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James Giago Davies: People tell me it's better to read about pets

Filed Under: Opinion
More on: james giago davies, native sun news

James Giago Davies. Photo courtesy Native Sun News Today

Time for another pet update
Entire crew as dingbat as ever
By James Giago Davies
Native Sun News Columnist

People tell me when I write about pets it is better than when I write about politics or religion.

Maybe I lose my sense of humor when I write about those other two things. Not that there isn’t unrelenting hilarity in economic collapse or nuclear exchanges, but most of us can relate to pets better, pets being the animals we feed just to keep around as special buddies, not fatten up to eat, or keep strong to pull Iditarod sleds.

People can have some strange pets: pet spiders, pet snakes, pet alligators, but for me pets mean dogs and cats. These species are fundamentally different, and we could go into the basic nature of either, but the best way to define that difference is, if your lap dog weighed over 200 lbs. he would still be your pet, but if your cat weighed over 200 lbs. forget Meow Mix, you are the next meal.

Nate is my fetch crazy black Lab. He would jump into a blast furnace to fetch a stick of dynamite. He gets ideas in his head that make huge sense to him but not to us. For example, you give him a dog biscuit at home, he turns his nose up at it. But if the lady at the bank window gives him one, it’s a delicious treat.

Blind Willie raised Nate. When Nate was a puppy, and Willie could still see well enough to make things out, he doted on Nate, shared his food, taught him everything he knew, and Willie is a collie so he is as smart as nature makes a dog, except he is also pure dingbat. We are not sure if we brought him home dingbat or he later just turned dingbat.

People think Blind Willie is beautiful, until they run into his long snout. His nicknames are Death Breath and the Green Cloud. Nothing helps, he hates all the products we buy to combat his wicked breath. I’ve learned to pat his head while covering my face with a throw pillow. Nate doesn’t seem to mind Willie’s breath although Nate rolls on dead things on the hiking trail so that is not surprising.

Beta male Willie weighs eighty lbs. but even before Alpha male Nate got to a hundred lbs. he started taking Willie’s food, gnawing at his legs every time we let them in or out of the house. He forgot all the kindness Willie showed him as a pup, forgot to share—Nate is a serious jerk to poor Willie.

Willie can drive you crazy. If you try to open the fridge, he’s blocking the door. If you try to take a leak, he’s drinking from the toilet bowl, if you try to work the remote, he is blocking the TV screen. Even when taking him for a walk, he does nutty things. Nate will take a discreet dump against some bushes or in the deep grass, but Willie waits until you are crossing a busy intersection, and then stops and dumps in the center of the crosswalk.

You take your eyes off Willie and he is off and lost in impossibly extreme ways. It would not surprise me to find him standing on the top of a flag pole, whimpering in bewilderment. I know it’s not possible, but there must be an old photograph of him standing on the deck of the Titanic, or better yet, the top of the iceberg the Titanic ran into.

Read the rest of the story on the Native Sun News Today website: Time for another pet update

(Contact James Giago Davies at

Copyright permission Native Sun News

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