"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

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.