Thursday, July 14, 2011

Older Dog Wisdom: Tux22: Cocker Spaniel Pout

This morning’s walk was one of those walks where Tux was in his element. Tux is an intrepid hunter. Nothing is safe from his keenly honed hunting skills.
This morning he stalked a very elderly and obese black dog and his equally elderly master one slow step at a time, pausing now and again to raise his front paw in the classic stalker pose. We went slowly up the sidewalk until we were nearly opposite Tux’s quarry. Then I ruined it for Tux by pulling him along behind me to get the show on the road. I’m not sure that the other dog and/or his owner even noticed our presence.
Tux also stalked a bunny, who, at first, wasn’t going to leave his place in the high grass at the side of the path. Discretion finally got the best of the bunny and he high-tailed it into the nearby underbrush, but not before Tux was able to claim he vanquished the bunny. Such are the triumphs that make Tux’s day memorable.
Tux jumped a foot off the ground when a low-hanging branch from a nearby bush brushed his back. He apparently thought he was being attacked from above. Of course, squealing like a girl didn’t help his macho image nor did the fact that I’m pretty sure Grace, his sister, was laughing herself silly. When he was being his macho best, peeing on a nearby bush, he very nearly fell over. This is nothing that we talk about in front of others lest his male ego be insulted and/or wounded.
Later, I couldn’t bring myself to point out to him that while he was smelling the honeysuckle, the park’s resident Mallard and his mate were swimming placidly in the rain-swollen pool just below the bank of honeysuckle Tux had immersed himself in. If I had told him about the duck, he would have pouted for the rest of the day. 
There is nothing worse than a Cocker Spaniel pout (CSP). A CSP can make me feel guilty even when I had nothing to do with the incident causing the pout. Those big-brown eyes can make the Pope feel guilt. Of course, for the rest of the day, I’m more likely to give tidbits of food here and there, allow him to sit in my lap when I should be working, and feed him earlier than his scheduled feeding time because he’s hungrier than usual. I can’t figure out whether he knows what he’s doing when he goes into a full-blown CSP or its happenstance that works well for him.
Lesson Learned
Don’t you agree that there are times when its best, like with Tux, that we don’t know all the facts? Like, for instance, as much as most writers rail against the agents who give zero feedback about why they don’t like a manuscript, don’t you think its better not knowing that particular truth? I mean what if the agent were to say, “This is the worse piece of writing I’ve ever read in my twenty years of being an agent.” Would you ever write another word if you had that “feedback?” I don’t think I would. 

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