Dear Cleveland:

Trixie speaks

Hi there. I’ve heard a lot about you. It’s Trixie. You don’t know me, but I’m old enough to be your grandma, or at least your aunt. I want to tell you a few things to get you ready for what’s ahead, so sit down and listen. Sit your wagging butt down and listen. You know how to settle. Good boy!

First, the good news. I know you’re scared. You’ve had a lot of change in your life. But you’ll come to find out that this is the new normal, and you’re headed for a lot of fun. All that weird stuff about
showing people poles and obstacles and stopping at curbs and watching for cars is all going to start making sense. That guy at the end of the leash? He *really* can’t see! I know you saw people slap things over their eyes so they couldn’t see while you walked around with them, but this guy doesn’t need a thing over his eyes. They don’t work. So you have to tell him about stuff or he’ll fall down or get hurt. I know how much you seem to like him, and he’s the one between you and the food bowl, so you don’t want that to happen, right? Right.

But pssst, let me tell you a secret. For a little while, you can use that non-working eyes thing to your advantage! At first, you can trick him a bit, like staying quiet when you really don’t want to go on tie-down, or trying to be sneaky. He’ll figure you out, but until he does…oh boy! Plus, people who don’t know the don’t pet the dog rule will get more chances to get their pets in because he won’t know what to feel for. Oh boy oh boy! Those were the days, and they’re all yours!

Oh. I’ve heard a little bit about where you’re headed. There’s another man there. I don’t know if he has nice balls like the fat man they call Steve does, but his eyes don’t work either. So, once you get taken off the leash, don’t sleep in the middle of the floor, or if you do, be ready to mooooove at a moment’s notice!

Oh yeah, another thing. When you have to pee, staring at the door isn’t going to work. Remember, his eyes don’t work. So, walk over and tap him and walk back to the door, or whine, or do something to tell him you have to pee. Otherwise, you might go pee where you shouldn’t, and if you’re like me, that’s just bad bad bad.

Oh yeah, just a little word of warning. Your human might be a little crazy worried about you. So, while he’s figuring you out, if you hack or do anything weird, you might end up at the vet. Don’t worry, this will get better. Be patient.

Where did you grow up? I know where I grew up, I wasn’t ready for the way the weather knob moves around up here. The first time it got c-c-c-c-c-c-cold up here, I thought this was the new normal, and that made me pretty sad. And it didn’t just get c-c-c-c-cold, the ground was covered in white stuff! There was the crunchy fluffy white stuff, and the slippery slidey white stuff. Go slow on the slippery slidey white stuff, or your human will fall down.

Anyway, it’s going to get c-c-c-c-c-cold and white, and all the rules are going to change. Sometimes, you have to climb over white stuff to get to the street, but some white stuff isn’t for climbing. And the humans are so mean. They take all the white stuff away from the places where people drive, and leave it where you and your human have to walk.

But the white stuff isn’t all bad. It’s fun to play in. *roll roll roll snort snort shukh shukh roll!* And your feet sink into it and you can see foot marks from where you’ve been. It’s neat!

I think I heard you have boots. I hate boots. I can’t think straight with boots on. What do you think of boots? Maybe you can get your human to get you the goo Carin puts on me. Mushers something. It’s nice goo. I don’t like it much when she’s putting it on, but it does a good job, and then I don’t have to where those prancy horsey boots! Yuck!

But let me tell you. The white stuff will go away, and you’ll get the nice grass back. I know you won’t believe me, but it will.

Hmmm. I think that’s most of the tips I can pass on to you. You have a lot to learn. You need to figure out how to talk to your human. He speaks human and tries to speak dog. You speak dog and try to understand human and get the message through. Sometimes it works, sometimes, not so much. Some days it feels like you can’t get anything right and you’d rather sniff a bush. But sometimes, you just feel so darn good you want to wag so hard your puppy raisers can feel the breeze off your tail. Eventually, it will be more good than bad, but you two have a lot to learn, so expect some not so good. But you’re a good boy and a smart boy, and he’s a good human and a smart human. You’ll figure it out.

I can show you more tricks if we get to meet in person. Then we can really wiggle noses and share secrets, but until then, this will have to do. I hear you just got off a flying car bus thing, and you’re probably huuuuungry. Everything is fine. Try and relax.

With licks, wags, shukhs and snorts of hello,


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