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Thursday, July 28, 2016

View From The Fence

Thursday, May 2, 2002

I'm fond of quaint old sayings and quite frequently sprinkle them throughout my column. More than once I've heard someone comment that someone was just "living a dog's life." I'm sure the correct context is supposed to conjure up an image of a terrible life, but my dog is living a pretty good life so I never quite get it.I have a little male Pomeranian named Gadget. I don't really consider myself a dog person but I've always been fond of cute little puppies and kittens. The only problem is I don't really like dogs and cats. Gadget is a happy little mix between a puppy and a dog. He's full grown but still small enough to have puppy qualities, so he has remained in my affections.I've been thinking recently that it wouldn't be so bad to "live a dog's life," just so long as that dog was Gadget. He stays up most of the night barking at whatever takes his fancy, usually deer in the front yard. I'm a night person, so that wouldn't bother me. Come morning he wanders in through his little dog door for something to eat. Someone makes sure his bowl is full of his favorite food, so again he's got it made. I don't usually have time for food in the morning and I can't say that I remember too many occasions where someone has had my favorite food ready and waiting for me, so that sounds pretty good. Although I do have a concern about being able to squeeze my ample rear end through that little dog door.Then he starts the hard part of his day. As I leave he sits by the front door with a bored look on his face, even when I speak to him in a baby voice as I go out the door. "Now you be a good boy today, Gadget Baby," I tell him.He then spends the rest of the day deciding where the best place is to lie and take a nap. He starts out in one corner of our overstuffed sofa, and then moves to the other corner, then over to the loveseat, then to the chaise lounge. Even a non-dog-lover like myself has to smile at his people-like antics. He doesn't just lie around -- he reclines. He really prefers to have a pillow under his head.After a good nap he gets up and wanders around the house or the yard. Occasionally he'll follow my husband down to his office. Now that part I might have a little trouble with. It's not going to the office that would bother me, but the getting there. He runs along beside the truck as fast as his little legs will carry him, while stopping frequently to pee on a tree. I can't say either one of those antics appeals to me.During the dinner hour he lies near the table where he's sure to get samples of the food we've prepared. All he has to do is eat. He's not required to do any of the cooking or the dishes or earn any money to buy the food. Again, it seems pretty appealing. It seems to me this term is out of date. If the intent is to paint a picture of a hard life, you might want to say something like, "So and so is just living a human's life." In today's times that term might be more appropriate.