Friday, May 19, 2006

Terriers for Al!

Like most Democrats, my moms are already hemming and hawing about the 2008 presidential race. They go back and forth on the subject as fast as a retriever going after a frisbee. One day they're ready to jump onto the Hillary bandwagon and walk around the house humming, "I am woman, hear me roar." Then somebody will mutter something about her support for the war or her even more incomprehensible pandering on the issue of flag-burning, and suddenly they're singing the praises of Barack Obama, who is, I have to admit, the cutest of the likely candidates. Last Sunday, after they watched the series finale of West Wing, they were back to wishing Jed Bartlett were more than just a fantasy president. Hell, even Arnold Vinick looks good compared to the current occupant of the Oval Office. . . .

I, on the other hand, have made up my mind. I want Al Gore to run for president again in 2008 and not just because I like the goofy smile he has on his face in this photo with a dog who bears a striking resemblance to yours truly. No, being a serious political animal, my reasons are far more substantive than that. Here, then, in reverse order and with some assistance from Moose on the big words, are Roxie's Top Five Reasons for Praying that Al Gore Runs for President:

5. Because he was right about freakin' everything--e.g., health care, global warming, energy independence, Social Security (get us a lockbox, puh-lease!), foreign policy, everything.

4. Because he's been liberated from the Democratic Losership Council and won't feel compelled to toe its vapid Republican-lite line in order to avoid offending a bunch of fascistic theocons who would never vote for him anyway. Nor will he have to defend having voted for the war. He wasn't in office and he's been a forceful critic of the war since its inception.

3. Because his exit from the stage after the Supreme Court stole the election from him in 2000 was the most decent, gracious, selfless political act of the last fifty years in the sorry, selfish nation of the United States. To this day, Moose gets choked up when she remembers his saying in his speech to the nation conceding the election, "And now, my friends, in a phrase I once addressed to others, it's time for me to go."

2. Because he's got the irresistible appeal of the comeback narrative on his side. I borrow this insight from blogger Rodes Fishburne, but think about it: Cinderella Man runs for president! Lady Terps erase 13-point deficit to beat Duke for national championship!

1. Because he has stopped sighing and learned how to laugh in public. Al Gore on Saturday Night Live
was a million times funnier than George Bush obscenely mocking the search for weapons of mass destruction in the bit he did for the White House Correspondents Dinner back in 2004. Gore's laughter is generous, not mean-spirited; inclusive, not arrogant. His is the laughter of a leader who knows that his connection to the pack matters far more than his "power" over it.

Al Gore is the leader as strong, good, happy dog. America doesn't deserve him, but for our sake, I hope we can get him. Run, Al, RUN!

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Give Chance a Piece

Meet Chance. He's my best friend and Director of Homeland Security for Roxie's World. We met down on my trail several years ago back when he and his moms, Mary Ann and Beth, lived in our neighborhood. (They have since moved to fabulous Riverdale Park.) As you can see from this photo, Chance is a vigilant fellow, always on guard against any kind of threat. Big or little, real or imagined--Chance is ready for it.

Chance's commitment to safety is sometimes misunderstood. I've heard him described as high-strung, even neurotic. It's true that he has a short fuse and an incredibly persistent yap. It's also true that the tussles he and I get into have on occasion drawn blood, but that's no big deal between dogs, no matter how much our moms freak out. Chance is a noble beast. As George Bush might say, I've seen into his soul, and he's got a good heart. He also understands that security is hard work. He's the guy I want guarding my back. Better Chance on the trail, I say, than the National Security Agency on the phone.

Speaking of the NSA, here's Jon Stewart on media responses to the telephone database story. (Moose and I are having fun with our new skill of inserting links into the middle of my blog entries. You can look forward to Roxie's World becoming a more dynamic, free-wheeling place. We're trying to make it, um, bloggier, if that's a word.)

As for "Give Chance a Piece," that's something silly old Moose started singing out on the trail one day when Mary Ann was walking along with treats in her pockets. She gave me one, and Chance was waiting impatiently for his, when all of a sudden Moose started singing, "All we are saying is give Chance a Piece." People are so weird sometimes. That's what my buddy Chance and I think.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mother's Day!

Today is a very special day in our house. Not only is it Mother's Day (and we dogs are as happy to celebrate our moms as humans are), but it's also Goose's birthday. She is 53 today, and she doesn't mind me telling you that. Goose actively likes getting older and usually bumps her age up by a year or two. She's been referring to herself as "the Ancient of Days" since she was about 29, and she cracks up when Moose explains to other people that "Martha is of course much, much older than I am." (Goose is six years older than Moose. In dog years, I guess that actually is quite a bit older, but Moose and Goose don't look all that far apart to me. Moose sometimes exaggerates things for comic effect, and Goose has spent 22 years falling for those comic effects, which may well be the secret to the success of their partnership.)

Moose and I have been busy tweaking my blog this weekend, so we haven't gotten around to getting Goose a birthday card. (Yes, it's true--Moose supplies tech support for Roxie's World, which is ironic given that she is such a luddite and that Goose is considered by many to be something of an expert with computers.) That's why we decided to make this special mother's day/birthday blog entry just for Goose. I've even written a poem to commemorate the occasion. Here it is:

What I Love About Goose
by Roxie

I lick her face each morning
I snuggle her each night
I eat the food she makes me
and love each tender bite

Her hair is red and fuzzy
Her eyes light up the sky
She fills our house with joy and fun
Our Goose is sweet as pie!

Friday, May 12, 2006

Living With War

This is my cousin Dylan. He lives in Tulsa with my aunt Faye, dog lover, law librarian, big fan of my blog, and rabid, righteous liberal living at ground zero of Red State World. They stay sane by tuning in to progressive talk genius Stephanie Miller, which is what Dylan is doing in this photo. We heart Steph in our household, too, 'cos she's funny, smart, and great at making up nicknames, such as Puffy McMoonface (Scott McClellan) and Drunky McPukeshoes (Tom DeLay). She also loves dogs. (See my previous post on the sudden death of Steph's beloved Saint Bernard Chester.) Moose says the revolution will not succeed if people can't laugh while they try to change the world, so she is thrilled that Stephanie Miller gets her so tickled every morning that she nearly spits her coffee across the breakfast nook. Her late father, an accountant who wrote dirty parodies of poems and song lyrics when he was in college, taught her that the ability to laugh was the key to surviving all of life's major challenges. He helped Moose to find the laughter in almost any situation, and so she named his cancer "Saddam" when his chemotherapy began in the same week that George Bush's father attacked Iraq back in 1991. Moose and her dad did not agree on many things politically, but they both knew that laughter is good medicine.

Speaking of medicine, today is my third day without Lasix, and I still haven't had any accidents. We're doing the happy dance in my house today!

"Living With War" is of course the title of the new album by Neil Young. It gets a Roxie's World Seal of Approval for responding with passion and artistry to the horrors of an illegal war begun on the basis of a lie. Young is keeping a blog on his website about the war and responses to his album. See

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Medication Management

My moms have made a bold decision. They took me off Lasix two days ago because they think it's making me tinkle way too much and that it's probably damaging my kidneys. They didn't even ask the doctor! I wholeheartedly support their decision and am doing my best not to make any more messes to prove how brave and wise I think they are. We are all fervently hoping that I don't go back into congestive heart failure (I was on Lasix to prevent that), but we're convinced that my previous episode was brought on by one of the medications Dr. Braz-Ruivo put me on when my heart disease was first diagnosed. He took me off that drug--Coreg--and I haven't gone back on it. (Moose swears I never will.) We're sort of on pins and needles waiting to see how this little experiment in medication management will work out. So far, my lungs feel and sound good, and I'm a lot less thirsty than I was. And, like I said, I haven't puddled in the house in two days--whereas night before last I had TWO accidents over night, one in bed with Moose and Goose. I'm thinking that was the straw that broke the mommies' backs. They didn't get mad at me or anything, but I know it's not easy to have to strip the bed all the way down to the mattress and wash everything, which they've had to do several times recently. Moose laughs and says we have the world's cleanest mattress pad. Still, it's not very dignified for a lady to wet the bed.

I hope that fans of my blog will take a moment to close their eyes, cross their fingers, and send a message out to the cosmos that I'll be okay without Lasix. That's my goal right now, and I bet that with your love and support I can achieve it.

Overall, I'm feeling pretty good lately. Our friend Margie is back in town after being away for a couple of months, and she marveled at my energy when she came to visit last night. Margie is one of my favorite humans, so of course I was happy to see her and eager to show that I'm still a feisty gal. The spring so far has been cool, so I've been happy to walk out on the trail and to hang out in our yard. Moose watches me from the back window and smiles when I roll over on my back, kick my legs up in the air, and rub rub rub my whole body in mud or scat or whatever else is out there. She says watching that filthy spectacle gives her almost as much pleasure as watching George Bush's poll numbers go down down down to Nixonian levels of ignominy. I have no idea what that means, but it sounds really disgusting.

By the way, "Margie" is Margaret Swedish, an experienced political fighter who has a new cause and a great new blog to go along with it. The cause is climate change and other ecological challenges. It's listed on my links sidebar. Help Margie save the planet for dogs and other creatures. Check out Ecological Hope.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Sligo Creek Council of Terriers

As regular readers of my blog know, I am the Mayor of Sligo Creek Trail. This is a BIG job, because the trail goes on for miles from where I live in Takoma Park all the way up to Wheaton, MD. Thus, I am assisted in the tasks of supervision and security (which chiefly involve barking at anything on wheels [except for baby carriages, because babies frequently come equipped with treats]) by my faithful and vigilant Council of Terriers. Here are two of my favorite council members, Engee (=N.G.="New Guy," as in new dog) and Beanie Schoen, whose mom Dena is, like my moms, a devoted fan of the wire-haired fox terrier. When the three of us meet up on the trail, it looks like an Asta convention, and people stare at us in amazement and delight. (For those of you who don't know, Asta was the canine star of the series of Thin Man movies from the 1930s that featured William Powell and Myrna Loy as husband-and-wife detectives Nick and Nora Charles. Asta's duties included making martinis. When I was a wee pup, my moms rented all of the Thin Man movies to educate me on the proud cinematic heritage of my breed. They're still trying to teach me to make martinis. )

Over the years, the council and I have worked diligently to improve the quality of life on Sligo Creek Trail. We are strongly in favor of leash laws because we don't react well when unleashed animals who are unaware of our special status rush up at us and start snapping or sniffing inappropriately, though we are of course open to sniffing from those who show the proper deference. We support the death penalty for owners who fail to pick up after their dogs. although Goose is opposed to the death penalty in any and all cases. Moose says it's okay for bad dog owners as long as they have good legal representation and it can be proven that there were plastic bags in their homes at the time of the incident. We advocate a constitutional amendment mandating that dog-height water fountains be installed along all trails at intervals of 1/4 mile. We are currently researching the feasibility of building rest stops, complete with dog beds and staffed by smiling dog lovers, so that older dogs such as myself can stop for rest when their moms decide that a gorgeous spring day requires a three-mile walk.

Let us know what suggestions YOU have for improving human/canine life on Sligo Creek or any other trail. The Council and I are here to serve.

P.S. I took a break from blogging because Moose had to go to Indiana for the funeral of her 97-year-old grandmother, Jane Lindemann. Moose loved Janie ever so much and was saddened by her passing. She points out, however, that Janie's favorite breakfast was a soda-fountain Coke and cheese-and-peanut butter crackers, which might mean that healthy eating is not necessarily the key to long life. Maybe, she thinks, the key is to be fun-loving, friendly, and optimistic, as Janie was every day of her 97 years. I'll eat meatloaf to that! (Meatloaf is my current favorite food, as long as it's home-made by Goose.)