Sunday, September 26, 2010

It's a Hard-Knock Life for Muzz

Life is hard for the Muzz. She's always on the wrong side of the door. And these days, the designated ball thrower sits all day long staring and cursing at that screen on her desk. Then, when it's finally time for Dog Park, it rains. And it gets dark by 7:30. Oh, and every muddy paw print on the floor, rug, sofa, and bed is greeted with shrieks of indignation, like a Michelangelo has been defaced. As a result, we think it's best to take a little break, like we did this time last year. So, we'll check back in next month when everybody is in a better humor and has something interesting to say. As always, thanks for reading. z

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Mifky-Pifky at Dog Park

There is always mifky-pifky going on at Dog Park. Someone is always trying to hump someone else. But the dalliances are usually meaningless. (The phrase mifky-pifky, as explained on Schott's Vocab, is real. It's defined in the Oxford English Dictionary and attributed to writer J. Margolis, who wrote this for the Chicago Tribune in 1985: "There's all this mifky-pifky going on, but not for me." In 1985, that was true for me, too. Also, 2010. But I digress.) There are some dogs at Park that inspire more mifky-pifky than others. They tend to be Rhodesian Ridgebacks. One intact male named Gus has the power to make all the dogs lose their minds, both of mine included. There was something a little hilarious and unnerving about watching ancient, arthritic Roma hurl herself at Gus. Gus seemed to enjoy the attention, but he also savored her torment. So cruel, Gus, so cruel. Even Muzzy seems to grow a little weak in the knees when Gus is around. She charges up to him and dances in circles, but, poor thing, has little understanding of why. Rome knew exactly why.

Recently, Naya (second from left above) was the focus of a great deal of mifky-pifky. While in heat, she was the siren of the dog park for a couple of weeks, courting dogs of all sizes and both sexes. The poor dear was so frustrated that when she had no gentleman callers, she'd hit on whoever was nearby, once giving Bailey (female, with a bum back leg) a serious nuzzle, nearly knocking her over. It really was like watching the Nature Channel. Even if Naya had not had biological factors on her side, you can see why she and her sister Elphie (second from right) are the universally acknowledged "Super Models." They're gorgeous. Just look at their tawny hides and slender haunches. Yikes. They are truly the Naomi Campbell and Heidi Klum of the Park, flawless, haughty, merciless. If I were a deposed president of Liberia, I'd have my body guards deliver bags of rough diamonds to their hotel rooms, too. Again, I digress.

So what is my point? Good question. As an observer of the way the world works, I'd say that mifky-pifky at Dog Park, as in the world of humans, is just one of those things that you've either got it or you ain't. And as an editor of world history textbooks, I think it's safe to say too that if you got it, work it, baby, because you won't have it forever. All great empires eventually fall. All monuments will collapse. Time is not on your side. As my mother taught me, "There's always somebody younger and cuter than you out there." So, as Tim Gunn says on Project Runway, "Make it work!"

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

God Willing and the Creek Don't Rise

Muzzy and I braved Dog Park yesterday, during a brief break in the rains brought to us courtesy of Tropical Storm Hermine. At home, we peeked out the windows and saw light gray skies in the west and thought we'd be safe. When we turned east in the car, though, the sky was black. We pressed on, hoping the rain would hold off, but we had no sooner pulled into the parking lot, then the skies released another barrage. Another devoted Parker was just loading up his dogs, prancing around in the puddles, trying to haul each of three soggy pooches into the hatchback before he got completely soaked. We sat in our car for about ten minutes, lulled by the soothing rhythms of the downpour, the rain scalloping down the windshield. At the first let-up, we hopped out, but the break was only momentary.

I have never seen Dog Park so drenched. The fields that last week were like trampled straw and pocked with cavernous cracks  had become marshy wetlands. Muzzy's every step kicked up a plume of water. She blinked her eyes against the spray and looked annoyed. Beneath the pecan trees, we got drenched just from run-off. We made our way across the field, ankle deep in water. Rain was sluicing down the slope behind us, torrents of water eddying around our feet. We were soaked in under a minute. Fortunately, Muzzy knew that this trip was all about getting her business done. Once her mission was complete--and nearly washed away in the tide, we got back in the car and drove home through yet another cloudburst.  It was all pretty exciting. If I didn't have a dog, I'd have missed that little adventure. -z