It really is very strange when your dog gets mail. It's completely unexpected. You're going through the mail and sorting it for each family member as you're walking back indoors from the mailbox and there in the pile is a letter for your dog. It's not a reminder from the vet to let him know he has an upcoming visit (as some vets think it's cute to send the reminder to the pet itself), nor is it for your older dog who has long been registered with the town. No, it's for the puppy who won't be "official" until January of next year, which makes it all the more puzzling how anyone got his name and address.
So Bram gets this letter and upon opening it I discover that he's been personally invited to participate in a town event known as "Dog Daze" where licensed dogs can enter any or all of three events: costume, agility and talent. As I'm not sure Bram can enter as he isn't yet licensed and Edison sadly- and most rudely- was overlooked by whoever was sending these things out (we're outraged, I tell you!), it appears we won't be participating, but I did give this some thought before deciding to toss the invitation.
The costume event would be ideal for us, as I love dressing my dogs up whenever I have an excuse to do it, and being an artist I can really rock the whole costume thing. With time short as this gala is happening in just two weeks, I thought I could get away with making just one new costume by recycling Edison's first Halloween costume as it would fit Bram who is still tiny: a bee suit complete with gossamer wings, antennae and a tiny stinger on the bum. Edison, were he able to compete, would go as a little Sherlock Holmes with a tweed cape, starched collar and a deerstalker hat with a small pipe attached to the side near his cheek. Of course, this would not be at all inhumane: forcing my dogs to wear layers of fleece and wool from head to toe in the heat of late June.
As to agility, the boys' talents extend to running in circles around the house at top speed and ducking under the couch while only occasionally smacking their foreheads against its front, fighting over choice toys in a frequently vicious game of tug of war, and chasing the cat up and down the stairs until she attacks their faces in a feral rage.
Talent? One of my dogs will sit on command, but only if he is sure you have a treat for him. There's no way he'd lower himself to do something so base without it being worth his while so if he doesn't see the food, he won't bother, and the other dog hasn't even once attempted to sit, but simply leaps into the air, steals the snack and runs like hell into the next room with it, inhaling it before anyone tries to get it away from him. One snores very loudly and the other never stops barking, but since I have absolutely no control over stopping or starting either of these behaviors, I suppose neither could be considered the trick of "speaking". Are they talented dogs? They can't paint or sing or do any little dances, but one boy is exceptionally gassy and the other will bite your ankles if you're a stranger who has come too close to him, his brother, or anyone else he feels especially protective of. This is all good enough for me, but I doubt it will win either of them any trophies.
So even if we were able to compete, I wouldn't want to stress my poor boys out by dolling them up on a very hot day and I seriously doubt we'd win anything more than a lot of odd and sadly condescending looks from all those folks who came to watch the spectacle of so many dogs put through their various paces. But what I would like to know is, why haven't either of my dogs yet received a letter from the attorney of a recently passed, long-lost relation informing them that they have just inherited an enormous sum of money or an estate in the English countryside? Because that's the kind of mail my dogs should be receiving.