Friday, October 24, 2014

(1) I GOT DOWN ON ALL FOURS AND BARKED IN HER FACE.


March 2, 1961
     I have been trying a new approach to the house-breaking problem.  Every morning I get up earlier and earlier, hoping to "catch" Tokay.  She beat me to the draw every time until this morning.  Tiptoeing downstairs at 6:30, I found her half asleep and the newspapers dry.  I picked her up and swapped her from arm to arm while I put my coat on over my pajamas.  I took her outside and put her down on the porch.
     It was an unlovely morning, raw and sleeting.  An inch of slush covered the driveway.  Tokay sat down and looked at me with a pained expression as if to say, "Surely we're not going for a walk in this."
     I could see she wouldn't budge off that porch until I did.   Since I was wearing open‑toed slippers, I ducked quickly into the house and put on a pair of boots.
     When I came out again, Tokay had vanished.  Where could she have gone in such a short time?         "Here, Tokay," I called softly, not wanting to wake Kathryn in her quarters over the kitchen.   "Here, Tokay."
     Turning up my collar, I trudged around in the cold and sleet looking for Tokay.  Suddenly I thought, "I wonder if. . ."  I rushed into the house and was given a frenzied welcome by my little pal, who had been looking everywhere for me.  She had ducked into the house when I went in to get my boots.  And while I was plodding through slush and snowdrifts, searching for her, she was visiting her cozy lavatory in the sunroom.
April 5, 1961
     I called Tokay's former owner to tell her about the trouble I've had housebreaking her. "She never asks to go out." 
     "Go to the front door with her and stand there and bark until she gets the idea," said Mrs. Weiner.
     When I tried this yesterday, Tokay's ears stood straight out in amazement.  I was too good a barker.  She refused to believe those woofs were coming from me and kept running from one room to another, looking for the other dog. 
     "Tokay, come back here, it's only me," I said.  But even when I got down on all fours and barked right in her face, she tore off to search for the intruder.  It was all very frustrating, especially when I looked up between woofs and found Kathryn holding the laundry basket and staring at me.
     "Tokay won't believe I'm doing the barking," I said.
     "Oh," Kathryn said.  Later she asked me if Mr. Malley and I were still planning on going to Florida on Friday.  I guess she thinks I need the vacation.
October 5, 1961
     It is mid‑afternoon.  I am stretched out on a beach towel next to terrace, basking in the slanting rays of a benign October sun.  The sky is cloudless, the ocean very blue.  A flock  of black‑winged, white‑breasted seagulls are skimming across the cove toward Brush Island, where they will pause, I imagine, for clams on the half shell and minnow‑pool tea.
     The beach grass ripples in the southwest breeze; the rustling sound combines with the cheeping, humming, buzzing of tiny inhabitants to make a drowsy sound. Tokay, sprawled nearby, listens idly, her ears extended like the arms of a capital T.
      Except for the shadow cast by the awnings, the terrace is awash with sunlight.  If I were a sorceress and Tokay my apprentice, I would set her to mopping and storing the bright beams in earthen jars, to be opened on a bleak winter's eve.
     Tokay has lost interest in the concert and is digging a hole to China.  Already she has made such progress that nothing can be seen but her tail, a signpost marking the spot.  Suddenly the explorer has a change of heart—it's dark down there!—and endeavors to retreat.  As she is virtually standing on her head, backing out involves a frantic flailing of hind feet and forward sliding. 
     At last she emerges looking bemused, her muzzle stuccoed with sand and an extra whisker or two of grass.  She trots to my side and does a shimmy that showers me with sand.   Then she flops down, plunks her chin on her front paws, and closes her eyes.  A deep sigh tells me she's had an exhausting day.
February 15, 1962
     Tokay is being a faithful and devoted mother.  She gave the baby her undivided attention during the first three days of his life, but yesterday decided it was time he learned to get along without her once in awhile.  She climbed into her bed, which we keep next to the nursery, and with her head cocked on one side, listened for cries of alarm. In a few minutes George started yelling, "Hey, Mom, where are ya?"  She jumped back into the box and reassured him.  ("Right here, silly, where'd you think?")  
     Later she baby‑sat for a longer period, watching George attentively until he panicked and set up a wail.  Only once has Tokay completely abandoned her son.  She got a whiff of the turkey sandwich on Vaughan's tray as I went by and trailed me to the third floor.  She exchanged warm greetings with the patient, then planted herself next to the bed and put on her hungry look.  Although it's against the rules, Vaughan slips her tidbits when she thinks I'm not looking. 

     When I started down the stairs, I called Tokay, but she was too interested in that turkey sandwich to leave.  Reaching the landing, I called her again, to no avail.
     "You better come or I'll pinch your baby," I threatened.  Then I tried a language she understood better, George's mewling:  "Eeenh, eenh,  eenh."
     "Mother, are you all right?" Tim asked dryly from his room.
     I had accomplished my purpose—Tokay scrambled down those stairs three at a time.
March 30, 1962
     Vonnie just came in for a minute with her friend Punkie Whitten.  Punkie has announced with confidence that George ("There's no doubt about it, Mrs.  Malley.") is a female.
     Ever since the puppy was two minutes old, we all accepted Vonnie's analysis of its gender.  A fine judge of the opposite sex she turned out to be.  I see no alternative except to call George Georgette from now on.
April 9, 1962
     Every morning when Vonnie gets up she puts Tokay outside, then lets Georgette run around on the rug.  When the pup is on the move, she looks like a busy little water bug.  She darts forward, makes a right‑angle turn, backs up, shoots forward again, changing direction so swiftly, you get eyestrain trying to keep up with her.  She makes the most of her freedom while her mother is out of the house.  Tokay's favorite sport is dragging her around by one of her legs—front one, back one, it makes no difference to Tokay.  She just thinks it's fun to use her daughter as a floor mop.  Georgette doesn't agree, judging by her growls.
     This morning Vonnie came into my room to get her allowance; during the few minutes Georgette was left alone, she got herself into an awkward position.
     "Mummy, come quickly and see what's happened to the puppy!"
     We can't figure out how she did it, but there she was, sitting in Tokay's feeding dish, pawing at the rim in an attempt to get her hindquarters unstuck.  She was wedged in there as neatly as a hot dog in a bun—only she was a cold and wet dog,  since the bowl was full of water.  It's lucky she didn't go in head first or she might have drowned.
     Vonnie called to Timmy, who was down in the kitchen making himself some French toast.  He reached the top of the stairs in time to see Georgette make one final effort and haul herself out of her tailor‑made swimming pool.  I wrapped her in a towel and scrubbed her dry.  (The last time I did that she was newly born and small enough to swim in a teacup.)
April 15, 1962
     Tim spent the weekend on the phone, trying to find himself a kitten.  Yesterday he and Neil went to a pet shop to look at some part Angora kittens, on sale for $2.00 apiece.
     "They didn't have any, Mom, they were all gone," Tim said as he marched by my room.  But he couldn't fool Mom, not when he sounded so pleased with himself.
     The kitten is black and fluffy, with white paws and a droll face.  When I first inspected her, she seemed to be all eyes and no chin, but who wouldn't be all eyes at the sight of two enormous Toy poodles bearing down on one.  They knocked her head over tail in their eagerness to welcome her.  When the monsters didn't do anything unpleasant, such as eat her, she began to look less like an owl and more like a kitten. 
     At first Georgette was thrilled with her new playmate.  However, when she discovered Samantha could climb out of the nursery whenever she felt like it, the injustice drove the puppy stir‑crazy.  Heretofore reasonably contented with her confined existence, she now stamped around in the box, pawing furiously at the newspapers and chewing them to bits.  Then she tried to dig her way to freedom.  Pieces of newspaper shot into the air in all directions and floated down on the rug like confetti.
     This morning we found Tokay, Georgette, and the kitten curled up in a corner of the box, piled one on top of the other, sound asleep.
     Georgette has a habit of crooking her paws over the edge of the box and observing the passing traffic, like a housewife leaning from her window on a fine summer afternoon.  The kitten imitates this pose, stationing herself next to Georgette and placing her front paws beside the puppy's.  Every now and then they exchange playful cuffs, looking for all the world like a Punch and Judy show.
October 7, 1962
     Friday night Vonnie noticed that Tokay, again in a family way, was not herself.  She was trembling and her tongue was lolling out as if she were thirsty.  "Mummy, she's going to have those puppies tonight, I'm sure of it."    
     Ed carried the nursery into the living room and lined it with newspapers, .  Tokay had made other arrangements.  Every time we weren't keeping an eye on her, she ran off to Kathie's room, where she had prepared a nest under the bed.  I didn't agree that one shredded Kleenex was adequate.  I hooked two of her leashes together and fastened her to my chair so she couldn't slip away.  By eleven o'clock she was very restless. I put her in the nursery and sat on the floor beside her, stroking her head and talking to her, woman to woman.
      At 11:30 the first baby arrived, encased as Georgette had been, in a transparent sac.  I sent Ed for a pair of scissors,  but this time Tokay didn't need a midwife.  She snipped open the membrane with old‑hand expertise.
     Vonnie wasn't home, but Tim was out in the garage working on  his car.  Ed called him in to witness the newly born miracle.  He looked at it, said "ugh" and went back out to the garage.  I  roused Mrs. White and we paced the floor together, waiting for a  brother or sister to arrive.  Ed sat with his nose in a flying manual and said we might as well go to bed, Tokay was a  one‑puppy poodle.  I bet him a dollar she was going to have at least one more.  Mrs. White agreed that she was in labor again, but when nothing happened by 12:00, she said, "I guess I'll go upstairs and read for awhile.  Call me if another one comes."
     She got as far as the kitchen when I called her.  Tokay was the mother of twins.
     "Mrs. Malley, that puppy isn't breathing," Mrs. White said.
     I scrubbed the damp, motionless little body with a towel until it opened its pink mouth and took one tiny, choking breath.
     "You've got to do better than that, little one," I said, massaging the baby determindly.  "You've got to keep breathing for the rest of your life."
     Mrs. White advised me to pick the pup up by the heels and spank it.  "Isn't that what they do in the movies?" 
     I rapped those miniature hindquarters with one finger; the pup snuffled and gasped and then at last began to breathe.
     Vonnie came in at 12:45, in time to greet puppy number three.  "Oh boy, I've won my bet!"  (She had bet a friend $12 in Monopoly money that her pet would have three puppies.)
     Triplets!  Wonderful Tokay!  She had more than redeemed herself for producing only one the first time around.  We transferred the nursery to our room and went to bed.  At 2:00 the puppies were making so much noise I couldn't sleep, so I decided to move the family to Kathie's room.  When I turned on the light, the reason for the commotion  became clear.  The first three arrivals were being neglected for the fourth.
     Quadruplets.  Four healthy, hungry, squirming black rats.   Vonnie got up at the unheard‑of hour of eight o'clock and came in to see how the puppies were doing.  "One, two, three‑‑four?"  Her face fell.  "Now why did she have to go and do that?"
     Tokay is taking her large brood in stride.  When I take her outside for a walk, she doesn't get frantic the way she did with Georgette.  She takes her time, knowing from experience that nothing is going to happen to her babies.                                            
October 11, 1962
     I took the pups to the vet to have their tails snipped to the appropriate length.  I was eager to ask Dr. Kearns what sex they were.  Although I had studied them scientifically (with my glasses on and without), I couldn't see a whit of difference between them—except one had a white spot on its chest like Tokay's.  Recalling Vonnie's mistaken diagnosis of George‑ette's sex, I didn't want to get out the Name Book until we knew what we were naming.
     "What do we have here, anyway?" I said to Dr. Kearns.  "I'm darned if I can tell—they all look like males to me."
     Dr. Kearns picked them up one by one.  Then he replaced them in the shoe box and said with a smile, "They are all males."
     I was staggered at the thought of all that masculinity in the family.  I thought of Vaughan and wished she were alive to hear the great news.  Prejudiced in favor of males, she was indignant when George switched sexes on her.
     The puppies now have names that were suggested by one of Vaughan's friends. The one with the white spot on his chest is Mark, the biggest is Matthew, the littlest is John, and the other one is Luke.  Ed says this is the first time in 20 years that the males in the house have outnumbered the females.                                   
October 20, 1962
     Four hungry puppies were too much of a strain on Tokay's dairy system.  Since Wednesday, when Dr. Kearns treated her for a mild case of calcium shock, I have been feeding the babies three or four times a day.  It's been so long since I heated up a bottle, I'd forgotten what the procedure was.  I started to put it in the oven, but Mrs. White tactfully recommended a pan of hot water.
     Tokay had a relapse last night, and I had to rush her to the vet for a calcium shot.  Vonnie noticed early in the evening that she was panting and said, "Mummy, I think she's sick again."  She didn't have a fever, but something was obviously wrong. She couldn't lie in one place for more than 15 seconds without hauling herself to her feet and flopping somewhere else.  By 10:30 she was puffing and gasping like a woman in labor.
     "You'd better bring her right over," Dr. Kearns said.
     I was in my nightgown.  I pulled on some clothes and hurried downstairs to tell Ed where I was going.  "You keep on studying your flying manuals.  I don't mind going alone."
     Regarding me over the tops of his glasses, he said, "Don't you think you'd better put on a skirt first?"
     Oh yes. I rushed back upstairs and put my skirt on.  I tucked Tokay under my arm and was about to leave when Ed called,
     "Wait a minute, I'll go with you."
     "Don't be silly, you know you want to study."  He’d been discouraged lately about all the technical information he has to learn  to get his instrument rating.  "Goodbye, I'm going."
     Dr. Kearns restored Tokay's breathing to normal with another calcium shot.  He said the puppies would have to rely on formula from now on, as they were taking too much out of their mother.
     "Keep her away from them for a day.  If she seems to be all right, let her nurse them for 15 minutes—it will be good for her morale and good for them.  Gradually cut her down to five minutes a day.  By Friday you can start weaning them from the bottle and teaching them to drink from a dish."
     I got home at 11:30, made up a new batch of formula, and told Ed the nursery must be kept at 80 to 85 degrees.  While I fed the puppies, he rigged up a heating system with a lamp and the piano stool.
     "I tried to catch you as you drove off to the vet's," he said.  "I ran shouting up the driveway, but you kept going, you hammerhead."
     "I didn't hear you.  I wonder what Mrs. White thought of all the commotion—I'll bet she thought we were having a fight.   What were you shouting when you ran after me?"
     "Don't ever come back, you son of a bitch!"
     I don't know why I encourage him by cracking up when he says these things.
June 5, 1963
     I did some studying for my written FAA exam, then drove in town to meet Ed’s mother at the airport.  She had little Mickey, one of Tokay’s puppies, with her.  Mickey is a good name for him, as he isn’t much bigger than a mouse and weights only five and a half pounds.  He’s a lovable fellow, but he doesn’t feel the way Tokay used to, all yielding and cuddly.  He can’t figure out what to do with his legs, so they wave crablike in the breeze while he tries unsuccessfully to adjust his wiry frame to the contours of your shoulder.  His personality is much quieter and shyer than our darling’s was, but perhaps after he’s been with this not-so-quiet family for a spell, it will change.
     Mimi has gone to Boston today to look for a room.  I hope for her sake she will be allowed to have Mickey with her, but if not, we’ll be glad to keep him for the summer.  It will help to fill a tiny bit the unfillable gap left by Tokay.  The children who teased her into running out into the street are not entirely to blame.  I should have trained her to stay closer to the house.
 June 17, 1963
       Mother wrote a poem about Tokay.  When Vonnie read it, she burst into tears and ran up to her room.  We are all mourning the loss of our little friend.  The house doesn't seem the same without her buoyant personality.     

In Memoriam

Here lies Tokay. 
Be kind to her, oh sun,
Be gentle to her, earth; protect her, trees.
Let there be space in heaven where she may run‑‑        
This little dog who only lived to please.    
                                           

(2) THAT MAN HAS TAKEN MY DOG AND MY DAUGHTER.

August 17, 1963
     For two months we missed Tokay more each day instead of less.  When we went for walks, it didn't seem right not to see her trotting happily ahead of us with that ball‑bearing gait of  hers.  No one can take her place, but Moppet is winning us over.
     Moppet is the spunkiest pup this household has ever seen.  She knows she is supposed to stay in the nursery, but whenever I check on her, she has managed to tumble her way out.  Then she runs around the sunroom, getting into trouble.  She loves my African Violets; the ones she can reach on the lower shelves of the plant stands are delicious.  Another gourmet attraction is Ed's leather flight bag.
     Moppet hides under the bookcase when she hears me coming.  I return her to the nursery and wag a scolding finger in her face, tapping her on the nose to let her know I'm really cross.
     Her reaction?  She hits me back.  She rears up on her hind legs and bats at my hand with both front paws.  This combat often ends in an undignified backward somersault; she is getting so roly‑poly, she easily loses her balance.  Unembarrassed, she scrambles to her feet and assumes her boxer's stance once more, her expression clearly stating:  "Listen, you, who do you think you're shovin' around?"
October 10, 1963
      I have been teaching Moppet one new trick a week.  She mastered the first three quickly, but persuading her to dance on her hind legs wasn't so easy.  She knew she was expected to do 
something for that tidbit, but darned if she could figure out  what it was.  Whipping through her repertory like a whirling dervish, she sat, flopped down on all fours, sat up again, shook hands, flopped down again, and finally ended up with a trick of  her own.  "Yap, yap, yap!" she scolded.  "What do you want for one lousy cracker—a tight‑rope act?"                       
November 20, 1963
     Moppet still isn't housebroken, so she is supposed to stay in the kitchen.  When I got home last night, I found Timmy had left the swinging door open.  By the time I found the pup, it was too late to say, "Stoppet, Moppet!"  I chased her around the dining‑room table, captured her behind the TV set, and confronted  her with the wet spot under the piano.
     Instead of being repentant, she reared back and looked at me with that indignant expression she assumes when she's chastised.   "What makes you think I did it? Maybe the piano leaks."  
December 14, 1963                                  
     Moppet had her first taste of freezing weather and doesn't like it any better than the rest of us.  Vonnie invented a new method for putting her out in the morning.  A leash fits under the door and can be fastened to her collar in the relative warmth of the back hall.  The other end of the leash is attached to her run, a line stretching from the back door to the garage. 
     Yesterday morning Ed went out to turn on the heater in his car, stopping on the way to put the pup out.  I heard him chuckling as he came upstairs and asked, "What's the joke?"
     Moppet had started out the door briskly enough, Ed said, but when her front paws hit the icy top step, her ears flew out at a horrified angle and she tried to retreat.  Thwarted by the momentum that was propelling her downward, she descended the stairs on her two front legs, her hindquarters  protectively elevated. 
     "And they say we poodles are pampered," Ed heard her muttering to herself.
     Moppet has finally learned how to beg.  Instead of falling over backwards, sideways, or on her face as she did at first, she has overcome gravity and is able to balance herself beautifully on her haunches, curling her front paws appealingly against her chest.
     Lately she has developed an aversion to the command "down."
    She'll flop down any old time when she feels like it, including  times when I'd rather she didn't‑‑in my lap, for instance, when I'm trying to drive the car or fly the airplane—but if anyone says, "Down, Moppet," what happens?  Nothing.  She knows very well what she's expected to do, but she's consarned if she'll do it. 
      Yesterday I decided this mutiny had continued long enough.  I was going to teach this new dog her old trick, even if I never made the hairdresser's, my Super Cub lesson, or Ed's dinner.
     "Down, Moppet."
     Moppet sat and looked at me vaguely as if she hadn't quite caught what I said.
     "Down!" I repeated louder.
     She opened her mouth in a wide yawn; a tiny squeak emerged  from the back of her throat.  She cocked one ear in surprise, then snapped her jaws shut and regarded me innocently.
     "Moppet!  Listen to me!  Down!"  I ordered, my right arm extended imperiously over her head like King Canute in Mom’s poem.  I might as well have been stationed on the beach, commanding the waves to stand back.  Apparently having lost her hearing, Moppet turned her head and gazed with interest at a flock of birds flying past the window.
    "Pay attention, Moppet," I said, waving her reward under her nose.  "Do you want this cookie?"
     Oh yes, her tail replied, she wanted that cookie very much.   She leaped up on her hind legs and hopped around in circles, trying to snatch the tidbit from my fingers.
     "No, Moppet!  No, no, no!!  Down, not dance."
     The Mop seated herself once more and looked me in the eye, as if to test the strength of my determination.
     "Down!" I said, for the fifth time.
     Her eyes on her reward, Moppet slowly slid one paw forward  and began settling herself on the floor—ah, capitulation at  last.  But no, it was all just too humiliating, Moppet decided, springing back into a sitting position.  This groveling servitude was too much to ask of a self‑respecting poodle.  She wasn't gonna do it.
     "Okay, Moppet," I said.  "No cookie."  I placed the biscuit on the counter and left her alone in the kitchen to think about it.  When I returned, dressed for my trip to Boston, I gave her one more chance.
     "Down, Moppet."
     Mopsy had indeed thought things over.  In response to my command to lie down, she sat up and begged.  Beautifully.   Beguilingly.  Adorably.  Disobediently.  No matter how I argued  with her, pointing out that what she was doing was cute and  charming but hardly what I had asked her to do, she still maintained her suppliant attitude, gesticulating at me with her  paws as if saying, "Come on, let's compromise.  Isn't this worth a crumb or two?"
     I longed to relent and give her the cookie, only I figured this would be a sure way to raise a Timmy‑type poodle.  So we compromised I gave her half a cookie, squashed her down on the floor ("Down, Moppet"), and gave her the other half.
(diary entry by Moppet)            .        
January 16, 1964
     Pardon my French, but Mon Dieu, what a fright I had yesterday.  I'm still all a-quiver from the top of my topknot to the end of my pompom. 
     I was curled up in one of Mrs. Brewer's easy chairs, minding  my own business while my mistress and her friends played a game  they call bridge.  It's a boring game as far as I can see—not  half as much fun a Nibble Their Ankles or Chew the Briefcase, but  everyone to his own taste.
     I was lying there half asleep when young Master Brewer walked in with a creature much like myself tucked under his arm.   He set the little fellow down on the floor where he stood stock‑still, staring at me with beady brown eyes.  Being a friendly sort, I stood up and welcomed him with my tail.  Instead of wagging back, the creature said, "Whirrr!"  Yes, you heard me, whirrrr!  I, too, was puzzled for a moment, but I soon realized that “whirr” is Chinese for grrrr.
     "Here, Fido," Johnny's mother called.  Fido, who hadn't taken his eyes from me for a minute, ignored her and proceeded to  advance slowly toward me, one threatening step at a time.
     "Whirrrrrr!" he snarled.
     "Grrrr!" I said, undaunted, approaching the edge of the chair and confronting him.  I was sure he would be intimidated when he saw I was three times his size, but instead he continued to march in my direction, growling belligerently in Chinese.
     Acting on my motto (if you can't lick 'em, hide your head in a corner), I retreated to the back of the chair.  From this  standpoint I could no longer see my aggressor, but I could hear his whirr getting closer and closer and closer. . .now I was sure I  could feel his hot breath on my neck.  Can you blame me for trying to crawl up the back of the chair?  Wouldn't you do the same?
     "Stop, Fido!"  My dear mistress, seeing the predicament I was in, came to my rescue.  She picked the creature up—he didn't  dare whirr at her, I noticed—and set him on the mantel where he sulked for the rest of the afternoon.  As for me, I sat in my mistress's lap, thankful that my ordeal was over.  Quel  nightmare!
    
     Kathie and Dick White were married in April, 1964.  Dick had been afraid of dogs since he was attacked by one as a child, but he and Moppet became pals.  Kathie was thrilled when I asked her in September if they'd like Moppet to go with them to California.  Ed was not thrilled.  "That man has taken my dog and my daughter," he said gloomily.  But he cheered up when Miette came into our lives.                                            
November 13, 1964
     Miette knows how to play peek‑a‑boo.  Every morning as I finish making the bed, I throw the spread over her and then start calling, "Miette, where are you, Miette?"  She scampers excitedly around under the spread for a few minutes, following the sound of my voice as I collect the pillows.  Then she creeps up to the edge of the bed and lies there quiet as a mouse, with no more than a whisker showing.
     "Miette," I call anxiously.  "Where's Miette?"  Suddenly her head pops out.  "Peek‑a‑boo!" I cry.  Under she goes again.  The game continues until she gets bored (I never do), and then we go down-stairs for breakfast.
     This morning Samantha happened to be on the bed when I put the spread on, so I included her in the game.  "Where are you,  Miette?  Sammy, where's Sammy, here kitty‑kitty."
     There was a miniature upheaval under the spread as its edge  flipped back and Miette's head appeared.  She was glaring at me, no question about it.  And just in case I was too obtuse to read her expression, she made her message doubly clear by barking at me, which she has never done before.  She barks at Ed when he comes home, but this is the first time she's ever given me the word.
     "What's the big idea, letting her in on our game!" she scolded.  "If that's the way it's going to be, I won't play."
     Samantha understood.  She crawled under the bed and wouldn't come out until I called her for breakfast.
(diary entry by Miette)                      
August 3, 1965
     I've been called a lot of names in my day (Termite, Mouse, Insect, Runt, Thing, etc.), 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 ever 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 the 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, saving him from obesity, does she thank me?  No, she calls me Trouble.
     The next thing I know I'm whisked out of the kitchen and the door is shut in my face. She needn't think I don't know what's going on in there.  Old Fatty is gobbling up my dinner out of my dish.  Mon dieu, it's enough to make one blow one's topknot.
     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 due to his  overweight condition, I nip at his heels to encourage him.  After awhile 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."
     Mimi settles down on the terrace with 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.
     Then some birds landed on our property and began stealing bugs out of the grass.  Naturally I had to chase them over to McKennas' yard but instead of praise I got another scolding.
     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 was about to wander down to the beach and tell the Brewers they had to leave when I heard Mimi 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, I wondered.  She started to put her teeth on the beach towel, 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 slippers, turned her back so I couldn't see what she was  doing, then picked up the towel and carefully wrapped it around  the slipper.
     Before long she was dozing again.  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, but considering my limitations, I think I do very well.  In a few seconds I succeeded in loosening the towel and retrieving the slipper.  I nosed around in the toe and sure enough, just as I suspected, 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."
(diary entry by Miette)
August 5, 1965
     I think my master understands me better than my mistress does.  He knows I'm only trying to protect her when I bark at suspicious characters approaching our door.  I even bark at him, just to remind him he shouldn't come near her without my permission.
     My mistress tells me I shouldn't bark at members of the family.  I try very hard to do things her way, partly because I’m fond of her and partly because I fond of the cookies she gives me.   When I forget, she calls me a "bad barky dog" and puts me in the closet.  She gets especially upset when I bark during the night to let her know Timmy has finished watching the Late, Late Show.  I wish he'd go to bed at the same time as the rest of us so I wouldn't get so many scoldings.
     Quite often I march into the closet all by myself when I realize I've been naughty.  I feel more dignified that way.  When we're upstairs I go into the bedroom closet; downstairs I go into the coat closet.  One night my mistress was provoked with me because I barked at Mimi, and Mimi said, "I'm glad Mickey is such a nice, quiet dog."  I had to stay in the closet for a long, long time.  I tried very hard to be as good as Mickey for the rest of the evening, but when Isha came downstairs I couldn't resist saying hello five or six times. 
      One look at my mistress's face and I knew I'd done it again.   I hurried over to my cell, but the door was open only a crack.  If I were as fat as Mickey I'd never have gotten in, but by doing  a lot of pushing and squirming with my head and shoulders, and a great deal of wiggling with my hindquarters, I finally managed to  squeeze through the opening.  Everyone laughed and clapped their hands; in fact my mistress was so proud of my accomplishment, she set me free in a very few minutes.
     Last Sunday something quite frightening happened to my mistress.  It's a good thing I was nearby to defend her or she might have been seriously damaged by the Brewers' German Shepherd.  Topaz is around six months old now—much too old to be acting like a puppy, in my opinion.  My mistress was taking a nap on the beach with her straw hat covering her face, and I was digging a hole in the sand.  All of a sudden I heard her cry, "Topaz!"  Looking up from my chore I saw that Topaz had come gamboling over to see what I was doing.  In her clumsy way she had walked all over my mistress’s face, knocking her hat off and stepping on her eye!
     I almost went out of my mind with rage.  I bared my teeth and went after that beast with every intention of giving her the trouncing of her life, but I had a problem.  She was taller than I, so I couldn't reach her.  She looked down at me with a puzzled expression while I stood on my hind legs, leaping and growling, determined to get her by the throat and shake some sense into her. 
     At last I succeeded in giving her nose a good nip, whereupon she snarled and knocked me over with her paw.  My mistress rushed up and grabbed me, saying excitedly that someone was going to get hurt.  She was right, too.  Another few minutes and I'd have made mincemeat of that oafish animal.
     If Kathie were here, she'd understand me the way she used to understand Heidi and Pokie and Moppet and all the other animals.  My mistress often talks about those happy, long ago days when the family was growing up.  I hope someday Kathie will come home again.