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shameless pleading





December 2011 Issue

... and your little dog, too.


Oh, ye of little faith. I promised that there would be a proper December Issue before month’s end, and here we are.

I carried over the modified meme-version of our logo graphic this month. Oddly enough, I made that graphic before I saw the Wizard of Oz one, though I definitely had that caption in mind.

My absolute favorite of the breed, however, is the Magritte treatment below. My first thought on seeing that was “Gee, that would make a great shower curtain.”

Speaking of little dogs, our pal Pokey, the little yellow doggie that wandered in about twelve years ago, is showing her age. She appears to be almost entirely deaf, mostly blind, and somewhat demented to boot, though Pokey was never the brightest bulb on the porch even on a good day. The good news is that she remains indefatigably cheerful; when she detects that you are putting food in her bowl, she bounces into the air, all four feet off the floor, tail wagging as madly as it did the first day she was here.

Unfortunately, Pokey’s vision, or lack thereof, is a problem because she follows me all over the house. She always has, probably because she was dumped in the woods to starve and is understandably insecure even after all these years. The first few weeks she was here, in fact, she slept on a futon in my office and I had to sit with her and tell her bedtime stories every night so she’d settle down and sleep. Well, I probably didn’t really have to, but I did. Anyway, she can climb stairs just fine, and so she does while I work in my office on the second floor every day. But she’s very reluctant to descend the stairs, as she really must at least a few times a day.

So I have to help Pokey downstairs, a process that involves coaxing her to the head of the steps, then gently grasping her collar and supporting her just enough to encourage her, but not so much as to make her panic and start thrashing around. Meanwhile, I have my own problems going downstairs, so I have to grip the banister with my other hand and try not to lose my balance. I’m starting to think a winch and a basket might be a better idea. The scary part is when we approach the bottom of the stairs and Pokey decides, every so often, that she’s sick of the whole laborious process and might as well jump. From the fourth step up. With me attached. I ought to sell tickets.

Pokey occupying the orchard.

But eventually we both make it to the first floor and, as I breathe a well-earned sigh of relief, Pokey runs into the dining room and, literally deaf to my entreaties, pees on the rug. Oh well. Pokey is a lucky dog. We promised her when she came here that we would always take care of her, a vow which, over the years, has approached the cost of a decent used car. But Pokey is more fun.

Speaking of money and gratitude, as is usual at this time of year, thanks, as always, to those kind souls who keep the Good Ship TWD afloat with contributions and subscriptions. Since it is late in the month (nudge, nudge), I must point out that subscriptions make awesome holiday gifts for that person who somehow slipped your mind or just happens to need a little extra something this year. And since every subscription comes with access to our archive of columns which haven’t yet been posted free on the web, it’s like getting an 18-month sub for the price of a one-year sub. You’ll also be contributing to the upkeep of our menagerie of animals who have wandered in here over the years, like Pokey, looking for a safe home.

And now, on with the show….

2 comments to December 2011 Issue

  • Richard

    Hi, Word Detective!

    I always enjoy reading your column. However, I have
    been experiencing a problem with it the last few months and decided this time to write about it.

    At the end of your great and touching story about Pokey, there are the words “And now, on with the show…” which is actually nothing more than a dead link. Which means I’m unable to read the last part of your column. (Also, I don’t have this problem with any other sites that I visit.)

    Best Regards,


    • admin

      That’s a good point. I started using that line when the monthly introduction never jumped to a second page, and thus “on with the show” clearly referred to the columns following immediately beneath it. Now, when you do follow the jump, you’re left at the bottom of a page with no clear path forward. Unfortunately, there’s no easy, non-confusing way to link back to the first actual column on the front page. I’ll have to think about it.

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