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Gobble, Gobble!

22 Nov

Gobble, Gobble!

Here are some things I’m thankful for today: my sunshine time in the morning, Lola when she’s asleep, car rides, the kind of back-scratching that makes me curl my lip like Elvis, long walks, the dog park, and Big Red’s distaste for dog sweaters. The list goes on and on, because there are lots of people and things I’m thankful for, and not just today, but every day. Dogs actually spend a lot of time being thankful; it’s part of our daily routine. If we saved it up for only one day out of the whole year, we’d be just as exhausted and cranky and ravenous as most people seem to be around this time. Spread it out, I say; pace yourself. (Also, I’m not sure why people dedicate a whole day to celebrate some people in funny hats who stole everything from the Indians. I mean, I enjoy snatching a toy or a bone away from Lola every now and then, but I wouldn’t dedicate a whole day to it.)

If I did, though, my special celebration food of choice would be Vienna Sausages. It seems impossible that anyone could be unacquainted with these tubular boons, but they are bite-sized weenies from Sigmund Freud’s own hometown. You can make your own joke about that. (For some reason, the label says that they’re made in New Jersey rather than The City of Music, but no matter.) They’re chock-full of “mechanically separated” chicken, water, beef, pork, salt and corn syrup, so your purchase keeps lots of machines employed and embraces all the major food groups! Plus, the can has a cool pop-top, and the only side dish you need is a good burp followed by a long nap. Vienna Sausage = Party in a Can! The holiday doesn’t have to be complicated, although I know that humans enjoy that sort of thing.

Finally, I’m very thankful for you, my loyal readers. What’s the point of telling stories if nobody listens? You might as well be Lola. (haha) And, all you dogs reading this, remember that our coyote brothers and sisters are getting pretty hungry these days, so keep your people on a leash when you’re out walking, no matter how well-trained they are. Happy Howie-days!

 

 

Boo!

31 Oct

This is what it looked like when we started out for our walk this morning:

It looked like freakin’ midnight. I knew that it was Halloween, because Big Red made me wear this:

So I thought the dark-as-a-bat’s-crotch death march was her idea of a Trick, but she explained that it was dark in the early morning because we hadn’t “fallen back” yet. I nodded wisely, because I went to my share of parties like that back in the day. Shoot, it ain’t a party til glass is breaking and folks are falling back. Lola is too young to understand, though, because this is her first Halloween. Naturally, like any good big brother, I lorded my expertise over her with smug insouciance, but I don’t think she noticed. She was too busy freaking out over each small, rustly object that blew past us in the eerie darkness. (OK, maybe I deliberately walked on the extra-crispy leaves  a few times, but, what the heck? It’s Howl-oween!) By the way, Lola doesn’t need a costume; her crazy eyes reflecting the moonlight could give anyone the piss-chills.

Now, on to my favorite part: the treat! (I’m looking forward to tonight. In my fantasy, I return home triumphantly bearing a pillowcase filled with pork rinds, sliders, Slim Jims and cheese balls rolled in extra-crispy bacon. But, I digress.) Finally, they came! The boxes with my books inside finally arrived! I was so excited that I peed on them right away, just to make sure that this happy event wasn’t part of my pork rinds dream. Big Red was so excited that, for a horrifying moment, I thought she might pee on the boxes, too. Thankfully, my tender retinas were spared this searing affront.

She cracked those suckers open, and there they were: copies of my long-awaited autobiography, “The Biker Chihuahua.” It was great to see my picture and my name on the cover, but the coolest part is that everybody who buys my book is helping animals in a shelter find a forever home, where they can tell their own stories! (As usual, the trick is finding someone who cares enough to listen, but that’s life.) I think you’ll get a kick out of my story. You’ll learn how I went from being a pup to being a dog, how I became Oktoberfest Bouncer of the Year, and how I masterminded a dog-friendly cathouse. You’ll even pick up a few pointers (hmm, that sounds like a joke where somebody walked into a bar… must work on that) about “predognition” and how you can use it in your own adventures. Not a bad deal, if I do say so.

So, for your Halloween treat, my dear Reader Peeps, here’s the Kindle link (mmmmm, links…) so that you can download your very own copy of “The Biker Chihuahua.” And if you would instead like a NOOK edition, that’s here at this link. It’s available in iBooks here. The Kobo edition is here. Have a laugh. Help a critter in need. When you fall back this weekend, curl up with a good book. Even though the days are getting shorter, you can still do it doggy-style!

The Author Reclines With His Book

Hi Again

4 Jul

Happy Dog Days of Summer, everybody! Why so Sirius? I know it’s been a while since we’ve talked, but two pretty cool things have happened in the last few months. First of all, I have a new friend! For some reason, as you can see, she thinks she can sit on my pimp chair, and for some reason, I let her do it. She’s only seven months old, she’s a Chihuahua, and we’ve named her “Lola.” The most important thing to bear in mind about Lola is that she has Crazy Eyes. One is blue and the other is brown. It still gives me the willies sometimes.

The day she first came home from the shelter with Red, I didn’t know what the heck was going on. I tried to send her a message with my mind while I was sniffing her butt, but what came back from “Her Trembliness” sounded a lot like, “Piss off, you!” I herded her into the kitchen just to show her who was boss, and kept her there for a while so I could check her out at a distance. Even accounting for her cowering mien, I could see that she was only about half my size, with some freckly, bovine little brown spots on her white fur, two brown ears and a brown patch over the brown-eye side. The side with the eerie blue eye is white. I sat purposefully in the doorway, looking at her, for maybe ten minutes. All of a sudden, out of nowhere, she raised up on her hind legs, did this weird Frankenstein-arms thing, and silently bared her teeth at me. Never in my extensive adventures have I seen something as batshit crazy-looking as her eyes at that moment. Flabbergasted, I took several steps back, at which time she walked casually past me and curled up in my bed next to my kittaboo. We settled into an uneasy silence. Later, I asked Red if we could call her “Batshit,” because it suited her.  Red said no, it would be “Lola,” because that was her real name.

Lola is extremely unpredictable, and has way too much energy for her (or my) own good. From a dead sleep, she will fling herself at me during my periods of contemplation and proceed to bite me up, or tunnel under my bed like a feral ferret and attempt to topple me. She will steal any toy or chewy-thing that isn’t nailed down, and has a peculiar fascination with hunting out unwashed socks or underwear and then hurtling pell-mell down the hall with them in her mouth like an Olympic sprinter crossing the finish line. She likes to carry all manner of things between her teeth when we’re walking, and appears thrilled by the even the grungiest little stick, or wad of paper. She is terrified by sudden movement and guests, but will snarl and bark unceasingly on-leash at any passer-by. I was really insulted at first that she wouldn’t pee on things after me when we were walking, like Brother-Dog does, but then I grudgingly decided not to take it so personally. It’s not about me. It’s about her. (Right, guys?)

In short, she’s squirrelly and can be a real pest. But sometimes, she comes up and starts licking my face with her tiny pink tongue, at which time my heart melts and I respond in kind until she falls asleep. Then I can finally get some rest. Whew. When she was first in residence at Casa de Howie, I didn’t sleep at all. I was afraid that I would wake up with a start to find her standing over me, staring at me, her head turned to the left and her spooky blue eye emitting some sort of soul-sucking rays, or at least glowing in the dark.

Depending on my mood, and her behavior, I have several songs that I sing about her. The first one I came up with is to the tune of “Copacabana,” and it starts out: “Her name was Lola. Her eyes were crazy.” There will be a part about me, of course, that goes: “His name was Howie. He was a biker,” but I haven’t worked out all the kinks in it yet. Speaking of Kinks, I also have a few variations about my new friend, set to the tune of their immortal classic. When I’m feeling kindly and big-brotherly towards her, I sing this one: “Lola…She bubbly like cola… Too shy to say Hola’.” When she’s being little-sisterly, though, sometimes the nicest thing I can think of to say about her is: “Lola… She don’t got ebola… She full of crapola.” Red says that there is a showtune called “Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets,” sung by some female in league with the Devil (which figures), but not if I can help it. My customary haiku, perhaps, sums up my feelings best: “Inexhaustible / Aggravating. Kinda cute / Crazy-Eyes Lola.”

Oh, the other cool thing that happened? My memoirs are finally complete! The heretofore untold story of my checkered past can finally be shared with the world. Once I’m famous, maybe I’ll get my own room, so that I can get away from you-know-who once in a while. Anyway, I’ll keep you posted.

Let There Be Peas on Earth

1 Oct

It’s World Vegetarian Day! No worries, I didn’t get you a card either. Don’t get me wrong; I put the “me” in “meat-eater.” Just thinking about vegetarianism gives me piss-chill flashbacks to my days at the Retreat Center, where meat-free punishment food was the norm. Even the odd snake crawling across a pathway conjured up drooly visions of a slowly rotating spit over a campfire and a big bottle of barbecue sauce. I may have gained some wisdom during my time there, but I lost a lot of  weight. To this day, I still have full-body love handles, which I call my “meats,” as a dewclawed nose at the Tofutopians, because of shrinkage. Well, starvation shrinkage and the cumulative pruning brought on by too many hours in the hot tubs with a sybaritic, sloe-eyed Shih Tzu named Shirley. But, I digress.

Anyway, vegetables… I do have a favorite, and it is that juicy little bundle of goodness, the Snap Pea. My initial discovery of these piquant little pod-monkeys required, as is often the case, some educating one of my people. One day Biff was sitting rakishly framed in the mesmerizing glow of his computer screen, and, from my perch on my Pimp Chair, I heard the crackling of a plastic bag. This almost always means something good, so I came over to investigate. He was snacking on snaps, and I knew immediately that I wanted some.

I sat looking meaningfully up at him and put on my “please” face. Nothing. I lifted my ears so they looked like little fortune cookies, and cocked my head winningly. Nothing. Finally, he noticed me, and said, “Howie, these are snap peas, dude. You don’t want any of these.” But I did, with that inner sureness that flies in the face of all things holy. So, undaunted, I upped my game by doing a little dance and emitting a series of well-modulated yips. Gentle reader, I worked it like the rent was due and the children were hungry (which I learned from the aforementioned Shirley, but, again, I digress) and finally I wore him down.

He put a niggling few snap peas in front of me, thinking I would eschew, rather than chew them. But I crunched away joyously, savoring their crispy deliciousness. Honestly, I would have eaten a few even if they hadn’t been so gob-smackingly toothsome, because by then I was savoring his astonishment as well. As you can see, he even busted out the video camera to immortalize the moment. Turn up your computer’s volume so you can hear my arrestingly cute munching. Note: It’s helpful to try new things every now and then to keep your humans on their toes and help prevent complacency.

Now there is always a pack of peas in the fridge, or “Narnia,” as I call it. They’re good any time, but after a long walk on a hot day, nothing is better. I could just fill up a tub with cool, succulent sugar snap peas and roll around in it. (Shirley? Call me.) Also, blah blah blah blah, nutrition! Believe me, Slim Jims will always be mother’s milk to me. If faced with some slab of gut-bomb bean crud (curd, haha), I’d be looking around for one of those bags Big Red uses when we walk. Chick’s got some weird hobbies, I’m just sayin.’ But, really, snap peas are brilliant.

Happy World Vegetarian Day, everyone! Now go grab some pork rinds and get over yourselves.

Splendor

25 Sep

I have grass. Walking on grass is one of my great pleasures. It allows me to embrace my inner critter, if you will, because I can get a whiff of who’s been there before me and then I can claim it for my own, thus temporarily establishing my place in the ever-changing mosaic of life. Plus, it tickles the hair between my toes.

Anyway, my people, Big Red and Biff, finally caught the hints I was sending them subliminally. Sure, they were very good about being taken out for walks both long and short, so that I could revel in the many pleasures grass has to offer. But I wanted some of my own. So after they finally got tired of cleaning up the little memos I was leaving them, they installed a doggy door and sank some sod in the patio. The really cute part is that they thought it was their own idea.

It’s delicious, my grass. Often, in the afternoon, when the sun is just right, I retire to the patio for my daily meditation time. Usually, I just meditate in one of my beds, but then I call it “Beditation,” which is a somewhat less formal, yet no less fulfilling, approach to the discipline. But I’m a sucker for soaking up the rays, and here you see me in full absorption mode, inwardly chanting the mantra, “Bacon fat.” This was such an energizing sitting that I composed a commemorative haiku:

“Badass in repose.
Lo, he is meditating,
Fierce yet focused one.”

The grass really gets the creative juices going, especially when it’s fresh. I’ve got the folks on a routine now, so they replace the sod every seven to ten days. If it starts looking a little tatty, I go outside and pace with an intense expression, then come back in looking dejected and trot purposefully upstairs as if to commit some vile act of random, inopportune urination. This is highly motivational, and usually the sod is quickly renewed. Patient training does pay off.

Another great thing about my grass is that it really irritates the barky little dog at the end of the building! Fortunately, that’s not hard to do, which is great, because I thoroughly enjoy it. For our purposes of dirt-dishing here, let’s call her “Olive” (for Our Lady of Vexation). Olive has a quiet, cherub-faced sister, which seems to add to her ongoing state of general annoyance. We’ll call the sister “Butter,” because she’s so sweet that she wouldn’t melt in your mouth. I’d be afraid to make her melt in mine, because I suspect she’s the brains behind the whole operation. If I had to live with them, I think it would require lots of gunny sacks and duck tape, but I delight in their dramatic balcony presentations from afar.

Every time I walk past, Olive grimaces and growls and yaps, so I give her a look that clearly says, “I have grass and you don’t,” and it irks her.  (That’s okay, because when I first moved here, she tried to make me believe that she had a cell phone and her own Petco card.) One of these days, she’s going to bark herself into a state of spontaneous canine combustion, and Butter will just sit there looking pretty and appearing oh, so mystified by it all. I believe it’s part of her Master Plan. They could both do with some meditation, if you ask me.

Please?

10 Sep

(This is my “please” face, designed to reduce the beholder to a soft, pudding-like state of submission by the sheer force of its unblinking, winsome sincerity. A soft sound goes along with it, a sighing little moo of hopefulness. It’s taken a bit of fine-tuning, but I think it’s pretty devastating, and I only save it for special occasions.)

Mom. Dad. I need an alpaca. They’re smaller than llamas, and they only spit at each other. I did some research online before mentioning it to you. (And, also, I could do with a nail trim, because keyboarding is a bit unwieldy at the moment. If something impedes your net-surfing, and it can be fixed with a pair of clippers, does that make the procedure an “impedicure?” Okay, good, you’re laughing. I’ll continue.)

You see, I have a natural talent for herding. You’ve probably noticed this. At home, I shoulder Brotherdog around to indicate my desire to play, or just to usher him off the bed, because that fuzzy blanket is really all mine, but he forgets. At the dog park, a subtler approach is needed, so I combine my shouldering techniques with the mentalist training I learned during my time with the circus. I gaze meaningfully around the area, and I just know who’s up to something. Ha, right there, that shifty-eyed Schnauzer’s thinking about peeing on the leashes. I give him a heavy-lidded glare, and if that doesn’t put the kibosh on his malfeasance, I move towards him, slowly at first, to give him the option of retaining a little dignity, then I beat feet like a veritable Kimba the White Lion to preserve justice (because, Kimba’s your favorite, Mom, right?).

Mom, I was thinking the alpaca could live in Boychild’s room when he’s at school or off-leash with his pack. Alpacas are very gentle, Mom, and they eat grass, so it could trim the grass on the patio that you and Dad put in every week so I have a nice place to do my business. I could teach the alpaca to go there, too. (Umm, we might need a bigger dog/alpaca door, but you’re really good at stuff like that, Dad, right?)

And, Dad, speaking of business,this is just between us guys: alpacas are humpless, but I could fix that. (Nudge, nudge, wink wink.) When it’s not grazing or being herded around by me, it’s gotta lay down sometimes. Imagine that big silky mound of fleecy goodness. I do. You know how guys are, we love us some exotics, Dad, right?

Seriously, Mom and Dad, I’m ready for some responsibility. It would be good exercise for me, so you wouldn’t have to walk me so much. It would save you the costly investment of hip and back supplements later. We could sell the fleece to stuff into dog beds. We could put reindeer horns and a red nose on it for the Christmas card picture, or even have our own living nativity scene. Think of it as an investment in family fun! And the environment! We could sell alpaca poop to the tree-huggers for their orgasmic gardening, because… something about nutrients!

Okay, I’ll give you some time to talk it over, because I’m getting kind of dizzy from doing my “please” face for so long. Thanks.

Big Pimpin’

22 Aug

Click to enlarge.

This is my chair. Apparently, Boy Child originally thought it was going to be in his room, but it wouldn’t quite fit through his doorway. It stayed downstairs, waiting for someone with the necessary brio to properly occupy such a noble space. My chair is round and it spins, so I can see everything that’s going on, and do my regulating from one central location. It comes in especially handy when my step-doggy is here. I like to lure him out the dog door onto the patio.

He stands out there, looking genuinely perplexed, and I come quickly back in and hide. When he finally realizes he’s been duped and comes in, I hurl myself off the chair at his head. It never gets old. Anyway, I call it my “Pimp Chair,” and when I say “Pimp,” I mean it in the dog-park parlance of “Please Inspect My Privates.”

Yes, dear readers, I am just that cool in my chair. I like to curl up in it and drift away down memory lane, to that security stint I did at a brothel in Pahrump when our bike broke down during an off-road race. (“Mammary Lane” might be closer to the truth, but that’s a story for another time…)