WOOF: Sneak Peek

Here’s how it starts. Coming Tuesday.

Two humans stood outside my cage, a white-haired woman and a gum-chewing kid. Gum-chewing is one of the best sounds out there, and the smell’s not bad either. I liked the kid from the get-go.

They gazed in at me. I gazed out at them. The white-haired woman had blue eyes, washed out and watery. The kid’s eyes were a bright, clear blue, like the sky on a cloudless day. I hadn’t seen the sky in way too long.

“How about this one, Grammy?” the kid said.

The white-haired woman – that would be Grammy, not too hard to make these human-type connections once you get the hang of it – pinched up her face, and it was kind of pinched up to begin with. “Eat us out of house and home.”

The kid cracked her gum. What a sound! I can’t tell you what that does to me, shooting this buzzy feeling all the way from my ears to the tip of my tail and back again. “I don’t know, Grammy,” she said. “Looks thin to me.”

“My point exactly. He’s just waitin’ on some sucker to take him home and fatten him up. Check out the frame on him.”

“Frame?” said the kid, not getting it. I wasn’t getting it either.

“Bone structure, width of his shoulders, size of his paws,” Grammy said.

Something was wrong with my paws? I thought about hiding them out of sight, but how? I was still working on that problem when Adrienne came into view. Adrienne – a big woman with a powerful grip – ran the joint, a joint with cages for me and my kind. “Eats like a bird, believe it or not,” Adrienne said.

Was this a good time for growling? Probably not, which I didn’t realize until it was too late. I should have been doing everything I could to make a good impression. But you’d be growling yourself if the reason you ate like a bird was because you got fed like a bird. And by the way the whole thing about birds not eating much needs looking into. Ever seen one of those little red-breasted ones gulp down a long fat struggling worm? Enough said.

Grammy backed up a step. “Doesn’t look very friendly neither,” she said, and started to move away.

Meaning that was that, and not the first time for me in this place. Except for one thing, which was the kid not moving away, in fact leaning in closer. “Yeah he does, Grammy,” she said. “See his eyes?”

Grammy took a look. “What about ‘em?”

“They’re so gentle,” the kid said. The growling sound faded away. The kid turned to Adrienne. “And he’s smart, too, isn’t he?”

“Smart?” said Adrienne. “Uh, sure. For a dog.”

Which I didn’t get, and the kid didn’t seem to either. We were good at not getting things, me and the kid.

“What’s his name?” she said.

“No idea,” Adrienne said. “Dog officer picked him up a few months ago. Stray, no tags.”

“You mean I can name him?” the kid said.

“Whoa,” said Grammy.

The kid took out her gum, stuck it behind her ear. Maybe the coolest thing I’d ever seen. She went still, the way humans do when they’re going deep inside their heads. “Bowser,” she said at last.

“Huh?” said Grammy.

“I name him Bowser.”

“What kind of a name is Bowser?” Grammy said.

“What kind of a name is Birdie?” said the kid.

“It’s yours,” said Grammy. “A fine southern name.”

“Fine? Try trashy.”

“Watch your mouth.”

“I’m changing it to Emmanuelle the day I turn twenty-one, meaning exactly ten years minus three days from now,” said the kid – Birdie, if I was following this right, no guarantees about that. “Bowser’s not a trashy name.” She stuck her fingers through the cage wiring, no room for her whole hand. “It’s dignified.”

I stepped forward, gave her fingers a lick. They tasted of baloney, like maybe Birdie had eaten a baloney sandwich, and not long ago. The kid was off the charts.

“Let’s take him home,” she said.

Totally off the charts.

“This one?” Grammy said. “Really? What is he, anyhow?”

“A mutt, obviously,” Adrienne said. “Those ears are sherpherdy – if a little on the big and floppy side – that shaggy tail’s more poodly, and the color scheme’s kind of like a Bernese.”

Whoever she was talking about sounded like a winner to me. The kid must have been thinking the same thing, because she said, “Those are my three favorites!”

Grammy sighed. “Hope you know what you’re doing,” she said. “Happy belated birthday.”

“Not very belated. I love you, Grammy.”

“He’s your responsibility.”

“I know. You’ll never have to worry about a thing.”




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This entry was posted on Friday, April 24th, 2015 at 9:30 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.

60 Responses to “WOOF: Sneak Peek”

  1. Barb, Maggie and Lucy
    9:51 am on April 24th, 2015

    Can’t wait to get my paws on that book! B & N tells us that it is on its way.

    I don’t think I like Adrienne very much. Seems a little cold hearted. Now Birdie, that’s another story. I like her very much.

    Morning all.

    Oh, we just heard that the canine flu has come to our county and one dogs has died already. Vet says the shots are $120 and they don’t protect very well. Best bet is to stay away from other dogs.

  2. Herd of Hounds
    9:54 am on April 24th, 2015

    Good morning, B&M&L and everyone! WOOF, its getting hard to wait. We love it already.
    Have a fab Friday all 🙂

  3. B.Stover
    9:57 am on April 24th, 2015

    You guys are going to love this! I’m going to reread Woof when I get my Kindle edition.

    By the way, as I understand it, birds eat twice their weight daily. It takes a lot of energy to fly. (I’ll see if I can find anything on this.)

    Good morning all.

  4. Peck of Parrots
    10:06 am on April 24th, 2015

    Squawk! That B is one bright one, for a human. We love our food, seeds, nuts and especially crackers! Corn and grapes aren’t bad either. If someone tells you that you eat like a bird, be proud. We can really pack it away!

  5. B.Stover
    10:11 am on April 24th, 2015

    This is from mspca.org:

    “The common phrase ‘eat like a bird’ should mean something quite different! Many birds eat twice their weight in food each day. In fact, a bird requires more food in proportion to its size than a baby or a cat” (The Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals-Angell Animal Medical Center).

  6. B.Stover
    10:12 am on April 24th, 2015

    HOH: LOL!

  7. BearSpiritDog
    10:12 am on April 24th, 2015

    Tuesday. That is way More Than 2 Days!
    Woof! WE Cannot Wait.

  8. Billy's Buddy
    10:49 am on April 24th, 2015

    Now I love Chet AND Bowser.

    Good morning all.

  9. Herd of Hounds
    10:52 am on April 24th, 2015

    Wait! Tuesday is toddler Tuesday…should mom abandon the library to pick up her book at the opening bell or try to live with more hours of suspense? Wow we never noticed that OFA’s name and the word suspence are twins 🙂

  10. Staff
    10:54 am on April 24th, 2015

    I guess I am going to have to order 3 books from 8 cousins and just beg Peter to go in and autograph them. I have two young friends who are big dog lovers and need this book. And then, of course, the one for me.

    Chet, please mention this to Peter.

    Off to order it from Amazon too so I can read it right away. I am such a spendthrift! It is my coming home present!

  11. Oley Howlers
    10:57 am on April 24th, 2015

    Wow! That kid really is off the charts! And so is Bowser. We love this book already.
    We will be ordering it on Kindle, as well as in hardcover to donate to our local library. Wowzer Bowser !!

  12. Herd of Hounds
    11:10 am on April 24th, 2015

    ROFL…”Wowzer Bowser”, Howlers, you rock.

  13. Kat the Sled Dog
    11:30 am on April 24th, 2015

    Guess what, Guys? Momma and I are going to have an introductory scootering lesson tomorrow. Momma says that if I do well, I can then compete for a place on the 2016 Snowhook A-Team.

  14. Herd of Hounds
    11:43 am on April 24th, 2015

    Kat, you go, gal!

  15. dawson
    11:44 am on April 24th, 2015

    Wowzer Bowzer! ‘Nuff said.

    O’Howlers: Your donation to the librarymis an excellent idea.

    Kat: You will be a natural at scootering!

  16. Masquers
    12:28 pm on April 24th, 2015

    Howlers: I agree with Dawson…a donation to your local library of OFA books is a wonderful idea.
    (whispering) what is scootering?

    One more question…is the Awesome One on her way home soon?

    It is cold and drizzly here. Someone brought warm weather from Montana then packed it up and took it home.

  17. Masquers
    12:29 pm on April 24th, 2015

    Hey! Is that my handsome mug? I think not.

  18. Howlers
    12:33 pm on April 24th, 2015

    Scootering is like dogsledding, but you use a scooter, with wheels. We are not too sure what it looks like, but we will post a photo.
    We know that not all of you (any of you?) like country music, but here is Mom’s idea of “True Country”. Dwight is one of her very favorites.

  19. Staff
    12:36 pm on April 24th, 2015

    I called EightCousins in Falmouth Mass today and ordered books for my friends and myself. I didn’t think of ordering them for my local (Mayville N.D.) library. pondering….

    However if any of you want signed books Peter has promised to go in and sign mine and I bet he would sign your also. I talked to Mary Fran and she is wonderful.

    Phone… 508.548.5548

    or eightcousing.com

  20. Howlers
    12:38 pm on April 24th, 2015

    Here is a photo of a scooter someone in the local club was selling. We think there are some nicer ones, with more bicycle-like handlebars.

  21. Howlers
    12:39 pm on April 24th, 2015

    Staff, we already pre-purchased thru Amazon Smile, but then at least our Sibe Rescue will get some of the Amazon proceeds.

  22. Kat
    1:36 pm on April 24th, 2015

    Here is my very favorite music video:

  23. Siber's Mom
    1:39 pm on April 24th, 2015

    I am really looking forward to Woof. My Sibe Rescue will also get a part of the proceeds from it.

    Howlers, Me! I like country music, and Dwight is also one of my favorites. He looks good in that video and the band sounds great. I want the CD.
    Could this be another Siber mom thing?

    Kat, You go for it and report back to us with pictures.

  24. Herd of Hounds
    1:52 pm on April 24th, 2015

    O’H, thank you for posting a legend doing great!
    KAT, we sent Oaktown Dogs to (almost everyone we know…danceable. Good luck with scootering.

  25. BearSpiritDog
    2:21 pm on April 24th, 2015

    Dwight Yoakam…Dog, That Boy Can SING!

    Kat: We saw why you liked that Video as soon as the Good Looking Sibe appeared.
    Good Luck with your Scootering Lesson.

  26. Masquers
    2:23 pm on April 24th, 2015

    Staff: Many thanks for the investigation into signing possibilities at Eight Cousins Bookstore.

  27. Barb, Maggie and Lucy
    3:07 pm on April 24th, 2015

    Too bad we already ordered from B & N. They messaged that the books have shipped which was a surprise, since it isn’t yet the 28th.

    Barb thinks there are two kinds of music: Country & Western. Even likes the hillbilly stuff that makes you want to get up and start clogging. Never could develop an appreciation for classical or opera (sorry Bee and Diane). Back in the day when Barb was young and slender she used to go CW dancing all the time.

    Love the Oaktown Dogs. Great video.

  28. Teddy Ruff Rider
    5:01 pm on April 24th, 2015

    ust checking in here. My dad promised to pick up MY copy of Woof on Tuesday for me. Also, been kind of lonely lately as my gal’s maw and paw went on a vacation, and I haven’t really seen my girl for a couple of weeks, although we do have a date tomorrow. But in the interim, my little bro Rascal did stop by. Unfortunately, it was kind of a farewell visit, as his maw and paw are moving at the end of next week. He has growed up real nice, as you can see below.

  29. Teddy Ruff Rider
    5:03 pm on April 24th, 2015

    Here’s one more. We have promised to stay in touch, even after he moves.

  30. BearSpiritDog
    5:06 pm on April 24th, 2015

    Teddy: We know how it is to be without Your Gal and Pals Moving Away doesn’t help the mood.
    Your copy of Woof will help Cheer You Up!

  31. Tupper and Gilly
    5:13 pm on April 24th, 2015

    Greetings everyone. We are already in love with Bowzer and Birdie. And for the record, we love the name Birdie – its not in the least bit trashy.

    Mama is sitting with her feet up, and a heating pad on her back. She spent the day at a gem show, buying beads and stones and all kinds of goodies that she says you have to see to buy. She is so happy with all her new toys, but the show was held in a huge exhibition center with concrete floors. And all the stones and gems were laid out on table tops, which means a lot of bending over to look at things up close.
    So, she may need a day or two before she gets to her work table to play with her new goodies.

    Teddy – that’s how it is with the younger generation: they grow up, and move away. But we are sure you set a fine example of how Rascal should grow up. And Zeta will be home soon.

  32. Barb, Maggie and Lucy
    5:14 pm on April 24th, 2015

    Grandson Ben turns 9 on May 5th and he has a copy of Woof in his future. Kelly thinks it is too advanced for his reading level (3rd grade), so she is going to read it to him at bedtime.

    Beautiful pics of Teddy RR and his bud. Both are so handsome. Good breeding, you can tell. But can you ever go wrong with a Golden?

    Barb took Lucy to the V E T to get her shots and heartworm blood test. Just to be on the safe side, Lucy stayed in the car till her name was called.

  33. Wose-the small and meek
    5:27 pm on April 24th, 2015


    Kat, who knows, maybe it will be your paw that AJ lifts to the burled arch in 2016!

    Teddy RR, I have been thinking of you, and your gal Zeta. Since it was so nice here last Saturday, Grizz and I went to Cold Spring and saw lots of folks with their dogs. I was wondering if there would be pictures of you and Zeta. I am sure Zeta will be very happy to see you tomorrow.

    With you as a big brother I just know Rascal will be a wonderful dog just like you!

  34. Mpop's and Loulou's Mom
    5:29 pm on April 24th, 2015

    I live a block-and-half from the theater district and I have a 2pm ticket tomorrow for Kinky Boots. What a joy this will be to only have a short walk. No parking, no traffic. Just pop in and see the show!

  35. Wose-the small and meek
    5:30 pm on April 24th, 2015

    Ooops, I forgot…

    Teddy, I just want to let you know that my screen saver is a picture of Zeta giving you a kiss. Actually, I always have different pictures of you and/or your gal as my screen saver.

  36. Tupper and Gilly
    5:31 pm on April 24th, 2015

    Oh MPM – we loved the movie Kinky Boots. Hope the show is wonderful – how could it not be?

  37. Barb, Maggie and Lucy
    5:43 pm on April 24th, 2015

    Didn’t Cindi Lauper do the music?

  38. Barb, Maggie and Lucy
    5:48 pm on April 24th, 2015

    Never saw the movie Kinky Boots, so just went to Netflix and added it to my list.
    Tomorrow is going to be an inside day, with wind, rain and really cold weather. Have The Unbroken to watch in the afternoon.

  39. Wose-the small and meek
    6:07 pm on April 24th, 2015

    B,M&L, You are correct. Cyndi Lauper did write the music.

  40. Barb, Maggie and Lucy
    7:03 pm on April 24th, 2015

    Wose, you are right. It is Cyndi, not Cindi. I love her. She has appeared on a few Bones episodes as a psychic. She has talent in so many different venues.

  41. Herd of Hounds
    7:04 pm on April 24th, 2015

    So much excitement. We hope all of our friends have great days.

  42. Herd of Hounds
    8:26 pm on April 24th, 2015

    Tomorrow we are doing Thanksgiving in April. The DDD, son, newest spongetta, Boarder in the basement, DDD’s nephew, Sponge’s boy, and Mom.
    With we 4 dogs, it should be a glorious day. Mmm, Turkey, taters, pie, veggies, rolls and who knows what else all on the grill. Life is good.

  43. Rio - The Evil Pug
    9:37 pm on April 24th, 2015

    Here!….Hey I am here!…snort!….Lots of spunk on the blog today and not so much hillbilly-gunk….grunt!

    Stover!….I am determined to watch Allegiance to the end of tis season. It is so darned good. I am very sad they did not renew and and I also am fearful they will end the 1st season with a humdinger of a cliff-hanger….gah!…I will keep you posted…sniff!…Now it is BASEBALL time!…WOOOOO!

  44. Rio - The Evil Pug
    9:41 pm on April 24th, 2015

    Woof!…Before I forget, Woof is going to be so much fun to read!….chuffle!….A grate big THANK YOU to Spence. And I never say Thank You to anyone…snort!

  45. Rio - The Evil Pug
    10:06 pm on April 24th, 2015

    Bugs!….The Blog is misbehaving tonight – sometimes it comes up and other times it does not…grrrrr!….Fabulous Baker Boy, what is going on in your dept?….grunt!

  46. Tupper And Gilly
    10:09 pm on April 24th, 2015

    We have been having a hard time accessing the blog too. So, now that we are here, we will say goodnight.
    Enjoy your base of balls Rio.
    Bee and Mama will be busy planning their world tour.
    G’night, family.

  47. Rio - The Evil Pug
    10:22 pm on April 24th, 2015

    Awww!…Shucks! It might just be me out here blissfully Alone tonight – and you know what that means, don’t youse?..snort!…Baseball updates forever and ever they will be in my heart!…wheeze!..heh!

  48. Rio - The Evil Pug
    10:25 pm on April 24th, 2015

    Update!…Someone here would like an Update on the Niagra Falls get-together that may or may not happen this summer after all the ice finally melts…snort!

  49. Rio - The Evil Pug
    10:27 pm on April 24th, 2015

    Score!…4 ta 4!…Yeeeeep!…What a great game (so far)…heh!

  50. Staff
    10:29 pm on April 24th, 2015

    7 offers on Dad’s house. Turtleman and the realtor will be meeting tomorrow morning to go though them. After only 2 days on the market.


    Dawson there is a message for you on your SDD.

  51. Thieves!
    10:40 pm on April 24th, 2015

    Rio: Pucker up!

  52. Rio - The Evil Pug
    10:45 pm on April 24th, 2015

    Staff!…Houses here go on the market for ONE day and get several offers…snort!…My friend is an idiot for not selling my house right now, but she has “renters” and she has a softie heart…grump!…I would kick them out and sell the place for an overage of funds…sniff!…No one wants to hear what I have to burp though…grunt!…Rent here is outrageous and she says they (the renters) would not survive the jungle right now…grumble!..I am a Pug of Business and I say sell! Sell! SELL!….then she says, “Well where will we live affordably when the inevitable with mother happens?” …groan!..She gets me every time with this one…gasp!

  53. Rio - The Evil Pug
    10:46 pm on April 24th, 2015

    Thieves!…GAH!…Where did youse guys come from?….grunt!…And NO – NEVER!…yeeep!

  54. Thieves!
    10:53 pm on April 24th, 2015

    Come from! We thought we covered that with Luna’s flip charts.

  55. Staff
    11:02 pm on April 24th, 2015
  56. Rio - The Evil Pug
    11:09 pm on April 24th, 2015

    Game!….The Giants are in town and the score is 6 ta 4 -Rockies ahead…snort!…When the Rockies visited them earlier this season they SWEPT those Giants under the rug…heh!heh!…The Giants are the World Series Wieners of last year…chuffle!

  57. Rio - The Evil Pug
    11:10 pm on April 24th, 2015

    Staff!…Looks like the housing market is way up in your neck of the woods too…wheeze!

  58. Martha
    11:45 pm on April 24th, 2015

    Staff, how exciting to have things move so quickly!

    Rio, don’t be lonely. It looks like the thieves are afoot.

  59. Staff
    11:55 pm on April 24th, 2015

    Rio, The section of Minneapolis where my parents bought this home was just a nice little family place in 1961. All middle class with tons of kids.

    Now it is fancy and my father and the across the street neighbor were the only two left from that era. They were born about 6 months apart in 1924.

    Many of the houses in that area are being bought to tear down and rebuild a big big house. Our best three offers are for people to live in and update as they go along. Our block only has one new home in it and they kept the same front porch style of house so it doensn’t look too different from the rest.

  60. Staff
    11:58 pm on April 24th, 2015

    I am getting very excited about Woof.

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