Thursday, March 20, 2008

Sopapilla, my ass!

Wow. I just read mom´s last post. She has really lost it. Sometimes I think I should just quietly walk away...I tell myself she needs me as her last tie to sanity, but when I read posts like that, I wonder if I´m not just tipping her over the edge.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Food made useful

Hello--Dale here.

So it´s been a year or more since I´ve posted, which is pretty much par for the course for me for any sort of writing project or long distance communication. If anyone out there who I haven´t written in a year is reading this....sigh. I should be writing you right now. Instead, I am wasting embarrassingly large chunks of time with my new hobby, which for some reason I find endlessly entertaining: calling my dog all sorts of exotic food names.

First of all, let me make it clear that I am the farthest (furthest?) thing from a foodie possible. I don´t find food to be particularly a source of pleasure, and the foods I do like are individual ingredients--I am a strict segregationist in the kitchen--and once I find a food I like, I am more than happy to eat that food every day for the rest of my life. So, in other words, I am not big on the exotic complicated foreign dishes (to my great dismay, because I desperately want to be culturally open and adventurous).

That is, I wasn´t big on the exotic complicated foreign dishes until I discovered their true use--nicknames for my dog! I´m sure you all have pet names for your...well, pet, but I bet that you make do with a few standbys (¨Fluffybutt,¨ ¨Waggles the Wondermutt,¨ blah blah blah) which have long lost their sparkle and now just serve as substitutes for the regular old name. Most of the joy of nicknames is inventing them, and the fun ones to invent are both linguistically pleasing and in some way represent the essence of your pet. Well if your pet is a small, solid and spunky--boy are you in luck! You see, every culture has their own dense cheese/meat-wrapped-in-starch concoctions (note to self: restaurant idea!). Go ahead, read the following out loud in the vicinity of your animal and try not to smile:

"Whose my little potato knish?¨ ¨Who´s my favorite gnocchi?" "Come here my sweet chalupa." ¨That´s mommy´s pierogie!" "Who´s my empanada?" "Gooood pan-fried dumpling!" "What a sopapilla!"

Go on, scoff. You know you´re going to try it...or immediately order take out.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Orthographic reform

Perhaps one of the reasons more dogs don't blog is that the human keyboard is not designed for the larger or furrier paw. A Newfie or OES is pretty much going to have to get someone to help out with the typing, and since they can't confess to their owners their full comand of English (or whatever language they grew up pretending not to speak), they either have to hire a smaller-pawed dog (and if there isn't one conveniently in the household, it's awfully hard to manipulate your human into letting in a random Chihuahua every evening for an hour or so) or succumb to hegemonic silence. Obviously the only solution is a new, non-anthropomorphist keyboard, but until we dogs manage to take over the Dell plant (and it's so hard to coordinate these takeovers without the damn computer. Talk about about a perfect system of oppression!), I have a temporary solution. Humans, in fact, have already developed this to adjust to the difficulties of typing with their weird spindly fingers on cell phone and Blackberry keypads.

If you read human blogs, you're probably already familiar with LOL, BTW, WTF, and ROFLMAO, to name a few. What we dogs need is some acronyms which properly express our own common sayings. BTW is fine, but LOL, for example, makes no sense in dogspeak. We don't laugh out loud. We bark, but BOL is redundant--what is the point of barking to yourself? To express amusement, I propose TMHTTS--tilting my head to the side. WTF is okay for anger/annoyance, but I think a more canine-accurate expression would be FSOE--fur standing on end. As for ROFLMAO, we have the laughing problem again. I've seen plenty of dogs ROFWTB (rolling on floor wiping their butts), ROFSTHTSS (rolling on floor scratching that hard to scratch spot) and ROFDATR (rolling on floor demanding a tummy rub), but I can't imagine too many instances where one would need to communicate these to the reading public. Any suggestions from the doggy public for a better substitute?

Finally, we definitely need a quick, convenient way to explain the abrupt end to a post, extended posting silence, or shift into unintelligibility. Teenagers have POS (parent over shoulder)--we have HCH (human coming home).

I'd love to read your comments--those of you who can fit your pads onto the keys. Hopefully we can work out a solution for the bigger breeds soon, but hopefully this will make it easier for those of you on the cusp.

OK, TAFN, BTYL (bark to you later)!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Where does the time go?

So apparently I got distracted and suddenly a year and a half went by without me posting. That´s the thing about dogtime--the whole 7:1 year ratio gets a lot of press, but really dog time can´t be mapped onto human time. Sometimes one human year is seven dog years, and sometimes a year and a half in human time goes by in the time it takes to chew a good bone and catch up on the neighborhood smells. I´m sure I´ve lost all my impatient human readers by now, if I ever had any. Dog readers, if you feel like it, you might give your owners a wet nose in the ankle (kneecap or crotch, depending on you altitude) to let them know that I´m back online, although if my owner is typical, they will just misinterpret the whole thing and, depending on their mood, either find it adorable, a sign that you need to go for a walk, or go off on some tangent about how they have work to do and those are new pants...I don´t know, I never listen past the first part. But whatever, I´m not writing for the humans.

I´ve complained here before about the anti-dog policies of the New York subway system, but don´t even get me started on airlines. Rosa Parks complained about having to give up her seat on a bus? I´m all for the civil rights movement, but hello? Imagine if she had to get stuffed into a bag, or locked in an unventilated, unheated, luggage compartment? Grrrr...gets my hair up just thinking about it. But my point here was not to focus on the negative--nope, I think I may have found the solution! Check this out, from the London Telegraph:

"An Australian paraglider and his pet chihuahua were left dangling from a tree more than 100 feet above the ground after a joy flight went horribly wrong. Paul Hansen, 42, strapped four-year-old Emma to his chest in a simple cloth sling and launched the paraglider from Warburton, near Melbourne, about 5pm Friday, but became entangled in a tree shortly after take-off."

Okay, so clearly it didn´t work out quite as planned, but I see no inherent structural problem--especially since my mom is surely much smaller and more aerodynamic than this Paul Hansen guy (and why would I need to bring her anyway? Maybe I´ll just go paragliding on my own and leave HER in the kennel!). Anyway, if this doesn´t fly, as it were, do I hear any support for a walk on Washington? And this time, the leashes are off!