Friday, January 29, 2010

A Terrible Spell

I wish to break from the adventures of Coco the Dog to recall a fairy tale. We will return to Coco's barks of wisdom shortly:

Once upon a time in a magical kingdom far, far away there lived a beautiful young princess who was the pride and joy of the land.

When the princess was happy, the very earth would be bright and happy. Orange butterflies would flutter, and bright green frogs would jump from lilypad to lilypad.

The day of our story was a deep dark gloomy day full of bitter cold and rain.

The princess's fairy godmother saw that things were bitter and cold. She deduced that the princess must be sad and fluttered into the castle to find what made the beautiful young princess gloomy.

"What is wrong young one?" asked the fairy godmother.

"Oh, it is horrible," said the young princess. "The Princess Academy is having a spelling bee tomorrow and I am a terrible speller."

Now, the fairy godmother could fix any problem faced by the princess with a wave of her wand and a magical spell, but the fairy godmother was scared of the headmistress of the Princess Academy and usually hesitated when asked to perform a school related spell.

So, the fairy-godmother tried to appease the young princess by saying: "You are a princess. You don't need to spell. When you issue your dictates from the thrown, a court page who will spell all the words correctly. He has a magical spellchecker."

"But I don't want to have to having some stinking page thinking he is all better than me because I failed out of the first round of the spelling bee."

After a few minutes of chatting and a well orchestrated pout, the fairy godmother gave in to the princess's demand devised a spell so that the child would no longer be a terrible-speller.

The fairy godmother chanted the magical spell: "No longer a terrible-speller will you be when you step up to compete in the spelling bee."

A bunch of shiny silver stars shot from the fairy godmother's magic wand. They circled the princess's golden hair three times and entered her ears.

The princess's eyes brightened and a smile lit her face as she found that a magical dictionary with correct spelling and etymology would appear in her mind when she thought of a word.

To test the effectiveness of the magical spell, the Fairy Godmother tried several super hard words:

"Spell 'aggrandizement'"

The princess recited "A-G-G-R-A-N-D-I-Z-E-M-E-N-T" with authority.

"Spell 'psychoanalysis'"

The princess spoke the letters "P-S-Y-C-H-O-A-N-A-L-Y-S-I-S" with cheer then shouted with glee: "I am no longer a terrible-speller."

With that thought the clouds broke and sunshine sprinkled down from the heavens onto the kingdom in happiness.

The happiness and joy of the moment continued until the day of the big spelling bee.

When it came her time to spell a word, the princess simply remembered the chant of her fairy godmother: "No longer a terrible-speller will you be when you step up to compete in the spelling bee," and the magical dictionary would appear before her eyes and she would trounce all of her opponents.

The spelling bee went through eight rounds and gradually eliminated all of the competitors until the contest was down to just her and that nasty little boy in the seventh grade who was slated to become the court page.

(err, don't ask me why there was a boy in the princess academy. I didn't think through that part of the story)

Anyway, the princess confidently approached the spelling bee podium with the spelling-spell and magical dictionary in her mind.

A quirky smile lit on the headmistresses face and she commanded: "Spell the word 'terrible'!"

To the princess's dismay she found that the magic dictionary in her mind could not open.

The princess broke out in a fierce sweat and spoke: "T-E-R-I-B-L-E."

The audience gasped at the terrible spelling of 'terrible' and the princess realized that the wish she would no longer be a terrible-speller meant that, for her kingdom, she could not spell the word "terrible."

The headmistress smirked. "Since you are the princess of the land, I will give you a second change to spell 'terrible'."

The princess tried a second time (wishing she could tear up the magic spell) and spoke the letters: "T-E-A-R-A-B-L-E."

The children broke out in laughter.

"You should be kind," the young girl thought, then recited the letters "C-H-A-R-I-T-A-B-L-E."

But the laughter increased in both depth and scope.

How dare they laugh at me cried the princess and spelled "D-A-R-E-A-B-L-E."

Now the children were rolling on the floor in laughter.

The princess wished that she could fly away on a balloon and spelled ' D-I-R-I-G-I-B-L-E"

With that, even the peasants toiling away in the fields began to laugh.

The princess tried a dozen times to spell 'terrible,' but the magical enchantment that prevented her from being a "terrible-speller" meant there was one word she could never spell.

"N-E-V-E-R-A-B-L-E" she spelled out.

Her attempts to spell 'terrible' fell further and further from the mark until the headmistress stood up and threw the strictest glower ever thrown between a headmistress and student saying:

"And let this spelling bee serve as a lesson to you and your fairy godmother to never again use your magical powers to cheat in my school."

And with those sharp words, the princess crumbled with humility. The skies turned dark and gloomy and the people of the kingdom wallowed in misery ever after.

The End.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Yammering on Health Care

The humans are still yammering on health care. They don't really seem to know what to do about it. So I thought I'd bark in with a few suggestions:

Have you tried licking it?

When I have a bruise, cut or other medical problem, I lick it.

Licking it seems to help.

You humans have pathetically small tongues; So maybe you can't get a full lick in. In which case, I guess, you have a pretty bad problem.

Anyway, licking it is my suggestion. I think licking would help a lot.

My name is Coco. I am a dog, and I approve this message.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Pirates We Be

Arrrggg. Pirates we be.

My human with her patched eye and me with my peg paw are ready to seek adventure on the fabled seas of Labrador.

If only we had a cockatiel. A cockateil could eat the pages of the books on the shelves as we pirates of the Internet peddled our ideas.

BTW: My human made it home from the cataract surgery and is currently sleeping.

I wanted to go with my human to the surgery. I thought I could sit patiently by my human during the surgery.

A dog can be great help in surgery. For example, I could give the doctor a gentle nudge of encouragement as he starts the incision, or jump up and down on the nurses leg to make sure she passes the right scapel.

The AMA disapproves of dogs in the operating room for some reason that this dog has never understood.

Reluctant Seeing Eye Dog

This is scary.

My primary human is going under the knife today for cataract surgery. It is scary because if the doctor sneezes at the wrong time, then yours truly will be pressed into service as a seeing-eye-dog.

Seeing-eye-dogs are among the hardest workers of the canine family. Such dogs not only have to worry about themselves, but about the humans in the lead.

A good seeing-eye-dog spends their day fetching items for the blind human (fetching sounds fun … but blind people don't throw the Frisbee all that far, and my favorite part of fetch is running with abandon).

The hardest part of being a seeing-eye-dog is that dog is no longer free to aimlessly follow the intriguing smells that nature offers.

As a chocolate lab, I am partial to jumping into freezing cold ponds in the dead of winter. Were I pressed into service as a seeing-eye-dog, I would get demerits for leading my human into a freezing cold pond.

Hoping to avoid service as a seeing-eye-dog, I ask my readers to give their doggie prayers for a successful operation.

Sunday, January 3, 2010


It has come to my attention that a growing number of people doubt the existence of dog. Denying the existence of dog is called "acaninism."

As a dog, I find this a disturbing trend and thought I should blog about ways to prove the existence of dog. I list below several signs that dog exists:

  1. Dog barks.
  2. Dog bites.
  3. Dog nudges.
  4. Dog poops.

So, if you feel the gentle nudge of a snout while you are sitting their watching your TV or reading your book; it is a sign dog exists. If you hear barking and yipping sounds in the neighborhood at night; It is a sign that dog exists. If you step in something on a trail that reeks to high heavens, that poop my just be a manifestation of dog. If you feel a sharp pain on your ankle when you carelessly walk by the "Beware of Dog" post; it is a sign that dog exists.

My name is Coco. I am a dog. I approve this message, and I exist.