A summer breeze rustles tree leaves, scattering shadows across the hardwood floor——invisibly billowing the curtains, bringing with it a breath of summer that’s scented with lilacs. It feels good to be here alone in the quiet of my garden. My cat meow’s at me and rubs up against my legs. Dogs are loyal, but they require praise, attention and reassurance ———-Cat’s don’t give a shit about all that, they don’t need a fucking thing from anybody. They’re contented living in a world of their own making. Their ferrel nature will never allow them to be domesticated, as proof of that, I have scratch marks up and down my forearms. That little vixen means business; she’s her own cat. There are indulgent dog owners and then there’s placating lovers of cats. You can own a dog, but a cat owns you.

I don’t feel close to anyone except for my lazy ass cat. Something in her eyes lets me know, that she knows, that I know, what she knows. We agree that dogs foolishly allow themselves to be leashed, cats say “fuck that”. 

Nature really doesn’t give a shit about what happens to us. A meteorite could vaporize earth and the sun would still display beautiful sunsets and brilliant sunrises, for no one. But in spite of such pending calamities, we’re expected to carry on.

None of that bullshit upsets my cats afternoon naps——-she’ll dream up her own worlds. 

There’s a change of season in the air. The scent of rain spattered pavement rides a breeze into my garden. The pitter patter of the raindrops begins their crescendo as thunder crackles in the distant gray skies. A storm is moving towards me, inside me. I should follow my cat into the protection of the house, but I just sit here. I mumble to myself, “Bring it on——— mother nature”.

People come into your life with good intentions, then they leave without warning——offering up phony whispered apologies——saying their goodbyes as if all the good-times were always intended to be temporary. I’ve learned that love is transcendental, truth malleable, life existential, but none the less, we’re all fucked in the end, because nothing makes any sense what so ever, everything is out of our control and no one knows how much time they have left. Getting old is cruel, but it’s second to its alternative. 

When the world becomes too terrible, dreadful and unbearable the crazed ones create their own worlds. Some may say, they do this to hide away in their make believe world —— Creativity is born from the horrors of a cruel world. And my God, this world can be oh so cruel. 

Why Old Dogs Learn New Tricks



Soundtrack by Paul McCrane from the movie Fame.

In my humblest attempts to write something that sounds Twain-ish, I came up with the following.

“If you wanna know a man, meet his dog first.”  You can unpack that quote several ways, but I’ll leave it up to you to deconstruct as you see fit.


For Chasey——-my Pal….

I don’t walk my dog, he walks with me. We go to fun places together, not stores, restaurants and malls, I think that’s stupid and weird.  That’s as absurd as taking a cat to church.  Cats don’t believe in god, they think they are god.

We prefer walks around our neighborhood or hikes in the woods.  Being a Lab, he loves his swims down by the lake.  He tips the scale at over a hundred pounds.  That’s twenty pounds of sweetness, thirty pounds of slobber and fur and fifty pound of love.  He shakes his wet coat all over me, drools water across my freshly shined hardwood floors and steps on my bare feet with his heavy sharp paws—–Ouch!!!—–If he wasn’t so damn cute he’d get a lot more scoldings.

There’s a quiet calm about him.  He’s at peace with himself and the world, minus the mailman, garbageman and the neighbor’s cat.  The cat sits smugly behind her window as Chase is pulled back to his yard by his collar. I’ve never been at peace with myself, the world, or anybody or anything. I’m more the restless type who’s easily tangled up in my own expectations.  I anxiously cling to desired outcomes that are out of my control. He stares up at me with his eyes that seem to say “Don’t worry bro, it’s all good man, everything is as it should be”.  Chase is Zen; he’s simple, honest, loyal, kind and empathetic——-he expects nothing. He lives in the moment, joyfully running in circles, never mired in selfish conclustions. He doesn’t even care when he misplaces his favorite tennis ball.  He naps when he’s tired, eats when he’s hungry and walks around with a big contented Zen smile on his doggie face.  In his serene mind he wags his tail in time to “Three Little Birds” by Bob Marley.

He doesn’t much care for fighting, but if provoked he can be vicious——-he has a highly developed “bullshit detector”. Lying and cheating must give off a subtle scent, because his keen sense of smell can detect those qualities from miles away. His intense listening skills alert him when someones words don’t match their voice inflection. He’ll piss on the lawns of those who are deserving of his mark….

People fall out of love.  They change, they lose touch, they move on,  They’ll selfishly take more than they give, until one day they wake up and  find themselves friendless and loveless. Little by little they wear out others with their chafing annoyances. I think you know what I mean, like the petty cruelty of repeatedly leaving the cap off the proverbial tube of toothpaste. It becomes a process of slowly wringing out their partners patience like a stiff old dish rag until they’ve squeezed out every last drop of civility. All that remains is bitterness and lawyer fee’s.

Dogs don’t know how to keep score. They only have two emotions, love and forgiveness. Unlike humans, dogs make great listeners.  Most folks don’t listen, they just yammer on with all the eloquence and articulation of a squawking Stellar Jay…….Chase cocks his head sideways, props up his floppy ears and offers up a sigh of acknowledgment.

There’s a fine line between love and hate. Most people don’t know when they’ve crossed that line until it’s to late.  They refuse to learn or change, they prefer casting blame rather than trying to become a better person. It’s hard to teach old humans new tricks.  They always want to know, “What’s in it for me?”

Old dogs don’t learn new tricks just for a treat, they learn new tricks to please you. Some folks will say “I love you” every chance they get, but they never take the time to show it through their actions.

My dog is ten years old. They say a dog ages seven dog years for every human year. My dog at ten knows more about life and love than I ever will—–and I’m middle aged—– I’m being conservative in regards to defining my age.

Chase and I are growing old together.  He’s slowed down a bit, but he still has the heart of a pup.  He barks a jet airplanes, gets excited when I put on my shoes for a walk and would follow me to hell and back agin.  I  wish my dog would never grow old, because when he’s gone I’ll be lonely here without him……..