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Saturday, July 1, 2017

(3) I COULDN'T DO ANYTHING TO PLEASE THAT WOMAN.

August 3, 1965
Cohasset, Mass.
Diary entry by Miette                       
                                             
     I've been called a lot of names in my day (Termite, Mouse, Insect, Runt), but my master's mother has come up with a new one that everyone says suits me to a T: "Trouble."  I don't care what they call me as long as they don't call me late for Puppy Chow.  (Ha‑ha.)
     Whenever Mimi comes to visit us she brings this character, Mickey. Mickey is the most enormous toy poodle you even saw.  I mean, like five by five.  He has a flat face with one tooth sticking out.  I think it got that way from scraping the bottom of his dish.           
     I've heard my mistress say a hundred times that Mickey should go on a diet, so to do him a favor, I make a point of getting to his dish ahead of him.  He's a sly one though.  If I don't watch him every minute, he'll stroll over to my dinner and start in on that.  Naturally I can't tolerate such bad manners, so I give him the word out of the side of my mouth.  Believe me, he gets the message.
     We'd get along fine if his mistress wouldn't interfere, but Mimi has a way of peeking into the kitchen to make sure her precious isn't being starved to death.  When she sees me polishing off his dinner to save him from obesity, does she thank me?  No, she calls me Trouble.
     Never one to harbor grudges, I soon forgive and forget.  I figure if we can't keep Mickey on a diet, maybe we can trim a few pounds off with exercise and calisthenics.  So we go around the track a few times, starting at the front door, dashing through the living room, around the corner and down the hall, ending up in the dining room, chasing each other's tails around the table. When he gets winded, as he does rather quickly, I nip at his heels to encourage him.  After a while he flops down with his tongue hanging out and refuses to run another step.
    All right, I say reasonably, how about a wrestling match?   I'm pooped, he says, how about a nap?  Don't you want to be slim and full of pep like me, I say?  No, he says, closing his eyes.   To wake him up I start dragging him across the floor by his ear, but once again my good intentions are thwarted. 
     Instead of appreciating my efforts in his behalf, he practically snaps my head off.  Hearing the commotion, Mimi comes running to the rescue.  Not to mine, of course.  Ignoring the fact that my head is in Mickey's jaws, she cries, "Poor Mickey, is that naughty Trouble bothering you  again?  Well, I'll just bring her outside with me so you can have a nice, peaceful nap."
     So out we go. Mimi settles down on the terrace with a towel, a book and a glass of iced tea and tells me to behave myself.
     Well, I couldn't do anything to please that woman.  When some interlopers walked through our yard and down the path to the beach, I raced after them to tell them they were trespassing.   Mimi called me back, lectured me for barking at the Brewers, and asked me why I couldn't be a good, quiet dog like Mickey.                                        
     It makes me unhappy when I'm in the doghouse, so I was delighted when Mimi decided to overlook my past sins and play a game with me.  I had noticed she was getting sleepy because her head kept nodding and falling over to one side. I heard her say to herself, "Guess I'd better take my lowers out."  You can imagine my astonishment when she opened her mouth and removed the bottom half of her teeth.  I felt like Alice Through the Looking Glass.  What would she do next?  She started to put her teeth on the towel but then noticed I was watching her and wagging my tail to express my interest.
     "Oh‑oh," she muttered.  "Guess I'd better hide them."
     What fun, a game of hide and seek!  My master and mistress often hide my favorite toy under their pillow or inside the cabinet behind their bed, and what a good laugh we have when I find it almost immediately.
     I wagged my tail harder than ever as Mimi took one of her shoes, turned her back so I couldn't quite see what she was doing, then picked up the towel and carefully wrapped it around the shoe.
     Before long she was dozing.  Wasting no time I went straight to work on the towel, digging and pulling at it with my paws and teeth.  If only I’d been born with a thumb instead of a dewlap I could meet life's challenges more efficiently   Considering my limitations, I think I do fairly well.  In a few seconds I loosened the towel and retrieved the shoe.  I nosed around in the toe and sure enough, there were the lowers.
     I wish the family could have seen Mimi's expression when she opened one eye and saw me standing there with her teeth in my mouth.  I never saw anyone look so funny.  As I heard my master say later, "If only I'd been there with a camera, what a picture that would have made!"

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