The Tree Frog Band

August 15, 2014 at 10:21 am | Posted in Humor, Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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You’ve met two of my three new buddies, Gofo the tortoise and Tina the rabbit, in previous posts. They’re gentle, laid-back folks that match the area we live in.

Then, there is the Tree Frog Band. I count them as one friend … they function that way. They are natives. However, they’d fit in better on one of the “B” streets, Bourbon or Beale. I can see them strolling Rodeo Drive or 42nd Street.

Frog band with 2nd set of instruments. Courtesy of Matlacha Menagerie on Pine Island

Frog bank with 2nd set of instruments. Courtesy of Matlacha Menagerie on Pine Island

The Tree Frog Band is a quartet. There’s Gooey Feet who plays guitar, clarinet, and sings tenor, The Mad Hopper pounds the keyboard, blows the trumpet, and sings “Dew-up,” Green Jeans strums base and sucks the sax, and Croaker is the lead singer … and … well … croaks. They were the first folks I met after we moved in. What a group! They can do endless sets, never taking a break. They’re a gregarious group, always ready to hop on the stage and do their thing. Unfortunately, that thing is one song … A Rainy Night in Florida.

I’ll never forget meeting them for the first time. I was walking down the stairs intent on finding the right patch of grass when a voice crooned, “She has natural rhythm.” It was Croaker.

“Yeh, man, a maxed-out, cool bitch,” Green Jeans offered.

“Look at that tail swing. Dig that for a drum beat.” Gooey Feet was right in there,

The Mad Hopper added “Dew-up.”

Croaker asked, “Have you considered the stage, Golden lady. New York? Maybe Vegas? Picture you in a bikini with feathers in your fur.”

I said, “I ha—

“Hows about Hollywood and the flicks? You’d wow them in Caan.” Green jeans said.

I said, “Well—”

“She’s a natural for Nashville,” Gooey Feet opined. “Let me hear you yodel.”

“I can’t—”

The Mad Hopper added “Dew-up.”

“What a beauty,” Croaker said – “What a body,” Green Jeans said – “What a voice,” Gooey Feet said – “Dew-up” The Mad Hopper emphasized. In unison they declared, “She’ll make billions!” “Dew-up,” The Mad Hopper finalized.

About that time the rain started. “OUR QUE!!” Croaker screamed. “One, two, three … It’s a rainy night in Florida” – and so it continued. I was forgotten in an instant.

It’s the same routine every time I go downstairs after or during a rain. The lines and lies are identical. I know it’s all just frog poop … they’re spreading their bologna … except for the Mad Hopper … he’s a square up guy … but I enjoy it. A girl just can’t get enough flattery.

 

Sandy

“Shudder” – My friend Tina

August 8, 2014 at 8:00 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment
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In my last blog I mentioned how living out of my home while its being re-mediated has allowed me to meet new friends like “Gofo” the horny old Gopher tortoise. I thought I’d introduce you to two more new acquaintances. You’ll meet “Shudder” this time.

Shudder is Tina the tiny rabbit. I’ve nick-named her Shudder because when she first met me she shook and shuddered when I got close. Tina lives in a huge asparagus fern in the front yard where we’re staying. The first time I saw her, she was hiding from the Geezer who’d walked around the house one way while I went around the other. Shudder was less than half the size of other rabbits I’d seen. She had to be very young, not much more than a baby. I walked up behind her and got within two feet before she realized I was there.

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA  GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERA

I said, “Hi, I’m Sandy. I’m a Golden Retriever. I want to be your friend.”

Shudder earned her nick-name right then. She vibrated like a banjo string, her ears stuck out at odd angles, her eyes were wide and her nose and tail twitched. She said in a terrified voice, “You’re not a Golden Whatever, you’re a dog! I know about your kind. Go away or I’ll hurt you!” Tina covered her eyes with one tiny paw and pitifully swung the other in my direction.”

“A Golden Retriever is a dog. It’s just the type dog I am. I’m not a rabbit dog … I’m a duck dog. You don’t have anything to worry about. Let’s play.” Each time she’d head for the fern I’d get between her and her home. I call the game block the other animal unless I play it with humans. Then I call the game block the dumb butts. Finally, Shudder tired of the game. She froze, put her paws up in a prayerful manner, and implored, “Make it quick, please!”

“Make what quick?” I asked.

“Aren’t you going to eat me?” She asked.

“No. I don’t eat my friends! Where did you get such an idea?” I laid down in the grass and rolled to let her know I wasn’t going to harm her.

“My momma told me dogs eat rabbits, cats too. She told me not to trust anyone.”

I reflected on that for a couple minutes, before saying. “Generally speaking, she’s correct. But, hey, I’m Sandy, the most unaggressive, but protective dog in the universe. If I’m around, I’ll keep you safe. But if I’m not, you better hide if you see some other animal. Besides dogs and cats, snakes, racoons, eagles, owls, hawks, all would make you lunch. You’d better hide if I’m not here. By the way, where is your mom?”

Tina began to cry, “She left one morning and never came back.” I consoled Tina and promised to look out for her. I hope she grows fast enough to be safe on her own. Anyway, we play every morning when I go out for my constitutional. I sure do love little kids.

 

Sandy

How an old problem brought new friends — “Gofo it”

July 27, 2014 at 7:56 pm | Posted in Books, dogs, Humor, life, Reading, Writing | Leave a comment
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In my last post I told you about the Chinese drywall problem that has caused the Geezer, Mrs. G and me to temporarily leave our house. Of course, Oreo came too. Oreo is my feline friend. Or as he might be called if he were of native American heritage … “He who has smelly pot.” He and it stay on the screened porch.

Being jerked out of the only home you’ve ever known is an unsettling experience. The only place I can remember living is at the Geezer’s place on the canal. My humans made me queen of the realm when I was eight weeks old and I don’t remember much prior, other than snuggling up to my mom. There, everything is where it should be, smells right, and I know the best places to hide, sleep, and aggravate the Geezer and Mrs. G. The place I’m in now has things like sliding glass doors which always seem to be closed when they should be open. Ouch!

I’ve made friends with most everybody around our home. The humans call me the “neighborhood greeter.” I miss all my friends in the Canine Chowder and Ham Bone Marching Society, Matilda the manatee, the night heron families that nest across the canal in the mangroves, Pete, Pedro, Pauline, and Petulla the pelicans, and a bunch more. Hell, I even miss Hiss and Sneaky B the black snakes. I’m sure they’ll all be there when I return, but…..

There is one good thing about being in a different place. It gives you the opportunity to make new buds. Take one fellow I met last week. The home we’re living in has a canal in the back yard just like ours. The Geezer and I were sitting near the seawall, boat-lift, and dock. The Geezer had dozed off and I was sleepy myself when I heard this old baritone voice saying, “Gofo it, gofo it, gofo it, gofo it.” It was coming from a large Gopher turtle that was waddling down the seawall. He looked and was old. I said, “Hi.” The old turtle nodded and kept repeating, “Gofo it.” He trudged down the seawall, out on the dock to the tip end, looked around some, and retreated. It was obvious he was trying to get across the canal.

I was curious, so I had to ask. “Say old timer, you trying to get to the other side of the canal”

He answered, “Un-huh. Gofo it. Gofo it. Gofo it.”

“You’re gonna have to go all the way to the end and walk around.”

He nodded continuing to walk and talk.

“What’s with the … Gofo it? You stuttering or trying to remember something?”

“Remember. Gofo it.” He resumed his ritual.

“What are you trying to remember?” I asked.

He said, “Youngster, when you get older you have to stay focus to remember. About 35 years ago, them damn humans built this canal. My girl friend lives on the other side. That makes for a long walk to visit. So, to keep focused, I keep tellin’ myself … Gofo it!”

 

Sandy

The Proper Way to Greet – Sniff, Sniff

April 29, 2014 at 9:50 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments
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Ahhhhh, our Southwest Florida mornings are back. It was 68 degrees with a zephyr rattling through the palm fronds as we made our morning Bokeelia Beach walk. The Geezer waved to a man walking on the other side of the road and we crossed the street to talk. Of course, the first thing they did was shake hands.

What gives with this ritual? Two humans approach, square off in front of each other in a challenge position, then extend their right hands, grasp the invader’s palms, and grind up and down like they’re operating an antique water pump. Are they trying to see if water comes out of their fellow humans’ mouth or ears?

The males seem obligated to perform this action. Many females do engage in this ceremony, but are less obsessed. My guess it’s just another example of the females superior intelligence. That’s a universal trait we gals of all zoological types share. Of course, I don’t discuss this with the Geezer. Naturally, he has a different take.

Curiosity about this fetish had me burning. I wanted to ask the old boy why this slavish devotion to a convention that makes no sense to me. However, I’m too much of a lady to rudely interrupt a conversation. I decided to wait to pose my question. The other gentleman yakked on incessantly. Eventually, I rolled my eyes and paced back and forth trying to get the Geezer moving. He was too busy talking about some stupid political thing. In desperation, I tugged at my leash to break up the gab-fest. The old boy broke off the babbling immediately. Who says you can’t teach old men new tricks!

After we’d gotten out of human hearing range, another deficiency of the species, I asked, “Geezer, why do humans shake hands when they meet each other?”

“It’s a universal greeting. It’s like saying, ‘nice to see you,’ without using the words.” The Geezer dismissed the subject by pointing out what was obvious. “Isn’t it great weather? It sure beats the hot mornings we’ve had the last few days.”

I hate it when the Geezer does that! It pissed me and my sarcastic side popped up. I growled, “Oh, nicer weather? Gee, I’d have never noticed. I guess my paw pads have lost their sensitivity and my skin doesn’t recognize temperature differences.” Before the old boy could retort, I added, “That stuff about shaking hands because you’re glad to see someone is Toro Caca. You shake hands with that Irving guy from down the street and you despise the sniveling little bastard. I know you’re not glad to see him.”

The Geezer’s anger flashed for a split second before he saw the wisdom in my comment. After the time it took to get his ancient brain in operate mode, he said, “Well, Sandy, that wasn’t a complete answer. It’s a custom that’s origin is from long ago. It’s more a “I’ll do you no harm,” than “glad to see you.” If I remember right,” I thought he probably didn’t, “Shaking hands goes back to when men carried weapons and you weren’t sure of a person’s intent when they approached. By showing an empty hand and accepting the other man’s empty palm you mutually agreed not to try cutting off the other fellow’s head.”

“I guess you’re going to tell me that’s why you always shake right hands?” I couldn’t help smirking.

“Very good, Sandy. That’s exactly right!”

The smirk continued. Either Geezer was blowing smoke up my food vent or I had another bit of proof the human race was playing the game short a few cards. “Come on, Geezer. What about lefties?”

“Since most people were trained to do everything with their right hand, I guess it didn’t occur to them.” The Geezer surprises me at times. “Anyway, Sandy, it’s just the best way to get acquainted.” Best way, I thought? I hate to admit MY human can be so simplistic.

I wanted to point out all the obvious superior points that the butt sniff has over the hand shake when greeting, but I’ve learned in my young life that discussing such issues with intellectually inferior species wastes my time. However, let me explain the differences to you.

What do you learn from a handshake? Well, you see the other person has a right hand, he can move it, and not much else. Oh, you find out the person you’re meeting is willing to smear his germs all over you. That way you can’t say he’s never given you anything. Geezer says you can tell how assertive an individual is by his shake. I won’t dispute that, though I have my doubts, and for sure, that’s a one time thing.

Now, let’s consider the butt sniff. To paraphrase old Shakey, “How do I see thee better, let me count the ways.” Right from the first, a butt sniff says, ‘I’m willing to follow behind you,’ not ‘I’m right in your face and space to challenge you.’ What’s the friendlier greeting? Walking around your new acquaintance gives you a better chance to check them out. A 360 degree view so to speak. From a ladies point of view, it lets you size up your competition and, more importantly, the male contingent. If humans adopted butt sniffing, just think how many women wouldn’t waste time on men with, shall we say, deficient virtue! I’m assuming the clothes will go, that’s the natural thing that follows. Mind you, that’s just the visual.
The sniff! Talk about information! Let’s take sexual promiscuity. It jumps out and beats your nose like a baseball bat. Not that that’s my first interest. Lets’ get right to the social aspects. A whiff gives you a great clue to a dog’s socio-economic status. I can tell an Iams, Nutro, or Science Diet canine from a Kennel-ration mutt after sampling two parts per million. Coupled with their grooming, you can see who the social climbers are, the snobs, the down-on-their luck types, etc. I could expound on the superiority of the butt sniff for hours, but I’d sound preachy and I detest that.

I do see hope for the human race. Orientals bow to greet each other. Their’s is a much longer established culture, and I see this as proof of Darwin’s theory. I’m sure the bow is the first vestige of the human species evolution to the butt sniff as a universal greeting. It’s comforting that they’ll soon be thinking like I do, which means they’ll finally be getting it right.

PS – Geezer tells me over 20,000 of you have visited my humble jottings over the last few years. He thinks that’s great. So do I. Thank you for your visits and the hundred plus plus universally kind comments. It sure makes a dog want to do more.

http://www.dlhavlin.com

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August 12- Here Gator, Gator, Gator! Gator calling video.

August 13, 2011 at 3:13 pm | Posted in Books, Camping, Cooking, dogs, Humor, publishing, Reading, Writing | 15 Comments
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“YOU RANG!”

I’ve been waiting, virtually panting, until I could get some help putting the video below on my blog.  My tail’s been figuratively wagging off my butt wanting to share this with you all.  Sometimes I find four paws just aren’t enough when it comes to the convoluted logic human technology prescribes.  The Geezer is limited help on such things.  His rusted brain, which tries to stay current, needs assistance now and again.  “Gator,” his son, a big time engineer with Ford, came to the rescue.  The Geezer and his buddies are a bunch of outdoor types who go on a once a year fishing, hunting, and camping trek.  They call themselves the Graphite Avengers.  (For those non-fisherfolk, the “graphite” references a type of fishing rod.)  It’s discriminatory – no dogs allowed.  I really don’t mind—there are alligators around most places they go.  Alligators like canines, but not in a good way.  I don’t relish the idea of being a gator’s main course.  When the Geezer returned from his trip this year, he showed me the pictures so I could enjoy, vicariously.  Among them was this brief video showing off one of the group’s gator calling skills.  Take a look:

  

The “gator caller” is the son of my human’s best friend.  I’ll call him “Bo” since the Geezer tells me it’s bad form to give a person’s real name on the ‘net.  The picture below is of “Coach,” the Geezer’s buddy, and “Bo,” in their native habitat and in one of their favorite means of locomotion.

"The Geezer's best friend with his son"

The Graphite Avengers include the “Coach,” his son, the Geezer, his son, his grandson, and “Buddha” the Geezer’s son’s best friend.  The pictures below show them and what they do, and in the case of Geezer and Coach, what they’ve done for the last fifty years.

"Geezer and grandson and canoe"

 
“Buddha with a big one”                                            “The Graphite Avengers”

All those years provide my old boy with a treasure trove of material for his writing.  That goes along with his visits around the world (to eighty plus countries) and his experiences, including being a football coach, a business executive, and a fishing guide to name just a few.  The picture below could be a scene from his latest novel, “A Place No One Should Go,” but in reality, it’s from the camping trip.

"A Place No One Should Go, territory"

I’d love to go along on these trips, but know it’s for my best interest not to.  I’ve seen the Geezer display his gator calling prowess from a safe position in the car a few times, and it is something to view.  I’d love to see it closer, but…..  His descriptions of camping life, telling stories around the campfire, and beautiful sunsets like the one below are one of the few things that could even tempt me to wish I were a homo sapien.    Oh well, every human has his day!

"A beautiful Florida camping sunset"

If  you’d like to learn more about the Geezer, visit  www.dlhavlin-author.com

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July 28- A recipe for Vega-que

July 28, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Posted in Books, Camping, Cooking, dogs, food, Humor, life, publishing, Reading, Uncategorized, Writing | 11 Comments
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     My human is fat.  There I said it.  You know all those human interest pieces you see on TV about obesity, well the Geezer is the poster…I sure can’t say child…senior for that affliction.  It isn’t like he doesn’t try to get slimmer.  We walk a mile every day, he lifts weights four times a week, he makes a bona-fide attempt to avoid fattening foods, that’s until someone comes to visit.  Then “damn the calories, full gluttony ahead.”
     A case in point.  His beautiful daughter, her wonderful husband, and his two grand boys visited last week.  That meant an interruption.  Seven straight days where there was no time for walks, weights, or much of anything that constitutes a normal day in Geezerville.  Add to that the fact that some of the daughters friends visited; there was a whole lot of eatin’ goin’ on. 
     The Geezer is a good cook.  The problem is he normally prepares things like Steak Diane, or Eggs Bokeelia, or Baked Alaska.  By the time he gets done with the trimmings, the Titanic would have sunk under the weight of the calories he cooks, without tussling with the iceberg.
     Problem is, once the company leaves the overeating and break from the routine continues.  That’s compounded by the fact his publisher is releasing one of books, he’s working on two more, and generally, he’s trying to head in more directions at once than a cat dropped into a kennel holding nine pit bulls.  All this action is done while sitting on his ample ass behind the keyboard.
     I give him a hard time.  It’s for his own good, bbuuutttt I do enjoy it so.  As he pounded the keys I asked, “Are we going to take our 9 AM walk?”  It was 4:30 PM.
     “Oh shit, Sandy.  I forgot.”  He looked embarrassed. 
     “That’s all right, I understand.  It’s just I don’t want to look like you.”
     “Come on Sandy, give the old Geezer a break.”
     “Yeh, I don’t want kids chasing me down the street with a harpoon yelling, “There she blows!”
     “Ahhh, It’s not that bad.”
     “With all the food you’ve put away the last ten days, your brain must be in your butt.  And, with all that blubber pressing down on it, I can see why it doesn’t function well.”
     “Have a little compassion, girl.”  He looked like a toddler that just soiled his fresh diaper.  “I’ll get back on schedule tomorrow.  I promise.”
     “Oh yeah?  What are you having for supper tonight?”  I figured it would be something with enough calories to power up five sumo wrestlers.
     “Vega-que.”
     “Hmmmmm.  I’ll quit bugging you if you make some for me.”  I’m a meat and potatoes type girl, but……….
     “Deal.”  He went back to making arrangements for his book signing tour.  I went to the kitchen and waited.

     The recipe for DL’s Vega-que is:

Ingredients
4  tablespoons of butter
1   zucchini   9-10″  – cut into 1/4″ disks
2  yellow squash medium to large  – cut into 1/4″ disks
1  cup of cauliflower florets  –  be sure they’re small
1/2 cup of red spanish onion
1/2 cup of green bell pepper
1/2 cup of red bell pepper
2  medium gold potatoes  – peeled and diced into 1/2″ cubes
10  medium white mushrooms  – cut in half or quarters
1  can diced tomatoes
1 1/2 cups of catsup
2 tablespoons of whole pickling spice
1  tablespoon of garlic powder

Instructions
1. Place a quarter cup of virgin olive oil in a large pan and heat to medium temperature.
2. Place butter in crock pot and melt with LOW temperature.
3. Place zucchini, yellow squash, cauliflower, onion, bell peppers, and potatoes into the pan and stir.
4. Place the mushrooms in the crock pot.
5. Cook veggies over medium heat 1-2 minutes then add to crock pot. (should NOT be soft)
6. Place can of diced tomatoes and catsup in crock pot.
7. Add whole pickling spice and garlic to crock pot.
8. Stir until thoroughly mixed.
9. Simmer (LOW heat) for 3/4 to 1  hour  – stir lightly every 10 minutes.
Serves eight – freezes well.

Yum!  Yum!

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www.dlhavlin-author.com 

July16- Is the whole poll to put a pole in the hole?

July 16, 2011 at 11:23 am | Posted in Books, Cooking, dogs, Elections, fishing, food, Humor, life, Politics, publishing, Reading, Uncategorized, Writing | 6 Comments
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     “You humans never cease to amaze me.”  The Geezer and I sat on the dock while he performed one of the obligatory functions I insist upon, brushing me.  “Your language defies logic.”
     “Oh?  How’s that?”  He cleaned the brush sending another puff of my fluffy undercoat onto the canal water.  Its surface was blossoming like the hibiscus bushes in the front yard.
     “Hmmmm, I was listening to the TV this morning.  They were talking about the polls saying this and the polls saying that.  Now, I know you have a room full of fishing poles.  Okay, okay, I know the difference.  But, why not have a different sounding word for every different meaning.  In Doganese, Woof is Woof, Arf is Arf, Grrrr is Grrrr.  There’s no guessing.”
     “That’s a good point, Sandy.  As you know, all humans don’t speak the same language.  English is the one you’re most familiar with and it’s also one of the worst for having words that sound the same, but have multiple meanings.”
     I hate it when he gets into one of his condescending, ‘I’ll explain this to you as nicely as I can, you poor unfortunate,’ modes.  It’s his Bill O’Reilly impersonation.  But, he means well, so I tacitly become his straight-man.  “And, why is that?” I asked.
     “English, as we know it, has been influenced by the Celts, Romans, Anglo-Saxons, and the Norman French.  Each was in control of the British Isles.  Each brought their own terms to describe a thing or a process.  Those identifiers were simply absorbed into the language.  That’s why we have so many ways to say the same thing.  Some sounded identical to words already in use.”  He smiled one of his patronizing, ‘I’m glad I could clear that up for you,’ lip curls.  Puke, puke, puke.
     “That doesn’t make it any more logical, or easier, for creatures and humans that aren’t steeped in your hodge-podge vernacular.”  I felt like adding, ‘Take that!’ but the old boy is free with the treats.  No sense in creating self-inflicted pain.
     “Give me an example, Sandy.  I’ll try to explain.”  He appeared to be a little contrite.
     “Okay, explain to me how a person unfamiliar with the lame logic your language employs wouldn’t be confused by the use of poll – which I understand to mean, a study to determine a group of people’s thoughts on a subject used to help influence others – and pole, which is basically a shaft.”
     “Why, Sandy, that’s brilliant!”  The Geezer smiled.  In this type of situation, that’s not a good thing.  Something smelled like a five-day-old dead fish.
     “I know I shouldn’t ask, but why is that?”  I could see the guillotine being wheeled into place.
     “You’ve connected the two meanings perfectly, Sandy.  So you’re saying that polls are designed to shaft a bunch of people by making them believe a certain way.”
     How do you answer something like that?  The whole theory has a huge hole in it.  Oh, good grief!  He’s got me doing it!

www.dlhavlin-author.com

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July 3 – The song says, “You must have been a beautiful baby.” I was! I was!

July 3, 2011 at 7:28 pm | Posted in Books, Cooking, dogs, fishing, food, Humor, life, publishing, Reading, Uncategorized, Writing | 21 Comments
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"YOU MUST HAVE BEEN A BEAUTIFUL BABY"

My human was listening to some really old music on his hi-fi. Major old. It was so old the plastic cover for the CD has iron hinges that creak when it’s opened. I mean, U-2 is dated, and the Grateful Dean ancient. But these bands… I’m almost sure they were exhumed from an archaeology dig, maybe Pompeii, or some place in Israel, or the Calusa Indian site here on Pine Island. No electric, you say. Come on, you humans haven’t figured out how the Egyptians did what they did. You know back when they were civilized and built more than they burned.

Anyway, the bands had names like “Guy Lombardo”, “Artie Shaw”, “Glenn Miller”, and “Count Bassie”. I’ve tried getting some meaning out of those names, but the thought process has turned up zero. I figure Count Basie is royalty from one of those small monocracies in Europe, maybe Liechtenstein. Oh, and maybe Artie Shaw painted in his spare time. That’s pure guess.

One of the songs they played was, “You must have been a beautiful baby”. I knew that before the Geezer told me what the title was. Back then you could understand the words when they sang. I guess there were a lot of distractions in the cave. He added, “That song certainly applies to you, Sandy. You were a beautiful baby!”

“Was I?”  I love to hear the Geezer talk about something I already know. Makes him feel good.

“You sure were.”

“That’s nice. You know I can’t see myself. The mirrors are all mounted incorrectly in this house.” Humans are an inconsiderate lot. You’d think they’d be more obliging to the other species in their houses.

“Well, we can take care of that.”

“You gonna relocate all the mirrors?” I got excited for a second.

“Oh no, I got lots of pictures,” he said. The old boy picked out an album and began showing me what I looked like in my frivolous, innocent youth. I WAS a beautiful baby. I’ve decided to share some of these with you. Hope you enjoy them.

Mrs. G and me at four weeks - me not her.

When I picked the Geezer and Mrs. G

The decision is made!

Me with my mom, Breeze, and my brothers

Mom and I were close

Nap time with my bros.

That was a long, hard day!

Yep, it sure was.

I'm on the left with my #1 bro at 10 weeks

Saying goodbye to my mentor/breeder

Goodbye Momma Breeze!

Visiting my older sister "Gracie" at 17 months

I'm the one with the tongue out!

The Geezer, his friend Randy, Gracie and me

And that marked the sunset of my youth and the beginning of my blogging career-so Walla, a beautiful sunset.

See you again soon. Oh, a PS. I’ll be accompanying the Geezer on many of his book signings for his new book, A Place No One Should Go. I hope I’ll meet you at one of them. Check his website for info on the book and in the near future he’ll post book signing dates and locations there.

www.dlhavlin-author.com

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June 21- The game of “Get It!”

June 21, 2011 at 9:31 am | Posted in Books, Cooking, dogs, food, Humor, life, Media, publishing, Reading, TV, Uncategorized, Writing | 7 Comments
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     If there is one constant with humans, it’s their inconsistency.  They drive me crazy at times.  I’ll give you an example of what happened to me yesterday.
     When we went out for our daily walk, the Geezer took one of the yellow balls with which we play “Get It!”  It’s about three inches in diameter, has fuzz on the cover, and bounces wonderfully well.  The ball fits in my mouth perfectly; it’s not so small I have to be concerned with swallowing it, not so large I have to stretch my jaws uncomfortably wide to pick it up and carry it.  The ones we have are coated with enough of my canine slobber that I could sniff them out in a field of foot high grass, in a fog, at midnight, with no moon!
     “Get It!” is a simple game.  Since humans are part of it, naturally, it has to be.  The game is played in all sorts of venues.  In our yard, the street, even in the living room.  The human must be taught to do a minimum of three things.  1-  Stand or sit in one spot.  Most can do this without extensive canine oversight.  2-  Throw the ball.  This does require some loving canine patience.  Some humans throw horribly.  No aim.  No distance.  As in so many things, humans can be quite pathetic.  3-  The human shouts, “Get It!”  Of course, thats where the game derives its name.  Some humans are incapable of remembering that simple two-word phrase.  They reduce it to a single word such as, “Fetch!” or “Retrieve!”  But remember, we’re dealing with Homo sapiens here.  Stringing two words together strains some of that species mental facilities.
     My portion of the game is, by far, the most challenging.  I must bounce around in front of my human racing back and forth to motivate the old codger to make a good long throw.  Second, at the motion of his arm, I must anticipate where he will toss the yellow spheroid.  My muscles strain to explode.  At the release of the ball, I fire off like a rocket, trying to capture the elusive prize before it comes to rest.  In one supremely athletic movement, I snatch the ball, turn, and sprint back to my human and deliver the fluffy yellow bit of rubber to his hand, so he can repeat those simple three steps.
     Yesterday, we played the game in a field near the house.  As usual, my human tired long before I worked up a good sweat.  After a measly twenty throws, the Geezer said, “Damn Sandy, you’d do this all day!”  I replied in Doganese, “Does Dolly have big boobs?  Do politicians lie?  Sure I can!”  Either the old boy failed to translate or chose to ignore me for he stuck the ball in his pocket.  He offered me a dog biscuit to buy me off.  He said, “You sure do play the game well, Sandy!”  I know that, but humans are fond of pointing out something that everyone knows.  Simple concepts for a simple-minded species, I guess.  I admit it is nice to hear, anyway.  He ALWAYS does that……
     You say, “Where’s the inconsistency?”  Let me explain what happened that afternoon.  The Geezer and his Mrs. took me to a place I’d never been before.  It’s a place that human’s hone their Get It skills.  It’s a partly enclosed arena, with painted floors, and an obstacle in the form of a fish net strung from poles.  A human stands on either side of the net and uses a handicapping device to make the ball move back and forth over the net.  Evidently, during this Get It practice, they aren’t allowed to use their mouths or paws, sorry, hands, to retrieve the ball.  I heard the Geezer call the handicapping device a “racket.”  I’ve heard other humans on TV discuss rackets and I believe they’re illegal, but….
     One of the human’s in the arena was a friend of the Geezers and my curmudgeon and his Mrs. were shouting encouragement to their buddy as he slapped the ball around.  Several other canines were laying next to the folding chairs their humans were sitting in, all, I’m sure, were waiting for the real portion of the game to begin.  I kept my muscles tense and my eye on the ball waiting to be summoned.
    It was becoming boring when a ball was hit toward the Geezer’s friend.  The ball took a big bounce on the painted area.  It was obvious to me that the Geezer’s human friend wouldn’t get to it in time to slap the yellow ball.  Finally, Geezer yelled, “Get IT!!”  Of course, I did.
    Inconsistency!!!!!!

http://www.dlhavlin-author.com

June 7 – Riding shotgun or tailgunner.

June 7, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Posted in Books, Cooking, dogs, food, Humor, life, publishing, Reading, Uncategorized, Writing | 8 Comments
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     “You want to ride along, Sandy?  We’re going to run a few errands.”  The Geezer should have known better than to ask that!  Does the economy stink?  Do politicians lie?  The answer isn’t yes, it’s HELL YES!!!!
     Anytime I get the opportunity to load into the truck, I’m ready.  Nothing but good things happen when I’m navigating for the Geezer.  If he takes me without bringing Mrs. G. along, I get to ride shotgun.  For you uninitiated in auto slang, that’s front seat, passenger side, window.  Folks wave to me and I bark back.  It’s great fun.  I’m sure they don’t mistake me for Mrs. G.  She’s good-looking as far as human females go, but pales in comparison to my magnificent beauty.  When pictures aren’t available, I feel I must be more totally honest, than modest.
     Unfortunately, I was relegated to the back seat today.  The term for being exiled back there is flying tail-gunner.  Mrs. G. went.  That’s not all bad because the Geezer puts the back seats down giving me more space to move around.  I still can navigate by sticking my head in between the front seats.  Another perk connected with riding in the back is that— if I rest my head on Mrs. G’s shoulder, she’ll continue to rub behind my ears until I fall asleep, or she does.  Neither one of us stay awake on long rides, but she has a tendency to snore by the time the car backs out of the driveway.
     The first place we went today, was the bank.  I like the smell of money that’s there and the ladies that work inside.  I have them trained really well.  As soon as we pull up to the drive through, I stick my head out the driver’s side window.  The Geezer always opens it for me as we approach.  My command to the girls is two sharp “Ruffs.”  They immediately fetch me at least three treats.  If I want more, I simply sit up in the back seat and swing my front paws up like I’m conducting a band.  That’s good for at least two more…..  Well, there is one lady who never responds.  Some humans just aren’t trainable.  You know the deplorable mental capabilities of many of that species.  That’s why the old cliché is about horse sense, not human sense.  And, heavens, equines aren’t that bright.
    The next stop was to get gas.  Normally that’s boring.  Not so today.  Edgar and Edna, two friends and former neighborhood canines were sitting in the bed of a pickup truck that was stopped on the other side of the gas pump.  Gosh its great to see old friends.   It was one big gab session.  My humans and their humans were laughing and talking as I greeted my old buddies.  “How do you two like your new digs?” I asked.
     “They’re okay,”  Edgar said, in a typically reserved English Setter manner.
     “Oh they’re wonderful!  Magnificent!  Just simply superb!”  You have to understand Edna is very social conscious.  Her lineage was “accidental” that being part Cocker and part Poodle.  What does that make her, a Cockepoodle?  Crockapoodle would be more accurate.  She’s the queen of hyperbole.
     “Now Edna, don’t embellish.  They’re just nice.”  Edgar scratched a flea under his chin.  “See, we still have those rascals.”
     “Yes, but we have a three car garage, a garbage disposal in two sinks, four bathrooms, and a swimming pool.”  Edna was trying to impress.
     “That is cool,” I said, “Anything else you have at your new place you didn’t have in the old neighborhood?”
     Edgar studied for a few seconds before saying, “Roaches.”
     Some folks are born to convert highs into lows.
     Our last stop was one of my very most favorite places.  I call it the Parking Zoo.  The Geezer calls it the mall parking lot.  There’s no better place to do some human watching, and there’s nothing more interesting to do when we take one of our rides.  We parked and Mrs. G. left the car.   I slid between the front seat backrests and took her seat, which was still warm as I plopped my butt down.
     The Geezer asked, “Sandy, were you invited?’
     I gave him my, Get real, peon, look.
     “Okay, okay.  But, get back in the rear quickly when Mrs. G returns.”
     “Sure, sure, quick as a bunny.”
     “Fine, fine,” he said.  The old boy doesn’t know sarcasm unless you hold up a sign.  He put the windows down half way.  That lets me see out without having to look through finger and nose prints.  “That far enough?” he asked.
     “That’ll do,” I answered.
     About that time the first specimen strolled up the pavement in front of the car.  It was a man from the human sub-species, concedius-arrogantus.  He had a bright green golf shirt on that had a stripe across the shoulders the Geezer called mauve when I asking him.  He had enough grease on his hair to lubricate the skids used to move all the stones that made the pyramid at Giza.  The man looked around, looking for someone, looking at him.  His head was held up and back, his facial expression was like that of a human smelling a full discharge of flatulence.  You know, the Bill O’Reilly type.
     The next sighting was a full parade.  It was a Reproductus-prolifitera.  The lady in question led her brood of eight stair-step girls toward the stores, their butt cheeks swaying in time with mama’s.  All wore blonde pony tails that swung to the opposite side their from where their rears rotated.  It was a precision drill team in training.  I mentioned to the Geezer, “That prolifitera is attractive.  And, she has a cute rear.” 
    “That’s why she has those eight ducklings following her tail,” the Geezer editorialized in a knowing manner.
     About that time, a man with a pot gut, dirty shorts, and a tee-shirt that didn’t make it down over his naval, (his belly button pushed out like a flag) came from the opposite way the parade was going.  His legs looked like pipe stems supporting a basketball.  He hadn’t shaved for a couple of days.  Or taken a bath.  Or used deodorant.  Or scrubbed his teeth.  Hey, I can’t help it that my nose is sharp.  The “T” had “Every woman’s dream,” printed across the front.  I scoffed, “See what’s on that tee, Geezer?  I know what the dream is.  Nightmare on Elm Street.”  I recognized his genus as Grossis-slobovian.  Both the Geezer and I exclaimed together, “He looks just like Michael Moore!”
     I was watching the slobovian get into his car, when the Geezer whistled.  “Get a load of this one!”  I turned my head and my jaw dropped, dog slobber decorating the front seat.  “Is it?” I asked.
    “Yes it is, Sandy!”
    “You see them, but not so…developed.”  I shook my head and rolled my eyes.  “A real Fattass-humongu-elephatanti,” I added in reverence.
     “No, but you’re close.”  The Geezer looked me square in the pupils.”  That’s a genuine, Fattass-humongu-whalus.”
    
As the specimen approached, the sun seemed blotted out by its shadow and vibrations from impact tremors made the car creak.  I swear that’s true.  “Is it male or female?” I asked in fear and awe at the same time.
    “Sandy, I have no idea.”  He studied the hulk filling the roadway aisle in front of us.  “Well, it could…but, then…I think…then again…”  The Geezer repeated in awe, “I have no idea.” 
     There was a tapping on the passenger side window that snapped our heads around and returned us from fantasy land.
    “Who wants a hot dog?” Mrs. G. asked.  The Geezer always says that woman can send you right to heaven. 

###

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