The Prescott Dog Magazine

Hazel Howls  Editorial

Hazel Howls

I am at my morning station. Nose at the sliding glass panel door. Chin on the carpet. Eyes level with my ‘high definition’ view of the backyard. My upright and fully directional ears are scanning the area behind me, tracking the movements of those who can open the door. 

I hear Dad amble into the kitchen. He pours a full cup of coffee which means he’s not going outside at the moment. Half cups are for musings outside. Full cups are for facing indoor tasks at hand, or reading the news off the small screen. 

No time to be disappointed. I shall remain focused. 

Dad makes his way over and sits down next to me on the carpet. This is new.

As he sips his steaming ‘brain activation elixir,’ it dawns on me we are about to have a ‘talk.’ 

A tiny wedge of disappointment makes it way past my focus. I raise my head to face dad. With my ears drooping back halfway, I give him my most sincere wet-eyed, ‘Do we have to do this now?’ look. 

No luck there.

“So, uh, some people are asking about this ‘philosopher dog’ thing you’ve been mentioning.” 

He sets his cup down while I try desperately to divide my attention between Dad and any impending action on the patio. 

He continues. “You know, most of philosophy rests on facts, evidence, and reason.” 

At this point I am failing to stay engaged with either the patio or whatever Dad is droning on about. 

“Some might be offended at, well, you know, a mere canine spouting off on issues of truth or ethics. That’s not a reflection on how I feel about it, mind you.” 

Dad shifted his ’not so limber anymore’ weight, probably realizing that sitting on the floor was going to cost him on the way back up to his two-legged stance.

Now I suppose I could make a few comments on ‘mere humans,’ or who around here does the most ‘spouting off.’  Instead I will make use of my better angels and see if I can deftly end this conversation and get back to more important matters at hand.

I raise my head up a bit more and point my ears directly up at Dad. “How about if I’m just a dog that waxes philosophic at times, like you think you wax poetic on occasion?” 

As usual, Dad completely misses my sarcasm. “You know, I like the sound of that. I think that’ll work.” 

Dad’s now trying to figure out how to unfold himself with the least amount of discomfort.

I continue. “No sense in telling the public that my doctoral thesis is based on facts and evidence – the reason why, when certain humans talk, they sound like a trombone with the business end of a toilet plunger stuck in it.” 

Oops. Did I just say that out loud? No matter, Dad didn’t hear me. 

He’s mostly upright now, staring out the door. My eyes follow his. 

At last! There he is, just five feet away on the other side of the door. 

Dad slowly moves his hand towards the latch. 

“No, wait dad, not yet.” 

He hesitates as my elusive quarry begins his attempt at intimidation. 

I whisper, “He thinks the push-ups scare me.” 

When the calisthenics pause, I snap a look up, and Dad releases the latch. 

After the blur of intense action, I check every inch of the woodpile where the lizard disappeared. 

Dad sips his coffee while standing at the door. “So what would a philosopher dog say now?”

Still inspecting the woodpile I retort, “Sometimes life can be boiled down to a game of inches. Or quarter-seconds.” 



Hazel Howls

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P.O. Box 11868

Prescott, Arizona 86304