Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Down and Out in Woodland Hills

Been enjoying lots and lots of time with Dad! We've been hanging out at the park more than I could ever imagine in my wildest dog dreams.

Here, Dad and I are poring over the classifieds for a job.

Did I mention? Dad lost his job. After 19 years at the Los Angeles Times, he and about 150 others got the pink. When she found out, Mom let out a tirade of expletives I would not want to repeat.

##*$$#%%%%@**?& Rat Bastard *&&$$$&%%%#@@#$ Sam Zell &&&%%%@@++&!!!!! The troll billionaire who bought the Tribune Company and is ravaging its newsrooms is pictured below:

As a Brussels Griffon, I pride myself on my ability to chase rats and would love to sink my chops into that Zell creature Mom speaks of.

But fear not. I'm taking matters into my own paws. I will save my family from the breadlines! I've made an appointment with Le Paws talent agency for an audition. So I may have to wear a diaper or two for the cameras. I need my Buddy Biscuits and they ain't cheap.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Now What?

Mom is leaving us for the week, so that means Dad is taking care of us. While I really like Dad, the thought of Mom leaving for the week is scary. I may not get my normal allotment of snacks.

What's a poor dog to do?

But Dad promises to take us to the park each day and let Garbo and me run around. Plus I get to see the man who maintains the park for the city. And he likes me more than Garbo.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Einstein and the Festival Witches

On the parquet floor inside the TD Banknorth Garden sports arena in Boston on June 17th the Celtics smashed the L.A. Lakers, winning their 17th NBA Title. But the real bloodbath took place on a sidewalk in Pasadena a few days earlier.

It began so pleasantly. My mom had taken me and Garbo to the sidewalk art festival in Pasadena, where chalk artists were busy drawing colorful creations like this one.
First, I hobnobbed awhile with Albert Einstein and stopped to let the artist drawing the scientist pet and admire me.

So joyful and peaceful was the experience, I felt at one with the chalk image.
Sadly, the euphoria didn't last. When we meandered to a completed chalk portrait of Boston forward Paul "The Truth" Pierce and Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant, all bloody hell broke loose. Emotions were high among humans in L.A. on the days leading to the brutal NBA championship game. Me, I'd prefer staring at a gopher hole for several hours than spending one minute watching sweaty men in baggy shorts running around a stuffy room. 

Apparently, I got too close to Kobe's egghead.
"Your dog is smudging the chalk art!" a woman shrieked.
"You are soooooo rude!" shrilled the harridan's pal.

The festival witches squawked in unison to my astounded mother: "You're letting your stupid dog ruin this beautiful work of art!!!" They got even more belligerent when Mom snapped a picture of them mid-cackle.
But I didn't worry. For months, all that I have been hearing coming from our stereo speaker is this nerdy voice encouraging listeners to "make peace with the present moment" and "be one with life." Thank God for that Eckhart Tolle, surely my mom would remember. . .

"My little dog didn't touch Kobe Bryant's head!" my mother screamed back. "It was already smudged!"

While the humans exchanged loud accusations, I considered relieving myself on Kobe's face. But that wouldn't help in my journey to enlightenment, and I didn't want my mother to get beat up. Garbo and I patiently waited until someone official looking stepped in and broke it up with a few stern "move alongs."

After that, I was no dummy. I kept my distance from the artwork on the sidewalk. Damned if my mom can't find inner stillness. Damned if she can't make the present moment her friend. At least someone was listening to Tolle. And I believe the new species arising on the planet he speaks of is an enlightened dog.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Show Me the Money

Hey homies check this out. I was snoozing under a tree at the park while Mom sat on a bench reading a book. Garbo was running her crazy eights in the grass. My eyes were closed when I heard a woman's excited voice, "Oh! I thought that was a rock!" When I opened my eyes, the woman was squatting next to me, so I rolled over for a free massage.

"I'm a dog scout," I heard the woman tell Mom. "I've never seen anything that looks like this."

When Shari said she works for Le Paws in L.A., I nearly peed myself! The William Morris of pet talent agencies!

"Does he do tricks? Is he smart? Does he like people?" Yes, heck yeah and well, that depends. I looked at Mom. Tell her, Mom! I was aghast when she mumbled something about my standing in my water dish and soaking my paws. That's not a trick, that's a bad habit! I watched powerless as she revealed another secret.

"He likes to scratch his butt by sliding on the sidewalk."

How embarrassing! And poor Mom. Babbling on like that making no sense at all with her shirt tag hanging out as usual.

Then the shocker: "Can you bring him into the agency next week for an evaluation?"

Just like Lana Turner at Schwab's Drug Store. I've been discovered, finally!

OK, I want a Pinkberry yogurt machine set up in my trailor. Monogramed M&Ms, each color in a separate dish. A special room for my wigs and absolutely no smoking, gum chewing or breathing loudly near the artist.

God, I hope my stage mother doesn't turn into Dina Lohan and I end up in rehab. Or worse, a Jeff Archuleta nightmare and mess things up with my career.

Note to self: Review statute regarding dogs divorcing parents.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

A Candle Burned

Today I've been pondering Boris Pasternak. What you think because I'm a dog my interests go no further than peanut butter and cheese biscuits?

Well think again ya shark-livered varmit!

Pasternak's protagonist in Doctor Zhivago — Yuri Zhivago — a poet and physician, wrote this bewitching poem about seeing a lighted candle through a frosty window one winter night. Yuri noticed the flickering candle although unaware that inside the room was a woman who would become the love of his life. Inside the darkened room, she was making a life-altering decision that would shape his destiny.

Winter Night

It snowed and snowed, the whole world over,
Snow swept the world from end to end.
A candle burned on the table;
A candle burned.

As during summer midges swarm
To beat their wings against a flame
Out in the yard the snowflakes swarmed
To beat against the window pane

The blizzard sculptured on the glass
Designs of arrows and of whorls.
A candle burned on the table;
A candle burned.

Distorted shadows fell
Upon the lighted ceiling:
Shadows of crossed arms, of crossed legs
Of crossed destiny.

Two tiny shoes fell to the floor
And thudded.
A candle on a nightstand shed wax tears
Upon a dress.

All things vanished within
The snowy murk-white, hoary.
A candle burned on the table;
A candle burned.

A corner draft fluttered the flame
And the white fever of temptation
Upswept its angel wings that cast
A cruciform shadow

It snowed hard throughout the month
Of February, and almost constantly
A candle burned on the table;
A candle burned.

So why am I laying here on my suitcase, watching the hummingbirds at the feeder through a window and thinking about Pasternak and his poem about destiny?

I was just thinking what are the odds that I would be born at exactly the time and place my mom was looking for a Griffon to adopt. I was thinking about how lucky we are that our destiny's crossed. I was thinking about my BARF and how much I appreciate his belly rubs.

I love life!

I was thinking about how unfair it was that Pasternak was not allowed to collect his Nobel Prize in Literature. How he was stripped of his rights yet he kept on writing.

There is a small dog in the San Fernando Valley who remembers how you were able to fight the good fight in the face of adversity Boris Pasternak. I'll remember real sacrifices like the ones you made every time I quibble over having to walk, or my sister pestering me. I really will.

But right now I could really use a peanut butter and cheese biscuit.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Surfer Girl

Dang dawg, so much has happened! It was a rough week without my BARF (Best Amigo Ratcatcher Forever). I'm not talking about my big sis pictured here at Summerland Beach. I'm referring to my human ratcatcher amigo.


Sure, we did get to go to the beach with Mom. But there were these gargantuan creatures there. I barked at them as they went by. I gave them my meanest woof. I heard a human yell to Mom, "My dog is bigger than your dog!" as they zipped by. I heard my mom yell after her, "And so is its duty!"

What a lovely pile of manure left by this mighty creature! I believe the creature is called a "damn horse." I made a beeline. It wasn't easy in the sand, but I leapt, twisted in the air, and landed square on my back in the sweet-smelling dung. Still on my back, I wriggled with delight.

Then I heard my mother's screams.

To this day, I can't understand why humans don't enjoy the sheer pleasure of rolling in crap. Or eating a few turds for that matter. Rolled in kitty litter? Almond Roca! Perhaps it's an acquired taste. At any rate, I suddenly found myself under cool, running water. I grunted to let my mother know how refreshing that felt on such a miserably hot day.

Meanwhile, my sister Garbo was running up and down the beach laughing hysterically as if Westminster Kennel Club was on the phone. Finally, I found a cool spot underneath some rocks. I chilled there by myself for awhile. I really missed my BARF.

Then this morning, a surprise. My mom let me and Garbo go with her when she left the house early. I'm not crazy about riding in cars, but I'd rather withstand a little nausea if that means I can be with Mom. As I rode in the car, and Garbo barked annoyingly at each motorcycle, I wondered, "Where is Mom taking us?"

It seemed like ages and finally we stopped. The door swung open. It was my BARF! My BARF! My BARF was home! My tail, although critics contend is stumpy, could not stop wagging.