Smarty Spot

Monday, November 27, 2006

Pictures for Louise

Hi, Louise! I see my owners have rented out space on my blog. Who knows what they'll do next, rent out my room? Make me share my bed? Or my food? Life is a constant struggle with those two.

Well, enjoy the pictures!

- Smarty

Note from "the owner": Click on the picture so it expands to full size (which is pretty big), and then right click to save onto your own computer. We'll keep this post up for a week or so. Let us know if you have any trouble.

One Track Mind

Continuing the numbers game... Let me share with you a little secret. Probably the most important key to success, as I see it, is to have one track mind.

This is certainly important on, well, the track. The idea is "full speed ahead," not "some speed in several directions."

But having a one track mind relates to all aspects of life.

If you want dinner, that needs to be the one thing you focus on, completely and totally. Don't think about racing, walking, playing, or sleeping. Believe me, owners know the difference between a whippet that really wants to eat and a whippet that can wait. And wait you will, unless you have a one track mind.

Now, I am not saying you should be impatient. When I am ready to eat, I do indeed wait. I wait for about ten more seconds until I am consumed by a passion to eat. Only at that point do I then make my intentions known to my owner.

At that point, I make it my only aim to obtain my meal. My owners know I mean business when I come to them with my dinner whine. It used to be that I would allow my whine to start from my back toes and run up my legs, across my back, and then out my mouth - this was one way to give it my all. But I realized even this wasn't enough. So now I have found a way to insure that I whine with my entire being. My whine is now more like an aura all around me, radiating from my innermost being out into the room all around me. Dinner usually follows shortly thereafter.

Let me give one more example: sleeping.

Dogs have received a bad rap with this whole "sleeping with one eye open" legend. What's that all about? We're supposed to get rest by an indecisive sleeping method, just because Lassie did it? Look, if the locks on the doors aren't good enough to keep out the invading marauders, we'll deal with them soon enough. But trust me, sleep deprivation is not good preparation for fending off villains... villains in the neighborhood or Villains on the track, for that matter!

So when you sleep, put your all into it! Don't live one of the best halves of your life "half asleep," sleep with all your heart. What I do is close my eyes as tightly as possible, curl into a tight ball on the dog bed, and cover my ears with my front legs as best I can. No one's going to mistake my power nap for a tummy rub request.

I don't think there is anything that defines my personality and beliefs more that the secret I have shared with you today. But if you are reading this and thinking, "I will keep these things in mind," you haven't yet learned what I am trying to teach you. Don't keep "these things" in mind, keep one thing in mind - in your one track mind!

Now go take on the day.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Two Smart For My Own Good?

Yesterday was a race day! I got to do everything I enjoy: run, compete, attack the bunny, wear a racing blanket, and cross that finish line. This time someone kept crossing the finish line before me, even though I tried assured him I knew the way all by myself and didn't need a "tour guide." Oh well, he seemed to really want to show the way, so I tried to be a good sport, slow down, and let him by. (Congratulations, Odie!)

I heard something afterward about being "number two." I tried to think about what this meant… And I think I figured it out.

First of all, it was a little two wet outside.

Also, in one of the first races I tried a little two hard to get out of the box… or maybe it opened a little two late! See my scar? I think it’s kinda cool. It might help me cultivate a new “bad dog” image. Or maybe I'll write some blues songs now that I've paid my dues!

I also hurt my foot and had to put it intwo a bucket of ice. Whoa, don’t you think that’s a little two cold??

Don't worry, though, I'm getting better. I just need two rest.

But don't count me out! As "number two," I demand a second chance!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Multiple Choice

Yes, there is an elephant in the room. And I'm not talking politics.

An "elephant in the room" is something important that people are unwilling to talk about. Of course, now I'm talking about the elephant which seems contradictory... This is why English is, again, so confusing. So much simpler to give a couple barks and a low guttural moan. A whippet is never afraid to bark her mind.

So anyway, just what is the elephant in the room? Take a guess. For the following pictures from Saturday's "race meet," you choose the the answer that is most appropriate for the picture in question.

The above picture shows:

A) Me, with two of my half siblings
B) Me, wearing my mom's new collar
C) A relaxing autumn day
D) Me, not racing.

The correct answer is D. Remember, I said which answer is most accurate. And the most glaring detail in this picture is that, while I'm at a "race meet," it looks about as exciting as a "business meeting."

Try again:

This picture shows:

A) Me stretching
B) Not me, but Gilley stretching
C) A relaxing autumn day
D) Not me, not racing

Yes, the correct answer is D again. The most important part of this picture is in the background: A van with a whippet cooped up inside, caged like a common criminal although you would think she would be out there racing with all her friends. Had I been able to reach my cell phone, I would have called Animal Cops.

So as you can see, I spent the whole day:

A) Racing
B) Not racing
C) Not racing and getting very upset about it
D) Not racing and getting very, very upset about it

The correct answer is not D this time. No, the correct answer is more like Y or Z.

I shouldn't say I didn't get to run at all. I did get one chance to go to the boxes, but I could tell it wasn't for real. There were no cheering fans. No crowds gathered at the finished line. No reporters with all their questions after the big run. No prizes or ribbons. No theme music. No linament. (I know a couple or a few of these things are just in my imagination, but I love racing so much it's hard to tell the difference... especially when I haven't had a chance to race in so long!)

You can call it running, but you can't call it racing.

So now what? What do you think I should do?

A) Go on strike: stop all household chores immediately until given a chance to really race
B) Channel frustration into art: use this time to write complaintive country music
C) Co-opt "new media": use cyberspace to get out my message, bringing public pressure on my owners to get me to the race I need and deserve
D) Binge: have an extra big meal, sleep hard, and hope for better luck next time

The correct answer is...

D... Food heals all wounds, as they say. And I'm willing to give my owner another chance. Now it's just a matter of getting her to serve up that extra big meal.

How about that elephant? Mmmm...

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Friday Night Reflections

Well, there hasn’t been a race meet yet in spite of all the hoopla earlier this week. Instead, all we did was sit around and watch the people on TV talk about “the races around the country.” All talk, no action…

I guess it’s important to watch TV though. We’ll be doing plenty of that in the winter I assume, and so it’s good to start practicing. After all, if something is worth doing it’s worth doing right.

And everything you do right takes practice. Consider:

Racing takes practice, obviously. Training your owners takes practice – well, at least to train the female owner. She does not learn quickly, she always has her own way of doing things. The male owner learns fast, though – in fact, I have to be careful that I don’t bend him to my will too quickly. I want him to think that he’s in charge, since he seems to operate best under those conditions.

Now, what was I talking about again? Oh, yes, practice.

Eating also takes practice, if you’re going to do it right. You have to learn how to get your owner to feed you, how to get to the bowl swiftly, how to eat your meal in the fewest bites (the most talented don’t need to chew at all), and of course how to keep the bowl from sliding across the tile floor (hint: it’s all in the wrist).

That last point is pretty important. Early on, I felt like I was playing bumper cars with my bowl, or perhaps hockey. The bowl would glide across the floor and smack into mom’s bowl. While this is fun, it puts your food in jeopardy of being shared. You don’t put that much work into mealtime only to give your food away! This is America, not some communist state! Okay, okay, I have to calm down. I’m sorry, I’m worked up about these things because of all those commentators on TV.

So back to my original point… Wait, what was my original point? Something about air hockey? Bumper cars? Communism?

Well, now I’ve done it. I’ve written myself into a corner. How in the world do those things relate?

Well, speaking of the world, look who showed up on The Wide World of Sports this week:

Way to go, Lucy! Now, that just goes to show that practice makes perfect.

Lucy has clearly learned one of the most important life lessons of all: traction. Even the TV people talk about candidates who have traction, and those who do not. Any candidate for the whippet nationals will need traction, too.

But traction is important in all areas of life. Take a look:

There is no way I’m going to lose that tug of war. Why? Traction.

How can you spring into action at breakfast time if you don’t have traction? You’ll slide across the wood floor like an idiot while your breakfast gets served to those with firmer footing. Mom knows what I’m talking about:

There really isn’t enough traction to go around, as you can see. Like I said, this is America.

Okay, so what was I talking about again? Politics? Tractors? I seem to have forgotten again…

You know, I’m sorry, but obviously my mind isn’t focused enough to write this post.

I think I’ve been watching too much TV!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Camp George

I’m back!

And what a week it was at Camp George! I had the privilege of spending one on one time with the director of the camp, George Allen. No, not that George Allen:

This George Allen:

We played Nintendo together, made S’mores, listened to country music, and cooked shish kebobs! I can’t wait to go back. For now, I’m just resting back at home, doing a little channel surfing…

And it’s important that I get that rest, too, because there’s apparently a big race coming up.

Now, no one has gone out of their way to inform me about the race (ahem), but there are some tell tail signs.

First, when I’m channel surfing through the cable news stations, I keep hearing about races going on all over the nation. Apparently a lot of races are happening, and they’re “close.” So, lots of races nearby – now that sounds like fun!

Also, just before I left Camp George something intriguing happened. George and I were eating chocolate sundaes and playing Twister, and suddenly all the power went out. At first I thought it was a trick on George’s part, since I was winning. (Hint: it’s all in the tail.) He said he called the power company, but I didn’t hear him talk to anybody – and you would think that surely they would answer the phone in case of emergency.

Then I figured it out: Sometimes big sports events have “blackout dates.” This is something else I learned from channel surfing. So, this blackout was just another sign that a big event was coming soon – and what could be bigger than a multi-venue, no-holds-barred, championship national patriotic whippet straight race extravaganza?!

Now I’m getting very excited.

And I just heard on TV that George Allen is running! Wow. I hope he can do a little better at the races than he did at Twister. Does he realize that it really takes four legs to break out of the box properly? I let him use his hands in Twister, but even if they let him do that in the straight race – well, to be honest it might look a little silly. But I wouldn’t put anything past him. The TV says that he has quite a reputation in the South, so he must have done something right!

Well, I better go get some more rest. The big races are getting really close now – they may even be tomorrow, if I understand this Colbert fellow correctly. And they say a big turnout is expected, so I hope to…

See you at the races!