Now that she regularly steals people food from the pantry, Jade the dog is becoming more and more like the human race she wants to be a member of. Recently she was reading my blog and got the idea that she could write poetry. So, I was searching for an idea for today’s post and decided I would let her give it a try. So all of this poetry today will be written by the family dog.
Introducing Dog Thoughts
Woof! Grumph-hak-borph-borph… Rrrr.
Did you get that? Or do I have to translate everything into your language?
Boofa-Rrrrr. Bork bork grumph…. okay, we’ll do it your way.
But every time I need to add a tail wag,
Ima gonna go “*************” where each “*” is one wag.
Got it now? People are so dumb!
The family dog after eating enough potato chips to become all people-y…
It Is a Stinky World!
Ooowow! I go outside and I can smell dog poop in the park!
The rabbit that lives in the hedge leaves those little round brown things!
I want to put my nose in a pile of those *********!
I like to eat cat droppings, but you have to dig them up *******
And I am deathly afraid of the white cat… it kills and eats rats!
And it’s almost as big as I am
With breath that smells like dead rats
It is a stinky world! *******
Isn’t that great! ********
Queen of the Couch
Why do you not understand
That the couch is mine all morning and all afternoon?
I will get off when it’s time to eat
And I will get off when it’s time to go outside
But the rest of the time the couch is mine
So don’t disturb me
Or I’ll pee in your shoes!
Rats Are NOT Our Friends
I smell them more than see them
With rank and nasty sewer smells
And I never, ever catch them
They don’t come ringing bells
And my master puts out poison
Which they eat with garbage sauce
But it only makes them poison-proof
And I am at a loss…
All I do is bark at them
When I smell them in the walls
And my family’s mad at ME
When all the blame and curses fall.
Do you really not see me here? *****
Here right by your knee? ******
I know you’re eating bacon! *******
I can smell every bite disappearing! ********
Look into my eyes! *********
My big, sad dog eyes! **********
Don’t you want to give me some? **********
I mean, it’s BACON! ************
I Do Love My Family
I take my beloved family members for walks
Four or five times a day
It keeps them healthy
With cold, wet noses
And shiny coats of fur
And I always make sure they are on the other end of the leash
How else can I guide them, and keep them safe?
From passing cars?
And other dogs?
But I wish they would be patient
when I stop to sniff all the tree trunks and posts
Where I check the messages from boy dogs
Written in pee
Some of them sure do have healthy bladders! **************!
I have been taking note of the Republican approach to science as displayed repeatedly in Congress. I decided that this is the kind of science that can best explain the dog-poop phenomena, since it is, ultimately, about how the data feels more than measuring and quantifying and dealing with, you know, those fact thingies.
You see, the problem comes in with the fact that my dog, Jade, is producing dog poop at record levels, and it is all becoming rather a burden. Now the dog-poop literature, (yes it does exist, since dog lovers write about anything and everything to do with dogs), says that it is not uncommon for a healthy young dog to poop as much as 5 times a day. But my dog seems to poop exactly one time more per day than the number of times you take her for a walk. If we go out five times, she poops six. If I take her out in the middle of the night for a sixth time, she poops seven. What the heck?
My wife really hates the dog because she poops on the carpet so much. (The dog, not my wife. My wife is satisfactorily house-broken.) There are places on the living room carpet she marked as a puppy five years ago where she insists on re-pooping practically every night. No matter how often we scrub the carpet and box her ears, still, brown spots and poop lumps to greet us almost every morning. Maybe she does it because my wife tells her how much she hates her and the dog wants to get even. But that is the opposite of what the dog says. She loves Mommy because Mommy gives the dog soup bones. Somehow, it seems the dog believes she is giving us all a gift by pooping on the carpet and filling the house with her personal scent. She poops for us because she loves us.
Here Jade Beyer is busy using Henry’s computer. She has her own Facebook page and everything.
I drew the diagram at the start of this article to better explain my Republicanized theories of dog poop and dog love. You will notice that, based on observations of total output, I have theorized that dogs must be almost completely hollow. They don’t apparently store poop in their legs, but the rest of their dog bodies appear to be hollow poop-tubes that store nearly infinite amounts of poo. Dogs also apparently have some kind of instant-poop-maker at the base of the throat so that anything they eat, dog food, my missing left socks, my son’s retainer, dead rats, whatever was growing behind the rice bag in the pantry, and whatever people food they can steal, is instantly transformed into poop. Need to poop on the floor because dad didn’t give you any of the bacon at breakfast? Eat a sock. Fill up with instant poop ammo. The poop on the floor will prove how much you love dad and why he should give you bacon more.
So, now that I have studied the poop problem, what solutions could there be?
Well, I have threatened the dog to use corks and other sorts of plugs, but that wouldn’t solve the problem so much as merely delay it. And I dread the impending explosion in the living room that such a plan suggests to a vivid imagination like mine. I have thought about feeding her less, but it seems she can still use the puppy beg-eye to such good effect that she could subsist entirely on people food conned out of my son and daughter. So, I will use a Republican congressional solution. Since their response to poverty is to give more money to rich people, and the solution to climate change is to cut pollution restrictions, then obviously I need to feed my dog MORE! I need to cram it down her greedy little throat if necessary. That will fix it. Or bring about fat, exploding dogs all the sooner.
How does an artist know himself? Now there’s a difficult question. I spend all my time looking at the world with the eyes of imagination. I don’t even seem to be able to take photographs in the normal way other people do. Maybe I should consider this self-think through the medium of pictures I have made with captions added to them?
Mickey is not actually me. He is my “other” me, my pen name, my goofier self.
I was born in a blizzard in Mason City, Iowa in the 1950’s.
I have learned about dog poop five times a day since 2011 when we found Jade, our dog.
I was a middle school teacher for 24 of my 31 years of teaching. I love/hate 7th Graders.
When things go wrong, I tend to make a joke about it.
I like to draw students as I saw them, not as they really were.
I always see myself as the one with the BIG pencil.
If there is goofiness around here, it is all my fault.
In spite of the title, I don’t know how to disappear.
I love everything Disney.
I tend not to be very much like other people. I don’t think like they do.
In grade school, I was deeply in love with Alicia Stewart, though I never told her that, and that is not her real name.
My high school art teacher told me that when an artist draws someone, he always ends up making it look a little bit like himself. That is because, I suppose, an artist can only draw what he knows and he really only knows himself. That being said, this post should really look just like me.
While walking the dog yesterday, we struck up a conversation about writing and being a writer that proved once and for all that DOGS REALLY DON’T KNOW HOW TO WRITE!
She turned around on the end of her leash and looked at me with that woeful you-don’t-feed-me-enough look on her little well-fed face. “You know, I was reading your blog today, and I think I know how to make you a well-known writer and best-selling author.”
“Oh, really?” I said. “Since when do you know anything about being a writer or marketing fiction?”
“Well, you do remember that I wrote a couple of blog posts for you already.”
“True. But I can’t afford to do that again. You type with your tongue and it leaves the keyboard all sticky. I haven’t gotten it truly clean and working properly again since that last time. If you are asking to write another post, you can forget it.”
“Well, sorry about that. But I do think I know how to make your writing more popular with a bigger audience.”.
“Oh? How could you possibly know that?”
“Hey, talking dog here! That has to count for something, doesn’t it? Don’t you think people would be amazed to learn about things from a dog’s perspective?”
“Nobody’s going to believe I have a talking dog. That isn’t something within the realm of what is normal. They are all going to think I am just a crazy old man.”
“Well, you are a crazy old man. I can’t help that. But what if you told stories from a dog’s perspective? You know, things that only a dog could’ve come up with?”
“Oh, like what, for instance?”
Why does the neighbor’s dog always smell like burritos?
“Well, you know that more than half of what a dog perceives about the world she gets through her sense of smell?”
“Like that spot on the grass over there. Boy dog. Handsome border collie… ate three hotdogs about four days ago. Ooh! He smells perfect!”
“You’re talking about poop smells again, aren’t you?”
“Well, yes. But I can also tell you about the pigeons that were in that live oak tree there yesterday.”
“Oh? What color were they?”
“I don’t know… gray maybe?”
“Bird doo. You are smelling old bird poop! You want me to write about poop more?”
“Well, no… not exactly. But if you could tell your stories through the sense of smell more… that would be unique and different. People would like that a lot because it’s never really been done before.”
“You do understand that I can’t use my laptop to write smells? There are no words I could use that will automatically put smells into the reader’s nose.”
“Well, but if you could invent one…”
“According to you, it would be mostly poop smells anyway. Who wants to sniff that?”
“It would make your blog more popular with dogs.”
“But dogs don’t read!”
“How do you know for sure? You believed me when I said I read your blog today.”
“Well, you certainly got me there. Now, don’t we have some important business to take care of?”
The next day, of course, was Sunday. And after Sunday School and Church, Bobby knew exactly where to find Horatio. It was a screen porch with room enough for two rocking chairs, a futon couch/bed foldout, an old easy chair, and a small table for iced tea, lemonade, and the checkerboard. But there was also a spot on the homemade rug in front of Grandpa’s rocking chair where the sunbeams converged and made a warming zone that was absolutely perfect for warming arthritic dog joints and soothing old-dog complaints that needed to be soothed to allow half-day-long naps.
“So, Horatio, here you are!”
The elderly collie yawned. “Yes, Bobby. Here I are.”
“Silly old dog! You’re supposed to say Here I am.”
“Yes, I know that. You must remember, every time you hear me speaking like this, the voice is actually coming out of your own imagination.”
“Sure, and I guess I must’ve made you say it wrong on purpose for some evil reason.”
“Not an evil reason. A familiar one. Grandpa Butch makes that kind of joke by mirroring the things you say as if they were incorrect on purpose. It’s the way his sense of humor works, and you are really smart enough to know that, though you often pretend that you aren’t. Your mind filled in the blanks in a way that sounds right to you, even when there’s joking involved because that’s the world you’re used to.”
Of course, Bobby knew one hundred percent that he was writing the entire discussion in his head because he wanted Horatio to talk like he knew Sherlock Holmes probably would.
Bobby sat on the porch floorboards in his short pants and buried his right hand in the silky fur of Horatio’s neck.
“Why do dogs make such good friends?” Bobby said more to himself than to Horatio.
“Because dogs love their chosen humans. And a dog knows how to listen to people much better than any cat or parrot, or goldfish. Dogs may not know the words you are using all of the time. But they know your smell. And they know how to read what you are thinking and feeling because the see it in your face. No stupid cat can do that.”
“But cats are better at catching mice and rats,” said Shane, while stepping out on the porch with a piece of Mom’s cherry pie on a small plate that he handed to Bobby.
“You’re welcome. I had mine in the kitchen, and Mom asked me to bring yours out here.”
“It’s good,” Bobby said with the first bite in his mouth. “But, hey, wait. How did you know what Horatio said about cats?”
“And how did you get the information so wrong, too?” added Horatio.
“It wasn’t Horatio talking. It was you.”
“See, my dear Robert, I told you my words all come out of your imagination. And sometimes your mouth,” said Horatio.
“Did you hear Horatio say that last thing?”
“That thing he said about where the words come from?”
“I didn’t hear the dog say anything,” said Shane.
“I told you, dear boy, it’s only in your head.
“Well, of course, it is.”
“Is what?” asked Shane.
“You shouldn’t be holding two conversations in your head as the same time. You are confusing your brother Shane,” said Horatio.
“Yes, see. Only I can hear the dog talking.”
“You’re weird,” said Shane, grinning at Bobby as he left him to enjoy his pie with Horatio as company.
Then, something in the yard caught Bobby’s attention. Out between the porch and the barn, on the gravel drive, a large rat was slinking along doing rat business as if he didn’t care who or what saw him.
“Who is that, Horatio?”
“That, dearest Robert, is Whitewhiskers Billy. He’s an evil, egg-sucking rat.”
“So, that’s Whitewhiskers Billy, is it?”
“Why would that rat be Whitewhiskers Billy?” asked Grandpa as Bobby realized that Grandpa Butch had suddenly appeared at the doorway between the porch and the house.
“Did you hear Horatio call him that?” asked Bobby.
“No, I heard you say it,” said Grandpa.
“Oh. So, why is he called Whitewhiskers Billy?
“Because his whiskers smell white. He eats chicken droppings. It makes them sort of bleached white,” said Horatio.
“Because his whiskers smell white,” said Bobby.
“Smell white? Horatio tell you that?”
“Yes, of course.”
“Well, I think we should put some rat poison out, maybe in the barn and under the hen house..” said Grandpa. “That will give old Whitewhiskers Bill something to think about.”
“Will that kill him?” Bobby asked.
“It should. But we will have to be careful that the dog and the stupid turkens don’t get into it. We would hate to lose any of them by being less than careful.”
Bobby nodded wide-eyed. He certainly didn’t want Horatio to get poisoned. Of course, if it got a turken or two, he wouldn’t be too upset.
“I need to check the flyer I got from the hardware store in Clarion. I think I remember a sale on a good poison to put in the barn.” Grandpa left the porch again too.
As Bobby continued to sit in the warm, yellow sunshine with Horatio, he began noticing his bare white legs, how girlish they looked in the sunlight.
“Can you tell if Blueberry is a girl or a boy by smell?”
“She definitely smells girlish. No boy smell. No boy pee. Lots of girly flower smells.”
“I have always believed she is a girl.”
“Yes, and you kinda like her too. It’s a shame she already has a boyfriend.”
“You know I can tell how you feel about her by the scent of romance whenever you’re around her. And I know that whatever gender-irregularities she may have, you are convinced that she must be a girl. Remember, I will always know what you are thinking because…”
“Because you are the world’s greatest dog-detective with your all-knowing sniffer.”
“See there? You are a lot smarter than you let people think you are. And you are a great imaginer too.”
Okay, like, my name is Jade Beyer. I know I look like a dog, but my family lets me be a people sometimes. They let me eat enough people food from their table to turn into one of them. You know, like, all fat and unhealthy and some stuff. So, since Mickey is being lazy today, he said I could write his blog for him. It won’t be very long because it is taking forever to pick out the right keys with my nose. And my nose is bif… I mean big enough to hit the wrong key sometimes. So I have to edif caretully and ofren.
My family does a lot of funny stuff I can tell about. Like how they pee. They go in my extra drinking places. You know, the white things with the extra funky tasting water. Why are you not laughing about that? Don’t you get it? The house is full of carpets where they could pee and mark their territory with their scents. But they would rather just pee where I drink. I don’t get it. And why is Mickey yelling at me that I can’t write about that? I just did, didn’t I?
But besides that I can tell you about my Momma. Mickey is my Momma. Why do I say that even though Mickey is a man? Well, when I was a wee little puppy and my family found me in the street, Mickey was the first one to pick me up and hold me. He was the first one to feed me. He says I must have “imprinted” on him as baby animals sometimes do. And that’s why he’s my Momma. I love him best. Even when he is grumpy and mad at me. I chew up a lot of his stuff because it smells like him and I love him so very much.
I am writing this today because Mickey is busy shaving off his face fur. He found some old pictures of himself for yesterday’s post, and it made him wonder if he could look anything like that again. I tried to chew the old pictures so I could love them even better, but he just got mad at me and swatted me on the ears. He said I could show you the old pictures, and not eat them. So here they are before the temptation gets to me;
Wasn’t he a goofy-looking kid? I like him better with glasses. I tasted his glasses once, but not the ones in the picture, the ones he is wearing now. His face doesn’t look anything like the third grade pictures any more. I would very much like to lick that little-boy face with the same tongue I use to lick my own butt, but Mickey says he’s glad I can’t because that kid was dumb enough to let a dog lick his face. Apparently when people get older, you just can’t lick them as much. It just makes them grumpy.
Some of the best things that go through my stupid old head come from breakfast and dinner conversations that take place around the family table during family meals. I get ideas for topics, scenes, jokes, and notions for use in my fiction writing or in my nonfiction blog by chewing the mental fat with my kids. My daughter likes to talk about artwork, how to paint, how to compose a picture, and how to put it into the form of a picture book for children that she intends to write about mushrooms growing under the kid’s bed when the kid puts off the cleaning under the bed for too long.
This morning they made the mistake of asking me about my connections to literary nudists on Twitter. I added details about the first nudists I ever met in Austin, Texas in the 1980s. I told them about visiting an old girl friend in the Clothing-optional Apartments in Austin where she often stayed with her sister and her sister’s husband who lived there. I told them about how, being a visitor, I was given the option of being there with all my clothes on. I told them about making friends with nudists there that I stayed in contact with by mail. And this was an opportunity to talk about such things without totally mortifying them like I did the last time I talked about that particular subject at a Mexican restaurant where people we didn’t know could hear.
My number two son, the jailor for Dallas County, gets the chance to tell us his stories about being in jail (being a guard of course, not an inmate.) When his mother is not present he gets to share some of the profoundly blue-colored vocabulary he is learning from work at his new institution for the incarceration of serious criminals and mentally ill people. We get to discuss guns and gun culture, as long as we are careful to never criticize my son’s newfound conservative values, deeply held and violently defended in the manner of most conservatives.
And, of course, the dog is always there to look at the table with beg-eyes, because she can smell the meat that was cooked and usually consumed before she’s allowed to get near enough to snoop and see the tabletop. She has to settle for head scratching, tummy pats, and and smacks on the ear when she tries to jump into laps where she is not actually wanted.
Table talk is critical time for connecting with family, something that is far too rare in today’s world. And we make a conscious effort to keep it going because we are awake to its basic value.
As old Mickey has been watching the Impeachment Inquiry, he began thinking about making a naughty or nice list. Ooh! The naughty side is huge!
I really don’t need to talk about the Impeachment itself. I knew the Pumpkin-head President was guilty before I knew what the crime was. He has routinely done the most horrible thing possible, and everybody wants to see him removed except for those deplorable Tea-Bagger types who are positively giddy about the pain he inflicts on Democrats, liberals, immigrants, school teachers, poor people, and highly intelligent people whom they also hate and want to gleefully continue to punish for the crime of being alive.
So, who was on the naughty list? Without a doubt the Great Trumpkin Pumpkin-head President heads the list. He cheats to win elections and colludes with Russians to do this. Robert Mueller investigated and came up with enough evidence that the Presidentsy-foo was covering things up and interfered with the investigation to the point that he had to be guilty. You don’t obstruct investigations like that if you are innocent.
The naughty list includes toxic leprechaun and budget-buzzard, Mick Mulvaney. He who cuts budgets to the bone to kill Meals on Wheels, starve grannies, and then gives that money to rich guys in massive tax breaks.
It also includes Steven Miller, the nephew of Dracula, who single-handedly sucked all the blood, hopes, and dreams out of DACA kids and other worthy immigrants whom he personally hates and wishes to deport over the protest of everybody else. He also thinks asylum-seekers need to give him their children to put in cages, and then intentionally loses the lists of them and who they belong to.
The naughty list has to include all those who enabled the President to do horrible things to good people, especially government Republicans who didn’t actually resign their positions in disgust and leave the rest to help the Great Orange Face to get away with any and all crimes
The single most important factor in putting these dark elves on the naughty list is Greed. Too many of the naughty-listers care about no one but themselves. It doesn’t matter to them what happens to others, especially others that are different than themselves ( a different color, a different sexual orientation, a different language-speaker, a different way of looking at the world, and often, every difference that makes another person not the same person as them). They are okay with depriving those others of wealth and ease, respect, dignity, and even those things necessary to stay alive.
I even need to include on the naughty list the dreaded Pink-Hat Bandit. That notorious stealer of hot-dogs and random pieces of bread from the fanily dinner table also poops out that food in the house when she is done with it, especially if it is too wet or cold outside to go pee and poo outdoors.
So, who, then, is left to be on the nice list? Well, we nice-listers tend to forgive everybody and try to see only the good in others. Therefore, if left up to us, everybody taken off the nice list eventually goes back on. It is the primary difference between us and them. We, have to do something different than we usually do. At the very least we need to help the old Pumpkinhead into his nice, comfy prison cell for the rest of his life. But since I am no longer desirous of making that whole gosh-darn naughty list, Mickey does not volunteer to be Mickey Claus. He merely liked the hat and bought it at Walmart.
While the family dog was watching me intently as I was cooking the breakfast sausages, she decided to strike up a conversation with me.
“You know, beloved father and giver of people food, a lot of other dogs tell me that they get table scraps at meal time.”
“That’s a self-serving comment. And when do you ever talk to other dogs? You’re a house dog that stays inside all the time.”
“I listen to news on the nightly howl, and it’s been a fool moon lately.”
“You mean full moon, not fool moon.”
“That’s not what other dogs call it. It makes their people act like fools.”
“It doesn’t take a phase of the moon to make that happen.”
“So, you will give me table scraps more often?”
“Dogs who eat table scraps get fat and unhealthy and die of heart attacks.”
“Sausages would be worth it.”
“You get enough fat and cholesterol in your diet from eating the burglars that come into the house at night.”
“No burglars came in last night, or any other night that I can remember.”
“Well, that’s probably because in Texas, we elect our burglars to office, especially in the Senate.”
“Euw! I could never eat Cruz or Cornyn. I don’t like the taste of oil mixed with hairspray and arthritis cream. But I could eat Trump, probably. Of all the politicians, he’s probably the only one that looks like he’s made of cheddar cheese.”
“You’d never survive the fat content in the head. Instant myocardial infarction. “
“Well, I don’t know what those last two words mean, but I’ll bet I could survive it. So, when are you gonna start substitute teaching? You get rushed when you have stuff like that to do, and you drop more food on the floor.”
“Well, the school districts are in no hurry to hire me. They seem to have enough subs for the start of this semester, so I have to wait for them to schedule another sub orientation. We could be facing some tough economic times.”
“Oh, that’s not good. No money for even dog food?”
“If things get really bad, we may have to eat table scraps from the floor. And when those are gone, we might even have to eat the family dog.”
“What?! Even if she’s a talking dog and a valuable member of the family?”
“Dogs get eaten before the children do.”
“Oh, I get it. That’s supposed to be black humor. Not funny!”
“It got you to stop thinking about table scraps while I finished cooking the sausages.”
“We’ll see who gets what. I can still give the Princess the beg-eye and make her pity me enough to give me some.”
Coyotes live in the city. You hardly ever see them, though. This one was entirely too interested in me walking my dog at around six thirty in the morning. You can see the hungry look in his eyes. It made him brave and brassy enough to walk up right behind us on the sidewalk in the park just after the sun had come up. I got a chance to look him right in the foxy-eyed stare he was giving us. He had fully planned to snatch Jade, my Cardigan corgi from behind if I hadn’t turned around in time.
Old Wiley Coyote would’ve successfully snatched her too, if I hadn’t noticed him out of the corner of my eye and turned around on him. But shouting at him only made him back off, not flee. He was a big coyote, big enough to give me a really bad day if he wanted to go through with the planned attack. Who knows? Maybe he breakfasted on old men before too.
Jade bristled at him and talked really tough, but she was scared witless. And he was obviously bold and bad enough to be confident that he didn’t need to immediately run away. He stayed there looking at us with his evil yellow wolf eyes. He stayed long enough to allow me to take a picture of him. And he didn’t leave until we chased him just a bit to show him we were not afraid (even though we really were). (The dog told me after that my face had gone ghost white.)
Being stalked by a hungry coyote early in the morning is sort of a bad omen to begin a day with, especially when so many other things have been going wrong for me. But, as always, I laugh about it and write about it and make it seem of little consequence by doing so. Still, I am not a road runner. And that coyote had murder on his mind.