"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

Friday, December 25, 2009

My Christmas List 2009

A Merry Christmas to all my fans out there. Please know that my love for you will last forever, or as long as some one else does not pet me or give me a treat, or as long as you don't pass by the front window unannounced.

As such nearly boundless love suggests, I, Poppy, am a very giving pug. In fact, I love to give more than to receive. Mostly I love to give kisses. My kisses, much like this blog, are bottomless. Unlike this blog, they are also very wet.

But since this is the season of giving I thought that I would take this blogging opportunity to tell you about what I am going to give to my friends this Christmas Day. Here is the list:

For my cousin Lucky: Chewies. Delish.
For my cousins Bear and Lucy: Chewies. Delish.
For my cousins Bear and Lucy's other grandparents' new dog: Ditto.
For my cousin Tucker. Ditto.
For my cousin Penelope: A new collar. (That is right. I have a cousin called Penelope. Apparently, ours is a popular name for pugs and pug-mixes). Don't tell my cousin, but I have noticed that she is getting a little round, hence the need for a new collar. However, to avoid hurting her feelings, I will tell her that I am giving her the collar because its pretty purple flowers would look so nice next to her Puggle fur.
For my brother Duncan: Nothing. He will get me nothing, as well. It is very important that we maintain the charade of indifference toward each other.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Personal Trainer

I, Poppy, want to be your personal trainer. It is true that I do not have a model's body, but I do a perfect Downward Dog and my core is strong from years of what Pilates teaching pioneer Ron Fletcher calls "percussive breathing."

You will benefit from my demonstrations of my aforementioned perfect Downward Dog (Upward Dog is also one of my specialties) and from my love-centered training methods.

Some examples:

Doga: When I do Downward Dog, I always place my front paws correctly, so that the qi flows freely in the correct direction and does not get stuck somewhere around the shoulders, as it does in so many humans.

Love-Centered Training Method for Stretching: I will love you so much when you are lying on the floor, stretching. I will kiss you with vigor all over your face then and when you are practicing Headstand.

Love-Centered Training Method for Pilates: When you are lying on your back on the Reformer doing your warm up, I will jump onto your tummy to make sure that you are holding your abdominal muscles correctly. I will try to kiss you then, too.

Love-Centered Cool-Down: When you finish your cardio session I will be waiting right there to kiss your calves with both conviction and compulsion.

My complete attention to you will never end until your skin ceases to secrete salt.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

French Philosophy

It is 5:40 on a Sunday morning. You are lying awake and wondering whether existence precedes essence, or the other way around. You discuss this. Neither of you can remember, so you consult Wikipedia via its iPhone app.

I am also awake. I have been awake since 4:30. I do not need to consult an oracle on existential issues because my stomach has already made them clear: I am hungry, therefore I must remind you that I exist.

I rise over the side of the bed like the great pumpkin in the most sincere pumpkin patch around and cry. You deny my existence by telling me to go lie down.

Duncan wakes up. He also proclaims his existence/hunger by body-checking the bed. I cry again. Now there is a flurry of activity on the floor disturbing your quiet attempt to remember what you learned in college about Jean Paul Sartre.

Down below your comfortable bed, the slaves are rebelling against the elitist overlords.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


I miss you when you are not here. I am so happy when you get home. Nothing can come between you and my love for you -- not even your warm, soft, cashmere-blend leggings that now have a big tear in them from my extra-sharp claws.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Territorial Dispute

I have won a recent battle in the war over territory that I am waging against the Lady Who Dotes.

Don't get me wrong. I like the Lady Who Dotes. I get very excited whenever she comes home and feeds me. However, she has not yet learned that the back yard is mine.

You see, I am a free dog. Unlike Little Dog, who was purchased and is therefore a slave, I chose to live with the Guy Who Feeds me. I followed him home. I demanded to come inside the house and live with him. I sat on the sidewalk outside of the house and would not move. I made an eloquent and moving picture as I sat there with the snow falling on my head. I know how to use a door knob. If I want to go outside and you do not see that I am waiting patiently by the door to let me out, I'll just open the door myself. Despite the presence of a fence, I have, on occasion, felt the call of the wild, and have taken sabbaticals from the ease of urban living to light out to the territory ahead.

It used to be that I could mark my territory wherever I wanted in the back yard. But slowly, the Lady Who Dotes and the Guy Who Feeds me have replaced the sumac jungle back there with civilized, manicured plants. Now there are plants back there that I'm supposed to leave alone. But I won't. I have not yet met a plant that I don't want to mark. As a dog, I have a natural right to mark all plants. I think that John Locke said that. This right is married to my other natural rights, like life, liberty, and the ownership of property. And what God has joined together, let no Lady Who Dotes tear asunder.

So I wage a continuous revolution. My mark is deadly. I take out plants one by one. I have forced the Lady Who Dotes to retrench. Gradually, she has conceded territory. But she has also built a fence around "her" territory in an attempt to save her plants. I do not like barriers of any kind, be they doors or fences. I have written about my previous attacks on such fortresses.

After our last battle, the Lady Who Dotes conceded some territory. She moved the fence inward toward the smelly pile of food. For a while, I laid low. I pretended that I was happy with the truce that ceded me extra surface to mark.

But last week, I could not ignore the smelly pile of food any longer. It has been there for so long, tempting me. It is like the trash can, only bigger. I am continually frustrated with the policy that the Lady Who Dotes and the Guy Who Feeds me have instituted about the smelly pile of food. Instead of giving the leftovers to me, they give it to the worms. They call it composting. I call it Heaven Just Out of Reach.

Reader, I pushed down the fence. Then I tore open the front of the compost bin. Victorious, I shared my plunder with Little Dog. Later that night, she was sick all over the master bedroom.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Mommy made popcorn. I know about popcorn because some of it fell on the floor, Mommy stepped on it, and then I ate it. Popcorn impresses me very much.

Mommy takes the popcorn into the room with the television. I follow and settle down right next to her. Mommy and the Big Guy watch Full Metal Jacket. I watch the popcorn.

With my eyes I follow each piece as it travels from the bowl to Mommy's mouth. I bark when the Big Guy takes some for himself. I move closer to Mommy, now resting right next to her. Now I am very close to the popcorn. The popcorn continues to move between the bowl and Mommy.

Mommy finishes the popcorn. The bowl is empty. Mommy sets it down. I crawl over Mommy to follow the bowl. I peer deeply into the empty bowl. It is the story of my life.

Monday, August 31, 2009


For several months, a large part of my territory has been cut off from me. For the entire hot season I have been forced to stand outside the garden fence and watch while the Lady Who Dotes spreads delicious-smelling, decaying grass clippings on the garden. I have been a good boy and just stood by while Little Dog, who gets away with murder, sneaked though the open gate and sniffed around in the mulch.

But this Saturday I had enough.

When the Man Who Feeds me and the Lady Who Dotes were gone, I pushed the fence back over the strawberries so I could graze in the delicious-smelling, decaying grass clippings. Little Dog was impressed. We had a feast.

Later, the humans replaced the fence. But they could restrain me no more! The next day, I pushed over the fence. It is now in pieces and part of it is hanging on the broccoli. Half of a zucchini plant is missing. I will never tell what happened to it. I have reclaimed what is rightfully mine.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

No Dog's Land

I noticed that the First Dog, Bo, did not get to go to Yellowstone or the Grand Canyon with the President and his family. I cannot help but to think that Bo's absence was a result of the draconian policy of not allowing dogs in national parks. I, Poppy, am against this policy.

That is not to say that I myself would really want to go to a national park. I am a city dog. I went hiking twice when I was a puppy. The first time I was too little to walk the whole way, so Mommy carried me for part of it. The second time I found a patch of wildflowers and would not move from that spot. I very much resembled Ferdinand the Bull -- same shape, same posture, although much smaller.

I am against this no dogs on federal land policy because it separates dogs from their people. Poor Bo had to stay at home in the White House (how fun could that be?), far from his family. I am a Family Values Pug (not affiliated with the Blue Dog Democrats), and I think that this policy undermines the sanctity of the dog-family relationship. It is just wrong.

Monday, August 17, 2009


Mommy has left the tomatoes on the porch while she waters the garden. Neither Duncan nor I have ever been close to a tomato. They usually travel and rest well above our heads. But here they are now.

There is a tomato in front of me. I lie on my tummy and sniff it. It looks like a ball. I push it with my nose. Next to me, Duncan is pawing another tomato. Mommy tells us to move away from the tomato.

Then she turns her head.

When she turns around, I have the biggest and juiciest tomato of the bunch. I have torn open the side and am lapping up the juice. Mommy tells me no, that tomatoes are not for dogs. But she is too late. I have tasted the forbidden fruit.

I move away from the tomato. I sit at a distance of three feet from it, and gaze at it, guiltily. I am a good girl and want to please Mommy.

Mommy turns back to her watering.

Duncan has been in the house, and does not know that eating the tomato will displease Mommy. When Mommy turns around again, he is finishing up the last of the tomato. He has even licked up the seeds.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Little Dog Has a Chewie

Little Dog has a chewie. She is chewing it in front of me. She is tempting me. I come closer, but she growls, and runs and sits next to the Lady Who Dotes, who will protect her right to the chewie.

I really want that chewie. I had a chewie, but I ate it all. That was five minutes ago. I do not remember that. I see that Little Dog has a chewie. Since I am a bigger dog, I should be able to take it. I cast my eyes up to the Lady Who Dotes to see if she has come over to my side. She says, "That's not yours." I lay my head down, disappointed.

Little Dog drops the chewie and goes to get a drink of water. I look at the chewie longingly, though I dare not take it. The Lady Who Dotes says, "You can have it now. She abandoned it." I look at the Lady Who Dotes, then I look at the chewie. I feel guilty. I do not touch the chewie.

Little Dog returns to the chewie, but she just lies down on top of it. I lay my head down and consider lost opportunities.

Saturday, August 1, 2009


Mommy is making hamburger patties. I lie on the kitchen floor like a sphinx and watch her. My eyes are glistening, my mouth slightly open. I see nothing by Mommy's hands shaping the hamburger. If she would give me some, I would be the happiest dog in the world.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Beer Summit

I have heard on the radio that there was a beer summit at the White House yesterday. It seems that the president borrowed one of my mommy's leadership techniques. She calls it the "Do You Guys Want a Disgusting Lamb Treat?" technique. Mommy uses this technique when Duncan and I are in dispute over something, most often a toy. When we won't come to a compromise on the toy dispute, Mommy says, "Would you guys like a disgusting lamb treat?" Now, Duncan and I know that when Mommy says we are going to get a disgusting lamb treat, we are going to get a delicious piece of greasy, smelly lamb jerky. Yummy. As soon as Mommy suggests the treats, Duncan and I forget about the toy, the dispute, and the rest of the world itself, and very quickly sit by the cupboard with the disgusting lamb treats. Mommy gives them to us, we eat them, and then we sleep.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Mommy has been painting the mud room. She has painted it so that it will be pretty and clean. She now calls it the "garden room" because she wants the transformation to be complete down to its name.

I have new markings because of this painting. Because I, Poppy, am a curious pug, I went out to the garden room while Mommy was painting. I sniffed around, and when I was done, I had paint on my ears. These highlights are pretty. Since I am now six years old, I can choose to color my hair if I want.

Often when Mommy paints or cleans she wears a mask. I am a literal pug, so masks confuse me. Is Mommy the same person when she wears the mask?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Delicious Odiferousness

I have found a dead bird. There is nothing to it at all, except dry, hollow bones and greasy feathers. I love this dead bird so much that I lie it on the dog bed in the mud room so it will be near me all the time.

A Tail of Two Chewies

Mommy has given Duncan and me identical chewies. They are both the same in length, girth, and quality. We were equally excited to receive them. Yet my chewie sits undisturbed as I lay on the floor not a foot away from Duncan and bark at him while he chews on his.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Left In

Mommy and the Big Guy are painting the garage. They will not let us out of the house to come and watch. I am very distressed. I am crying softly. I do not know why they won't let us come out.

Earlier, Duncan was outside. He was standing next to the garage. Because he is a happy boy, he was wagging his tail. When he stepped away from the garage he had Behr Apple Crunch in satin on his tail.

Friday, June 26, 2009


For a while this afternoon it was a nice day. We all went outside, and Mommy looked to the north and said, "We can get some weeding done yet before it rains." So Mommy started weeding, and Duncan started rolling on his back on the porch, and I started licking the basil that is growing up through the garden fence.

After about 20 minutes, it started to get dark outside. Mommy kept weeding. Then we started to hear thunder. Little drops of rain started to fall. Duncan went in, while I walked over to Mommy to inquire as to why she persisted with her work in the garden. I looked at her. She looked at me. Then I went inside.

Duncan and I just didn't go into the mud room. No. We went all the way into the house. We don't like the thunder.

Soon Mommy came in and it really started to thunder. There was lightening, too. The sky got dark, and the lights went out momentarily. Then there was a huge thunder crack.

Mommy was sitting on the sofa. Duncan and I came over to sit close to her.

We all are watching out the front window. The rain is very heavy.

A few minutes ago I barked at the thunder. It answered me back with a loud boom. I was quiet for a few minutes after that.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Vacuum Cleaner

I am not the histrionic dog that Little Dog is. I keep my cool. Except when you have a ball, or that one time when I went to the dog park and refused to leave the water because I was having too much fun, I am a Zen dog. If I were music, I would be Jazz. If I were an alien, I would be a Vulcan. If I were president of the United States, I would be Barack Obama.

But the vacuum cleaner undoes me. I see it come out of the closet and I get tense. I watch it from far away with a nervous look on my face. It comes near me, so move to my safe place between the chair and the ottoman. It cannot respect my personal space any more than it can respect my ears with its high-itched scream. It comes near me again. I move away, quickly, my tail down. I hide in another room, and hope it will go away.

Vacuum Cleaner

I used to bark at the vacuum cleaner. It is a strange and noisy creature. Now I stay as far away from it as possible on my pug perch on the top of the big chair. As it comes nearer to where I am, I keep still and watch it out of the corner of my eye. If I make no sudden moves, maybe it won't see me.

Monday, June 1, 2009


Friend is my stuffed animal toy that looks like a pug. Friend has had many lives. The first Friend disappeared when I tried to take him on a walk. Other Friends have had their stuffing ripped out and their heads torn off. Friends often disappear out in the yard in the fall and are discovered in the spring, lying in a mud puddle. Friend has a doppelganger who lives at my grandparents' house. However, never in the many incarnations of Friend has Friend met his end in an unfortunate lawnmower accident. That is an honor belonging to Stretchy Dog, a dachshund look-alike toy who, as his name indicates, stretches out when you pull on him.

Today, Friend is lying in the exact, geographical center of the back porch. Both the porch and Friend are wet, as it has been raining. A squirrel crawls slowly toward Friend. From the squirrel's angle, Friend looks like another squirrel; he is roughly the same size as a squirrel, and has similar coloring. The real squirrel crawls closer, sniffing. Crawling is the right word, as the squirrel's knees are bent and its belly is dragging on the surface of the porch. He gets close enough to Friend to determine that Friend is not a dead squirrel. Then he runs away, around Friend, keeping a wide berth.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Evening Rest

The humans are reclining on the sofa. The Big Guy is working, and Mommy is reading. Duncan is sleeping in his favorite spot.

I would like to be on the sofa next to the Big Guy and Mommy. Since I have no concept of other beings having feeling in their bodies, I jump straight on to the Big Guy's tummy. He cries out. I ignore him. I step on him for a while, doing a little turn to get the layout of the land, and the leap onto the back of the sofa, from which I walk, catlike, to the arm next to Mommy. I lie down for a minute.

I have an itch. I get up with a snort, and start scratching my ear. My tags jangle. I climb on top of Mommy and, with really no purpose or reason, begin licking her face. She pushes me away, so I start licking her hand. I don't miss a beat. She holds me still. "That's enough," she says. But when have I, Poppy, ever been satisfied with "enough"? I start licking her hand again. She holds me still.

My toes are itchy, so I sit down on Mommy and begin several minutes of manic toe-biting. I sound like a scavenger gnawing on a carcass.

No longer itchy, I start to sneeze. The sneezing fit goes on for about thirty seconds. Everybody is looking at me because when I sneeze I sound like I'm on a ventilator about to go kaput. The sneezing fit over, I climb back over the Big Guy to sit on the pillows behind him.

For a minute, there is peace.

I am looking out the window. I see a dog, or a child, or a jogger pass by the house. Such a challenge to the integrity of our territory cannot go unanswered! I leap from the pillows, and run to the window to scare away the already out of sight intruder.

Then it starts all over again.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Garage Door Guy

The Garage Door Guy came over today. We were so excited to see him that we ran outside and down the stairs. In our excitement we forgot that we were free and ran back after him into the house.

Everybody went outside and to the back of the house. Then we got to go in the garage. I love the garage. Sometimes I find things in there to eat or play with. I have to be very discreet about it, because Mommy and the Big Guy are very territorial. They always make me give back the treasures I find there.

We went back inside, Garage Door Guy, Mommy, Duncan, and me. I went to go sit on my perch by the door. I sat for a while, listening to the noises in the neighborhood. I forgot that Garage Door Guy was there.

There was a noise, and as I came back from my reverie, the Garage Door Guy was leaving. I wondered, "How could he be leaving if he hasn't even come into the house yet?" Then I realized, he couldn't. Not one to dwell on complexities in times of crisis, I sounded the alarm immediately. I looked back and forth between Mommy and Garage Door Guy, who shouldn't have been there. "There's a stranger in the house! There's a stranger in the house! He's leaving through the front door!"

Safe once more.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


I am in the back yard. The neighbor dog is in his back yard. He barks to tell me that he is on his side of the fence. I bark back to tell him that I am on my side of the fence. This exchange continues for a few minutes and is quite lively.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


It is a hot day. The water bowl is empty. I am thirsty. Mommy and the Big Guy are watching Battlestar Galactica. They are engrossed. I agitate for water. I stand in front of Mommy and look at her. I send her psychic messages communicating my thirst. She pats the sofa to invite me up.

But I am thirsty, and Mommy is silly. Doesn't she know that if I wanted to be on the sofa I'd get up there without asking permission? Frustrated, I go away.

I am still thirsty. Mommy has not heard my psychic message, so I bark at her. She pats the sofa again. Why is she doing this? I can get on the sofa anytime, but I'm too short to work the faucet. I bark again.

If I were an introspective pug, I would be frustrated by my canine inability to alter my bark to indicate the nuances of my needs. I am not an introspective pug, so I am frustrated that you don't know what I want when I want it. I bark and humans say, "What do you want, Poppy? Is Timmy down a well?" Well, shmell. I'd like a well, a whole well full of water.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Breaking News: The Obamas Have a Dog

Finally, the president has appointed a new White House Dog. I am happy that canines will be represented in the president's shadow cabinet. I am also happy that the president has achieved this goal within the first 100 days of his administration. Not to have appointed a dog by then would have sent a message to all Canine-Americans that we are not the priority that we think we are. I, Poppy, had better be a priority or I will scold you. I did not want to have to scold the president.

This new dog is a Portuguese Water Dog, a gift from Senator Kennedy, who himself is a lover of Portuguese Water Dogs. Portuguese Water Dogs are retrievers and are best known for retrieving baseballs that are hit out of Candlestick Park and into McCovey Cove. They are manly dogs, and not "yippy," as the president had feared a hypo-allergenic dog might be.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Super Bark

Bolt is my new hero. I have been watching him all this afternoon. I have watched him travel cross country with his friends the cat and the small creature in what looks like a food ball. I have been engrossed. Sometimes when Bolt was doing something particularly exciting, I went up to the t.v. and barked up at it. But the most exciting part was when Bolt rescued Penny at the climax of the movie. I sat on the ottoman, my eyes glued to the action, and barked my little voice out. It was so exciting.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Vampire Dog

I am doing very well, thank you. My morphine patch fell off and now I am back to myself. I did not become addicted, thank goodness. Mommy said that she was happy that I didn't, because she didn't want to have to score the stuff for me, or have me trying to get it on the street. Of course, I don't know that I could see pink squirrels whenever I wanted, or that there is even a reality from which I might want to escape. And Mommy's point about me resorting to the street for pink squirrel stuff was just silly. Everybody knows that pugs can't hold cash in their paws. Saved from a life of crime by the absence of thumbs and a frontal lobe! And you humans think you're superior.

Today it was Duncan's turn to go to the emergency vet. This morning when we all got out of bed, we noticed that Duncan's elbow was bleeding. Duncan has very dry elbows, and they bleed occasionally, but usually not very badly. I like it when Duncan's elbows bleed because I like to lick the blood off the floor. I think blood is yummy.

However, today Duncan wouldn't stop bleeding. His blood made a very big puddle on the carpet. The Big Guy and Mommy tried to staunch the blood with some of Mommy's t-shirts from work. Mommy said she was happy that the work t-shirts were the only clean fabric in the vicinity, because she was looking for an excuse to throw them away.

The Big Guy brought out the leash, so I thought I would be able to go, too. I started jumping up and down because I was happy. But Mommy betrayed me. She put me outside. I didn't get to go with them.

When Mommy, the Big Guy, and Duncan got back, Duncan was wearing a big bandage on one of his forelegs. I got to come back into the house. There was still blood on the carpet. I cleaned it up. That made the Big Guy squeamish. But I have no problem with minor cannibalism.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Under the Knife

I had an operation yesterday. I have been told that it is supposed to make me feel better. I am not sure how I feel, because now that it’s over, things that usually never weird me out are really, really weirding me out. Like Mommy. She looks like Mommy, and smells like Mommy, but I just look at her with languid eyes. I think, “You are Mommy, but maybe you are also a stranger. How is it that you are all shimmery?” She came home last night and I didn’t move from my perch. She said hello and asked how I was doing. I looked at her and made little whining noises.

Sometimes I don’t want her to touch me, so I run in a circle around Duncan and the Big Guy, who are sitting on the floor. Sometimes I want to sleep near her. Today I lack decision-making skills. I, Poppy, am usually very decisive. I am a pug who knows what she wants and where she wants to sit. But now I sit on the floor and look up at the sofa, like it is a mirage. I want to go to the mirage, but I am not sure that it is real. In my frustration, I sit, staring at the mirage/tangible object. Mommy makes the sofa real by patting on it and saying, “Come up here.”

And then there’s the dryer. Usually it doesn’t bother me. But now I keep my ears perked, listening to the zippers and buttons banging against the drum. Surely we are being attacked. I think it’s the pink squirrels who are attacking. From time to time, I lift my head and stare at them with wide eyes.

We are being attacked, but for some reason all I can do is cry. We are being attacked, no one else knows it, and I am too tired to warn them. I continue to cry very, very softly.

At some point last night, Mommy fed me beef-baby food from a jar. It smelled very yummy, like cat food, and Duncan wanted it, too. Mommy held it on a spoon in front of me and for the first time that evening my little toungue emerged to lap at it. She put the rest of my food in my bowl and I ate it, rather inefficiently. When I finished, there was still a lot left, smeared all over the inside of the bowl. Duncan came over and finished it for me. Mommy and the Big Guy said, “There she is. She’s back to herself.”

I am wearing a t-shirt that says “Snowmass.” I am not wearing this shirt because I like to ski. That would be silly. Pugs don't ski. Pugs don't even like snow. I'm wearing it so I don’t mess with my stitches. I can’t wear a cone, because dogs who have heads smaller than their necks can’t wear cones. I don’t think that the cone situation is funny. Mommy, the Big Guy, and my grandparents think it is funny. They laugh, but I don’t pay them attention because I am still watching the pink squirrels.

Today I am almost back to myself. I could only must one small bark this morning, when I was waiting to be fed. I ate my whole breakfast.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

No Plan B

My Get Cheese Plan is broken. Somehow, the clues I send -- my wagging tail, my soulful eyes -- are not producing the results that they have in the past. However, I have no practice in any other form of manipulation. If the Guy Who Feeds me or the Lady Who Dotes wouldn't put the cheese away in the Big Box of Food I could steal it when they are not looking. It would be better if they put it in the trash and then left for a few hours. Heck, I only need a few minutes. Why don't they go to a movie or something?

Screen Cleaner

At this very moment there is a pug licking the screen of Mommy's computer. He is licking from the inside of the computer. This sight freaks me out. I walk up to the screen to take a closer look. I get a very serious look on my face as I confirm that yes, there is a pug on the screen. Because I am a very expressive pug, I express my surprise with some incredulous barking. But I am not just surprised. This situation alarms me. There is a pug on the screen, but not behind the screen. Perhaps the pug has appeared on the screen because he is at the front door. I run toward the front door, expressing my confusion the whole way there.

Monday, March 2, 2009


I have been eating cheese for 12 years. I do not understand why I can't eat cheese just because Little Dog is sick. I will just look you in the eyes and wag my tail to show that I am a happy dog and deserve cheese. That should do it.


I like cheese. The Big Guy started giving me cheese for treats, and Mommy copied him. Whenever the cheese comes out of the fridge, Duncan and I go over to the counter and wait patiently for the cheese ritual. First we get one piece, then another. Just two. We are so happy.

But now, the emergency vet said that my tests show that I might have kidney stones, and that I would have to have a special diet. On the way home from the vet, the Big Guy asked Mommy what might cause kidney stones in dogs. She said, "I don't know, but an overabundance of calcium causes them in humans."

Then they Googled "calcium kidney stone dog." Indeed, foods high in calcium are discouraged for dogs who have had kidney stones. There is now an anti-cheese for dogs policy at our house.

Knowledge is a dangerous thing. That is why I, Poppy, am against it.


Governor Jindal gave me a very nice compliment last week. His speech to the country entitled, "Americans Can Do Anything" was written in my style. It had simple words, was easy to understand, found no room for abstraction, and came off as naive.

He also delivered the speech in my style -- sort of in the sound you might use when reading a children's story to a kindergarten class.

The Governor probably borrowed my style because in politics, a human wants exactly what a pug wants -- to be liked. Pugs know what politicians know -- that if you wag your tail, smile, pander, and beg -- just a little -- you can get what you want.


Last night I got to go for a ride in the car with Mommy and the Big Guy. Duncan had to stay at home. I am a Very Good Girl when I ride in the car. I lie on the back seat and fall asleep.

When we got out of the car, we went to a place that smelled a lot like dogs and cats and animals of all kinds. At places like that I like to sniff all of the corners.

There was a cat there. I know to steer clear of cats.

A lady took us to a small room, where she talked to Mommy and put me up on the table. I only like being on tables when there is food on them, like the dining table. I like it because I can jump up on the table on my own when nobody is looking. But when somebody puts me on a table, I want to jump off because I know I'm going to get poked and prodded. Mommy held me while the lady poked and prodded me. The lady was nice, but she did some not nice things to me.

The lady left us alone in the room. I sniffed around some more and listened to what was going on outside the door. I barked, just to let everybody know I was there. Mommy and the Big Guy were focused on their phones. I don't get phones. When we used to have a land line and it rang, I would bark to tell Mommy that the phone was ringing. Now phones play music, which is a medium that I don't understand.

While Mommy and the Big Guy were looking at their phones, I went potty. Usually I go potty outside, which is another reason why I am a Very Good Girl. However, yesterday I couldn't help myself. All day I needed to go all the time, and I couldn't wait for somebody to let me out. Apparently, my accidents are why we went for a ride in the car to the place that smells like dogs and cats.

A while later a man came in.* I was very friendly with him. I went over and cautiously sniffed him, my tail down and parallel to my body. He picked me up and put me on the table. I turned to Mommy and the Big Guy and gave them a look that said, "How is it that you are letting this happen to me again?" The man looked in my eyes and ears, then felt my ribs and tummy. Then he looked in some other places that are not so nice to look.

When he was finished, he said a few words to Mommy and the Big Guy, and then took me to another room, without Mommy and the Big Guy. I got poked and prodded some more.

After a while, the lady brought me back to Mommy and the Big Guy. I was very happy to go to them. I was pulling on my leash. When I got to the room, I scolded Mommy with a bark that said, "What do you think you were doing letting me go in there? I was very unhappy." But then we got to go back to the car. This time I was very excited to be in the car, because it was going home. When I'm near home, I like to stand with my forepaws on the center console and look out the front window. I am really too short to see anything, but I feel like I'm part of the action, and, with little excited whines and barks, can encourage the driver to get home more quickly.

When we got home, Mommy stuck a pill down my throat and told me that I'd feel better in the morning.

It's true. It's like I don't even remember being sick.

*Please see my earlier posts on male veterinarians. I am all for them. They need to be supported.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Superior Intellect

I, Poppy, recently achieved my personal best in the annual guess the Oscar winners context that I do every year. I beat both my mommy and the Big Guy. They were irritated during the show because they were losing. I, on the other hand, was playing it cool. I pretended like my superior performance didn't mean as much to me as, say, angling for the best place on the couch.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Political Instincts

I, Poppy, do not like the junior senator from Illinois. I saw him on T.V. last night and I barked at him. I barked at him and didn't stop barking until he disappeared from the screen.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Pug Dog Day

Happy February 2 to all my fans! Remember, February 2 is the day when the pug emerges from her crate, checks the temperature at the doggie door, and decides whether to go outside or to stay in. If she stays in, that means that it is a cold day. If she goes out, that means that it is over 40 degrees.

I understand that groundhogs have taken over this day. I noticed that the groundhog on Long Island bit Mayor Bloomberg, drawing blood. All Mayor Bloomberg was doing was feeding Chuck, the groundhog. I, Poppy, would never bite Mayor Bloomberg -- especially if he were offering me a treat. I would eat the treat and then ask for more.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I am hungry, but it isn't time for dinner. Mommy ignores me. I lie at her feet and whimper soft, plaintive whines like soft, far-off sirens.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Yes We Can

Mommy is making a snack. I want some, too. She says,"Pugs don't eat walnut butter." I respond. My message is clear and articulate. "Pugs will eat walnut butter if humans feed it to them."

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A Girlie Pug No Longer

When we moved in with the boys, I was a girlie pug. When the Big Guy would throw pieces of cheese in my direction, I would let it bounce off of my nose and then look for it on the floor. But I have gotten better. Now I am an athletic pug. My timing and eye-tooth coordination is much better. Now I can catch the cheese in my mouth.


My chewie was in my crate from last night when Mommy put me to bed. During the day the crate is open, but I don't like going near it. But with the chewie in the crate, I had to take desperate measures.

First, I barked at the chewie. Then, I leaned forward, gingerly, my back legs stretched out at behind me, and tried to grab the chewie. I jumped back. The gate didn't close automatically.

I leaned forward again, careful not to put more than one forepaw into the crate. I growled a little in frustration and jumped back again.

When the crate didn't suck me in and the gate close itself behind me, I barked again and lunged forward. I grabbed the chewie, and ran away from the crate. I tricked it.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

When Mommy makes eggs she gives us the yolks.

Today she brought out the eggs but then left them on the counter for a little while. I barked at them. They did not automatically crack and empty themselves into my bowl.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Apparently I have come in dead last in the Jon and Donna's 12th Annual Academy Awards Contest. This means that I am to receive the "Happy Gilmore" Prize, a batch of chocolate chip cookies made by my friend Lucy's daddy. I do not know what Happy Gilmore is, but I am very pleased to win this award because I would very much like to eat chocolate chip cookies. My mommy will have something to say about that, however.

I am also pleased because the Jon and Donna's Annual Academy Awards Contest is where I got my start as a commentator in cyberspace. I have come far.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

World of Riches

I found a tennis ball mine. There are endless numbers of tennis balls there. There is a lady there who takes them out and gives them to you.

Saturday, January 10, 2009


Happy 2009 to all my fans! I don't really know when 2009 started, but it must have been recently, because I have lately been subjected to several new regimens in an effort to make me the Best Pug I Can Be.

Note that I have been subjected to such regimens. I, Poppy, am not an introspective or spiritual pug, and do not really care if I am the Best Pug I Can Be. I live, resolutely, in the material world. As long as you give me treats and tummy rubs, I am okay.

Self-improvement is not a part of my philosophy of life. If you don't give me treats and tummy rubs, it is your problem, and I will tell you that. Loudly.

My parents are the introspective and spiritual beings in the house. (Duncan is spiritual, but not introspective). They are about self-improvement and dog improvement. (Read pug-improvement -- Duncan is being made to do nothing). I am really not crazy about human self-improvement, as it causes my parents to be away a lot, thus making my feeding schedule erratic. I am okay with part of the pug-improvement plan, and not okay with the other part.

Two resolutions have been made for me: 1. More walks. 2. No accidents in the house.

I have to have more walks because I am a round pug. My mommy figures that if people at risk of obesity can improve their health by taking more walks, then pugs at risk of obesity will also improve by walking. I don't care why we go. I like to walk. Sniffing is good, too.

The second resolution requires making me change some habits that I acquired when we came to live with the boys. This is not so fun. Where I used to get the run of the house at night, now I have to be crated. I am a good girl and do not complain, but I don't like it. Notice that being the Best Pug I Can Be is not the same as Free to Be You and Me. I am a cunning and sneaky pug, and my parents don't trust me.