The other day Tommy James and the Shondells’ “Crystal Blue Persuasion” came on the radio. As the song played, I rewrote the lyrics into a shelter dog song. I rather like how it turned out.
Look over yonder
What do you see?
A dog imprisoned,
A new day is coming, ooh, ooh
People are changing (finally)
Ain’t it beautiful, ooh, ooh
Crystal dog persuasion
Better get ready to see the mutt
Love, love is the answer, ooh, ooh
And he’s not all right
So don’t you give up now, ooh, ooh
So easy to find
Just look to your shelter
And open your mind
Crystal dog persuasion, mmm, mmm
Crystal dog persuasion
Crystal, dog persuasion
The Grinch’s dog Max is my favorite cartoon dog and the brandy-drinking St. Bernard in a Warner Brothers cartoon is second. I like Ziggy’s dog and The Underdog, too, the latter an unassuming shoeshine dog who transforms himself into a superhero when the call arises. In my youth, I would become The Underdog and save this and that, and now here in middle age, I have become one again, but not a superhero, although mostly invisible, but a man trying this time to save himself with the help of real underdogs. Perhaps I need to don a costume.
Whenever I encounter a Trump supporter with a dog, we talk only about dogs and get on well. What is the secret sauce of that? The cutest dog in cinematic history is the white puppy in Apocalypse Now, the one Lance rescues from a Vietnamese junk after American soldiers killed everyone on the boat my mistake. The puppy later accompanies Captain Willard and Lance (the latter soaring on LSD) on a spooky mission. One of my favorite dog scenes in movies occurs in WC Fields’ The Poppy, a bizarre opium-hazed comedy that features a stray terrier rescued by Fields accompanying him into a bar, sampling some whiskey, and then talking to Fields! Fields sells the dog to the bartender for $20 and the dog never talks again. The greatest inspirational speech employing dogs (mutts) as a metaphor was delivered by Bill Murray in Stripes. What’s with the phrase, “capitalist running dog”?
Dogs held in animal shelters receive better succor than the men and I did in a county jail on the Oregon Coast. They wouldn’t even let in shelter dogs for us to pet when that petting might have saved a few of the inmates. They did, however, let ministers in to preach. I have a fundraiser idea for an animal shelter: hold a dog and cat-themed craft fair in around the shelter and require all vendors to sell only dog and cat-themed crafts! A dog made it into space before a human. Why wasn’t there a dog on Jim Kirk’s Enterprise? Spock desperately needed one. He would have learned everything important about being a human via a dog. What is the greatest piece of art depicting a dog? Years ago, I met a large old man living in a house along a river who had a weimaraner. He owned two Lincoln Town Cars, one that he drove alone and the other he drove with the dog. The weimaraner had chewed up the entire dash and all the upholstery in the dog Town Car and it was the strangest-looking interior of an automobile I have ever seen. I once met a man on the beach while walking with Sonny, who turned out to be a former Mafioso who was now in the witness protection program. He invited me to his house for whiskey and to meet his old dog. We talked of dogs and his previous life and drank whiskey and the more he drank the more Italian he sounded. He told me he trusted me because of the way I cared for my invalid husky.
It occurs to me that I have dog treats in all the pockets of my coats and corduroys. Winston Churchill described his fits of deep depression as his “black dog.” I don’t understand the reason. Black dogs are the antithesis of depression.
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