In 1789, Benjamin Franklin wrote, “nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” If
he had lived at my house, he would have added one more certainty: if you feed a dog table
scraps, she will come to expect it. Our Dolly will be 14 years old this Spring. That’s pushing
100 in people years! We feed her a special diet that costs more than our food. We supplement
her expensive Doctor Dog diet with some commercial doggie treats and the occasional “oops”
treat from one of our plates.
It didn’t take long for Dolly to learn that if she waited right under a chair and whimpered
(begged), we would usually share a morsel of our yummy people food. A habit was formed. I
usually remind her that she shouldn’t gulp her food, but it’s never helped. “It’s your fault. Dolly
learned gulping from you,” says CIC (Commander in Chief). Apparently she didn’t like TB
(The Boss), which I used in a recent column. She is right about my tendency to eat my food
whole. I learned early on that every second I spent eating school lunch was a second I missed on
I think we take pretty good care of Dolly. We haven’t owned cats for a long time, but we have
had neighbors’ cats for years. I realize that it’s possible to love cats, but I’m not really sure if
you can own cats. It’s easy to get attached to a cat, particularly if it does its business in the
neighbor’s flower beds. We recently had some new cats arrive in our neighborhood. They are
interested in my four chickens; so much so that I’ve watched them chase the birds around a bit.
If I had a rooster, this wouldn’t happen. But having a rooster in the city limits is, for obvious
My chickens are full-sized, and hopefully they’ll start laying eggs again soon. That said, I have a
problem and I don’t quite know how to solve it without being mean to somebody’s Tabatha.
Asking the new neighbors to keep Tabby in their own yard won’t work. It’s impossible. I share
my challenge not asking for solutions, but for sympathy. That’s why we usually share feelings.
At last count, we have 12 dogs within a stone’s throw of my house, and at my age I can only
throw underhanded. I’m sure all of these dogs are licensed, because it’s the law. (It’s hard to
indicate dripping sarcasm in print.) I’ll talk about dog licenses another day. Cats don’t have to
be licensed, or apparently under anybody’s control. Chickens have to be controlled in the city
because they do their business about a second after it comes to their mind. Cats can wait until
they get to the neighbor’s flower beds. Dogs sniff around for about thirty seconds, and given the
choice they also seem to prefer the neighbor’s yard to make a deposit.
A thought is one of the fastest things in the world. It’s right up there with the speed of light.
Diarrhea, regardless of the species, may be the only thing faster. Before you can even think to
turn on the light, it’s there. Please forgive the lightmindedness. With so much serious stuff going
on these days, I just had to try to get you to smile. And that’s the poop, the whole poop, and
nothing but the poop.
Mayor David Ogden