Independence Day (From Thereby Hangs A Tail)

Bernie and the count sat at the table; I lay under it. The count peered down at me. “Interesting animal,” he said. Who was he talking about? “In our world overbreeding is always the risk. Here the opposite seems to obtain.” Could have meant anything; all I knew was I didn’t like the count’s breath, which smelled of fish. I’m not a picky eater but the appeal of fish is lost on me.

Bernie gave the count a smile, the mouth kind, the eyes and the rest of his face not joining in. “A lot of people have underestimated Chet,” he said.

“No offense intended,” the count said. He took out a pack of cigarettes. “Smoke?” he said.

“No thanks,” Bernie said, but his eyes were glued to that pack.

“Of course not,” said the count, lighting up and taking a deep drag. “You Americans,” he said.

Yeah, we were Americans, me and Bernie. So?


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This entry was posted on Sunday, July 4th, 2010 at 9:10 am and is filed under Chet The Dog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

68 Responses to “Independence Day (From Thereby Hangs A Tail)”

  1. Barb & Maggie
    4:17 am on July 4th, 2010

    Happy Fourth of July everyone. May you have a fun filled and safe holiday.

    Hope Rio's prayers are working their magic.

    And Chet, you are not overbred or underbred – you are just right!

  2. B. Stover
    4:20 am on July 4th, 2010

    In media res. I like it! Where are we Chet? Who's the count?

    Happy 4th to Chet, Bernie, Spence, Admin.

  3. B. Stover
    4:28 am on July 4th, 2010

    Thereby Hangs a Tail.

  4. B. Stover
    4:32 am on July 4th, 2010

    Happy 4th B&M…and everyone else!

    That, of course, should have been in medias res.

  5. Barb & Maggie
    4:53 am on July 4th, 2010

    The Count is Adeline's husband, and not a very nice man. That is why the rest of Bernie's face is not smiling.

  6. bluecat
    5:01 am on July 4th, 2010

    For Alice Johnson, an escape story. We took in a stray Tortie, not knowing her disposition was like Our Friend Rio's. She became an indoor cat for her safety as well as the safety of the local bird population. She could move through the grass, with a bell on her collar, and not make a sound. She was an escape artist until the day she raced through the open garage door, leaped into a snow pile, raced back inside and never again tried to escape. She crossed over the Rainbow Bridge at age 19.

    Rio, thanks again for eloquent prayer. May it be answered. Grateful for freedom, because we can take it for granted – Happy 4th everybody – new and established – especially you, Chet.

  7. Melanie
    5:13 am on July 4th, 2010

    Obviously, the count is overbred! Chet is pure American. BlueKat, for a minute there I thought you had found a tortoise!

    Happy Fourth of July folks!

    [img ] Mac!.jpg[/img]

  8. B. Stover
    5:22 am on July 4th, 2010

    I like the story Bluecat. Melanie is that Franklin? Great picture.

  9. Melanie
    5:30 am on July 4th, 2010

    B. Stover, that is The Mac. Also River Bear Robert's Mr. McKey. Or Mac a Doodle. or hey you idiot! or "Don't you dare pee on that new sofa.

    Oh, that reminds me, Riö, I hope you don't claim the new furniture at your friend's friend's farm!

  10. bluecat
    5:33 am on July 4th, 2010

    Melanie – that's funny 'cause we did rescue a tortoise from the middle of a busy road. Named him Franklin and returned him to the wild. BTW, mom also knows and loves the nation in a nation. She took a German Shepherd through obedience school, long, long ago and covets one of your puppies!!!

  11. Barb & Maggie
    6:17 am on July 4th, 2010

    Melanie, Love the picture. Hope Dan is doing well.

    We have to go outside for a while and work in the garden. Rain coming later today.

  12. Melanie
    6:22 am on July 4th, 2010

    I love it! A wild tortoise named Franklin. I'll tell him.

    Dan is going to be moved tomorrow to Boston. Tuesday is the procedure that will look at this nasty mitral valve. Then decision time.

    Zoë and Ellie are at the hospital with Dan. Nothing like having a therapy dog in the family!

  13. Riö - The Evil
    6:29 am on July 4th, 2010

    Hey!… We were just getting ready to go see grandma and I got this email…snort!…Someone by the name of Uncle Samster sent it and wanted me to share it with all of you!…wheeze!

    Happy Fourth of July Everybody!…gruff!gruff!…Have fun today!…snort!

  14. Siberian Husky
    6:36 am on July 4th, 2010

    Happy Fourth of July everyone!!! May you have lots of barbecue and ribs especially for Chet. To all you dogs that don't like this holiday…hang in there. It will soon be over with. That's what I keep telling myself.

    Melanie, that has to be one of my all time favorite Fourth of July photos. Mom is gushing about what a good looking guy he is.

    Bluecat, I hope Alice can learn a lesson from your story.

  15. Siberian Husky
    6:46 am on July 4th, 2010

    Rio's card is FUNNY!!!

  16. Melanie
    7:22 am on July 4th, 2010

    Well, I think I've got Dan and Zoë's new cell phone working. Have to see. Just need to charge it up. But everything about the plan (on-line) is correct, so that's good.

    Have to tell you: a summer lady stopped and knocked on the door wanting to buy one of the Pack.

    Not one of the pups mind you, one of the PACK!

    I told her those were members of the family and not for sale.

    She looked at me as if I were nuts.

    Hey, not everything has a price!

  17. Siberian Husky
    7:47 am on July 4th, 2010

    If the lady didn't understand about the Newfs being part of the family, no dog would want to be her dog.

  18. Gus & BooBear
    7:47 am on July 4th, 2010

    OMG!! As if you would sell one of your family, Melanie!! Loved the picture of Mac. A handsome fellow from a family of handsome and beautiful Newfs.

    Happy July 4th to all the blogsters and especially to Chet, Spence, PA and Admin!!!

    Be safe!


  19. Staff
    8:08 am on July 4th, 2010

    Happy 4th of July to everyone.

    Here is a photo I took at one of the PGI annual meetings a few years ago. I love it when they come to West Fargo for a week and we get to watch fantastic fireworks every night.


    [img ] fireworks.jpg[/img]

  20. Riö - The Evil
    8:14 am on July 4th, 2010

    Wow!… Now that’s a fireworks display!… woooo!… I bet SiberH ran and hid under the bed when he saw that photo!…snort!

  21. Siberian Husky
    9:01 am on July 4th, 2010

    That's pretty! That is the way to experience fireworks as far as I am concerned…a nice photo.

  22. Staff
    11:20 am on July 4th, 2010

    Yes Rio and Siber-H,

    It is a noisy week. I don't mind the fireworks but I do think the firecracker chain (over a million firecrackers) is a bit much. They insist on doing one each year! They call it the mega-string. All I want to know is why? I like the pretty flowers in the sky way better. for the curious. This year the convention is in Appleton Wisconsin.


  23. Wookie of Chevy Chas
    11:55 am on July 4th, 2010

    Happy Fourth of July to everybody, including my scheming friend Rio. I did notice a couple of squirrels outside earlier today with walkie-talkies. Any idea of what that was about? But they failed to penetrate the perimeter.

    Melanie — a great picture of Mac. I think that will go down as my all-time favorite 4th of July photo. And I am quite certain that he never really intended to pee on that new sofa.

    Enjoy, stay cool, and be safe everyone. Wookie

  24. Barb & Maggie
    12:32 pm on July 4th, 2010

    Melanie, Mac looks majestic. I bet he isn't for sale either. What a dopey lady!

    We just ordered 6, I say 6, SQ books from Barnes and Noble, plus 1 copy of In the Company of Newfies. One of the C & B books is for us and the rest are gifts. So exciting!

    Rain is postponed so we can cook on the grill before it starts. Steak bone for me. And the marrow bone I had before that was out of this world delish!

    Mom said the guy that raises the grass-fed Scottish Highland beef is named Ted Bone, or T. Bone. I don't get it, but she thought that was really funny.

    Hope everyone is having a good day.

  25. Macy the Min-Pin
    12:34 pm on July 4th, 2010

    Happy 4th everybody,

    Our party has started now. My daughter Biddie, and cousin Holly just came to celebrate with me, Annie and Belle. But nobody brought any ribs. Dad has to work at the fireworks. Holly and Biddie's staff went to a cook out. I guess the 5 of us will just have to stage a raid on the pantry. Our house is far enough from the big booms that we should be ok.

  26. Riö - The Evil
    1:27 pm on July 4th, 2010

    Yea!…We just got home and the Rockies are tied with the Giants!…wooooo!….Bottom of the 9th!…clap!clap! clap!clap!clap!

  27. Riö - The Evil
    1:37 pm on July 4th, 2010

    Wow!…They are going into extra innings!…Whooopee!… I get to see some of the game afterall!…snort!snort!

    [img ][/img]

  28. Siberian Husky
    1:37 pm on July 4th, 2010

    extra innings…I'm glad that this is an afternoon game.

  29. Siberian Husky
    1:41 pm on July 4th, 2010

    Great minds think alike and post at the same time…tee hee

  30. Barb & Maggie
    1:43 pm on July 4th, 2010

    Rio, Like your cheering Bob! I found them a little too difficult for my techno-challenged brain. And Barb's.

  31. Melanie
    1:53 pm on July 4th, 2010

    Staff! Did you find that site because of the quilter's challenges? Some of those quilts were great. (on the site, go to photos and then click on which quilter challenge year).

    Not sure about the quilt that was the diagram of the inside of a firework, but to each his own!

  32. Riö - The Evil
    1:55 pm on July 4th, 2010

    Hey!…Rockies have the bases loaded!…snort!snort! … 2 outs. Woooo!…Our guy Brad Hawpe is up to bat!… I am knawing on her cough!…heh!

  33. Melanie
    2:00 pm on July 4th, 2010

    Speaking of fireworks (not that Riö is, oh, btw, I read Dan your prayer, he loved it and said Thank you) I once read a book by an old Header. (That would be a resident of Marblehead MA who's family has been there since the ships landed.) There was a certain type of firework he described that was like a spinning disk and they would light it in the house. It would go up to the ceiling and back down spitting sparks.

    I thought that was totally cool. Looked them up and yes, they did exist, but not any more. They were too dangerous.

    Hmm, disk in a wooden house spitting sparks?

  34. C. Harris
    2:13 pm on July 4th, 2010

    Well, one of my dogs have run off (digging under fencing) and the other is a wreck. This was while I was doing volunteer work on July 3rd so someone must have been setting off firecrackers while I was gone. Last night one of the cats jumped on top of the fridge and knocked vases off shattering them. Hopefully this is the last day of the firecrackers and my dog will come home–she is either in the woods or on the flood plain–too large of area to look for her. {{{sigh}}}

  35. Riö - The Evil
    2:15 pm on July 4th, 2010

    Alice! …. I received an email from someone called Frazzled….snort!…She was looking for you my dear…grunt!…How come all of a sudden I am a mail-guy?…grumble!…Here is the link to the email Alice!

    Oh!…and here is the secret code you need to see it!…grunt!


  36. Siberian Husky
    2:20 pm on July 4th, 2010

    C. Harris, I am keeping my paws crossed and praying for the quick, safe return of your dog. Keep us posted, please.

    I really hate what the noise does to some dogs. They don't understand it.

  37. Riö - The Evil
    2:20 pm on July 4th, 2010

    Gasp!…What a game!…snort!… It is now the twelfth inning and we are knawing our way through the armrest… Woooo!

  38. Staff
    2:20 pm on July 4th, 2010


    Thank you for pointing that out.

    I had no idea there was a quilt challenge at the PGI Convention. It looks to me like they choose fabric and then have a year to work on it. I am not a PGI member so all I have ever done is buy a ticket for the the fireworks each night. (a 108 mile round trip each evening) We don't bother to get into town until around 9 or so each night. By then most displays are closed but Ihave never minded before. Not everything is open for the non members so I haven't made it a point to come into town early and look at any of the displays open to the public.

    They are coming again in 2011 so I will have to go in and see the quilts. I have always wanted to join my quilting and fireworks passions but have never been able to think of a design I would like to use. Some of those were great!

    Thanks again for being so curious!


  39. Melanie
    2:29 pm on July 4th, 2010

    Staff, you're welcome. Yes, being curious is an interesting. As: To make ends meet I became a bank teller for awhile. I was shown around and told what and where everything was . . . except this red button. No one told me what it was for and I pushed it.

    The police arrived a short time later. Wandered up and around. Nothing was wrong.

    Hmm. Could there be a connection?

  40. Melanie
    2:30 pm on July 4th, 2010

    C. Harris, the Pack is crossing all paws for your dogs safe return!

  41. Macy the Min-Pin
    2:39 pm on July 4th, 2010

    C. Harris..the girls and I put our paws together and sent wishes for the safe return of your family member. As 2 of us were street dwellers before we found our homes, we know that the world can be a scary place, but sometimes you find a nice safe place, too.

  42. Riö - The Evil
    2:48 pm on July 4th, 2010

    Grunt!… It is now the thirteenth inning and we are on the edge or our seats… Woooo!

    Harris!…Just break up some of that beef jerky and put it out in your backyard in a trail to the door!… snort!…That would bring me back home!…Jerky! Yum!

  43. Riö - The Evil
    2:50 pm on July 4th, 2010

    WOW!….Bases are loaded and Cargo it up to bat!….WOOOO!… clapping here and a floor buffet is on its way!!!!

    [img ]!clap!.gif[/img]

  44. Riö - The Evil
    3:01 pm on July 4th, 2010

    OHG!…It is the 14th inning!…crap!…Rockies blew it in the 13th … sigh!…Now the Giants have a chance to win!….not-good!…BUT they already have the first out on the Giants…snort!..So maybe, just maybe!…wheeze!…I can never give up on my Rockies, ever!

  45. Riö - The Evil
    3:04 pm on July 4th, 2010

    Wow! Wow! Wow!….the Giants are out in the time it took me to post one comment…heh!…You gotta love that!…snort!

    Alice!…Did you get your email yet?.. sniff!.. You silly super-model sneaking out of the house, what did you think you would accomplish anyway?…heh!

  46. Macy the Min-Pin
    3:07 pm on July 4th, 2010

    What does it mean that my comment is awaiting moderation? I do all things in moderation, mostly. Rio, I feel your pain because those giants are trying to get your rockies. Nobody messes with MY rockies, but she makes me keep them in the yard.

  47. B. Stover
    3:10 pm on July 4th, 2010

    I used the secret code and opened Alice's card. I'm laughing and going "ohhhh" at the same time. If you move the cursor inside the box her eyes follow it.

  48. Gus & BooBear
    3:11 pm on July 4th, 2010

    Did anyone else notice that in the secret message that Rio found for Alice Johnson that those big black eyes would follow the cursor around? Kind of spooky………

    C.Harris, it's hard to imagin that there are that many folks up by the Artic circle that fireworks would become a problem. We hope your dog finds his way home soon. And we're SURE the cats didn't mean to break any vases or knickknack you had carelessly placed in their way. Mom and Dad have learned that one must decorate to protect.

  49. Riö - The Evil
    3:11 pm on July 4th, 2010

    Runner! …At 3rd!…snort!… And now its raining!…grunt!… NO OUTS!…Rockies Have to do it now!…wheeze! please!

  50. Gus & BooBear
    3:14 pm on July 4th, 2010

    Wow, we're in smart company. We noticed the same thing as B.Stover.

  51. Siberian Husky
    3:15 pm on July 4th, 2010

    This inning is the Rockies best chance so far.

  52. Riö - The Evil
    3:16 pm on July 4th, 2010

    Emails!… I hope everyone has seen all the other emails I have had to pass along to our blog members!… grunt! …I think there are 3 so far, maybe 4, I can not remember!…grunt!..back to knawing my way to China!…snort!

  53. Riö - The Evil
    3:21 pm on July 4th, 2010

    CRAP!…They blew it again!!… sigh… Now it is the 15th inning…dammit!…We need another 1-2-3 and yer out inning…gasp!…Un-freakin' believable!

  54. Melanie
    3:24 pm on July 4th, 2010

    Those eyes on Riö's disguised squirrel is really weird!

  55. B. Stover
    3:29 pm on July 4th, 2010

    Masterpiece Mystery is on a half hour later than usual and it's Poirot.

  56. Siberian Husky
    3:30 pm on July 4th, 2010

    Both teams must be getting tired. I'm getting tired and mellow. We will see how mellow I really am come sundown.

  57. Riö - The Evil
    3:33 pm on July 4th, 2010

    15th!…. Inning! … I can hardly believe it!… snort!…And its raining! …gruff!… Rockies are up to bat again – all they need is 1 run for petes sake!…heh!…How fun is this on the 4th of July!…heh!heh! …Dexter just got a TRIPLE!… holy Crap!…snort!…They are so close (again) to winning!…heh!

  58. Riö - The Evil
    3:35 pm on July 4th, 2010

    POIROT!… ahhh! One of my favorites!… snort!…Stover we will be looking for that unless we are in the basement… grunt!… lots of tornado and hail warnings tonight…sniff!…So much for all the firework displays…grumble!

  59. Riö - The Evil
    3:41 pm on July 4th, 2010

    Win!…Rockies WIN! And Todd Helton hit the ball that made it possible!…heh!…Wow!…What a great 4th of July present for us!….WOOOO!…

    [img ][/img]

  60. Siberian Husky
    3:45 pm on July 4th, 2010

    The Rockies pulled it off!!! Woo Woo

  61. Macy the Min-Pin
    3:52 pm on July 4th, 2010

    Yea Rockies! Maybe Rio won't have to …grumble… too much tonight…oooo I do not like tornados. We don't have basements in Texas..she leashes us up and we all hang out in the Powder room..and why is it called a powder room..I see rolls of decorating paper, a towel, a place to sit..but no powder anywhere?

  62. Melanie
    4:02 pm on July 4th, 2010

    I hope you're not to freaked about baths Macy. You guys might have to get into the bath tub.

    Congrats to Riö and Siber-H. Your rooting and claps pulled the Rockies through.

    We're not even talking about the Red Sox.

    Nite all!

  63. Riö - The Evil
    4:11 pm on July 4th, 2010

    Grump!… It is looking very ominous outside and we are watching for hail and heavy rain…snort!…Which is much needed, the rain, I mean… grunt!… She turned our crappy sprinkler system off because it was watering the yard 3 houses down because of the wind…heh!

  64. Riö - The Evil
    4:35 pm on July 4th, 2010

    Well!…It is officially pouring Kats and Kats and Kats her tonight!…wow!…Another 4th of July rained out….snort!…Or is it? Maybe it will clear up by 9:30 or 10:00…heh!

  65. Riö - The Evil
    5:41 pm on July 4th, 2010

    Well!…We are watching the fireworks on TV…sniff!…Its okay this way!…Hey! Yeep!… Our next door neighbor just let off a whole pack of loud ones!… gulp!…We may be heading for the basement soon…grump!… I thought it would be quiet because of the rain…dang-it-all! …yeep! .. Talk to youse all tomorrow!…WE are Heading downstairs where it is safe-er…yeep!yeep!… Probably not quieter though! ..gulp!… Night All!

  66. Siberian Husky
    6:11 pm on July 4th, 2010

    Goodnight Rio! Goodnight Everyone! We have a neighbor just like yours, Rio. He is 34 going on 12. He's a good neighbor except on the fourth. Mom and I are holed up in the bedroom with the windows shut and two box fans going. I am hanging in there.

    I don't think Rio likes fireworks any better than I do. yeep!

  67. C. Harris
    6:40 pm on July 4th, 2010

    Dog is home! Exhausted, panting and soaking wet from wading through water. In addition to fireworks various people are shooting off guns so no wonder all the animals are freaked. While I was repairing the fencing, the dogs fled to into the house. Unfortunately, they tore down some curtains reacting to the noise. Now everyone is around me–word to the wise: never have more animals than you have hands as everyone needs petting continuously. Thanks everyone for your safe thoughts, reading them just now was a sweet comfort. Yes, I am breaking out the beef jerky for everyone. I'll be glad when this night is over (of course, we have 21+ hours of daylight so we have hours to go before the partying stops). A second sleepless night is ahead.

  68. Macy the Min-Pin
    6:54 pm on July 4th, 2010

    My C.Harris, that is good news that your family is back together. Melanie–no bathtub in the mysterious powder room, but it is in the center of the house with no windows. I hear she used to take our late sisters under the stairs, but there is not even room for a squirrel under there now. I think maybe a tornado was in there, not that I really know what a tornado is, but it makes Dad have to go to work to protect the city, leaving us all here. yikes somebody just set off a really loud one nearby and the pups went crazy, and the chugs went crazy, so naturally I joined in, not wanting to be a party pooper. For the record I have never done such a rude thing to anybody's party.

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