You could never tell with those furry furies. Who was the doer and who was the do-ee? From 2015, it’s “Dogs Gone Bad” by Garry Armstrong.
Marilyn and I follow lots of those TV procedural crime shows. We anticipate all the cliché lines.
“Stay in the car”
“He was turning his life around.”
“Everyone loved him.”
“No one was supposed to get hurt!”
We usually figure out who the “vics” and “perps” are before the coppers and lawyers find the answer, often before the credits finish rolling. Now, fiction has turned to cold, hard reality in our home. We are the victims. Not the mob, not the cabal, not even some local mokes looking for an easy score.
It’s an inside job and the perps are our DOGS!
They’ll smile, offer constant affection and cheer us up when we aren’t feeling good. But it’s part of their sting.
Food is the motive. Their “jackets” are full of priors. Most are misdemeanors but now they’ve moved up the chain to a felony. Bonnie, our beloved Scottie, is the boss. She leads the furry gang in snatches, intimidation, assault (head butting), larceny and perjury.
We’ve tried to turn their lives around with extra Christmas goodies, more fun battles on the love seat and long chats to emphasize our affection.
But Bonnie and her accomplices are food-driven. Nothing we do can stop this furry reign of terror. We don’t want to profile Bonnie because she is black, and we are afraid of possible lawsuits. Perhaps the IA people can check out her background.
Bonnie, clearly driven to revenge, is hell-bent on retribution because … we’ve put her on a diet. Bonnie is relentless in stealing Marilyn’s food. She stalks Marilyn and refuses to back down when confronted. The other dogs make sure Bonnie’s six is protected.
We’ve tried so hard to show them the path to a good life but their crimes are senseless.
This song has always made me happy. It reminded me of waking up in New York and just enjoying life. I was young. So were they. And they lived sort of next door, so you never know. I might be the next great songwriter.
The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy)
Slow down, you move too fast
You got to make the morning last
Just kicking down the cobblestones
Looking for fun and feelin’ groovy
Hello lamppost, whatcha knowing?
I’ve come to watch your flowers growing.
Ain’t cha got no rhymes for me?
Doot-in’ doo-doo, feelin’ groovy!
Got no deeds to do, no promises to keep
I’m dappled and drowsy and ready to sleep
Let the morning time drop all its petals on me
Life, I love you, all is groovy.
Charlene was delighted with her tree. Everywhere else, when someone had a statement to make, it was always stupid toilet paper. All over the tree and then it would drizzle or rain and for weeks, the tree looked like it had some kind of hideous fungus on it.
She had done a much better job. Bright, colorful. It was a cheerful, happy tree and what started with anger, ended in art. She barely remembered why she started “fixing” the tree. She thought something had made her angry and she wanted to show the world, but before she was even a quarter of the way through it, the project had morphed into Art.
Brianna was going to be really surprised when she stepped out of the house that morning. Not a single sheet of toilet paper. Just bright colors swinging gaily from the little tree by the gate.
Our three dogs think they have the whole subliminal thing down pat. Like last night.
Thunder was rolling through the valley. Not very loud thunder, but definitely thunder. Rolling. It might mean rain … or just the heat of the day breaking up. Our dogs are not particularly nervous about noise. Guns, fire-crackers, thunder? Meh. Only when lightning actually hits the house does everyone — human and otherwise — react.
It’s hard to not react when a bolt of lightning hits the house or relatively nearby. It hit a pole in front of the house and burned out two computers — and they weren’t even turned on. It hit the pump in our well — 450 feet (that would be almost 138 meters) underground.
I thought that was really weird, but the guy from the insurance company was unphased. He said the combination of electric current, iron, and water had a way of enticing lightning. Not so unusual after all.
I was really unbelievably grateful we had insurance!
Meanwhile, our dogs have figured out when there’s a storm, we check on them, just to make sure they aren’t getting weird. I don’t think they have any idea why we check on them, but they know it’s something about storms, so as the thunder roared across the valley, they poked their three little noses into the bedroom.
Bonnie was first because she’s the dominant canine. Also, she knows Garry will let her do anything.
“Hi there,” she said, waving a furry black paw.
Gibbs’ nose appeared next. “Hi Mom, Dad. How’re things hanging with youse guys?”
Of course, The Duke was grinning up at us. Panting a little bit and using one of his front paws to point to the kitchen. Where the food is. Because nothing makes a dog less apprehensive about rolling thunder than a quick snack.
They were so cute that I got up and gave them one of the little treats.
We have treats in three sizes. Small, which isn’t small unless your dog is a Wolfhound or St. Bernard. Pretty small, which is maybe the size of the upper joint of your thumb. And teeny, tiny … maybe the size of my littlest fingernail. That’s the one I give them when they are looking particularly beefy. They are all permanently on a diet, too.
But since they’d gotten me up and into the kitchen once, they were sure they had it nailed. As I was getting back into bed I heard the little “scratch, scratch” on the door. This is a big improvement over Bonnie and Duke’s previous method which was to fling themselves — TOGETHER — against the door.
Our interior door are not all that sturdy and this usually meant an explosion of dogs into the bedroom. That did not go over well with me. Garry, of course, slept through it. Will he sleep through it after he can hear? Because having your dogs break down your door is pretty damned loud, deaf or not. Even if you can’t hear it, you can certainly FEEL it.
We discussed the whole “breaking down the door” thing. I explained that if they didn’t cut it out, I was going to put all of them into crates. They didn’t like that idea.
So now, it’s a gentle scratch and if I didn’t fully close the door, a little push and a few noses in the doorway.
That is our dogs’ version of subliminal. Really subtle. Below the level of our inferior human understanding.
Duke is smart. Too smart for his own good and not as smart as he thinks — and seems to feel we need clear instructions about how to do what we ought to do. Since he can’t type, he points. With paws and nose and sometimes, entire body.
They all lick their jowls, just in case we aren’t clear that what they are hoping for is food.
After I told them to cut it out and settle down, they did. But don’t imagine for a moment that they’ve given up. All the subtle hints — like pushing the 40-pound crate of food into the living room, for example — will continue. I suppose we could try to discipline our dogs. Make them “obey” us. But I’ve never really had an obedient dog.
They all do pretty much whatever they want, even when they know better. I don’t really mind because they are much more fun “au naturale.”
I have a very nice life. By most objective standards, I have nothing to complain about. Then why do I walk around with a knot in my stomach and a sense of dread in my heart? The answer is – I read the news. Every day. Somewhat obsessively.
The question is – Why? Why do I subject myself to ongoing angst when I could be living a minimally stressful retirement? The daily workings of the government usually have no effect on my existence. Even a major international crisis rarely intrudes on my day-to-day life. The policies of HUD rarely, if ever interfere with my peaceful existence in the ruralish suburbs of Connecticut.
So why can’t I stay away from the major source of anxiety in my life? And why do I feel anxiety about things that will probably have little or no effect on me or my family? Other than masochistic tendencies, I’m not sure about the answer.
I do know that I came from generations of passionately involved women who actively protested the injustices of their day. My grandmother protested against the czar in Russia and my mother marched in favor of labor unions in America. They brought me up to feel connected to the world around me. They made sure I empathized with those less fortunate than me. They made sure I chaffed at injustice and inequality. They made me incapable of turning away from the deprivation and suffering of others.
My mother and grandmother were both activists. They put their money where their mouths were. I’m not like that. I’m an introverted coward. I’m slightly claustrophobic about crowds. I don’t do rallies or marches or protests. But I sit at home and cheer them on and worry. Maybe staying informed is my penitence for not being out on the barricades.
In the late ‘60’s and early ‘70’s, my grandmother chided me for not being a part of the protests that were taking place at Columbia University, where I was at college. The whole anti-Vietnam war movement started with Mark Rudd and the Columbia SDS chapter.
Their protests made the news. Photos of police on horseback clubbing students at my school were everywhere. The movement that was created there shaped the world for the next few years until the war was finally ended. It also shaped the whole Baby Boomer generation.
My grandmother said that if the young generation didn’t make a revolution to change things for the better, then who would? I could have easily been a part of my generation’s ‘revolution’. But I wasn’t. It was a good one and I missed out.
So today, I read. I can’t stop, even when what I read depresses and scares me. On some level, I believe that being informed is a way of being involved. I also talk to family and friends and try to get them involved with the issues that interest me.
On Facebook, I take comfort in knowing there are so many others out there who also care about what I care about. So, I post and share articles that I think my online ‘friends’ should know about. Some of these people are honest to God activists. At least I can encourage and support them. It wouldn’t satisfy my grandmother, but it’s the best I can do.
They are beginning to wilt a bit. There are more buds, so we aren’t going to run out of daylilies quite yet. Nonetheless, when you look at the garden, you can see the difference. Lots more wilted lilies, many of them going to seed.
The big mass of red roses is beginning to fade too. But unlike the daylilies, the roses will keep coming back all summer. Not with the same massive blanket-like enthusiasm of this month, but there will still be roses until winter’s frost arrives.
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