The Prescott Dog: Hazel Howls

Hazel Howls  Editorial

Hazel Howls

Trotting down the hall, making a beeline to the master bedroom, Hazel completely ignores Tucker’s presence already curled up on the corner at the foot of the bed. On most occasions, the proper protocol works as follows; If Tucker is on the bed first, Hazel is to approach the bench at the foot of the bed. Stop. Scan the bedspread. Glance at Tucker, and be alert for a disapproving look. That particular look, when it is displayed, is roughly translated, “...not a chance Hazel, find somewhere else.”

Today, Hazel completely ignores Tucker, skips leaping on to the bench first, and instead, launches over the side opposite Tucker. Upon landing, Hazel turns one circle just below the pillows and plops down facing towards Tucker, who, at the foot of the bed, has to crane his neck to address Hazel behind him.

Tucker: “Everything all right Haze?”

Hazel: “I think I have a brain cramp.”

Tucker: “Ah...another normal day.”

Hazel: “Is everything funny to you?”

Tucker: “Pretty much, yes.”

Tucker lowers his head to re-establish his circle of warmth. The weather has changed, and the bedroom is much cooler this afternoon. 

Tucker: “So Haze...tell me about this brain cramp of yours.”

Hazel: “It was my fault. I just made the mistake of asking Dad what post-modernism is. I had no idea how long that answer was going to be. I couldn’t keep up. What little I could grasp just made me depressed.”

Tucker: “Hmm...delving into the foibles of the two-legged world. Still trying to earn that philosopher’s merit badge eh?”

Hazel: “You know, Tuck, you should take your material on the road. Do a comedy tour.”

Tucker: “It’s the arid climate, it makes my humor dry.”

Hazel: “You’re not really helping my brain cramp....”

Tucker: “Ok, ok Hazel, cool your haunches. What is bothering you the most?”

Hazel: “I’m just amazed at how far some service-humans will go to not have fun. They just seem to find or create ways to be miserable. I really like some of the philosophers...especially a couple of the more ‘snarky’ ones. 

Tucker: “Like me.”

Hazel: “Exactly. Well, wait, no, that’s not my point...”

Tucker: “By all means, point away.”

Hazel: “So, even my favorite thinkers seem to wander, places that seem dark and hopeless. I don’t know, Tuck. It makes me wonder if they’ve ever played ball, chased a rabbit, or even been around our kind.”

Hazel curls herself tighter, pushing her back up against the pillows. Tucker’s eyes are slowly closing...for the moment.

Hazel: “Do you have a philosophy Tuck?” 

Tucker: “Aside from getting proper sleep?”

Hazel: “Yes, Tuck. Aside from your ‘beauty rest.’

Tucker: “Hope. My philosophy is hope.”

Hazel: (with a slight snort) “That’s not a philosophy...”

Tucker: “Maybe. But it’s the lens that I look at life with. Let me give you an example. When dad gathers his keys and coffee to head out to the truck, I stay alert and hopeful. Even if he doesn’t get the leashes and harnesses, I stay near and ready to go at any second. If he leaves without us, I wait for his return in the hope he will come through the door and call our names to go for a ride, or to school. You, on the other hand, lay on the couch with big wet ‘doe eyes’ and look pitiful. Just playing on dad’s sympathy. I prefer the energy of looking at life through the lens of hope. Even if dad returns and doesn’t take us in the truck, I forgive him, love up on him, and place my hope on going for a ride tomorrow.”

Hazel: “I don’t look pitiful...when dad...”

Tucker: “Sometimes your anxiousness is so over the top, it makes me anxious. So if you don’t like the word pitiful, try this on for size -- distressed, with a dash of spastic.”

Hazel: “You really know how to flatter a girl.”

Tucker: “Look at it this way, Hazel. Between the two of us, which behavior takes the least out of us and those around us? You should take some of your philosophy and your search for truth and use it as a lens to look through. Try applying some of what you’re learning, instead of just thinking about it.”

Hazel: “I think my brain cramp just got worse. Oh, my head...”

Tucker: (sigh) “OK, let me help you. What’s your favorite Christmas song?”

Hazel: “What? Why? What’s that got to do with anything?”

Tucker: “I’m asking for a reason. What’s your favorite Christmas song?”

Hazel: “Uh, I guess it would be ‘Howly Jowly Christmas.’ Why?”

Tucker: “It’s Holly Jolly, not Howly Jowly.

Hazel: “Holly Jolly!? Holly Jolly? What is that supposed to mean? Now the song makes no sense to me. I just thought the guy singing had an accent. You just ruined the song for me.”

Tucker: “Let’s try again. What’s another of your favorite songs?”

Hazel: “Um...that God Rest Ye something something song. I like the nothing dismay part. Oh, and the melody. It also has a good tail wagging rhythm.” 

Tucker: “Let me get this straight. The dog that is most often dismayed likes the line about not being dismayed. You are one strange girl. I can see why your brain is prone to cramps.”

Hazel; “I know, weird huh? So Tuck...what’s your favorite Christmas song?”

Tucker: “Well, for me, it’s a toss up between ‘Silent Night’ and ‘Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree’.”

Hazel: “You’re funny Tuck. A real jerk sometimes, but funny. Oh wait, Tuck! I just remembered! My birthday is two days after Christmas. I got an awesome chew toy last year. I wonder what I’ll get this year. I can’t long is it till the holidays Tuck?”

Tucker: “Just around the corner Haze.”

Hazel: “I’m so excited. I hope I dream about it this afternoon. I forgot how awesome the holidays are around here. Dad singing, mom decorating, the holiday food scents, the colors, and family visits. And, my birthday tops it all off.”

Tucker: “’s that brain cramp of yours?”

Hazel: “It’s gone buddy. It’s long gone.”

Tucker: “Not surprised. Funny how hope will do that most times.”

Hazel: “...what?”

Tucker re-tightens his circle and slowly closes his eyes.


Hazel Howls

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P.O. Box 11868

Prescott, Arizona 86304