February 18, 2006


Big Dog, Little Dog (Part 1)

Look, I'm just a regular dog. I put my harness on one leg at a time, just like everyone else. I drool, I snore, and I'm subject to an array of sometimes unpleasant (at least from the human perspective) bodily emanations.

So having to serve as a role model is hard for me. Yet, that's just the kind of pressure I'm under when Lucy Lou comes to visit.

Lucy Lou is Grandma's miniature dachshund, and she's wintered with us the last two years because it's hard for Grandma to find a seasonal rental that accepts pets. (Sheer dogism, that). Grandma comes down to escape the New York winters and visit, so Lucy becomes a house guest with us for a few months.

I love Lucy, of course. (And how could I not with a name like that?). But as with any family members, we have history. Ours began six years ago when Grandma still lived in Florida year-round and Lucy was a nine-week-old doxy terror. What I remember most from those days was the relentless squirming of a puppy that kept licking and nipping my pendulous Labrador lips.

I was just two at the time and had only recently moved out of my own period of impetuous, sharp-toothed adolescence. (It was, after all, the original era of irrational exurberance). Anyway, my main response to Lucy was just to keep gently throwing my head back and forth and thumping down my forelegs, trying to keep her at bay, or to stand up while huffing and puffing at Molly and Mike, begging them to get me away from this slashing, dashing little hellion.

"Aw, you're such a good boy, Hank," Molly would tell me. "You're so patient with the new puppy. Poor Tanky."

Mike was less sympathetic. "Paybacks are hell," he said. He thought it poetic justice. After all, he'd been the worst victim of my own puppyhood and had the physical and emotional scars, the chewed up office chair, and demolished books to prove it. (I've always been a literary dog, having partially consumed a leather-bound Shakespeare at an early age).

Little did I know at the time, however, that pierced lips were just the beginning of the Lucy Lou saga. By and by, I would become less of a nanny/playmate and more of responsible elder canine cousin, looked up to both literally and metaphorically.

(To be continued...)

you, hank, are a good dog. hope cutie lucy lou knows this, as we all know you are. -- endo
Looking at that dachshund, I keep thinking mustard, relish and hot dog bun. Licking my chops...
Oh Hank, you've become such a mature, responsible dog nanny...:)
Small. dogs are famous for having a big dog attitude. They act like they’re not ... Just say “too bad” and get up if you have. Small Dog,. Big Attitude ... what a wonderful picture.
Hey Hank,

I think you've got a big responsibility there. Checkin' out that great picture, it flashed through my head... GATOR BAIT!!! I don't know if you live in 'Gatorland', but if you do, maybe YOU should bring up the 'rear'.

That's great you are playin' "Big Brother" to Lucy. More of us should volunteer like that, but I just want to eat little dogs. Kinda like WoofWoof. I need to find a different way of helpin'.


That is a great pic...you have the troop leader down to an art.
It's nice to know you're a literary dog, Hank. I'm impressed.
I love the photo.
Cute picture and our Auntie Sue has two red doxies and we think they are the bossiest "children" on the earth!
Sounds like you are a wonderful role model!
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