dogs

Puppy love

Gallery: Puppy Tilda >>

A lot of twaddle has been uttered, over the millenia, about the joys of a new puppy. Terms like “puppy love”, schmoopy sentiments in re: of “happiness” being a “warm puppy”. Etcetera etcetera. Being a sophisticated man of the world,  I have naturally always dismissed these idiotisms as belonging to the realm of little girls and gay men (sorry chaps).

Of course, they also happen to be 100% true.

As I have recently discovered. Short version: Duston emails me a month ago with a picture of her and this, this...thing. Nameless, practically naked. She and Kate were on a trip to visit her mother in Florida. The email intimated that this was now OUR thing. Unilateral. Fait accompli. No say in it for the toiling breadwinner. Who, it should be noted, went into the most towering rage in recent memory. I wrote a poisonous email in response, but was shaking too much to send it (a good thing). And after the idea sunk in – it took a few hours - I realized that there really was no choice but to play along. Let’s face it – who doesn’t like a puppy? And think how many points I’d earn by being the magnanimous guy. Sheesh!

I had no idea what was about to hit me. From the first moment, at La Guardia, as my face was bathed in warm puppy tongue, my ear lobes nibbled with an expertise that would shame the courtesans of Byzantium, I felt a veritable fountain of endorphins and dopamine rising, flooding, suffusing my entire being. Oh joy! Oh rapture!

And now, that ridiculous, punched-in face (soft soft soft), those bugging eyes (imploring, knowing, wise). The exquisite humanesque yelps, the whimpering as she perches on that ledge-of-the-Eiger known as the second step down on the staircase... She mastered “up” in hours, but “down” is still replete with terrors. The stinky little farts, the adorable little vomits...

What has happened to me? First I’m taking pictures of vegetables in my garden, and now I’m reduced to this? Am I gay? Or have I perhaps become a little girl?

PS: Nameless thing is now known as ~ .  That’s the official spelling, although the IRS insists that we spell it out. Tilda (the feminine form of “tilde”, which is the punctuation mark in question).

To the dogs

Tulum, Mexico, 1996

It’s Rosh Hashanah today, and I suppose I’m a bad Jew for working on my blog. Even worse for working on my blog on the train on the way to work! I shall have to supplicate extra-hard on Yom Kippur, I guess.

Yesterday Congress didn’t bail out Wall Street, the market tanked, and after a seven-year hiatus we inadvertantly became Citibank customers again (ie Wachovia got “rescued”). I’m writing this less for the present than to place my own small marker on a moment in time that has unforseeable implications for all of us. Where will we be one year from now? Five years from now? 

I am also trying to find a photographic angle on all this. It seems like an opportunity – to be at the beginning of something (what?) and to be able to document it. In this we could all be our own Farm Administration photographers, our own Dorothea Langes.

I think I’ll even start to read “The Grapes of Wrath”. At last.