March 23rd, 2005

bear by san

I have an eight pound cat...

...with massive separation anxiety to the point where he will stand outside any closed door in the house if he suspects a person or a dog is on the other side of it, and howl.

Also, there are certain challenges inherent in the living with giant dogs. For example, every so often, said giant dogs get treats, which in this case include sterilized beef or ham bones. For a normal dog, these are the sort of toy you gnaw on for rather a long while.

Our dogs eat them. Like babies chewing zweiback. And the mastiff (~190 lbs) eats his considerably faster than the Dane (~120 lbs), because (a) she has a smaller mouth (although bigger teeth--she's a streamlined old-fashioned Dane, a throwback to their long-forgotten days as working gazehounds) and (b) I sometimes suspect she fusses about her girlish figure. I've never known a dog this non-food-motivated. If she were human, she'd be your sister in law, the one you want to strangle because she chirps about how she constantly forgets to eat, and oh, she went down a dress size by accident. (Not that I have a sister in law, but I do have a fertile imagination.)

She's strong, too; she likes to steal my three-and-five-pound hand weights and carry them around the house like squeaky toys.

Anyway, the challenge with her is to keep weight on her, so she looks like a lean, mean running machine and not a Tindalosi Hound.

I think the solution may be beef femurs. That should slow them down a little.

Hard on the furniture, though.
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bear by san

God bless you, Mr. Varley.

"The Manhattan Phone Book (Abridged)" is available online.

This is one of those stories that is seared into my DNA. It was published, IIRC, in 1984, and I read it first in Blue Champagne, which I consider a must-read science fiction collection. Varley doesn't write much, but he sure as hell writes good.

And if you think it isn't relevant today, you're not extending the metaphor, as they say.

This is the only true after-the-bomb story you will ever read.

(This is why, sometimes, breaking every rule there is to break will win you awards. But first, you must know what you are doing. And every time I start thinking I know what I'm doing, I read a little Varley, and it passes.)
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