Smarty Spot

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Impending Birthday Party

I think I need to get registered.

I've been receiving a lot of gifts this summer. If they're birthday gifts, the senders seemed to ignore the list I put together for my March surprise birthday party, which included a BB gun, snorkle, and an EZ Bake oven. I had wondered why the surprise party never happened, but now that gifts are arriving I've caught on -- a birthday party in August really would be a surprise since my birthday was 5 months ago! You guys are too much.

On the other hand, these also could be early Christmas gifts. If this is the case, I need to overnight my Christmas list to the North Pole, because I'm not sure what kind of logic is behind some of these presents.

For example, my vet sent me some gifts:

Obviously these are for me. But what's this??

I don't think I ever asked for a blue body suit. Unless it's meant to be protective covering in case someone fires back at me with their own BB gun...

And then there's this...

Yes, it's true that in my last communication with Santa I said I wanted "my own set of wheels." But don't get me wrong, I like to walk! It's not that I want to get pushed around, I just thought I might be able to cruise the parks a little easier if I could drive there on my own.

Similarly, this gift arrived the other day:

Now I admit, I did ask for a car seat. But what I meant was that I wanted to sit in a car seat as opposed to in a crate - I like to look out the window too, you know! Ideally, I like to ride shotgun.

Which brings us back to that BB gun issue. It needs to have a shock-resistant scope, like this one, and a heat sensor would be cool too. It will only be used for hunting squirrels and I promise not to aim it at any humans except as a joke.


Monday, July 23, 2007

Behind the Scenes

Smarty Spot is published once or twice per week. Between posts, more preparation takes place than people realize. Believe me, it may look easy, but it's quite a production!

In order to prepare just one post, an entire crew is needed:

Not only do we need to get cleaned up to meet the high ethical standards of Smarty Spot, other crew members need to ensure we are camera ready:

And of course, with a large supporting cast, all of this process takes even longer...

Of course, I always come to the photo sessions prepared. Take for example this picture, which showed up on the June 13 post "Three Wishes."

Even though I was ready, and knew all my lines, it still took several tries to get things just right. This is because there are always some who seem to never know when they're needed or where they're supposed to be.

Pardon me! Can't you see we're trying to work around here?

I'm not sure if this cast member (who shall remain nameless to protect her career) was just trying to get extra camera time, or if she just didn't know when she was supposed to come on stage. Part of being a professional is to have patience, but as you can imagine it's not always easy!

Okay, are we ready for the sunrise shot? I don't want to be here all day...

Ready, set, action!

And it's a wrap.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Good Night and Good Luck!

Ever since the Fourth of July, I've been thinking about American values. Overall, I think I like them.

As American as apple pie. Count me in!

The great American melting pot. Just let me lick it when you're done cooking!

Consumerism. Absolutely! Show me what to consume, and I'm happy to oblige.

Pragmatism. I definitely consider myself pragmatic. More in a practical way than in a theoretical way, though.

But there is one value I'm not quite sure about: diversity. Take a look:

Every night I have certain expectations. And what are you supposed to do when one night you get the scrawny little treat to the left, and another night you get a big slice of bacon and the next night a chicken filet? It seems like it would be better to go with another American value, the well-balanced meal. A chicken filet, with bacon, and a little garnish of "power bone" please!

It seems that this would fulfill that great American dream of E Pluribus Unum: "Out of the many, one."

Now, recently, things became pretty scarce. We had worked our way through the evening treats, and the cupboards were getting pretty bare:

This led me into a very Great Depression.

But we went to Petsmart yesterday, and me and Scoche got to engage in a little bit of freedom of choice. Notice that we did what all true Americans do, we super-sized it!

Now that's all American. Not only is it really, really big... but it provides justice for all!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Run of the House

I'm the first to admit my mistakes. This is because no one else notices them - they're subtle. And also, my mistakes are generally not my fault.

Take for example the squirrel situation around here. They have been emboldened lately, and part of the responsibility lies squarely with me: I've let them get away with far too much, because my owners don't let me out the door quickly enough; the deck is too slippery; and society in general has created a situation that is not condusive to solving the problem.

So, yes, I am a little bit embarrassed when I slip past the deck steps, fall down the stairs, and splash onto the little stone pebbles beneath. I admit it's not the most elegant performance. And hearing the squirrels laugh...well, that's frankly uncalled for.

So I was thinking, what if I master a new art - the art of delegation? I thought that would be cool, because I assume you get your own throne and servants.

So I got a throne... one that will keep me from slipping around on the deck:

And I got a servant for patrolling the yard:

Scoche did pretty well. Her technique is admittedly more understated than mine. There was a quiet elegance in her style, resulting in an almost mythical stillness, a harmony of nature.

But you know, I kind of missed the excitement of the sliding and tumbling, the noise of the rocks and scurrying woodland creatures, the laughter, the applause, the Big Finish...

Which only goes to show, if you want something done right you gotta do it yourself!

Let me at 'em!!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

The Second 4th of July

Yesterday was the 4th of July here at our new home. I consider myself American, although I actually have dual citizenship: the USA and the Animal Kingdom. And this becomes a triple citizenship if you then consider the fact that there are two Americas.

For example, in one America you get to come and go as you please, playing with paint and shovels and dirt and all sorts of cool stuff. In my America you "celebrate" your "independence" by being confined to the backyard instead.

This wouldn't have been so bad, but I stuck there in America #2 with Scoche, who insisted on making a continual fuss about it. She tried to play dead to get the owners' attention, but - as they usually do when decisive action is required - they just thought it was an opportunity for a picture...

Before you get worried, though, you should know that we were eventually let inside...after the festivities. But then we were placed in solitary confinement! Well, not quite solitary - I was with Scoche, again - but binary confinement can be unfair too.

Later, the other America went off to a nice barbecue and, I assume, to see fireworks... while those of us in America #2 could only drink lukewarm water and listen to the fireworks.

But you know, as I think about it, not only are there two Americas -- there are two animal kingdoms! The dog park we've been going to lately is a confined, fenced area... and we're forced to wear our collar and leash when we venture outside this "gated community." Meanwhile, the squirrels run around wild and free. And don't think they don't rub it in.

So does this mean I have quadruple citizenship? Boy, politics can be confusing.

And I still haven't even told you about my imagi-nation yet. In that nation, I have a dream... a dream that one day we'll all be free...

Happy 4th of July ... from the rest of us!