Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Dog Days of Winter

Over the weekend, I got to see some of my old biotech colleagues. I dare say it made me miss the office a little. Not so much the work, but the people. All the conversation, the laughs -- and the gossip. I'm currently in between writing classes, so I'm feeling that lack of human interaction. It's times like these that I'm glad my black lab, Chester, is here. I've already written about how I feel the need to wake Chester up and talk to him about my writing. Sometimes, if I finish a particularly good paragraph or chapter, I'll grab both sides of his slim face and say, "Chester, did you see that?" Did you see that stroke of genius?" And the confusion in those big brown eyes just about breaks my heart.
He's become accustomed to my weirdness, and he now largely ignores anything I say. But there are still a few words that get a rise out of him. They are, in order of increasing power: walk, park, and ball.

Now, it's an unwritten rule of doggyhood that I don't utter these words unless I plan to follow up on the promise. But in my depraved state, I can't help it: I've developed a case of Doggy Tourette's Syndrome.

Chester's not big on context, so if I say, for instance, "Chester, today I'm going to cook stir-fry in a WOK," it gets a reaction.
Or, "Chester, I have to go PARK my car."
Or, "Which version of the song 'WALK this Way' do you like better, the one with or without Run-DMC?"
And, the worst one of all, for which I should go to straight to hell: "Chester, this writing is so much fun, I'm having a BALL!"

Usually, by this point he's bouncing up and down like he's on a trampoline, and I feel so bad I take him to the park anyway.


  1. I burst out laughing at the WOK reference. I swear you need to submit your animal writing to BARK magazine. You'd be published in no time!

  2. If it would help the editing/rewriting process, I can send Jack and Henry up to SF to live with you...Lord knows they need the attention!

  3. Chester is indeed a handsome lab. Such a shiny coat. Take him along with you on your book promotion tour and you're sure to win over adoring fans. Could be like the TV commercial currently airing that features the female tennis player. "Can I take a picture?" She graciously says yes, only to be disappointed that it is her dog to be photographed. Yes, Chester could be your ticket to success.

  4. The Run-DMC/Aerosmith combo is clearly one of the most genius in history, behind only the Reese's peanut butter cup and rum & coke. I assume the question was purely rhetorical. Regardless, the readers of "Horse & Hound" anxiously await your next piece.

  5. It's killing me that I can't remember a title and my google searches have come up with nothing (which is out of character for me), but I found a book at the Book Bay during my library shift about very famous and respected authors throughout history and the admitted, profound influence their relationships with their dogs had on their writing.

    It looked like a well written book (more historical, not cheesy at all) and I hope I can find it again this Saturday. Seriously, I'm dying that I can't find it online. It's probably out of print and the last copy was sold when I passed it up [shakes fist at the universe].