The Journal Register (Medina, NY)


June 22, 2011

VALLEY: It may rain but not ‘cats and dogs’


“So-o-o … what you’re telling me is, I’m not going with you?”

“Correct. You’re not going.”

That’s how it went down as I stood in the back yard and tried to explain to my dog, Maggie, why she would not be joining me on a trip north. I had to go to the St. Lawrence River to hook up the water to our camp. A previous trip — last month during a 3-day downpour — ended in failure when the pump went kaput. And all the duct tape in the world wouldn’t fix it. Trust me, I tried. (Nor does staring at it for 20 minutes while muttering “What the hell...?”)

“Perhaps,” Maggie asked, “you can tell me why I’m not going?”

“Look, we shouldn’t even be holding this conversation.”

“And why not?”

“Well, for starters, you’re a dog. Get it? Dogs don’t talk.”

“That never stopped you in the past when you needed a column.”

Touche! She had a point. “Listen,” I tried to explain, “I won’t have the time to fix the screen door the three or four times that would be necessitated if you were there. You were a pain — just like always!”

“What are you talking about?”

“Last year, remember? Every time I left you inside you jumped through the thing like the place was on fire. It’s like you were Bronko Nagurski breaking through the line of scrimmage.”

“Bronko Nagurski?” Maggie mocked. “Nice reference — like someone will get that.”

“Hey look,” she continued, shifting gears, “when we’re at the camp, couldn’t you just leave the door open — so that I could come and go?”

“Come and go? Is that what you call it, Maggie? Is ‘come and go’ what you call it when you take off for hours looking for a dead carp to eat and roll in? Is ‘come and go’ what you call it when you rip through the neighbors’ flower and vegetable gardens, leaving intestine-processed dog food all over their yards?”

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