Saturday, December 02, 2006

What Kind of Dog Are You?

("Speed Bump" by Dave Coverly, December 2, 2006, Washington Post)

I am definitely a toilet bowl half-full kind of dog. Visitors to our house quickly learn that toilet seats are always left UP so that I can have unfettered access to my favorite source of fresh clean water. Some humans are unaccountably horrified by this habit and by the fact that my moms cater to it, but we view it as a practical aspect of inter-species co-habitation. Dogs are thirsty animals. Humans for some strange reason have very fancy water bowls on every floor of their homes. Seat up, and these high-falutin' waste management devices do double duty. Both species are happy. All's right in Roxie's World.

Of course, I also drink out of the pond in our back yard, which is how I came to tumble into it yesterday while Goose was cleaning leaves and other autumnal detritus out of the pump. Pond-cleaning is one of my favorite household chores, because it gives me an opportunity to visit my fish (John, Paul, and George-Ringo [we used to have four fish, but one of them disappeared--either George or Ringo, but they looked a lot alike, so. . .George-Ringo]) and to supervise work that involves a high degree of messiness. While Goose hoses the gunk out of the brushes and netting in the pond, I play in the mud and walk around and around the edge of the pond looking for the ideal spot to pause for a drink. This task has gotten a little more complicated recently because the rocks around the pond have been re-arranged and the footing has gotten a bit precarious for us quadripeds. (Close readers will have noted the use of the passive voice in that last sentence. You are correct to assume that my lawn-and-garden-impaired moms were not the ones who re-arranged the rocks to look more beautiful and natural. That was done by trained specialists.) Long story short, mid-drink I lost my footing and went head-first into the pond. Fond as I am of drinking water, I am not especially fond of being in water, terriers not being among the dive-and-fetch breeds, thank heaven. I was momentarily stunned to find myself swimming with my fishes. I looked at Goose as if to say, "Help!" and she looked at me as if to say, "Well, dear, you got yourself in here, so I suggest you figure out a way to get yourself out." Which, as it turned out, is exactly what I did. She laughed, had Moose fetch a towel, and I got a brisk rub down as a reward for my efforts. And soon enough, all was again right in Roxie's World.

Speaking of water, the Post had an amazing story this morning on how the insurance industry is reckoning with the realities of climate change. More and more, insurers are refusing to insure properties near coasts, as far north as New York and New England, because they assume that hurricane seasons are likely to be as intense as last year's (the season of Katrina, Rita, and Wilma) was. Our coasts have been over-developed, making them more vulnerable to catastrophic storms, and now homes and businesses are uninsurable, making them economically vulnerable if not worthless. How smart is that, people? I bet my friend Margie over at Ecological Hope will blog on this subject soon, because she brought it up over coffee with Moose the other day before the Post story was published. (Read the Post piece here.)

Half-full or half-empty? That's up to you, fellow earthlings and friends of Roxie's World.


  1. Thanks for a good laugh Roxie!

    May the pond always be a little piece of the land of the unexpected. It started out that way, and seems to be destined to continue thus.

    I am thankful for water and the animals who inhabit it, even if sometimes involuntarily!

  2. Hey, Roxie,

    Thanks for the tip on the Washington Post article. I have done as you requested and posted about it on my ecological hope blog. You are a good earth-loving quadriped!

    Love pats,
    Your Friend, Margie

    Fostering ecological hope -- against the odds

  3. Anonymous4:28 PM EST

    I'm glad to hear your aquatic escapade ended up well, Roxie. But not at all surprised, terriers being top dog when it comes to smarts. There are some breeds that would just sit there and wait for, oh, a committee of their dad's friends to tell them to get the heck out of the pond, already!

    One such breed is the East Texas Chickenhound. No wait. Checking under "dog breeds," I see there is no such breed. I think I meant the Kennebunkport Faux Cowhatter. Um, nope, that doesn't seem to be a breed of dog, either.

    Come to think of it, I don't think there ARE any dogs that dumb.

    Well, whatever. The point is, you're definitely a lot smarter than whatever kind of animal would need a committee to tell them to get out of the pond. In fact, I think all us dogs are.


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