened. I am your Boswell; I follow you everywhere. I am like the "flourish" in a Shakespearean play, announcing you when you enter a room, or when we get out of the car. When we are in the car, I bark so that you know we are close to our destination. What other narrators are so loyal?

Apparently, I am not the only narrator in American letters who has been slandered as unreliable. The others include, but are certainly not limited to

Huckleberry Finn
Holden Caulfield
Benjy Compson
Lemony Snicket

This list is particularly distressing because none of these characters in unreliable. In fact, you can rely on them entirely. Huck Finn decides to "'go to hell'" for Jim! Holden is just a lost boy, trying to find his way home. Like Holden, Benjy loves his sister. (Do you notice anything suspicious in the connection between the name of this character and the name of a famous celebrity dog?) Snicket? He's just trying to help those poor children.

I am appalled by the narrators you generally think are reliable. They deliberately attempt to lead you away from the truth, like the narrator of The Scarlet Letter. Do you really believe all of that Custom House bosh?

What about Ishmael? We don't even know his real name! Was he falsifying information on his tags?

And Scout Finch? You call her reliable? She's six, for heaven's sake. And I don't want to remind you what happens to the poor dog character in that book. If Miss Jean Louise is so reliable, why don't we see that whole episode from Tim's point of view instead of all of that praise for "One Shot Finch?"

Unreliable, indeed! Now I am going to leave the keyboard for a while, as I have quite a bit of sound and fury to disseminate to passers by our house.


I, Poppy, am a very liberated pug. I do not discriminate on the basis of species, breed, race, creed, gender, or sexual orientation. My choice of veterinarian is an example of this openness and tolerance for all. He is a man.

I know. Male veterinarians are an endangered species. Not only did the number of female veterinarians move past male veterinarians in 2007, it seems that veterinary schools are now 75% female. No one knows why that is. Moreover, most of these ladies are opting to become small animal veterinarians, not large animal veterinarians.

But I am not concerned with why; I am more of a what pug. Dr. K is just like any girl veterinarian. He still lures me with sweet talk, sticks me with needles, sticks the thermometer into my ear, checks out my teeth, feels my sides, gives me a treat because I am a Good Girl. Such actions are no different from the women who have examined me. In fact, Dr. K may be even more sensitive than the ladies. He has never suggested I lose weight. Moreover, he leaves the anal gland expressing to people in the office who have smaller fingers. Such a gentleman.

I am a small animal. In fact, I could be classified with Piglet as a Very Small Animal. This demographic shift in choices of profession affects me personally. I, Poppy, am going on the record as being in favor of veterinary schools doing more to attract men to the profession. They are just as qualified as women. We cannot let sexism rule the day.