Monday, October 22, 2012

Walking the cats

By Hobo Hudson

I read a newspaper story the other day about taking cats on a walk and thought it was a great way to give the constantly snoozing cats some exercise by walking them around the backyard. My kitty sisters surely needed it, and the only things needed were harnesses and leashes, according to the newspaper story.

To save money, I decided to use my own harness and leash and teach each one of my kitty sisters separately to walk on the leash. I would walk Rocky, Pogo and Blondie but not Mama kitty. She has to stay inside because she is blind. The newspaper story mentioned not taking blind or declawed cats or cats with any disabilities outside on a leash in case they get lost and then can’t defend themselves. Thomas, my cat brother, would not participate in the backyard walking exercise. Since he is a rescue from a feral colony, he wouldn’t ever want to go outside again.

With Thomas’ help, I lined up all three cats on the porch and chose Rocky as my first candidate. I grabbed my harness, pulled it over Rocky’s head and tried to fasten the clips on each of the two straps around her belly, but they were too far apart. “Draw in your breath, Rocky,” I barked. She deeply inhaled, following my order, and I pulled as hard as I could on both ends of the straps—click, the clips connected.

I hooked the leash to the harness, and we both stepped outside onto the sun deck. Rocky looked around and started to waddle toward the bird feeder. OK, I thought, let her go where she wants to as long as she walks. Suddenly, she stopped, sat down and stretched out both her front legs, ready to give someone a big hug. “What the heck are you doing?” I asked. “I just saw a lizard sitting at the side, and I want him to come to me so that I can baby him.” “Eh?” I said. “You want to take care of a lizard?” “Sure, he looks lost,” she said.  “No, Rocky, he isn’t lost. He is a wild animal.” “But he could be an orphan, and I could become his substitute mother,” she said, wailing. “Well, I already take care of everyone out here with my cafeteria as you know,” I barked. “But that’s not why we’re outside here now. We have to practice walking on the leash. Come on and let’s go.”

After I helped Rocky leap down from the sun deck into the grass and helped her up on all four paws again, we took a few steps along the path where Dad had scattered bird feed. Not far from us, a bird, who had not seen us approaching, was munching on the seed. Rocky stopped and let out a soft screech. Then, she repeated her former ritual. I couldn’t believe it. She was determined to find a creature she could baby. To prevent her from getting the idea of cradling a bunch of squirrels in her arms, I quickly tightened the leash and dragged her up the stairs to the sun deck as fast as she was able to jump one step at a time, gasping for air in between. 

Back on the porch, I heard Blondie giving a speech to no one in particular about my teaching everyone to walk on a leash and how I was doing everything wrong. I quickly pulled the harness off Rocky and tightened it as snug as I could around Blondie’s waist to shut her up. Unfortunately, it didn’t hamper her talking and talking. The moment we were outside the door, she told me where to go, how to go, this and that and yak, yak, yak.

I even didn’t make it down the sun deck with Blondie. I just turned around and deposited her in the porch, yanking away the harness in one fell swoop. Then I chased her into the living room and tightly closed the door, making sure she was out of earshot.

Now, it was Pogo’s turn to walk on the leash. I was sure she would save the day. I had a little trouble dressing her in the harness, and her claws dug deep into my fur a few times while her spit landed on my nose. She calmed down when I told her we would go outside to see the birdies and squirrelies. In fact, she started to spur me on and pushed me outside the door once I succeeded in fastening the harness around her body and hooked the leash.

The next thing I remembered, I was jumping over the rail of the sun deck, desperately clinging to the leash as I saw the harness with Pogo in it in front of me flying toward the palm tree where three or four squirrels were dangling from the palm leafs. The thump I felt when hitting the ground brought me back to earth, and to my horror, I watched as Pogo started to climb up the tree. I braced my front paws against the tree trunk and held on to the leash for dear life. I knew if Pogo got loose and climbed up to the top of the palm tree to reach the squirrels, she would never be able to come down.

Giving repeated tugs at the leash, I tried to drag Pogo down from the tree trunk, but all I accomplished was tearing the harness as it scraped against the bark. I took a deep breath and screamed, “Dad, Dad, help, help, help…” The screen door of the porch banged against the door frame and seconds later, Dad was standing next to me. He just threw me a questioning look and then reached up high and retrieved my sister Pogo. 

The following morning, I even didn’t want to go in the backyard because I had to go through the porch and face my kitty sisters, but Mom and Dad didn’t take any pity on me and sent me outside that way. I thought I already had enough punishment having to put up with Blondie’s teasing, and worst of all, since my harness was in tatters, I had to buy a new one.
Thursday, October 18, 2012

Proverbs fit for a dog

By Hobo Hudson

I was often pondering why we dogs are superior to humans. While I could always rattle down a long list of traits, character dispositions and behaviors showing humans’ deficiencies and our strengths, I never hit the keynote distinction. The enlightenment came when my kitty sister Blondie shoved a page she’d torn out of a book into my face.

“Look at this, Hobo,” she said, “how could George Bernhard Shaw have known you before you were born?”

I gazed at Blondie with my ears laid back and grabbed the paper to see what she was blabbering about. It was a proverb, and it went like this: “There is no love sincerer than the love of food.”

That was it. The answer to my question was staring in my face hidden in a kind of proverb that only humans can concoct. What pushes us dogs up the rank is our ability to love humans unconditionally and to make it our purpose in life to do so. Humans, on the other hand, always have something else that is more important than expressing pure and simple love toward each other or us dogs, at least not without a condition. Blondie didn’t get it either, and I don’t blame her because she’s a cat and doesn’t understand the mentality of a dog.

No mistake here, I sure love food. Nothing beats a nice big juicy steak, but it’s far behind my love for my mom and my dad. Even if my parents would feed me plain old dog food and cut out all my treats, making me starve, I still would shower them with all the love I have.

So, the proverb Blondie thought applied to me does not fit me or any other of the doggy race. Our proverb would go as follows: “There is no love sincerer than the love of a dog.”

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The pre-market bone market

By Hobo Hudson

You fellows all know about the big bone market up in New York City that opens at 9:30 a.m. and closes at 4 p.m., but did you know about two others? One for the great big dogs opens at 6 a.m. and closes at 8 p.m. The other one for medium sized dogs opens at 8 a.m. and closes at 8 p.m. also.

I heard rumors about them a few years ago, but my bone broker said I didn’t have enough kibbles to get in the door of either one. Then, after I sold my business a couple of years ago and deposited a few million kibbles with my broker, he barked that I had now qualified for admission to the 8 o’clock market. I had him send me a special dog tag that would get me in the door and started trotting in at 8 a.m. sharp.

The 8 o’clock bone market looks just like the regular market room. Each type bone has a blackboard of its own hung on the wall. The black board is divided in half with offers to buy bones on the left and offers to sell bones on the right, and the prices are sometimes pretty wild.

For example, when I trotted in yesterday morning, I looked at a board labeled “GLD.” I saw a series of prices continually going higher on the offers to buy with the latest offer being 173.25 kibbles. Since I had purchased mine Friday afternoon at 172.17, I decided to try to sell and placed an offer to sell at 173.50. Sure enough, some old dog bought them in a few minutes, and I had a nice pile of kibbles in my pocket and hot pawed it out of there.

I walked into the regular market room at 9:30 a.m., and the same bones were selling at 172.95 and going down. I just bided my time and watched from time to time and finally repurchased at 172.06 kibbles just before the market closed. This morning, the pre-market price was 172.54, and I almost sold but decided to wait and see what happens today.

Just before the regular market opened, the price had fallen to 172.32 and then risen to 172.42 one minute before the regular market opened, so I decided to trot over to the regular market and bide my time. The regular market opened at 172.41 but quickly fell to 172.39. This is the normal morning pattern, so I just kept watching and by noon, it had risen to 172.70 and was still going up.

Needing my customary afternoon nap, I placed a sell order at 172.90 but shortly after I retired, it peaked at l72.75 and started falling. I ended up selling just before the market closed at l72.01 and took a small loss.

I guess the morals of my sad tale are if you snooze, you lose and also not to be greedy. Always leave a little meat on the bone for the next dog.


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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