Thursday, January 29, 2009

What I Wouldn't Do

Newbie spoiler: You'll want to dig back a few stories for context...

Truffles has been through the ringer.
Many of you know her history. For those who do not, and are not inclined to click on links that might make them smarter and more popular, the short version is as follows.

She's handicapped. Her right front leg has required multiple surgeries to correct a very bad case of ALD - angular limb deformity. The surgeries have been successful when one considers that she might have lost the leg if not for our veterinary efforts. Yet she is not at 100 percent functional capacity. She will always be left with a limp, and from what the vets tell us, she'll never be able to vote.

We love her just the same. While she may not be able to run, jump and play as fast, high or hard as Nigel and Sola, she is still constantly on the move, fluttering about the house to visit each of us and distribute slobber kisses.

Our love for her (and a genuine desire to see her find happiness) led us on a journey of exploration, a journey fraught with frustration, twists, and a surplus of laughter. We hoped to help her find her way, no matter the cost - her way to gainful employment, so that she may begin to pay back the mountain of money she owes us-

Truffles: Hey stop right there. You want me to pay you?

Author: I thought you were sleeping. Ignore that part and follow along.

We set out to investigate vocational possibilities for little Ms. Fudgepants. Our venture commenced last spring as winter subsided, leaving random snowbanks deposited about the property. I wanted to break up the snow to help it melt and make way for warmer pursuits, and took Truffles and a snow shovel out for a test run.

My first mistake: not factoring firewood proximity. Sola and Truffles have developed an affection for logs that finds us constantly rebuilding the woodpile, replacing pilfered pieces with regularity.

Truffles: Foolish mortal, was there really a decision to be made here? Did you think I could reach that shovel handle?

Author: Determined as I was discouraged, I abandoned the snowbanks in pursuit of a more suitable chore. I scanned the grounds for a more appropriate career path for Truffles as a soundtrack of grunts and and splintering wood played in the background.

Raking perhaps?

I may as well have tried to sell WeightWatchers memberships to Greyhounds. Not a second had passed before she took a sniff, turned up her nose and moved on.

Truffles: It smelled like Nigel peed on the leaf pile. Pass.

Author: I grabbed the rake and finished up angrily. Truffles watched, her head cocked in mockery. I was on the verge of running amok when it struck me: With her diminished capacity, maybe outdoor chores were not the right call. I tossed the rake aside and grabbed Fudgepants, headed for the house. I was inspired.

Truffles: I was not.

Author: Shoveling snow and raking leaves are fairly strenuous activities, so I sought out something a little easier for a limping lab with forty extra pounds of junk in the trunk.

Dusting was a bust, plain and simple.

Truffles: Do I look like a domestic goddess?

Author: We spent the ensuing months putting our proposals before her, but Fudgepants wasn't having it.

Slain by proximity again. The floors were trashed, the recycling spilling over out of the can, but what does Truffles see?

Truffles: Only kibbles silly human.

Author: Additional attempts were thwarted my various means.

Cooking was a loser. No interest whatsoever.

Truffles: Hey I like pancakes, but it's the cake I'm after, not the pan. Do I look like Julia Child?

Nigel: You look like you ate her. At least I considered vacuuming.

Author: I appreciate your offer to chip in, but we all know that you just want to be vacuumed you big dust collector.

We took time off to reflect, and as I sipped my coffee one morning my brain awakened and bingo! I was certain I had victory in my grasp. I had spent months trying to engage Truffles in physical activities. What was I thinking? She's got a fragile, fifteen thousand dollar leg and I am trying to impose manual labor on her.

I was sure I had the answer. It was time to measure her capacity for intellectual challenge. Beaming with glee, I shared my idea with Truffles.

Truffles: I lack thumbs brainiac. Something tells me you are not exactly qualified to determine my mental prowess.

Author: I was as disappointed as Nigel at a BBW dance. I gave up.

Months passed. I had set aside the notion of employment for Fudgepants. Truth be known, I had forgotten about it completely until Sunday morning. I stretched and yawned on my way down the stairs and was instantly jolted awake by an encouraging sight.

Truffles had found her muse.

It's so easy to get caught up in the bustle of the daily grind. With so much political coverage, bad economic news and such, the little stories get buried. Stories of environmental issues, recycling, of going green. For the past year, Truffles had quietly tolerated my dimwitted attempts to show her the way; all the while paying close attention to the happenings of the world, and choosing to make a difference.

She had embraced her new position with vigor. I rubbed my eyes and surveyed the damage. Truffles was expressionless, save for the twitching snaggletooth that stared back at me

I was brimming with parental pride, bursting to tell the world that Fudgepants had settled in to her new job quite nicely. A job in the recycling business - as a paper shredder.

Truffles. How incredibly sad. I don't have the heart to tell him, so let's keep this a little secret between the reader and I.

Author: I gathered the scattered bits of drool soaked paper, placing them in a neat pile in order to share them with Mrs. Author. I knew she would be thrilled to hear of this important development. I had just about finished when I grabbed what was left of the magazine, skimming the torn pages. My heart sank as frigid winter clouds passed over the house.

It had nothing to do with going green, earth friendliness, or recycling. Not at all. For in my hands, glaring at me from a tattered page, canine punctures and tears surrounding it, was the following picture - the true source of destructive motivation...

I guess there is always college.


  1. Celine again eh? Truffles is mighty clever chewing that baby up I can bark to you!

  2. Oh Truffles, you are my hero! I've been telling DawgMom I don't need a job, I'm not getting paid enough now for all the joy I give, maybe I should try going green too, then she'll lay off. I did go purple once, DawgMom was not impressed, maybe I'll blog about that.
    Your friend, Feather Louise

  3. That Dogs With Jobs show ruined it for all of us, I'm afraid. Truffles, beautiful work.

  4. Truffles, you rock! You are an artiste extraordinaire. Love, Sally

  5. What a great story, Mr. Author! I was on the edge of my seat and plum fell off at the end when I saw Celine's pic. Being at work, and hardly at it-my brain scrambled to explain myself. What do I say? Do I spill the beans about you and your funny blog? Do I go into a rant about the swill being served in the coffeepot? Do I claim lack of motor skills after shoveling ice for 2 hrs. last night? Ah-then an energy saving bulb exploded in my head. I claimed the 5th-and not the one in my desk drawer! Thanks for a tremendous belly laugh!
    ps. Chester is wanting to know how much $$$ a paper shredder makes per hour.

  6. This was absolutely great to read. Parker loves logs as well, and paper! What a cutie!

  7. Excuse me, Mr Author. I'd like to make a correction to Mom's latest comment. I asked her if I'd get sticks for my salary. NOT do I get a six figure salary. Duh! I'm a dog, what am I gonna do with money except eat it and I much prefer a stick. You'll just have to excuse her, I think she did something to her brain when she fell offa her chair. Chester

  8. That is one of the funniest stories we have every read. Way to go Truffles. Shouldn't you be pulling unemployment checks by now?

    Tinkerbell, Oscar and Tucker

  9. Anonymous11:42 AM

    Pants, try toilet paper and dryer sheets. Makes for a wonderfully satisfying job. Magazine perfume cards are spectacular, if you can get the work. Doesn't Celine have a fragrance? Hmmm. --Magnum

  10. OMG!!! You are hilarious!!!
    I love it!!!

  11. "Chester's Mom said...

    Excuse me, Mr Author. I'd like to make a correction to Mom's latest comment. I asked her if I'd get sticks for my salary. NOT do I get a six figure salary. Duh! I'm a dog, what am I gonna do with money except eat it and I much prefer a stick. You'll just have to excuse her, I think she did something to her brain when she fell offa her chair. Chester

    My sincerest apologies for the chair launch. I swear that was not my intent. Now go take a gander at the comments for Wordless Wednesday ;)

  12. Wroooo wrooo Truffles!!!
    Can you hear us laughing down here in Georgia?
    Zack, Sassy and Buddy

  13. Well done Truffles, you are a credit to the canine population.
    When will these humans learn that they work and we watch!
    We think you may need some aversion therapy re Celine Dion right enough!
    Martha & Bailey xx

  14. Again, so funny! Aww Truffles, you're a genius in our eyes....and so pretty too! It's therapy coming here to read all your stories....there you go, you're a cyber-therapy dog! (but we're not paying you....not one stick, d'ya hear?)
    Slobbers xx

  15. I would try to put my kids to work, but they would just give me the, 'don't you know what retired means' face.

  16. Wow, Celine Dion? When she sings my ears go "twingy twingy"


  17. Do I see a pattern here with Celine Dion? Loved the story! Truffles, I hope paper shredding turns into a full time job for you.... wait, maybe not for your folks sake! :)

  18. Truffles, dear . . .I am simply amazed that Mr. Author never even considered the one occupation that you would be excellent at . . .modeling. Yes, you always see handsome dogs showing off dog food, dog accessories, etc in magazines. Now its your turn to be rich and famous and that 15,000 dollars would be a drop in the bucket of your earnings. Too bad Mr. Author is only clever with words, and not the ability to hook you up with a good agency. Call me, if you need help with this. I know somebody.


  19. Human just don't get it, do they?

  20. Well hey if you need any additional part time help with that, I am available!

  21. I have so much in common with your dog it's spooky! Is she blonde inside? I thought a dog's job was to guard the house and fertilize the yard!

  22. I love the snaggle tooth, how could you not think he was cute. Great job with the magazine, it is still a good calling for you. =)

  23. I almost fell off my place on the sofa I smiled so hard. I'd like to join you for the job of paper shredder, by the way; I SHRED!!!!

  24. What a clever doggie. We have a paper shredding machine which runs on elect twist city which is not very earth friendly. If only we had a hard worker like yourself we wouldn't need it.


  25. You tell the funniest stories! By the way, I came home to a similar scene tonight....only it was our car insurance policy! Celine Dion would have been understandable! The kids obviously didn't realize that what they were shredding was associated with the words "wanna go for a ride?".

  26. I loved this post...... I'm still laughing!! I think paper shredding is a perfect vocation for Truffles!!

  27. BOL! I have tears in my eyes I am laughing so hard! Good job Truffles and you will find your calling one day! ;)


  28. There is a lid fur evfurry pot and a job fur evfurry khanine...


    I do think she's got management material written all over her!


  29. What a great story! I loved every moment of it!

    Teddy Bear

  30. Sure is nice that you found your real passion!
    Shredding paper is grrrrreat!
    Kisses and hugs

  31. Love your work Truffles BOL :D
    Big licks to you

  32. A lot wiser and increasingly popular (just read the sad story of Truffles' leg, operation and abduction; it had me in stitches too), I have to say that we are way ahead of you. Hubs bought our oldest dog Phoebe (she's now 11) and, for tax purposes, immediately employed her as a papershredder and guarddog. She's excellent at papershredding, takes her job very serious. Another year and then she can retire. She's currently teaching the younger ones, but their heart isn't in it. She's a lousy guarddog however :-)

    Great story, you are lovely people!
    Big smile and virtual hug!

  33. Hi there. Nice to meet you. We've been so busy with my special feature but we will be by to read Truffles story when we are finshed.


  34. My first visit to your blog. Laughed out loud all the way down the page!!! Thanks for the fun!!!

  35. That was hilarious!

    Hey, maybe Belle can join you. A couple of weeks ago she joined the paper shredder union.

  36. Jean Boehms10:05 AM

    Fudgepants--do you know the difference between paper and books. My paper shredders love paper towels...but they have been known to shred my beloved books. That is when I consider firing them and getting an electric paper shredder! But, alas, they will be here forever!! You are the best, Mr. Author, and I do so enjoy your blogs!

  37. My Mummy loves Celine Dion, she was her in Las vegas.
    Have a great weekend.

    Simba and Jazzi xx

  38. Hi guys! Thanks for stopping by our blog! We just wanted to say right on to Truffles for staying strong on the whole not working thing. Both our pawrents work and it doesn't look like fun to us! We do have jobs around the house, but they are couch warmer, bed warmer, stuffie destroyer and of course, defending the house! Our pawrents have never tried to make us sweep or do manual labor!! Poor Truffles! :)
    The Puppies

  39. Thank you so much for visiting my blog, because it led me to yours and I think this is the best I've seen. You can tell how much you appreciate the dog-human relationship, and I just about fell out of my chair at work reading through your history (I think my co-workers think I'm a little touched in the head now from all my laughing outbursts). I look forward to joining the following!

  40. Thank you Beans, we're flattered.

    I hope you are able to remain gainfully employed :)

    And we're very glad to meet you!

  41. What a great story!! Truffles is a beautiful dog, too! :)

  42. Hey there, great story!

  43. Did you know that some pets retire young? It is possible, because our Umbrella Cockatoo certainly has. The only thing he won't give up is the position as 'House Manager'.

  44. Oh! Woof! Great writing and story...truly enjoyed it. Woof! Sugar

  45. hahahahahah! Fab ending.

  46. Hi ,
    My first visit to your blog.
    I love reading your blog.
    kisses and licks

  47. My mom is a vocational counselor, she thought it was brilliant that you allowed nigel career exploration. You never know what motivates someone to be productive or in this case destructive. At least you know what is the root of all evil in his world.


  48. What a charming blog! Edward and I are tickled to have found you!!

  49. Tag, you're it! Come by our blog to play. If ya want to :o)

  50. Even though I shouldn't like dogs...I think I like yours very much:)

  51. What can I say after 50 comments?? everything has been said! I enjoyed reading this post! Give Truffles a big hug!

  52. I enjoyed my first visit to your blog. Cute story and pics!