Time To Go To The Dogs Again

Regular readers of my weekly offerings may recall that a good many months ago I announced a new policy:  Three weekly shorter columns on either serious or lighter subjects, followed by a fourth full-length column.

Regular readers will also know, as with so many other good intentions, that policy has been honored more in the breach than the observance.

This week, an observance of the policy:  A shorter item, less weighty in subject matter than some others, but on a topic that I hope you will find enjoyable; i.e., performance of the latest cocker spaniel to join—take charge of?—the Andersen household.

But first, before turning to the subject of the new dog-in-charge, a cartoon which may give you a chuckle but, in a sense, is unfair to puppies.  They don’t really preen themselves with the belief that they are cute.  They are, but it just comes naturally, no ego satisfaction involved.

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As to Ashley, our 10-month-old cocker spaniel who has joined 10-year-old Charlotte in the Andersen household:  She is by turns mischievous, then dedicated to climbing into Marian’s lap—just being an affectionate puppy dog.

Ashley’s behavior results in such contrasting situations as “Ashley, you bring back daddy’s shoe!” (to which Ashley replies by running even faster away) to frequent episodes of Ashley rolling on her back inviting a tummy rub.

We figure Ashley is just being a puppy, naturally mischievous at times as when she prefers to run away with one of my shoes rather than play with one of the 20 or so toys which lie scattered about the downstairs floor—everything from a big, black dog-like puppy named, for reasons only known to Marian, “William Shakespeare,” to a recent addition called “Road Kill.”

You’ll have to ask Marian why she thinks “William Shakespeare” and “Road Kill” are proper companions in a puppy’s toy menagerie.

Ten-year-old Charlotte tolerates Ashley’s presence and antics with only a rare show of irritation, as when Ashley and Charlotte compete for some tidbit like a simulated doggie bone.

We should never forget how fortunate we are that pets—no matter what type of animal they might be—are included in our family circle.

But Ashley and Charlotte have the public-relations advantage of living with the author of a weekly message to my readers, and a goodly number of you have indicated you enjoy the reports.

Stay tuned.

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