Wednesday, February 9, 2011

From this Chair...

By Cloann McNall
  Last week I received a call from a person wanting to know who I leave Mary Jane with when I want to leave town. Mary Jane is my five-year-old black female Pug. A country dog with a city attitude.
  I told her Mary Jane stays in Spokane with my daughter Diane Baldwin when I go on vacation. Then Mary Jane comes back to Orofino with her uppity city girl attitude.
  When I try to call Mary Jane back into the house from the yard she flips her head and “snarffs” as if she has just smelled a foul odor. “Well, now, Mary Jane,” I ask, “who is running this household and paying taxes on this joint anyway?”
  For some reason Mary Jane does not like for me to use the word “joint” in the same sentence with her name. I wonder why? She came from Boise with the name Mary Jane. I did not name her.
  I continued my conversation with her: “Who works to earn the money to go to the store to buy the bacon, and I’m not talking about Beggin’ Strips, and then drives home and feeds you? Not the Baldwin Spa in Spokane!”
  “You know I pay to leave you there so you can get spoiled and hopefully trimmed down.”
  By then she realizes she can’t win because I can swat her behind and herd her into the house. And even though people say “Your dog’s fat” I’m still bigger than she is.
  I tell people “she’s not fat, she’s just big boned.” They laugh.    
  Due to the winter weather and lack of exercise, Mary Jane, who has always been “thick” through the middle, has continued to “thicken” during the winter.
  So the other day when the temperatures were in the 40’s and the ground was bare of snow I decided to take Mary Jane for a walk.
   We had just rounded the corner and were strutting our way back to the house when halfway down the block I realized the leash was dragging and Mary Jane’s glitzy studded collar was dangling from the end of it.
  I looked over my shoulder and no Mary Jane! I glanced at the houses along the street to see if anyone was looking out the window laughing at me and my invisible dog.
  I called her name, “Mary Jane,” promised “peanut butter and good girl treats” and finally when I called her dog cousin’s name, “Skippy,” Mary Jane came running down the street towards me.
  She got the good girl treat, a frosted animal cookie, and a peanut buttered bone, but there was no Skippy.
  Skippy was at the Baldwin’s retreat in Spokane. I’m wondering how many times the Skippy threat will work before Mary Jane figures out Skippy is not at our house and that’s it’s just a trick on my part to get her moving.
  Whatever works with this slippery little city slicker.
  You can see a picture of Mary Jane in the pet section of “Lil’ Darlings,” published in this week’s paper. They will also be posted online later tonight at, and can be viewed for free.
  Quote: Isn’t it wonderful how dogs can win friends and influence people without ever reading a book.

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