We are non-commercial, all volunteer and supported by our readers. Please help sustain the Dew by making a donation.
She Ain’t Nothin’ but a Hound Dog
I’ve had twelve dogs in my lifetime, but I’ve never had a dog like Hotep (pronounced hoe-tep). She’s a Black and Tan coon hound, or at least, that’s mostly what she is. I got her for Father’s Day last year from one of my grown daughters. Yes, the daughter was grown enough to know better. And no, I don’t hunt.
If you’re curious, what I had asked for was a new wallet. And if requesting a new billfold and receiving a stray hound dog instead doesn’t make any sense to you, then there’s nothing wrong with you. You’re just obviously not a parent. Congratulations. You are wise beyond your years.
Anyway, I wanted a wallet, but I got Hotep. She was found, I’m told, in a dumpster behind a bar in Carrollton, Georgia by the aforementioned grown daughter, who then rescued her by bringing her home in an empty Budweiser carton and giving her to me. I’ve never actually asked my daughter what she was doing behind a bar in Carrollton. I guess I’m happier assuming she was on the way to Bible study and maybe had to stop and fix a flat tire. As for the gift, I suppose it’s the thought that counts.
Hotep, by the way, means “to be at peace,” but that’s not why I named the dog that. To my knowledge, the only time she is ever peaceful is when she’s asleep, and even then, she snores. I named her what I did because I had just recently watched a movie called Bubba Hotep, which was sort of about Elvis and mummies, but not really. And as you will no doubt recall, Elvis sang You Ain’t Nothin’ But a Hound Dog. And a hound dog was what Hotep obviously was, even though my daughter was trying to convince me that the dog was a beagle. So, since my mind works the way it does, my coonhound is named Hotep.
The dog’s favorite game is called Throw the Damn Rope. You’ve probably already figured out the rules for the game, which are pretty simple. She brings the damn rope to me, I take it away from her, and I throw it. We play Throw the Damn Rope 2-3 hours every day. Other activities she enjoys include Scratch the Damn Floor, Howl at the Damn Train, and Sleep on the Damn Sofa.
My own personal coon dog was cute when she was a puppy, but she grew out of it. Over time she has developed a sneer that looks just like that one that Elvis used to feature in all of his movies. And sometimes when she holds her ears back, her resemblance to Jar Jar Binks of Star Wars fame is uncanny. So my dog looks like a cross between an alien and the King of Rock and Roll. This fact could go a long way toward explaining why I haven’t been too successful in giving her away.
Hotep is a chewer. As a matter of fact, she’s chewing on my shoe as I write this. Unfortunately, I’m wearing that shoe. As I think back over her nine-month tenure as my dog, I’m really quite amazed at all she has managed to chew up. And I have to admit that there was some irony in some of her choices. For instance, she chewed up my wallet. You may remember that she was supposed to be my wallet, so that was kind of ironic.
Then we bought a book about how to train your dog to not chew. She subsequently ate it. So we purchased her a sackful of leather chew toys, and while she didn’t like them much, they did instill in her a taste for leather. So she chewed up my recliner.
We had no choice by this point but to demote her to an outside dog. She didn’t care much for this plan, and to show her displeasure, she ate the yard. What, you think I’m kidding? Let me list for you everything she ate: an azalea, some bricks, two cherry trees, three collars, the doghouse, the fence, all of the flowers, a garbage can, her leash, a juniper bush, the screen door, a plastic water bowl, a steel water bowl, a glass water bowl, and about half of the shed. It would have been cheaper to send her on a cruise than it was to put her out into the yard.
So now Hotep has been promoted back inside. Actually, the neighbors insisted. And at this very moment she’s making noises like she wants to go for a walk. We walk five or six times a day. Rain or shine, cold or hot. And right now, it’s raining and cold, which is her favorite time for a stroll.
Maybe after the walk, I’ll ride down to Carrollton. I know there’s at least one bar down there, and I could use a drink.
Worthy of Comment
Also on the Dew
Summary: Liberal America does not perceive well the nature of the force that's taken over the right. Not perceiving what we're up against has enormous consequences, because understanding one's foe - its nature, its way of working, the disposition of its forces - has enormous implications for devising the best strategy for defeating it. Providing a good understanding of what it is we are up against is one of the central purposes of this "Press the Battle" series. *******I've undertaken to present this "Press the Battle" series because, believing it might make an important contribution, I feel a moral obligation Read on →
Summary: Why does that the line from Yeats apply to America in our times? "The best lack all conviction, while the worst / Are filled with a passionate intensity." One important reason is that the battle playing out in our politics is fundamentally a moral and spiritual battle, and while the right is connected to their moral and spiritual passions (even though that connection has been made on the basis of lies) Liberal America is not. Much of that disconnection in Liberal America is due misguided beliefs, including: 1) that "value" is not really real, and 2) that there is nothing in Read on →
It is the morning of October 3rd. As I have for the past more than forty October 3rds, I take from the cupboard a special kind of candle and light it. As I do so, I think about my father. It was in the early morning hours of October 3, 1967, in a hospital in Minneapolis, that my father died. It was a great loss. He was not yet 49, I was 21, and his death came way too soon for me to be done needing him. The candle burning on my countertop is called a yahrzeit candle. (yahrzeit literally means “year-time.”) Bur Read on →
Summary: We all know how to respond to evil. Again and again, our popular stories and mythology take us vicariously and gratifyingly through the process -- e.g. in films like "Avatar," "Star Wars," "Lord of the Rings," where our heroes put themselves on the line to defeat an evil force in defense of sacred values. Why is it, then, that as we face that same essential situation in America's contemporary reality, we fail to respond as our heroes do? *******The the destructive force that has arisen on the right is only one side of America's present national crisis. The other Read on →