The Prescott Dog: Hazel Howls
I’m just not myself today. Paddling around the house this morning, I’m finding myself enveloped in a restless funk.
I tried Mom’s office for a while. The window in her office is my front yard/main road big screen action channel. Frank the roadrunner crossing the yard, stops to click at me, but I don’t feel like answering back today. My muzzle barely over the love seat’s edge, I know he can’t see me. “Leave me a voicemail, Frank.”
The quail are preening and charging around like tough guys. Love must be in the air. Charlie the ‘spastic’ mourning dove zips sideways across the window, wildly flapping. My eyes barely follow his current missed approach. Even the single small feather that explodes past me doesn’t get a rise.
“Gosh, WHAT is wrong with me today?” I half slide, half jump from the love seat. “Guess I’ll go see what Tucker and Sora are doing.”
In the bedroom, Tucker is on his usual bed corner, and Sora, longer and leaner now, is stretched across the bench. I barely get a look from either of them. They both know it’s too early for a lunch alert.
Tucker is engrossed, again, in yet another tale about his Great Uncle Tuxedo Bond, Double Oh, Kay, Nine. (Tucker makes a point of saying this every time his uncle’s name is mentioned.) Sora is drinking in every detail of today’s yarn. Something about cold children lost in an Icelandic cave, and the evil Kat King who wants to “TAKE OVER THE WHOLE WORLD!”
“And don’t forget, Tucker, the evil Kat King wants all dogs shaved cleaned and moved to Baltimore in the dead of winter!”
Tucker shoots me The Look. Sora just yawns her disapproval at my interruption. I faintly hear Sora ask, “What’s a Baltimore?” as I head into the kitchen to do my search for dropped scraps of two-legged food. I wonder if the evil Kat King can invent a machine to increase the gravity in the kitchen.
I know Mom and Dad were both in here rummaging, but there’s not a single crumb anywhere. For some reason, this increases my doldrums. It’s beginning to feel like a tangible weight.
Well, let’s give the back glass door a try. Wide screen, HDTV nature channel. The sun will be around the big pine tree soon. Maybe some sun time will cheer me up.
I hear Dad working his way into the kitchen, but by the pace of his arrival I know it’s not a food moment. He must be working on something. A metallic scratching noise above my head makes Dad stop and look up at the ceiling.
“It’s Frank,” he says. “Good, I need to talk to him.”
I get back up on all fours reluctantly to let Dad by me. He rolls the glass door open slowly. Frank, above the door, is pacing back and forth on the metal gutter edge.
“Remember our talk last spring, Frank?”
Frank pretends to ignore Dad and tenses his body like he’s about to swoop off any second. Dad, undeterred, continues.
“Remember, Frank: leave the lizards alone back here, and no wild kingdom events involving small birds in front of the wife.”
Frank lowers his head over the gutter to look directly at me and “clicks” at me.
“Yes, of course,” Dad answers, “The dogs will not chase you. Snakes are your call, Frank.”
I get “clicked” at again for good measure.
Frank runs, and with short flaps sets a glide path to the neighbor’s fence. Dad rolls the door shut and turns to go. Doesn’t pat me, talk to me, nothing. What’s a philosopher girl gotta do to get a break around here? I should have had Dad read psychology books to me on the road. Then I’d know how to snap out of this gloomy mood.
“OK, Hazel, think of some good things. C’mon girl.”
I decide to count my blessings out loud, as we tend to believe ourselves before anyone else.
“Let’s see, we’re all healthy, food is good, treats occasionally, peaceful nights, breakfast is early most mornings, Mom and Dad are good to us. Woofstock is coming soon...lots of dogs get a homeward-bound ticket there.”
I started to chuckle on the last one. I remember Mom and Dad getting ready for their first Woofstock after Mom got the magazine. They were like headless chickens on some days. I thought they might have hydrophobia, but they never started foaming around the mouth.
Well, that little laugh made me feel a bit better. No action at the backyard. Think I’ll do rounds.
Mom’s in her office, multi-tasking at her computer screen and her carry-around screen. Tucker and Sora are sound asleep. Between you and me, Tucker’s stories put me to sleep faster than a metal folding chair at a wrestling event.
Where’s Dad? I continue down the hall to his office. He’s sitting on the floor with a bunch of papers. I lay down across a third of them. For some reason that makes me feel a little bit better. It feels like I’m climbing out of my funk by degrees.
Instead of fumbling to get his papers, Dad turns around on the floor and lays his head lightly across what he calls my brisket. Usually he says something about being “thick in the brisket,” but lately I’ve trimmed up a bit. Dad, well, not so much.
While I’m glowing a bit with the attention Dad is giving me, he starts telling me how much better I look, and that I am getting a quite a regal look about me. He goes on to tell me he is very thankful for my help and patience with Tucker and the puppies we’ve fostered.
Now that’s just what the doctor ordered! I feel like I just stepped into the sunlight from a dark tunnel. Before I can bask any longer in my new-found contentment, Dad jumps up and announces, “LUNCHTIME, kids!”
Mad dash down the hall.
I think after lunch I’ll tell Sora how beautiful and smart she is. Then I’ll ask Tucker to tell me a story. Maybe I could tell him he’s got a talent for story-telling. Let’s see if contentment is contagious.
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