Present Tense


I’m at a loss.  I need to write about something, but all I have rattling around are complaints, irritations, serious matters that would only make all of us feel like crap, when that’s the last thing we need.  I know what the problem is:  The News.  When I spend too much time on current affairs and news and politics, everything becomes so humorless and oppressive; so life or death, so serious!  I’m a news and politics junkie.  I love the intrigue, the strategy, the plotting.   But, if I consume too much of this stuff, I  get a  little crazed, a bit conspiratorial; the worst of it is that I begin to lose hope, to feel helpless and finally, kind of depressed.  So, rather than spew all of this out onto the page and drag you all down with me, I’ve decided to write about something a little more fun:  my dog.

I adore my dog.  She brings me more joy than just about any living creature I’ve ever met and she makes me laugh.  If Ellen DeGeneres were a dog, she would live in my house and be a Jack Russell Terrier named Chili.

She’s our third Jack Russell; the other two have passed on to the rolling meadows full of fat, slow moving rodents and big, cushy sofas of Dog Heaven, but they were funny, too.  Feta, had an obnoxious  stand-up comic schtick.  She didn’t care who she was entertaining, as long as she had everyone’s full attention.  Her sure-fire bit was to hump my leg in public and if that failed, she’d start a fight with a much bigger dog.  Samson was amusing in a goofy,   loopy kind of way, but as I look back, it may have had more to do with his taste for beer, than a sense of humor.

But, Chili is only interested in amusing my husband and me and I’m a sucker for her antics.  One of her greatest hits is the way she jumps up on our bed and rolls around on her back, snuffling and grunting and groaning.  If I don’t respond with a chuckle within 20 seconds, she ups the noise and wiggle level substantially, until she gets a laugh.  Then, she grins at me.  She does, too!

Her comic timing is masterful when we dress her in one of her coats.  For the record, I’m not one of those nutty people who dresses up my dog for fun;  we live in the mountains, and when it’s 0 or below, she needs a coat.  Once the coat is on, she stands as still as a statue, letting us know that her dignity has been gravely wounded.  She has been known to stand like this for 10 minutes or more, to make her point.  Once we’re out the door,  she spends a good part of the walk rolling on hard-pack snow, trying to rub the coat off.  She makes sure to roll directly in front of us, to reinforce how much she hates playing dress-up.  Miss Chili is particularly mortified if we come upon another dog while she’s all gussied up, and will go back into statue pose, and accessorizes with bared teeth and a growl.

So, what’s my point?  This is getting as bad as a ‘cute kid’ story, that only a parent cares about, right?  I guess my point is that we love our pets because they are goofy in a way that most of us grown-ups find irritating in other grown-ups.  Being with kids and pets, allows us to shed a few inhibitions (come on admit it; you talk baby talk to your pets…in private) and loosen up.   By the way, if you are someone who has a pet that you never interact with, please leave my blog immediately, as you are a gigantic ass.

This is hardly an earth-shattering revelation about pets, but I just wanted an excuse to post photos of my dog Chili, a.k.a. “the cutest dog in the world”.  Don’t even try it; your dog is NOT cuter.

February 1, 2010 - Posted by | Musings | , , ,


  1. I am fairly certain that you need no reason or excuse to post photos of Chili. I am a recent convert so am quite enthusisatic about seeing new pictures of the ‘cutest dog in the world’.

    Comment by kandis | February 1, 2010 | Reply

  2. Yes, she is the cutest dog in the world. She has to be she’s my “niece.”

    Comment by Big Sis | February 1, 2010 | Reply

  3. I feel the same way about my cats. I think my big lover boy, Shanks, is the sweetest, cutest cat in the world! 😀 They provide me with endless hours of amusement; until one of them starts meowing relentlessly, and it sounds like a screeching train wreck :-D.

    I do agree that no dog is cuter than Chili.

    Comment by Roxanne Rieske | February 1, 2010 | Reply

  4. We’re one of the very few families in Colorado without a dog (I think it’s just us and Dom). But if I could have a dog as cute as Chili I would be tempted to get one!

    Comment by Tara | February 2, 2010 | Reply

  5. My Dexter is the cutest dog I know.He is a Mastif/Bull Terrier mix. My mom found him on her front porch & he wouldn’t leave! So, I got him. He smiles all the time. Huge grin you would think he’s going to eat you, but no just smiling to say hi. I love it when you write about your dog!

    Comment by vicki | February 2, 2010 | Reply

  6. She is VERY cute and very SMART too! Don’t get me wrong, I love my kitty but there is nothing like a dog. I went to the pet food store today and got to play a bit with a little black pug, so cute too but NOT as cute as Chili.

    Comment by imasink | February 6, 2010 | Reply

  7. Jane,

    I love stories like this!! So much more fun than the usual. We have a Yorkshire terrier, whom I love to pieces. She gets put a little on the back burner sometimes (I also have 2 boys 2 & 4 that demand most of my attention) but I do try to spend time with Tabbitha and let her know she is my fav girl. She was my 1st baby, and my only girl.

    Comment by Samantha Spillman | March 8, 2010 | Reply

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