The Prescott Dog: Hazel Howls
L. E. Nor Rigg Bear, leaps to the spine of the couch and taunts with the ball she just stole;
This never gets old...
Hazel starts barking, mom stops the chaos as L. E. is placed on the ground;
End of that round...
“All the bitey puppies, where do they all come from?
All the bitey puppies, where do they all belong?”
Tucker was trying to remember the second verse to the song he heard Dad sing to L. E. Bear during her last bath. “Bath” is known as “scrubbies” in four-legged talk. Try as he might, he couldn’t remember the words to his favorite verse. Tucker liked that one best because it had his name in it, and it was filled with a lot of exhilaration and high-powered dog fun. In fact, it was so exciting he would stop listening to the words and start wagging and spinning at the very picture of it.
Reluctantly, he rose up and headed down the hall to ask Hazel if she remembered.
Asking Hazel a question usually went one of two ways. Either she would begin pontificating at length trying to imitate Dad’s “wordiness,” or she would answer with a nonsensical response just to be snarky.
As Tucker approached the doorway to Dad’s studio, he sighed and just laid down. He wasn’t going to get an answer any time soon. Hazel and Dad were engaged with some project, and it had their full attention. Even though Tucker had rank and felt that his main job was to keep order in the household, he understood that good leadership required knowing when to wait patiently.
Hazel was up in Dad’s lap in the big plush chair, and they were both staring at a laptop on the roll-away table.
“Do you have to be up here Hazel?” Dad asked.
“I want to make sure the spell-checkmate is turned on, and I like to watch your fingers...they move like small wounded, confused prey.”
Dad shifted his weight a bit, shaking his head. “Just start dictating, Hazel. I’m not sure I even want to do this.”
In her most serious manner, Hazel began like this;
It has come to my attention as of late, that a serious crime against all that is good is being perpetrated across this great country of ours. The details of this particular form of lawlessness are almost too evil to be spoken aloud, yet I will persevere in relating them to you in the hope that action will be taken swiftly, and those responsible will meet justice so severe as to prohibit such scandalous events from repeating in the generations to follow.
There is no doubt, sir, that you have heard of a semi-food substance known as the dill pickle. Although I myself find this particular item heinous in taste and aroma, I will allow that some find themselves under its power and cannot resist ingesting them. However, horrible as that seems to sensible people, (and dogs of course), I understand it is a victimless crime and should be allowed to be available for those who cannot help themselves.
My objection, and I shudder to say this, sir, is there are reprobate citizens of this fair country who are conspiring to manufacture and sell to the unsuspecting public dill pickles whose appearance is purposely disguised and bottled. Yes, it’s true sir, chopped into tiny little bits to hide their true origins.
Now you see the gravity of this dilemma. Imagine the horror of scooping up the last bite of a hot dog dropped by a toddler, only to find it had been slathered with this insidious substance.
Now that you are aware of this dire situation, I believe you and your colleagues will move quickly to pass legislation to protect the unsuspecting public.
Hazel Bazel Rocket Dog”
Tucker couldn’t resist a muffled snort that in two-legged language could be interpreted as ‘...give me a break!’ To his mind, you work your way around any unpleasantness, not whine and write letters.
Dad and Hazel sensed Tucker’s restlessness coming from the doorway and looked around the laptop. Hazel looked back at Dad.
“Was that OK, Dad? Do you think they’ll understand?”
Dad looked away from Hazel to keep from chuckling and to grab the pre-addressed envelope and the letter off the printer.
“You did fine, Hazel.”
She watched Dad fold and put the letter in the envelope. Hazel sniffed at the envelope.
“Hey, where’s the return address label, Dad?”
Dad looked at Tucker while answering, pleading with Tucker with his eyes not to give him away.
“Well, Hazel, I’ve heard that the letter will get there quicker without the extra weight.”
Tucker broke away from Dad’s gaze so as not to snort again. Hazel stood up in Dad’s lap, wagging.
“That’s awesome, Dad. You’re so smart. Thanks for your help on this!”
A bit of red shame washed over Dad’s face for a moment.
“No problem Hazel, you did most of the work.”
Hazel jumped down as Tucker and Dad stood up and stretched. Heading down the hallway Tucker whispered his question to Hazel.
Elle, having been sound asleep on the red couch in Mom’s office, suddenly woke and realized the grownup dogs were on the move, and she needed to be there.
Leaping four puppy lengths across the office carpet, she came careening around the corner and plowed into Hazel’s side as Tucker was waiting for an answer to his question. Moments like this are hard to describe as there are so many moving parts.
Dad herded the chaos of paws, fur, and dander towards the back door in the hopes that everyone could burn off their energy outside.
Dad had overheard Tucker’s question and while the four-leggeds were trying to vie for first position at the sliding door, he scooped up the squeaky tug of war toy and Hazel’s oversize tennis ball, hiding them behind his back. Hazel and Elle went in different directions to wee. Tucker threw himself down on the ground, thoroughly out of patience, and sour. One simple question, and he still didn’t have an answer.
Dad brought the toys into view.
“Hey Tuck...why sing a song, when you can live it?” Toys flew in opposite directions, and the sound of fun expressed itself in that corner of the neighborhood.
The verse was remembered. And on that late winter breezy day, somehow it felt like spring.
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