Alice photos


Yesterday, we had to have Alice put down. Dr. Neal Rose of Broad Street Veterinary Hospital, who has cared for her all her life, came to the house. His kindness and sensitivity were a great comfort. Her sufferings from progressive arthritis had become unbearable. I raised her from a puppy of five weeks, and I loved her with all my heart. She was a loving, playful, highly intelligent dog without a mean bone in her body. In the quarter of my life I’ve spent with her, I learned a good deal more from her than she ever learned from me. In her memory, I offer this song I wrote for her some years ago in her more active days. The black chow in the second verse was a neighborhood dog who was a favorite of hers. Alice always had a thing for chows.

Bag of Food

Bag of food, bag of food
Daddy’s gonna buy me a bag of food.
I like the munch, I like the crunch,
Like it for breakfast, and I like it for lunch
Damn, you know, that stuff it sure tastes good.
There ain’t nothin’ better than a bag of food.
Bag of food, bag of food,
Daddy’s gonna buy me a bag of food.

Black chow, black chow
Ooh, I like him, and how.
Walks himself, don’t wear no leash.
He’s always somewhere The Man can’t reach.
Ooh I’d like to love him, but I don’t know how.
Ooh I’d like to love him—black chow.
Bag of food, bag of food
Daddy’s gonna buy me a bag of food.

Frisbee flies, so do I—
Gonna get to heaven before I die.
What’s that there, up in the sky?
Ain’t no eagle: it is I.
When the frisbee’s whirling I’m a blur,
Soaring though the heavens like a bird with fur.
Bag of food, bag of food
Daddy’s gonna buy me a bag of food.

Going to the river, gonna jump right in,
Throw me a stick, and I’ll do it again.
Wade in the water just as far as I can:
Sure I can swim, but it’s not my plan.
Jumping rock to rock just like a frog,
That’s why they call me river dog.
Bag of food, bag of food
Daddy’s gonna buy me a bag of food.

Under the table, under the bed
Don’t need no pillow under my head.
While I’m waiting, might as well sleep,
Dream I’m barking, dream I leap
Over the rainbow where squirrels run slow
And there’s a bag of food wherever I go.
Bag of food, bag of food
Daddy’s gonna buy me a bag of food.

I like the munch, I like the crunch,
Like it for breakfast, and I like it for lunch
Damn, you know, that stuff it sure tastes good.
There ain’t nothin’ better than a bag of food.

Alice ages relentlessly, and she doesn’t have much energy, but she still enjoys her bath. Here’s her very first bath and her most recent. The latter was taken at Critter Town Bathhouse, one of Alice’s favorite destinations. She recommends the aloe shampoo.

That was the CNN opinion question this morning, and I was surprised to find myself in a 25% minority who said no. I rather enjoyed the holidays. Maybe this is because we didn’t go to any malls or travel or do much of anything but visit with friends and go for a few hikes. We especially enjoyed an 8-mile out and back at Dutch Gap, even if there is a power plant from Hell there. Alice and Sharky were unavailable for comment, but as you can see they had quite the fun New Year’s Eve.

Imagine my surprise to learn that Time Magazine, that stalwart companion in doctor’s offices and checkout lines has named me Person of the Year. They’ve named Alice too. They’ve named anyone, apparently, who’ll see the cover of their magazine or go to their website. Are they stealing Stephen Colbert’s material? I tell you, friends, it’s getting harder and harder to write satire.

Alice upon learning she’s been named Person of the Year:

Sarah, too, is right proud:

Alice might be old, but she still managed to save Sarah and me from a ravaging denizen of the deep. She’s mostly recovered from the battle, having managed to elude those vicious felt teeth.