"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.