Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Two Beasts

I have an architectural photo to post. The building has interesting lines. I sit at the keyboard, hunkered down in my lair, without one interesting line in my head.

"Must write must write must write," I think. But I don't type it because it isn't interesting.


"Boz, I'm trying to work." If I hadn't just gotten my hair cut I'd pull it out. But it's too short, I can't get a grip on it. Maybe I'll write about my haircut.

Squeak! Squeak!

"Not now, Boz."

Nobody cares about my haircut. I consider writing some sort of blahbedy-blah Thanksgiving platitude but I want to save that for tomorrow.

Squeak! Squeak! Squeak!

I look up.

Boz stands at my office door with his stuffed zebra in his mouth. He chomps down, squeaking the squeaker to get my attention.

He is calling me out.


This is war.

I creep out of my cave. He backs away, then trots, then runs. I stalk, then chase Boz across the wide open fields of the dining room, down the dark forest path of the hallway and into the living room's dimly-lit shrubbery. All the while, the zebra cries out for help.

I must get the zebra from Boz. I must try to save it. I grab and pull, but Boz shakes his head with violence and refuses to relinquish his prey. I give up. No I don't! Boz shoves the zebra at me, daring me to try again, growling in his most horrible, most vicious, "come-back-here-I-won't-kill-you-but-I-could-if-I-wanted-to" growl. I growl, too, a kind of a giggle growl, and we roar at each other while he squeaks the squeaker to the delight of his deep, inner, dichotomous wolf-brain: "I'm killing I'm killing I'm killing! I'm a good boy!"

I let him win. He first extracts the squeaker, the zebra's beating heart. Then, with powerful, sharp teeth, he extracts mouthful after mouthful of the fluffy viscera of dog toy. He relishes his victory, his jaw muscles working, his claws gripping his kill.

Then, amid the carnage, the beast finally rests. He submits to a flash photo only because he's sated now, tired enough to be patient. I'm the impatient one, unwilling to read the directions and photograph in manual mode, in a hurry to shoot the big game before he slinks off to his lair.


Turquoise Diaries said...

An ordinary day with a dog :))I keep collecting those fillings everyday. It looks like there is an endless supply in the toys..Very funny post.. Hi Boz!!

Shell Sherree said...

Better the toy zebra than shoes, I guess... oh, he melts me!

Bibi said...

Love this post, Petrea! I have recently homed another dog (none too soon; his photo in his new home is coming up tomorrow), since he unstuffed just about all of Bibi's toys...

Your photo is really cute...and so true. Drop by to see Jackson tomorrow.

Virginia said...

I'm LOL Petrea because I was in the same boat with a few photos this week as well. Good ole Boz. You just gotta love some zebra innards!

PS Auto is fine when you have a photo you can't miss like this one!!

altadenahiker said...

And the lion rests, hungry no more. But this is the jungle, and though quiet now, tomorrow the struggle for life and death will begin anew.

Petrea said...

Aysegul, we could make pillows, couldn't we? (If we didn't put it all in the trash.)

Shell, someday I'll tell you the shoe story. He knows the difference but he had to learn. He melts me too, obviously!

Hi Pat, I've been cruising your blog this morning and found Jackson's picture (as well as a lot of other great stuff). I'm looking forward to it.

Virginia, I don't have the manual. I have a book that's helpful, but I've been shooting in manual so much that I don't know how to use the automatic settings! I'll just turn that button to auto and forget about it.

You got that right, Hiker. Right now the sun is having its soporific effect on the beast. But as the day cools, I must protect myself once again.

Vanda said...

It's snowing in your living room!

(Boz is a squeaker?)

J+P said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bellis said...

Wild boxers of the Serengeti.
(in tribute to Gary larson)

PS Your account is sooooo funny!

marley said...

Much better than an architectural photo! Brilliant post. Well done Boz!

Margaret said...

Reminds me our dog. Today, at the grocery store, we saw a little stuffed dog attached to a rope for dogs to play tug of war. My daughter looked at the dog and said, "Scout would destroy that in two seconds."

Bellis said...

When I last had a puppy, we'd go into Goodwill-type stores so she could select her own used furry toy to carry home and play with. This tiger or sheep or teddy bear lasted a few days before having the stuffing knocked out of it. (Is that where the expression comes from?). Of course, this was England some time ago, and I bet it wouldn't be allowed now, but aren't dogs fun? Threequarters wolf, a quarter human.

Trish said...

LOL...glad Boz still has it in him to kill a zebra!

true story which I think I've told. Had a client drop their golden Cooper off to stay for a bit (we no longer do this, primarily because of Cooper's behaviour). We walked his mom to her car and we came RIGHT back. In that time, Cooper had managed to disembowel a 3ft stuffed bunny...COMPLETELY. Looked like it had snowed in the house and he stood there, with the lifeless shell of the bunny in his mouth, SMILING at us. Thankfully, it WAS one we offered up to the pups to play with...but...omg!

love the analogy that the squeeker is the heart of the stuffed animal...absolutely---or at least, that's what dogs seem to think!

AmyR said...

Wow, he utterly destroyed it! Well done Boz.

We usually have five or so dogs in the office at work every day. We pick up a lot of toy fluff. And I mean a lot.

Ibarionex said...

I think we've figured out who tops the food chain in this household! Happy Thanksgiving.

Petrea said...

Vanda, Boz has a squeaker and he knows how to use it.

Merci, Marley!

Margaret, it's why I buy the cheap ones.

Bellis, I wish I could take him shopping--he likes the pet stores.

Trish, I think dogs like the squeaker, in an unconscious way, because it resembles the cry of distressed prey. It's their instinct to kill for food and it's not about cruelty.

Amy, sounds like a fun place to work!--oh wait, I seem to remember you work for a company that develops dog food.

Ibarionex, you're right, how'd you guess? Happy Thanksgiving to you, too.

Paula said...

I was right there, Petrea. my heart was really racing by the end. You know how to write a scene and move things along. When does "The Boz Man" hit the theaters? And who's playing the zebra?

AmyR said...

Yep, doggie treats and foods. And I am the only cat person in the office. ;)

Petrea said...

Amy, it's okay. Boz likes cats. Or at least he finds them intriguing.

Paula, I'm glad you enjoyed the screenplay. The zebra will be hard to cast. We need a sensitive equine who can play the drama and pathos while still allowing Boz the spotlight.

J. said...

… & doesn't mind getting ripped a New One.

Dina said...

I love it!

Diana said...

PetSmart sells replacement squeakers (ask me why I know this...). In fact, I just ran across a pack of them, but the squeaker-disemboweling dog has gone off to the great doggie park in the sky -- I don't suppose you'd like to have them?

Petrea said...

Diana, thank you for the offer, but once the critter has been disemboweled Boz continues to shred it beyond repair. That's part of the fun.

I'm sure you miss your squeaker disemboweling pooch.

Lori Lynn said...

I had to throw out a dog toy this week too. And a pillow.

Petrea said...

LL, I haven't had to throw out a pillow in a long time, but that's because we throw out a dog toy every other day or so. It's just part of their nature--some dogs more than others.

J+P said...

Photographs of early travellers on our Craftsman veldt show the commonplaces of forgotten sojourns: the pitched tents and other accoutrements; food, strung from chandeliers to frustrate marauding hyenas; well-upholstered camp furniture and wordwork beautifully committed by local artisans.

The diligent student of such romantic records will find, among the dross, images of beasts captured beyond the safety of lamplight, wet with slobber and drowsy over their kill. Those wild eyes, lambent with the camera's unwonted flash, recall former epochs when Man was but another bit of prey in these precincts—when the whole of Pasadena was but a darkling plain, devoid of modern gentilities, brutal in every respect of life and lorded over by such fanged terrors as this specimen.

O age! O history! Thy former ways are gone—thy rough Creations past! Rivers of time have passed o'er the dam, nor human mind nor tongue can reclaim … uh, hmmm … lost my train o'thought …

—last entry in Sketches of Boz, the log of Mssrs. Burchard & Sandel (Los Angeles: 2009)