Monday, March 11, 2013


It snowed on Thursday evening, but thankfully by Saturday it had warmed up to spring-like weather.  Good thing since I have been stripped of my coat ( and my lovely patina with it).
Of most interest this week: the human debate over the proper definition and use of the word "catawampus." Annemarie used the word casually Friday evening as we were leaving the barn.  It came up again Saturday night while the humans were out together at the Lamplighter.  Sadly I am not allowed in restaurants, so I had to gather the information from Leah.  But she came home telling me what a cute little "cattywampus" terrier I am, and I knew it had obviously been discussed at length.  Upon reading her text messages later on ( I always check her phone when she is not looking, and I can reach it easily from the bed where she leaves it charging overnight.), I now feel the need to set the record straight.  
According to humans believe the definition of "Catawampus" to be:
an Adjective meaning
1. askew, or awry
2. positioned diagonally or cater-cornered
It is common in Southern and mid-Western American speech.

Humans may choose to use it this way, though I don't understand why.  I know exactly what a Catawampus is, and I know that there happens to be one living above the utility sink in the barn.  It is a pretty standard specimen.  Though, it is quite morbidly obese.  Leah refers to it as "Marbles."  It seems too fat to be any real threat to anyone, but I keep a close watch as everyone knows that Catawampi are closely related to dragons.  Though they devolved away from the ability to fly and breath fire many epochs ago, they are still able to make themselves invisible.  Perhaps the best known Catawampus of all time is the infamous Chesire Cat.  This Marbles disguises itself as a cat also.  They can be very dangerous and are known to cause stark-raving-madness in other animals.  Marbles is certainly too fat and lazy to do much of anything other than sleep these days.  
At any rate, you may imagine my relief upon reading Leah's texts and discovering that her father had quite correctly defined "Catawampus."  
So as Dr. Epstein indicated, the Catawampus is:
"Directly inferior to the cloacal fenestration of the New Caledonian subspecies of Platypus is the syndochian nodule commonly called a catawampus ( plural catawampusses, not catawampi)."
Thank you Grandfather.  This is in fact the correct definition of the Catawampus.  They are associated with platypi because they do lay eggs.  However, I must correct Dr. Epstein, because the correct plural is Catawampi. 
But enough of all that.  For all I know Nessarose might be a Catawampus.
If anyone else would like to share a definition of Catawampus, I welcome all attempts ( though of course mine is the only correct one, and should you submit a definition worthy of inclusion in one of my esteemed posts, prepare to have it thoroughly ridiculed!)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


This constitutes abuse.  AND YOU ALL KNOW IT. 


In case it is not fundamentally obvious to everyone reading....

I have been bathed.  And subsequently shaved to look like a puffy, chubby Affenpinscher.  I should not resemble this dog nearly as much as I now do.
Random Affenpinscher

Monday, March 4, 2013

Where to begin?  Things have been bustling these past two weeks and there has been no time to write.  This was further complicated by my minor foot injury which has Leah in a paranoid state of distress. I am perfectly capable of nursing my wound myself with frequent licking.... But Leah insists on constantly examining it.  She feels it has gotten quite worse since she first noticed it at the time of my last post.  Of course it 'tis but a scratch.  Nevertheless she and her friend June pinned me down Saturday evening to poke and prod at it.  They then rubbed ointment into the puncture and wrapped and bandaged it ( excessively I might add) with gauze and tape.  I promptly removed all these things while they were out to dinner and cleaned the hole thoroughly with my tongue.  The rest of the weekend involved phone calls to Grandma and other friends about taking me to the vet on Monday morning.  Having overheard these discussions I licked my wound vigorously Sunday into Monday and luckily it had shown great improvement this morning.  Upon this mornings examination,  Leah showed a great deal of indecision about the trip to the vet. She photographed my foot repeatedly.  Spent many minutes on the phone with her friend Amy ( a vet) and today put me through the horror of soaking my foot in an epsom salt bath....but no trip to the vet.  Dodged a bullet on that one.
Last week was just one constant state of upheaval.  The old farm house we live in was having some repairs.  On Monday morning a group of men in work boots came in and tore down the living room ceiling.  While debris was raining down from above the farm workers also came in to carry out piles of junk and garbage that past employees have left here, as well as the debris from the ceiling.  This involved a lot of clunking around and the nerve-wracking uncertainty that something might be dropped on my head at any moment.  I therefore spent most of last Monday hiding securely under the bench in the kitchen.  An excellent makeshift bunker from which to observe the goings on but at least have some overhead protection.  Nessarose was so upset she ate two more pairs of Leah's panties.
Thankfully Leah had the good sense to move us out of the house for the rest of the week as the construction continued. We moved in just a couple of miles down the road to her friend Annemarie's.  Annemarie had gone to another planet for work, and we were in charge of the house, the property, and the two dogs and cats.  Nessarose and I are not allowed to meet the cats.  They are confined to a potting shed. Leah forbade us from going inside, insisting that we might disrupt the peaceful calm of the kitty nest. I just wanted to sample the cat poo from the litterbox, but never had the opportunity.
Annemarie's house is a cozy 2 bedroom kind of bungalow on about two acres.  It is nestled against the creek in the bottom of a  kind of gorge.  The lot is wooded and peaceful.  Of course two acres is large enough and I take our responsibilties VERY seriously.  Leah doesn't let us out for long periods of time, so I have to do my best when I am free to mark the territory well (to discourage bears and dragons of course).  She never gives me adequate time to inspect the whole site, and I fear I neglected the corner nearest the head of the driveway, since Leah is constantly calling me back to her whenever I head near the road.  I would ignore her but she has been carrying "canine carry-out" treats in her pockets and coming to call has had its rewards of late!
The house is much easier to patrol, and it has large windows all around which enable me to keep an eye on the outside simultaneously.  I was quite pleased to arrive and find that Annemarie had left me my own water bowl.  She had converted a large mixing bowl into a water dish and labeled it: Man Dog Water Bowl.  Clearly this was for me, since I am the only Man Dog.  Annemarie is owned by two miniature dachsunds, Miranda and Charlotte, or Mimi and CC. They are girls like Nessarose. I was relieved to find my own water dish since I prefer not to share with the females.  Although as the week went on I caught all of them at my bowl at one time or another. The dachsunds have no hair or fur so they are ALWAYS cold.  This is the main reason our walks are so short.  They are so cold they use all their pee at once, and have no interest in marking the property.  All the more reason I need to do my own due diligence.  Clearly Annemarie understands the problem having left me such a large supply of water to convert for marking.  How else can we keep the bears and dragons away?  ( Excellent thinking Annemarie!)
We spend most of our time in the bungalow in the master bedroom.  There is a giant bed. Plenty of room for 3 dogs and Leah (Mimi and CC are so small they only count as one full dog, hence...3 dogs.)  The TV is in the bedroom, so Leah tends to eat in bed. Nessarose and I are fed in the laundry room.  This is because the small weiner dogs are so voracious they might try to fight us for our food, and Leah says they are too tiny for that.  I think it is because she feeds them more meat in their kibble than we get in ours, but I hadn't enough time to prove this.
As I mentioned the bed is enormous! I like to stretch out on the other pillow, although the first two nights I somehow wriggled in my sleep between the mattress and the wall and became lodged there.  I had to be helped out in the middle of the night, it was really quite the embarrassment.  Of course I had to sleep so close to the wall because of the weiners.  As I mentioned they are always cold so they burrow beneath the covers like plump worms. And I do mean they burrow....they wriggle and burrow and squirm around.  I am a terrier lest we forget, and I have to quell centuries of refined high-bred instincts to keep from "going to ground" after them.  Sometimes I grumble just to let them know.  The whole thing makes me uncomfortable.  Anyone who is familiar with the movie "Dune" should understand.  But, the weiner dogs have never emerged from the blankets with their jaws gaping and teeth bared so I suppose they are not as dangerous as the Dune worms. Though a proper man-dog can never be too careful.
Rumor has it I'm getting a haircut on Wednesday.  I hope they leave me some cover for warmth.  This means I am probably having a bath as well.  So much for my lovely patina....