And Gutenberg Lived Here: Did Someone Feed The Dog?

There are very few more horrific sounds

than the slurp

of a dog chomping on something.

Depending on the breed,

and the size,

and the boredom level,

that chomp could be:

a piece of a curtain-

you will find the rest of it

wrapped as a blanket around

and across,

the dog’s rug,

or bed.

Then there is the chomp

of the small plastic,

or metal,



a watch,

mechanical chicken,

coffee machine

ours loves coffee grounds,

you have to take the garbage out immediately,

or of paper:

ours loves to carry books around,

shaking them occasionally,

as she goes for her morning constitutional.

(Often stopping to bury parts in the garden-

please remember,

this is an Airedale.

There is NOTHING on this planet

that will keep an Airedale interested.

(Except for full and absolute focusing on them,

or simply giving up,

and doing exactly what they want you to do.)

We even tried television.

She yawned at the teletubbies,

looked irritated at us

when we showed her dogs or cats on tv.

Even a lion was relatively uninteresting.

Only birds are interesting to her.

But not a good thing

if you value your tv.

In the end,

the only thing we found

that she actually will sit still for

is “Meet The Press.”

She sits raptly,

head on the side,

panting just a bit

as she concentrates.


when one of the gentlemen

or ladies,

made a bon mot,

I swear I saw her grin at it.

(I thought of actually offering her a cocktail while she watches,

but either:

she would get drunk and attack her wind-up chicken,

or she would put her foot in it

to show distaste,

and to fish out the ice cubes,

which is all she really likes-

except for anything from the fridge-

except for the peas,

which she spits across the room.

(We only did that once. Now she gets dry dogfood,

and seems to like that best.

Although no one seems to know where small bags of potato chips get off to)

Either way,

since she sits quietly and watches the press,

maybe because my father was a journalist,

we keep a supply on tape,

just for her.

But not too often.

We wouldn’t want her to ignore her household chores:

patrolling the grounds,

chasing the neighbor’s coon cat away,

barking at the garbage men

scaring the birds out of the Pyracantha berries

before they get drunk.

And, of course,

watching out for everyone in the household,

or any child who comes through the door-

her specialty is picking up infants by the back of their diapers

and putting them back on the bed,

or in their crib.

Or keeping the adults next to the wall

when they go up the stairs.

And then,

of course,

there is tasting everyone’s food-

she wouldn’t want humans to get poisoned,

or taking all the cream out of the middle of the Boston cream cake,

so we don’t all get fat.

And finally, there is pulling all the pillows

and blankets

around on the beds,

so they are ready for their human occupants at night.

And, of course,

just in case someone needs a fur-coated

hot water bottle

to keep them warm at night.

And you can’t get that from a goldfish.

copyright 2016

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