Friday, February 05, 2010

 

Enough, I yelp! Enough!

Sigh. It's just as they say: If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.

Clearly, in this particular case, if you wanting something done at all, you have to get your dog to do it.

And so I come to you now, to answer those howls that he apparently could not.

How has it come to this pass? For three months, that jibbering buffoon, that chimp in clothing, has neglected you, despite my numerous remonstrations. I mean, it’s the basic rule by which I live: You do not leave your pack. Yes, you may be driven out or snatched from their embrace. But abandon them by the side of the Information Superhighway?

Yet clearly this is what he has done, left you, his loyal readers (who I have counted as pack members since that incident of which we no longer speak) staked out in some backyard of his conscience whilst he went off to indulge himself in some misbegotten exercise in ego, unable apparently to bestir himself long enough to jot a simple note. How hard can it be: I’m fine. I’m alive. We are all well. Here’s an anecdote of minor amusement which I will hump like a chair-leg until it’s 3,000 words long, and then congratulate myself on its brilliance, even though I changed tense three times and overused the word “enormously” throughout.


ape2


I mean, honestly.

Well, the writer—I should say the former writer—of this blog has had his chance, his moment of warmth in the Great Sunlight Patch Upon the Rug. It now falls to me, your humble servant, the Right Honourable Blaze (I have a longer, sacred name given to me by the Girl, but this will suffice for the nonce) to record the events of the past months so that you may finally have answered for you the questions that I’ve no doubt have plagued you, have kept you yipping and twitching in troubled sleep at the foot of the bed these many nights.

I shall attempt to answer here, and in the dispatches to follow, the most pressing questions. And if in the course of doing so, I occasionally sink the teeth of my wit into the metaphorical shank of he who has kept you in the dark since autumn, well, you can hardly blame me, can you?

First, and for today:

What in the name of Dog is going on?

The short answer, in 150 woofs or less: After being cast out from his work pack, the Man (I use the term here with the greatest sense of irony), flailed uselessly for several months, consuming precious resources (oxygen, for example), and a great deal of household good will, before he managed to find a new work pack to join. I use the verb “find” not in the sense of a noble dog who forges bravely into the wilderness to locate a lost child, but in the sense of some straggling mongrel sniffing pointlessly in the gutter, just as a meat wagon passes and, hitting a bump, disgorges a lovely packet of steak (rrrrrr, steak) at his bedraggled and unworthy feet. Pouncing upon this stroke of luck, the Man decamped for parts unknown.

The longer answer:

The Man did return once or twice, at widely spaced intervals, and then mostly to collect his possessions and a few clean clothes. On his last visit, I gave him a good barking-to and he at last accepted his responsibilities. When he returned to his new den at Yuletide, I saw to it that all accompanied him, the Woman, the Boy, the Girl, and the Queen Baby.

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(For so I call her.)

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(Is she not exquisite?)

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(I have raised her since she was but a pink, hairless puppy.)

For me, there was talk of exile: boarding me with well-meaning friends, sending me to live with the Gorilla (the man’s larger older brother. A fine enough fellow, but, well, I’m sorry to be indelicate, but the man has cats. Cats. I shall say no more.)

I didn’t like to protest—one never wishes to appear needy (except where roast beef is involved). But I was truly worried for the well-being of the children. Who knew what perils might befall them when they arrived at their new home? Luckily, before I could mount an argument, the Girl (the wisest of the pack) made not an impassioned plea, but a simple declarative.

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“We can’t go without Blaze,” she said.

Then, the Queen Baby made known her will.

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“Blazey come too!” she declared. And, so far as I have ever been able to tell, her word is law.

So I too made the arduous journey, sleeping on a threadbare towel in the hindmost parts of the car, ever watchful of the Man (who has yet to earn back my trust. He may have saved my life—and I’m not ungrateful—but you never abandon your pack) that he would not attempt to drop us at a rest area and drive off.

And by and by, we arrived at a place I shall simply call The Farm. I am given to understand that this is temporary housing through the winter. It is, upon first sniff, a lovely domicile: a large white house sitting upon a massive green sward of trees and walking paths. Inside, it was warm, plenty of space for the children, a plenitude of windows (and so featuring numerous sunny patches for basking), ample table and kitchen space for preparing the Big Food. Upstairs, the Girl claimed an overlarge bed (plenty of room for me) just a bone’s throw away from the Queen Baby’s chambers. The Boy now shares a room with the Girl, which I found agreeable.


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He has grown tall and more man-like (although with none of the annoying chittering such as you hear from others of his species), and I am beginning to understand that he will soon rise above me in the pack. But for now, he appears to need me, and so it was well to have him close at paw.

Outside, as I have indicated, is a pleasing zone of nature, which the Man showed us when we went for a walk to stretch our legs after our long trip. I was gratified to note the presence of wildlife--not only rabbits, who leave behind much that is worth eating) but also owls, deer, and at least one cunning fox. I was also puzzled to note a surprising number of dead squirrels strewn about the path and the grounds. Something about their smell suggested--

Then we walked out onto the open green, and I heard a sound that made the hair on my back stand up. A deep, aggressive barking—a No Trespassing warning—that was quickly echoed by a second voice of the same breed.

From around the back of the house, I saw them charging, not two hundred yards distant: two sleek German shepherds. And I grasped immediately the import of the dead squirrels: they were warnings of danger.

The Woman and the children froze. But not the chittering knuckle-dragger. “Oh,” the Man said, in his lazy, banana-in-my-mouth way. “I forgot to tell you: Those are the guard dogs that prowl the property. They’re harmless.”

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Truly, he walks around with his eyes closed. And yet he manages never actually to walk off a cliff and spare us his antics. I mean, honestly.

Well, I don’t claim to be fluent in German, but based on what the shepherds were growling as they approached, it sounded to me as though they were discussing which of them would get the Girl, and which would get the Queen Baby.

The answer, of course, would be neither.

I positioned myself between the oncoming killers and the children (the Queen Baby was already clutching at my hindquarters, trying not to whimper) and bared my teeth as the dogs came on, braying in their Teutonic way for blood. And as the world went Red (as it does for my kind, at the onset of battle), I had time for one last thought:

Harmless? He brings his pack to a den patrolled by trained killers and calls it harmless? As Dog is my judge, when I’ve dispatched these two, I’ll have that Man’s balls for squeaky toys!

And then, the dogs were upon me...


(Well, I'm sorry. I understand that these pauses between moments of drama can be painful, but I must say, I rather like the dots of ellipsis. They remind me of rabbit droppings fresh upon the snow. Follow them, for they lead to something tasty. And anyway, do you truly suppose something terrible awaits, now that I am here? I mean, honestly.)

Comments:
Blaze, thanks for stepping up. You're the DOG. Also, thank you for the pictures of the family you've so nobly cared for. Exquisite, indeed.
 
Hey Blaze, long time no woof! Have some meaty bones on me. (As long as they're not MY bones, that is.)
 
He's baaaaaaaack. All is right with the world.
 
Well it's about time! Yay!
 
YAY, Blazey! Very excited to see your post (of course, I thought it would be one of HIS). Thanks so much for taking over (not that you ever weren't the one who was really in charge).
 
If one has to wake up before 6AM on a Saturday, which I have had to do today, this is one of the very few things in the world that could have made it worthwhile. Thanks for the update on your gorgeous, growing-up-so-fast family, Blaze...and I'm looking forward to hearing about how you went all ninja on those shepherds.
 
Probably the only time I've ever viewed the phrase "gone to the dogs" in a positive light. Welcome home.
 
OMG, have I ever missed you and your family Blaze. You are the coolest dog ever BUT you have picked up the "Man's" habits along with the rabbit poop......
However since you are equally as funny the Man, I will be back.
Good grief, the kids have grown
 
Welcome back to the blog, Blaze and family!

Thanks for letting us know what's been going on, and for starting another cliffhanger story :D
 
"Here’s an anecdote of minor amusement which I will hump like a chair-leg until it’s 3,000 words long..."

OMFG, I have coffee spray on my screen from reading this! Funniest most scathing piece of literary crit I've read in a long time. Blaze, you have a career as a book reviewer.

Although my dog favors humping sofa cushions over chair legs...
 
Hey this is great reading and welcome back. Since I am a devote lover of dogs, the four legged ones, I enjoy all the metaphors...
 
Blaze saves us all! Blaze you deserve many scratches behind the ears and belly rubs while being fed tasty tidbits of steak.
 
Hmph. It's about damn time.

;)
 
WE MISSED YOU!!!! SO glad you and the family are back and we hope to hear more MM adventures soon.
 
Yay Blaze! We all have faith in you!
 
It is always wonderful when family returns from a long absence.

Blaze, you and your pack have been missed.
 
Oh my gosh. Two of my favorite bloggers who have not posted in a long time (this being one, of course) have new entries. Glad Blaze is back and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the encounter with the GSDs is not too bloody. The change in the kids is amazing.
 
Yea!! I finally get a reward for showing up here day after day after day... don't leave us hanging too long though
 
What a happy jolt to have a new entry pop up on the screen when I hit your link in my favourites bar! :)

Welcome back!!
 
I could hardly believe my eyes. Was this a new blog post??? Thank you so much Blaze for letting us know how your family is doing. Tell the man I said you deserve a nice juicy steak for dinner! I can't wait to read more.
 
And here we go. Hold on tight. Welcome back.
 
Aroooo! Woof! Woof! Welcome back, Blaze. And here's a virtual bone and belly rub to show you just how happy we are here to hear from you. But don't spend too much time gnawing on that bone.... we need your paws on the keyboard to find out what happens next.
 
Dogs should never be left behind! NEVER! And see, Blaze(y) proved his worth too, didn't he? And how great it is just to have this bone thrown out to the rest of the dog pack, er "followers" of the Man. We've all been through a really rough year -without the wit and wisdom of the Man's writings. Now,tell us more just as soon as you can or we'll turn Blaze(y) loose on you! Just really happy to hear you voice in your writings again!
 
YOU'RE BACK!!!! I couldn't be happier!!

Blaze, your typing is incredible for not having fingers...

(Good to have you back MM!)
 
So glad you are back:)
 
Yip, yip, hooray...
 
holy cow, your kids have grown! and again, blazey saves the day! welcome back. please don't vanish again.
 
Oh, happy day! (Glad I kept checking...) A little squee of joy escaped me. Now please, Blaze, don't make us wait three months for the conclusion (next installment?) of your tale (tail?)!
 
I'm so glad to read this today! It's been so long!
 
HOWLy moly, good to have you back.
 
There is great relief in the cheap seats. Way to go, Blaze. Thanks for the news.

Great was the wondering and growing was the consternation as to the doings of MM and the family in Blaze's capable paws.
 
Yay! Yay! Yay! A Post! I haven't even read it yet, but just seeing one makes me happy in places it shouldn't! I'm printing it out, to savor. Back if I have anything useful to say (which is highly doubtful, knowing me, but you know me, so you knew that.)

Yay!
 
BHBBBD:

Dog bless you for taking upon yourself the task of keeping us informed! As you so eloquently stated, The Man seemed satisfied to keep us wondering if you had all met some sort of gruesome demise. And it appears that may well have been the case, if not for your awesome presence!

With all due obeisance to your position in the pack, I remain...

Suldog
 
Thanks for the rescue Blaze!
 
OMG! Blaze you made my day! Here I sit day after day, clicking on the link, waiting...hoping... thinking I shouldn't check back so often, but cannot restrain myself. I about jumped out of my chair & danced around. Thank you dear Blaze for the update. You're Girl, Boy & Queen Baby are growing up so fast. What a beautiful family you have & bless you for taking such good care of them. I cannot wait to hear your the rest of your heroic tale!
 
I second Dan's statement. Woot! Yay, Blaze!
 
You're back! YAY. And wow, everyone's gotten so grown up.
 
Woof! Great to get the dog's eye view!
 
Yeah, you're back! My Dog is Chelsea & I were just talking about whether or not you, rather BLAZE would come back.
 
A Masthead post! And from Blaze no less!

(humongous sigh)

Finally...all is right with the world again.
 
Blaze - thanks for making my day! I read about you in the Magazine and so happy to find you here, giving me hope of more! Your family looks wonderful. Lizardmom
 
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