"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, 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.