Fire Cloud...
An irregular marking on the exterior of Native American pottery: usually resulting from burning fuel coming in direct contact with the vessel during firing

Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Why I Don't Want Another Dog

Horseheads, New York

Strangely, Horseheads has better shopping than Ithaca. We go to the mall there and have lunch in Olive Gardens.

In 1939, my father got drunk and drove to Horseheads to see the embalmed body of an itinerant they called "Bill Bailey". Bill was on display behind a plate glass window as an example of the funeral homes art. One thing led to another and my father pushed his friend though the window leading to hefty fines for disturbing the peace.

My father, a WWII vet, always liked to brawl in bars on Friday night. It was just a form of entertainment for him. He really liked the Deep South bar in Tampa. Often he would call out two or three adversaries at the same time. The worst that ever happened to him was gravel burns on his face from the parking lot. When he was around my age a young man took out a chunk of his scalp with a tire iron and ran for his life.

This is a picture of Nigel, a really intelligent Portuguese Water Dog. He has a working vocabulary of over 327 English words. When we visited Nigel in Maine he would bring the Sports Page of the newspaper down to our RV in the morning and sit patiently until I went outside to get it. I would ask him for the front page and he would look at me dismissively and offer his ears to be scratched.

Many people who live in RVs have little yappy dogs. .. But there are reasons I don't want another dog, no matter how wonderful and intelligent dogs like Nigel can be:
  1. When we want to go to China or some other exotic place for a month, I never liked trying to find a dog sitter. Finding a sitter would be even more difficult now that we live in an RV with no fixed base of operation.
  2. In an RV you have to follow your dog around with a plastic bag and pick up the steaming shit.
  3. I hate learning to love a dog for 15 years and then taking it to a vet for a mercy killing as a result of old age. It's nice for the dog and something humans should be able to avail themselves of. On the other hand, this reason is losing cogency because it's now a toss up whether a new dog's life expectancy will exceed our own or not.


  1. Your father asked DeCart if he would like a drink in a bar one night? The famous Philosopher responded that he did not think so. Poof, the famous Philosopher disappeared in a puff of smoke.

  2. You mean René Descartes and his "I think, therefore I am" statement

    ("Cogito ergo sum" (French: Je pense, donc je suis)

    Actually, my father would have said, "How would you like a fat lip, intellectual sucker...then you know for sure you are!"