A Yappy Way of Knowledge, by Dog Juan

I believe ancient knowledge has been passed down from generation to generation of the canine ilk. It is why most dogs are happy. They can eat the same food every day of their lives and have pretty much the same routine day after day. Yet if you ask them if they want to go potty, or go upstairs or go downstairs, or have a treat or a bath or get their vaccinations, they are happy. They are ecstatically, stupidly happy, at least until they see the bath water running. But even after that’s over, they will cavort and romp, no matter how old they are. Dogs are happy.

No one really knows who Dog Juan really was, but he established the “Yappy Way of Knowledge.” According to legend Dog Juan gifted dogs with a daily dish of his top ten kibbles to chew on. These are not in any particular order, but they are guaranteed to make any dog’s life happy. These kibbles are: Love, Bark, Eat, Sleep, Poop, Scratch, Procreate, Check your P-mail, Roll in stinky stuff, Find your spot.

So, let’s talk about them checking their p-mail. What is the first thing a dog usually does when out an about? You got it, they smell garbage cans, trees, tires or whatever that smells great and gives them information. Then they pee their reply on top of it. So let’s say I take my Shih Tzu Luke, and my Shih Tzu/Pekinese Chewy to the off leash park down by the airport. Oh the joy on their faces to be there and immediately they start their p-mail rounds. What they learn could be something along these lines:

C: “Hey Luke! Guess who’s prego?”

L: “Who?”

C: “Lady Dane!”

L: “Woof!”

C: “And guess who the puppy daddy is?”

L: “Who?”

C: “That annoying little Chihuahua.”

L: “Wonder how that happened?” A little while later, Luke says to Chewy, “Guess who got fixed?”

C: “Who?”

L: “That annoying little Chihuahua!”

I have read some of the works by Carlos Castaneda, who studied under Don Juan D’Marcos, a Yaqui wise man. Now I am not saying there is any correlation between Don Juan and Dog Juan, but I prefer to believe that Don Juan had a dog that sat at his feet and learned from him like the devotee it was.

Dogs on the Catwalk – Mel-O-Glaze Bakery

Angie and I had gone to get a cup of coffee and a donut at the Mel-O-Glaze Bakery in South Minneapolis. Neither of us had been there before, but she had read about it in the paper and that the place had good donuts. She bought two glazed and I bought one. The coffee was from a drip pot, and nothing could have tasted better with these donuts.

We sat at the bistro tables on the corner of 28th & Minnehaha Parkway, sipping our coffee and murmuring our “yum’s” over these fabulous donuts. The bakery has been family owned for four generations, and their donuts are mouth-watering.

As we sat there enjoying our treats at the outdoor tables, a gentleman walked by with his dog.

“Angie!” I said. “Look at that dog!”

It was small, fluffy, blue-eyed with black and white markings that reminded me of Shirley MacLain’s movie “Victor/Victoria.” Right down the middle of his nose was the delineation between the black and white.

The gentleman went in to get his own fix of coffee and donuts. I followed him in to get my second donut. When I came back to the table, Angie was engaged in conversation with the man and I learned the dog was a Sheltie, Edie the Sheltie, and quite well mannered. We both resisted the urge to squeeze it.

The gentleman left and we sat quietly in the early summer sunshine. Then a woman walked by with a West Highland Terrier, once again well-mannered. I have two small dogs of my own and they definitely are not as well behaved as the ones around here. We chatted with the woman, who told us her story of Sophie. She too went on her way.

Our corner view was definitely becoming interesting. We could see from all sidewalk directions and the dogs on leashes came and went. It wasn’t until a young woman came from across the street toward us, that I began to wonder if this entire scene had been staged. It was all too perfect.

As the tree branches arched over the sidewalk, dappling the pavement with sunlight, a slight breeze scattered the first lime-green leaf petals ahead of the woman as she walked with her dog. The woman was pretty and her pup was perfect. She held the leash exact and they both stepped lightly into the crosswalk.

“This is like watching a dog show,” Angie said, as she made herself more comfortable.

“Yes,” I said. “Or maybe like models on a runway, with their dogs.”

“Isn’t a runway called a catwalk?” Angie mused.

“What irony,” I said. “Dogs on the Catwalk.”

Angie has a better memory than I do, but neither of us could remember all of the owners and their dogs. We decided not even bother to with the owner’s names, just their fabulous dogs. There was Edie the Sheltie and Sophie the Westie, to start. Then there was Finn the Collie mix, Buddy, the tall and black, and Cato the Shepherd mix.

I love the stories that people tell me about their dogs. Most of them were ones they had rescued, either at a shelter or the Humane Society. Since Angie and I were together at the Mel-O-Glaze bakery, I have been keeping track of them and will share as time permits.