Some folks say “Like mother, like daughter.” That goes for humans and canines as well. A couple blocks over resides Mildred and Sparkle. Sparkle is an Irish Setter, a little on the thin side, pessimistic, and she tends toward being a hypochondriac. Her human is named Mildred, who is a single, middle aged, works at being thin, but doesn’t quite make it. The Geezer calls her a “gay divorcee,” but I don’t see any signs of that. In fact, she seems to enjoy men’s presence and I think I can detect some sexual tension there. However, Mrs. Gator likes to avoid the woman and encourages the Geezer to do the same, so he might be right. I think Mrs. G might believe Mildred has a crush on her. Sparkle isn’t a close enough friend for me to ask prying questions about family.
Being a typical Irish Setter, she’s over-impressed with her looks, red coat, and singing voice. I’ve heard her try to warble “Danny Boy,” but it still comes out an alto, “Oh, ruff-ruff, ruff, ruff, ruff, ruff, ruff, ruff ruff-ruff-ruff.” I could go on, but why? She’s a half note flat. Sparkle’s a constant complainer. If she’s not complaining about her food, its the noise the neighbor’s cat makes. Hey, what’s wrong with Ken-L-Ration? She says she’s strictly a Eukanuba kind of girl, but I’ve caught her in the Wilson’s garbage can a time or two. Even the neighborhood raccoons avoid that one. As for the cat’s meow, she could serenade Tom with one of her Irish ditties and give it a nervous breakdown.
Sparkle laments our canine community’s greetings – claims they’re all too impersonal. That’s bull-shit. I’ll put our butt-sniffs up against any in the state. Sparkle’s preoccupied with the size of things. She has to have the biggest food dish, biggest sleeping pillow, biggest bone, it goes on and on. I can acknowledge she does deposit the largest piles of any canine in the “hood. Well, that’s except for Sarge, the German Shepard, and Willie, the Saint Bernard.
Sparkle’s human has many of her same traits. Not the pile thing, I don’t know about that. She is snooty about what she eats. I’ve heard Mildred say she’d never eat MacDonald’s. She also believes she can sing, but can’t. If I hear Mildred hum “It Was Fascination,” one more time as we pass her on one of our walks, I’m going to get the Geezer to buy me earplugs.
She has dyed red hair that matches Sparkle’s color, but just on her head. Mildred wears a bikini top and pair of short, short, short, short, cut-off jeans. From my vantage point I see lots of bologna hanging out along with the evidence that lets me state conclusively the hair on the head is a dye job.
Mildred and Sparkle share the hypochondriac thing as well. Everytime the Geezer stops to talk she’s worried about running a fever and asks the old boy to put his hand on her forehead. Or, if we happen to meet along the woods, a spot where she’s had to walk farther, she’s worried about her heart skipping beats and insists he put his hand on her chest. The Geezer’s real good about that; he never refuses. I’ve noticed her ills are cyclical. They never occur on the weekend when Mrs. G walks with us.
Mildred is a good human for she is constantly looking out for one of the things Sparkle loves. Big bones. If I’ve heard Mildred discuss this once, I’ve heard her discuss it numerous times with the Geezer Gator. It’s, “I love big bones.” Or, “Know where a girl might find a big bone.” How about, “I’ll do anything for a big bone.” The Geezer always answers he doesn’t know where big bones are and that disappoints me. He gets really big ones at our grocery store. Personally, I think he shouldn’t be selfish. But, he is and doesn’t like to discuss it.
Just the other day, after a lengthy discussion between Mildred and the Geezer about bones, I asked, “Why don’t you give her a bone? You’ve got plenty.”
The Geezer looked embarrassed by his bone hoarding. He blushed and said, “Sandy, that’s something you just don’t do.”
“Geezer, I’m surprised. You always tell me you should be nice to the opposite sex.”
“I’m sure Mrs. Gator wouldn’t approve.”
I thought about that and Mrs. Gator’s obvious concern about Mildred’s possible gay feelings towards her. There was a logical solution, “Don’t tell her,” I suggested.
“Nope, Sandy, I don’t want to take the chance of having Mrs. Gator remove mine.”
I gave up. I started to tell the Geezer I never see him use it anyway, but… human’s, they’re strange, strange creatures.