The Rip Van Wrinkler,
XXII, Issue 4, November 2018


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From "A passo di cane"

My parents never wanted a dog.
"It's a good commitment", they said. This is the first thing that one thinks who doesn't have a dog.

Well, no. A dog is not a commitment.
Painting the shutters is a commitment.
Going to guitar class twice a week is a commitment.
Waking up at 7 to get on time at work is a commitment.

A dog is not a commitment, a dog is someone.
Someone who comes into your life and messes it up. But for some strange reason he also puts it in order.
Someone who has his demands, his preferences, his moments of joy and his mishaps.
Someone who gives you some of his time, but wants some of yours in return.

Relating always means giving up a piece of your freedom to make room for the other.
You have to wonder if that piece of space that's taken from you is ever worth more than that someone taking it's place.

Sally Wuornos

Funny thing that Zsa Zsa did during the trick dog evaluation: after she went thru the tunnel her 2 x, she jumped onto the tunnel and just stood there. So she got credit for that, for the all 4 feet onto something. She is such a ham!


Gilda, at her first ever Rally trial, last station, was Halt, Sit, Walk Around your Dog. A fly had been buzzing us throughout the course, and it landed on her back. She did a total 180 spin off of the ground, and landed in a sit. "Sit, Stay!" She qualified. Both times that day, at 7 months old. Judge said it was the most amusing "sit" she had ever seen.

Karen Christensen

My guys totally ignore the 8-foot-tall inflatable ghoul that rises from the neighbor’s yard, but Rose is spooked by a child-size ghost in tattered mossy gauze hanging from a low branch. Rip has attacked it twice, not sure if he hates it or wants to take it home to drag around the house like he does his blankie.

Michael J Primeau

A true African Bush Hound snuggles up in his beach towel in front of the campfire before the days hunt for steak and potato salad.

Lotta Olsson

Hio is a little bit scared off being out in the garden.. He overheard me saying that the squirrels are gathering nuts now in the fall.

Amalia Roma

It’s funny. One of my residents who is ortho said that Raven is perfect for a plastic surgeon because she’s symmetric. Meaning her forehead wrinkles. I had always loved her wrinkles but then started looking and yes. They are really symmetrical!!

L to R: Newton, Raven. Bella below.

Luisa Ghetti

Pollon reads the newspaper... Mom Nirvana will check to see if these readings are suitable for his age.

Debby Mayer & Sizzle

Sizzle: If I sit here long enugh, this fan will turn into a heater .......

Sizzle: Debby, are you sad? You look sad.

Debby: Sizzle, I ate my first apple of the season. I put the hanging plants into the compost. I stored my Panama hats, switched from percale to jersey sheets, and I'm wearing a turtleneck, for the next seven months. You'd be sad too, but you have a fur coat.

S: I like those jersey sheets.

Jackie Dering

Harley is either a magic dog or the queen of coincidences.

The bottom of my surgery foot has been bothering me. so I had a doctor appointment scheduled for yesterday, Friday, to get some suggestions from him before my trip to Italy. The day before the appointment on Thursday she comes up with a metatarsal pad that I lost about two years ago and gives it to me. It was just what the doctor went on to recommend. How does she do this stuff? Where the heck was it?

Luke being a perfect gentleman - waiting for Jackie and Harley.

S K-M I’ve had several dogs that “hid in the tall grass” on pavement, in plain sight. Trill was a riot. Gilda did this at the lure trial, waiting for Moot et al.

Noreen Bennett

Here is my big brag for the weekend...ready for it? I was at an agility trial and had to use the restroom and had Chapter with me. This particular site has regular stall restrooms but also has a single room that you can take the dog in with you. In we went, and Chapter started looking around and put her nose up to figure out what that the thing was on the wall. Well, it was a hand dryer -and yup, it was motion sensored. So when her nose went up, it turned on! VROOOM! air blowing out! She barely step back and it shut off just as quickly as it started. And that was that...she paid no attention to it. Good solid temperaments --priceless!

Sequel and Chapter.

Dotty Cohen passed at 90 years old on 15 October.

She was a founding member of our club. Dotty was a true basenji person, having ridiculously spoiled basenjis upwards of 50 years. She had her Brucie for over 15 years, and when he passed she got Apu Awfully Quiet (Fuff, or Fula) in 1982. Then she got Apu's Presumptuos Poet, and when they both passed at around 16 years each, even though she said no more dogs, we rescued a b/w from Georgia, her Jazzie. Jazzie lived a long and glorious life. Here's some words from Dotty:

We’ve had JJ for 4 years now; hard to believe. I still have your note titled “Safe at home in Brooklyn,” written after we rescued her. It really seems true that she looks at us, still, deeply, with her golden eyes, and lets me know she is thankful.

Have to tell you how she conned me into taking her back downstairs. We had come back up, after she had her walk, sat in the sun, and did her business. JJ just glared at me with her golden eyes, and would not let up. I thought she had a need to go, so back down we went. Nothing to it, she just wanted to go back out, and had to have HER way!

Thought you might like the hear what this little lady has been doing to make us smile and sometimes grin and bear it.

Lately she thinks that she's a mule (not a jackass, just a mule). I take her out for a walk several times a day and she has her spots all picked out for whatever time of day it is (morning means around the corner to watch the traffic on the highway and the boats on the water, afternoon means around the block or further and evening means going up to the corner to watch the cars going past). She doesn't vary at all. If it's raining, forget it. When it becomes absolutely necessary, she goes right in front of the door and pulls back immediately.

While Sam was away I tried to see what I could do to get her into a different routine. She comes up from her walk after watching the cars for a while and follows two commands (doesn't vary on that either). First, "go and take a drink" and immediately after "Jazzie, go Mommy bed, go sleep!" If I say go to bed and go to sleep, she doesn't move. Guess that's also "selective hearing".

P.S. She surprised both of when Sam came home from the nursing home. She didn't ignore him like she usually does when we come home from a trip. She actually walked right over to him and stayed by his side. Now she won't let him alone, but when she's on his bed with him, she won't go any further than near his thigh. Don't ask why, we can't figure it out, but she takes his robe and makes a pillow out of it. She just came running into the kitchen, smelled some soup and crackers (and had to have a little), but doesn't move a body to get it. Just waits!!

Sittin’ on the Corner…

Jazz likes to go out in the evening,  but where I live (Bay Ridge, Brooklyn) there is a lot of traffic at all times and so she walks up to the corner and just sits there to watch the cars go by.  She would sit there for a half hour if I would let her.  Does this every night ! Needless to say, she won't do this in the rain, just runs back to the house.

Sue: Thought that you would get a laugh out of this. For all the years that we have been living with these kids of ours, this one does some of the darndest things. I was sitting on the couch with my constant companion (Jazz, not Sam) and started playing with her front feet (hands to you) and she quietly hit me back.

Next thing I knew, she reared up on her little tush, straight up and kept hitting me with both feet and had me playing with her the same way like a kitten playing with a dangling string. Maybe you've seen this behavior before, but we never have, not in all the 35 years that we lived with these little people.

By the way, she still loves to sit on the corner and watch the ocean, especially when it's windy and she can watch the whitecaps. Still watches the cars along the Belt but doesn't like getting dressed to go out. (Maybe you can make some sense out of this---it's midnight and I'm going to bed!)

Love always, Dotty
{Ed. Love you forever, too}

^©2018, Linda Butterworth, "Pileated Woodpecker".

& Pi the Cat.