Howdy, howdy to all my western and eastern friends. It may be difficult for some of you residing in the west to realize I have a few friends east of the Missouri River, but I do. A book you should all consider reading is “Travels with Charlie,” penned by Mr. Steinbeck. It’s not about Steinbeck, it’s about Charlie...one of us, a canine. We canines have long languished in the shadow of the humans we love and cherish. Charlie tells the truth. Some of that telling is rugged so if you’re a member of a faint-hearted breed like Pom-Poms or whatever, this may not be the reading for you. Back to the book. Charlie postulates that the West actually begins on the west bank of the Missouri River separating Bismarck from Mandan. If the reverse postulate is true, East begins on the east bank of same river. By that measure I have one friend who lives in the East, Bismarck. His name is Winston. Possibly more on the differences between westerners and easterners as space warrants.
I’ll dispense with the civilities of being here in Tubac first off. Nothing we’ve experienced has eaten away at our affection for this place. I know as I eavesdrop on the end-of-the-day conversations with Annie and clark they feel the same. Sure, there’s been a little more rain and a few blustery days but I hasten to remind you I can take a walk here every day without my winter boots and scarf. Try those muck boots on for size, you diehards. I’ve sighted a few backyard lizards but nothing I would hang over the hearth at home. I’m keeping my eye (the good one) peeled for a suitable trophy and story to match but I’m resolved to go home without filling out my tag if it so happens.
I’m eating well, and the cuisine is excellent with numerous treats. I might be overdoing this siesta thing but it seems to serve me well. Sometimes clark and I siesta at the same time. Annie reports this generates a bucket of snoring and calls it a cacophony. I don’t think this is a compliment as she says it interferes with her art. In defense of clark and I we support the arts in many other ways. What’s a little snoring?
Moving on to timely events in my life. Some things have changed down here for we canines. I’m not sure I’m in favor of these changes as change is not in my blood line. We Bostie’s are all about the action. We want to sniff, explore, push the boundary on canine convention. We’re just naturally bred leaders. You’ve been around me. You all know I’m smart, well read, listen to things I don’t believe are true. It challenges my leadership traits when I’m told what to do, and how often to do it. Annie and clark are calling this new thing “corornavirus.” For me, it has so many syllables I can’t pronounce it. I just know what Annie and clark are talking about when I hear that word. Clark talks about the bell-shaped swerve and exponyentals. Maybe I’ve underestimated what he thinks he knows.
Nonetheless, I can tell from our daily drive-throughs in Tubac things have slowed down. The dancing and fighting I used to see at Tubac Jacks by noon just isn’t there. The somewhat large peeps with Minnesota, Iowa, and Wisconsin license plates on their cars are no longer waddling in the middle of the street. I can’t believe it but I think the Mariachi Band has packed it in and are staying home with their loved ones and margaritas.
Here’s what’s going on out there means to you my fellow pooch gringos. Butt sniffing has been restricted. If a crew of 6 dogs approach you, much as you desire, sniff their ass from a distance of at least 6 feet. You never know where these rascals have traveled. Maybe nowhere, but maybe somewhere. Furthermore, they are no less concerned about where your ass has been and the company you keep. I’m ok with this as my olfactory sense is still working. For those of you not so fortunate...keep your nose safe. (See next page for more)
Here’s where it gets confusing for me. If a single comrade approaches you, it’s acceptable to give a sniff and a huff but for no more than 3 seconds and conclude that with a butt bump. Make it count.
More than 3 seconds places you at risk of something getting into your wiring and from what I’ve read the results are unsavory. I treasure my wiring. For you male types out there: keep your preferred rear leg locked up when passing by your personal friend, the fire hydrant.
My personal grooming has accelerated. Last week I asked Annie for sanitized warm water in my dish twice a day and I put all fours in that dish for 20 seconds several times each day. Actually, it’s quite soothing. I don’t lick my ass quite as often anymore. I realize I’m missing out on valuable nutrients but hey, my age puts me in the middle of the “at risk” cluster of canines. I’m not about to take unnecessary chances. I’ve nearly got clark trained and I’m not risking all the work I’ve put into him. In the evening, I watch old Westerns with Annie and clark. Sometimes we have popcorn, which I’m told is still safe for consumption. The brethren I feel sorry for are the pooches in containment with no one to visit them. Some aren’t feeling so good. Some don’t have any help. Some are shuffling on.
So my furry friends count your bow-wow blessings. Don’t be a stupido out there with butt sniffing and public scratching. We’ve been around a long time and we know a few things about pushing through. Remember the Bostie credo: “be well, be safe, be nice.”