Friday, February 24, 2012

Doggy humor: Mom’s Christmas present

By Hobo Hudson

I had been racking my brain trying to decide on the perfect Christmas present for Mom this year. I thought of this, and I thought of that but immediately discarded all ideas because they just didn’t seem right. I was still cogitating when I heard Mom scream for Dad to come because the oven was on fire.

When Dad ambled into the kitchen, he took one look and said it wasn’t a fire but, rather, an electrical short in the oven heating element. He turned the oven off and the flame immediately disappeared. After placing a call to our friendly repairman, Dad told Mom the guy would be out in a couple of weeks to “have a look at it.” Mom was none too happy about the long wait, but there wasn’t much she could do except grin and bear it.

Ah, I thought, the perfect Christmas present. Mom’s stove was 25 years old, and Mom had marveled at the new ranges with the ceramic tops for a long time. I knew she would have liked to have one. I also knew she had been hoping Dad would buy her one but, knowing my dad, she would have a long wait because he would rather save a dollar by fixing instead of replacing.

After we had eaten an early supper, I casually announced to Mom and Dad that I had too many bones on hand and was going to deposit a few bones in my bank. I pulled my little red wagon into the office I shared with Dad and opened my safe. I carefully selected a few choice bones, loaded them onto the wagon and off I went to the appliance store.

When I arrived at the store, my nose led me directly to the stoves, displayed on one side of a long aisle. In order to see which ones had ceramic tops and which had the old-fashioned burners, I jumped on top of the first stove and then hopped from one to the next. After sniffing out a few possibilities, I jumped back down to the floor and barked at the salesman to open the oven doors so I could see inside.

It only took me a couple of looks before I decided on the perfect stove and told the salesman to “write it up.” While he typed all the information into the computer, I casually asked him for his current rate of exchange between bones and dollars. He looked kind of funny at me and explained they only accepted dollars, and I would have to exchange my bones at the bank before we could complete the sale.

Being a business dog, I have been accustomed to getting the job done without wasting time. I left the salesman at the computer fiddling with the keys to place a hold on the sale, grabbed my little red wagon full of bones and rushed to the bank only to find it already closed. Since it was a Friday evening, it wouldn’t be open again until Monday.

I quickly decided my best option would be to hightail it to Tampa International Airport which had a 24/7 exchange kiosk. Even though it was 30 miles away, the rates were much better than the local check cashing places. Pulling the heavy load of bones behind me, I switched between trotting and running, and when I finally arrived at the airport, I relaxed a few minutes to get my panting under control. As I started to squeeze through one of airport’s main doors with my little red wagon, a guy from Homeland Security, big and muscular, immediately stopped me and asked with a frown on his face what I was doing with a wagon load of bones at the airport.

Knowing all about the security issues at airports, I looked the guy straight into the eyes and explained that I wasn’t flying—just visiting the bone exchange booth. The guy stared at me kind of funny, just like the salesman did at the store, but agreed to accompany me and helped me avoid going through the X-ray machine or the pat-down procedure on the way to the kiosk.

Looking at the posted exchange rates, I saw the best rates were for soup bones. I inquired at the kiosk window how many soup bones it would take to get the desired number of dollars. After receiving the answer, I bent down to my wagon, counted out the determined amount of bones and threw them on the countertop. The lady behind the window, giving me a big smile, recounted the bones, put the equivalent amount of dollars into an envelope and handed it to me.

With the envelope full of dollars in one paw and the other paw holding the handlebar of my wagon, now easier to pull without the heavy load, I was ready to trot back to the appliance store. Just as I was leaving the airport building, my eyes caught the clock hanging at the wall over the glass door leading to the taxi waiting area, and I realized I would never make it to the store on foot before it closed. Luckily, I noticed an empty cab waiting for passengers, and rushing outside, I was able to negotiate a ride to the store for only two chew bones.

I arrived back at the appliance store a few minutes before closing time. I ran into the store and spotted the salesman who had started to process my order earlier waiting for me at the cashier desk. While I handed him my envelope of dollars, I told him to go ahead and arrange delivery and to haul away my mom’s old stove.

The following Monday morning, the phone rang and Mom heard one of those robot voices saying her delivery would arrive within 30 minutes. She was very puzzled about it, and I explained it was my Christmas gift being delivered a little early. When Mom saw the new range, she was really thrilled and started giving me hugs and kisses. I knew then my efforts were well worth the exertion.

Sometimes it’s not easy being a business dog in a hooman world.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Doggy humor: So you think you can bark—Episode 2

By Hobo Hudson

“Welcome back everyone to our new and exciting weekly reality game show So you think you can bark. I’m Hobo Hudson, the host. Before we start, I want to point out that I have made a little change this week from last week’s show and have segregated applications between large, medium and small dogs to make the contest a little fairer to the smaller dogs. Now, let’s get the ball rolling. We have an exciting lineup of contestants tonight, and you could have knocked me over with a feather when I saw this application. COME ON OUT, BO!”

A Portuguese water dog slowly strolls down the aisle flanked by six humans in black suits. On reaching the stage, he sits down with his attendants arranged in a semicircle around him.

“Uh, Bo, who are the humans?”

Bo stretches his neck out to reach the microphone in front of him so that he doesn’t have to stand up and says, “They are my secret service body guards. Dad is afraid a terrorist might kidnap me and make him do something he shouldn’t do.”

“That makes a lot of sense. All right, Bo, let me hear your best bark.”

Bo turns aside and snaps his toe at one of the body guards who immediately drops to all fours and quickly crawls over to the mike and emits a loud WOOF.

“Bo, I don’t think that qualifies because you are supposed to issue the bark yourself.”

Heaving a long sigh, Bo leans his head again forward toward the mike. “Oh Hobo, I never bark because it might strain my delicate vocal cords.”

“Uh?” Hobo cocks his head. “Well, all right, then. Now let’s hear it for contestant Number 2. COME ON DOWN, KOLCHAK!”

A handsome puggle wearing a chef’s hat comes loping down the aisle with a large sack over his shoulder.

“Welcome to our show, Kolchak. What’s that bag over your shoulder?”

Carefully placing his sack in front of him on the floor, Kolchak replies, “As you know, I operate a doggy bakery, and I brought along a big bag of pumpkin cookies for the audience to enjoy.”

A loud howl of approval erupts from the audience. When the audience calms down, Hobo continues moderating, “That’s wonderful, Kolchak but I’m afraid I can’t let you pass them out until voting is complete since it could be considered bribery.”

A loud yowl of anguish erupts from the audience, but Hobo ignores it.

“OK, Kolchak, let’s hear your best bark.”   

Taking a deep breath, Kolchak emits a moderately loud bark.

“That’s great, Kolchak. You’re definitely in the running. Now, let’s hear from our final contestant. COME ON DOWN, COPERNICUS!”

A medium sized dog with long hair and a worried look on his face comes down the aisle, walking on his rear legs while furiously punching a calculator with one paw and texting on his fruit phone with his other paw.

“Now, Copernicus, your application says you assist NASA with their rocket program. Can you tell us a little bit about your work?”

Copernicus quickly glances up at Hobo and rattles off, “Sorry Hobo. I’m going to have to disqualify myself. I’m involved in a situation right now and have to correct some work my human underlings did incorrectly. We’ve got a missile launch in a few minutes and my human colleagues have programmed it to hit the space station instead of the moon. It would be a major boo-boo if we accidently blew up the space station.” Copernicus fixes his eyes back on his fruit phone and calculator.

“I understand, Copernicus. Well, I’m going to have to disqualify Bo and Copernicus, so Kolchak is our winner by default. OK, Kolchak, let’s get those pumpkin cookies passed out as soon as I grab a paw full.”

The members of the audience jump up and make a mad rush to get a cookie before someone else beats them to them. Amid the bedlam, Hobo tries to remind everyone to pick up their tickets to the next week’s show, but his mouth is too full of cookies to do anything except mumble.


About Hobo

This was Hobo Hudson, my doggy brother, a little terrier mix with black fur. He became famous after his first attempt at writing stories, which was an article published in the newsletter of our local animal shelter, the same shelter in which I ended up years later before Hobo and his parents adopted me. Hobo’s fame quickly spread as he made a name for himself as a business dog and an adventurer. To keep his memory alive, my doggy sister, my three kitty siblings and I, Wylie Hudson, are continuing his blog. Our mom, the blog’s editor, is publishing a Hobo Hudson adventure in sequences. Click on: Foreign Business Affairs, and enjoy a different kind of pet story that combines suspense, lightheartedness and quirk.

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