Smarty Spot

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


It's hard to find a more pathetic sight than this one:

Look at that poor animal, cast outside with some sort of bizarre sign of social stigma affixed to its head! Scoche is normally not very sympathetic, so you know that if she feels bad for you, you must really be in a pretty hopeless condition.

I'm pretty sympathetic, as you probably realize if you read this blog. I'm always an advocate for the underdog, always concerned for the rights of the poor, always seeking to make the world a more equitable place. Yes, I admit, this sympathy is usually extended to myself--but if I'm the one who needs it, what can I say? I just call 'em as I see 'em.

Which is the case again this time, I must say... because the animal in that picture is me!

Here's the mug shot:

I wish I could tell you what happened to make me deserve the shame...the ridicule...the all-too-frequent "bumps in the night" as my new XL head tried to make its way through doorways. But if I deserved it, then I wouldn't be able to show myself sympathy anymore--since sympathy is reserved for the innocent among us.

Poor, innocent, and outcast.

Well, at least it's in the past.

Once the conehead came off, I was taken up to New Jersey. I assumed this would be a time of much-needed rest, recuperation, and advanced psychological treatment to help me re-enter society.

Instead, I've been undergoing an unusual battery of tests. I'm being examined by some kind of medical practicioner (I'm not sure she's even a real vet), who keeps poking and prodding my feet.

The worst part is they keep telling me to smile, as if I'm supposed to enjoy being their human guinea pig.

What are they up to? I fear that my competition is trying to find out my secrets. It kinda makes sense, because "said competition" is here too and she seems to be calling the shots... Needless to say, I sleep with both eyes open.

You notice there's a guard permanently assigned to me, too, but let's just say that when if it comes time to escape...I'm not too worried.

Lucy's up here, too, but of course she's treated like a queen...

I'm not sure what's going on. They say there's a purpose for all our trials, and this is certainly making me more sympathetic, as in "sym-pathetic." Even em-pathetic!

I trust my trials are doing the same for you.

PS: Note to my owners--if you're out there reading this, please make sure that Scoche doesn't eat my share of the evening treats! And don't wash any of the bowls after her meals, I'll be back to lick them clean soon!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

My Birthday! Over the Hill...or Sneaking Around it?

Today I turn four!

That's almost 30 in human years which would mean, of course, that my best years are waaay behind me.

Fortunately, I know how to out-Smart the system.

First of all, "30 is the new 20." So that gains me a decade right there. Subtracting for my generally sunny and youthful personality brings me down another notch, so let's say that brings me to about twelve. Finally, compare me with those around me...and you easily cut my age in half. That brings me to six. Then, rounding down to the nearest number divisible by get...let's see...four!

So, I'm four. I can handle that.

But I decided that I do need to begin thinking about growing older, if only to help others less fortunate than myself. It's time to add wisdom to my resume.

So, where do I turn? To my master? Ummmm... nah. How about to my good friend Joel? He's an old soul, and he'll be able to help.

A quick search on his blog leads me to a list of twenty (!!) suggestions about how to grow old with dignity. The first on the list is "Don't move to California." That's a manageable goal. The second suggestion is "Do not watch TV news shows or read tabloid newspapers." That's impossible--I have to keep up with these just in case I get mentioned in them. Brand management is hugely important to me.

Okay, you know what, there are 18 more suggestions listed. Twenty suggestions?? I will definitely grow old if I spend my time reading all of those.

So I Google "what's the one thing I need to know about getting older (not that I'm really getting older)" and I come up with this: "Two things are certain: Death and taxes."

I've never paid taxes in my life! So at best this little piece of insight is batting .500.

You know what? I'm just going to stay young. People who get older don't seem to know what they're talking about.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Two's Company

Do you notice anything unusual about the picture below?

If you guessed "Hey Smarty, you're chained to your mom and a baby!" you're exactly right. How embarrassing... Try doing anything productive in that condition! Can you imagine trying to chase a squirrel through the park like that? I think the squirrels might be a little tipped off when they hear, "Okay, everyone, on the count of three...1, 2, 3, go!" Not to mention the sound of squeeky wheels bouncing over the landscape, or the sudden choking sound should Scoche and I head off in two separate directions.

And what about attending a race meet? Aside from obvious complications concerning entering and exiting the box, there are these moral dilemmas: Do we run with the veterans (for Scoche's sake) or with the puppies (for the baby's sake)? How do we divide the points and the prizes? And how do we squeeze that contraption under the wicket?

So I decided... Two's company but three's obviously a crowd. I've cut Scoche out of the loop and teamed up with the boy!

This has made life around the house much more pleasant...

I haven't resolved all the racing issues yet. But I think it could be kind of cool, like a "Batman and Robin" setup. I'm the Batmobile (of course) and he's the little sidecar.

Some might wonder whether I'm in a really big moral dilemma now - one of "lifeboat" proportions. Was I right to team up against my very own mother? The one who whelped me and, when given no other option, stuck with me all these years?

Something to think about...

Fortunately I'm thinking about it on a full stomach!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Double Take

Someone recently asked whether I was on vacation. The answer depends on whether being laid off counts against your vacation time!

You see, we were recently in production for a new post all about grizzly bears. We had hired the stunt doubles and everything, and were beginning to figure out how to best shoot the scene. In fact, here's a picture of me attacking the bear:

As I said, we had already hired stunt doubles - for both me and the bear. The one on top is my own stunt double, and the one below is playing the part of the bear.

Sadly, this "bearish" economy kicked in, and due to some budgetary limitations we never were able to film the scene in full costume.

I might just have to start earning some extra money on the side...

Hey, maybe I'll become a stunt double! After all, my double sure does get to see a lot of action: He spends all day walking around on all fours, putting things in his mouth, getting fed big meals, napping... in short, all the things I would normally do. I think the owners even take him out racing, because he's often carted off in the van and he comes back very tired.

That's a great idea. Why didn't I think of it sooner?

Oh, I know... because he probably did!

Waitaminute... The double is taking over everything, isn't he? How did I not catch onto that?

He'll probably even have his own blog soon if I don't regain control!

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Very Best of Smarty Spot

In June, I will have been writing Smarty Spot for 14 dog years. So I thought it would be fun to celebrate! I was thinking perhaps having a Smarty Spot Gala Dinner. We could invite a few celebrities (John Denver and Tula come to mind), all my friends (Lucy, Holly, Emily, George, and everyone else), and the many little people who have made this site such a success...

Of course the most important part would be the dinner itself. Well, it would actually be a tie between dinner and dessert.

To create some buzz, I've created a list of my Top 10 favorite posts from the past 14 years. You can vote for your favorite in the comments section if you'd like. And if you'll leave your name and, more importantly, the phone numbers of 14 friends, we'll hire some telemarketers or callbots to promote the heck out of this event! That should create the needed buzz...

Anyway, here's the list!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Treatise on Love

It may seem I haven't written in a while. This is because I've been encouraged by those around me to tackle some of the great issues of humanity, topics like love and justice and ethics and all that stuff.

Not being human, I wondered whether I should put my hand to this task. Yet these topics are actually the warp and woof of my writing thus far - you only have to dig a little below the surface to see these themes poking through. But it's a point well taken that we all reach a point where our writing must move to the next level, if we are to pass along to the next generation something of enduring value. (When I say "we all" I refer to myself and those who came before me: Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Shakespeare, the prophets - you know, us.)

So I decided that my first major treatise would be ... love.

As you can see, this is a topic I'm acquainted with. See that shirt? It says "loved by a whippet" - and if you look closely, you'll notice that I am that whippet!

So, when did I first realize I loved this little human?

It wasn't the other day, when I caught this little drummer boy using my dinner bowl and my spoon as his own little drum set! No, it wasn't then.

Was it as I waited - yet again - for our walk to begin, only to find we had to go through another round of pictures? No, it wasn't then.

You'll notice Scoche, by this point, was banging her head against the wall. Even the little boy was wondering when this would all end.

So when was it that I decided I loved the little boy?

Well, you see, this is where my treatise breaks new ground. I love unconditionally. What does this mean, you might ask. It means that I love because it's part of my nature, not because I receive anything in return. (Although donations are accepted. I will gladly accept gently used jars of fruits and vegetables, potatoes that drop to the floor, a chance to play with those cool blocks, etc.)

But unconditional love can take a lot out of you. This is because, as noted above, you don't receive anything in return. (Although donations are accepted. Did I mention that?) Fortunately for me, I am able to refill my little whippet love tank:

I absorb affection very effeciently. And this affection is then able to be turned into unconditional love throughout the day. By the way, affection always tastes best with a banana!

So, that's my treatise on love. I think the moral to the story is - and again, you heard it here first - love others the way you would want them to love you. And if your love tank is running low, let the T-shirt do the talking!


Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Sad Animals

They say to count your blessings. What if you don't have any?

That's when you have to remember those less fortunate than you. But I don't know anyone less fortunate than me! There are two reasons for this: First, it's hard to get to know your neighbors when you can't see over the fence. Second, my own feelings are so forceful that they demand all my attention and energy; I'd love to show compassion and empathy, believe me, but it's all I can do to control my own emotions! They're exhausting.

Fortunately my owner helps me to understand the plight of others to help keep everything in perspective.

The other day he took me here...

It smelled nice. It has my name, or at least most of it, on the building. But... Boy was this an eye-opening experience!

Not only was animal cruelty fully sanctioned here, and even celebrated, under the thin veil of "pet grooming." But I saw things like this there...

Do you see that?? These are low fat dog treats! How can the words "low fat" and "treats" be used in the same sentence? What poor animals have committed crimes worthy of punishment like this?

And that wasn't all. Right next to the "Pork Earz" and "Mammoth Bones" - perfectly healthy, normal appetizers - were something called guilt free treats. Guilt free treats? That's like saying "treat free treats"!

With treats like these, who needs enemies?

It all became very clear to me... There really are some animals out there who are truly sad. Probably in need of intensive, professional mental health care in fact. I feel like I've received treatment myself--this whole experience was like "shock therapy"!

Here's what my owner bought me:

Mmmm... Fat... Guilt... Buy one get one free... Yes, I think I see my blessings more clearly now!

In fact, could I have another one of those blessings while we're on the subject?

(Actually, since it's "buy one get one free" maybe I'll take two. Or four...)

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