Sep 30, 2022

The Dog Days of Fall Are Upon Us

We invite one of our favorite wags to participate

By Ed Goldman

In today’s column we drop in on a therapy session conducted by Dr. Basil “Doggie” Baag, the noted doctor of veterinarian medicine (DVM) who also holds a master’s degree in psychology and, at the moment, a Liv-a Snap, which he proffers to his newest patient, Scamp Tramp VI. 

If young Tramp’s name sounds familiar to you, it may be because he’s the great-great-great-grandson of the bastard issue of the canine Tramp couple made famous by Walt Disney: Mom Lady and Dad The.

Edgy Cartoon

What’s Pup, Doc? (with special guest star: Teddy)

DR. BAAG (bending down to greet Scamp): Who wants a Liv-a-Snap, who wants a Liv-a-Snap?

SCAMP: Evidently, you think I do (rolls his eyes and grabs the treat out of Baag’s hand). What’s the deal with repeating yourself and referring to me in the third-person—or third-animal, I guess you’d say.

DR. B: Oh. Sorry. I just think dogs respond well to baby talk.

SCAMP: Yeah, if they’re baby dogs.

DR. B: But you’re only five years old.

SCAMP: That’s 35 in people years, Doc. I already do a comb-over with my head fur.

DR. B: Well it looks very natural. I mean, it looks so good, it could be a toupee.

SCAMP: Part of it is, Doc.

DR. B: I’d never have guessed. —Anyhoo, let’s get started. You may, uh, climb up on the sofa.

SCAMP: What?

DR. B: I said you may climb up on the–

SCAMP (Doing so excitedly): Just kidding, Doc, I heard you. Just pretending I had a hearing problem.

DR. B: Why?

SCAMP: Ask me what I thought I had.

DR. B: Look, I—Okay, Scamp. What did you think you had?

SCAMP: RinTinTinTinitis! You have any more of those Liv-a-Snaps? I only had time to lick up my human’s egg plate before we left this morning.

DR. B: Of course. But first, please tell me what’s troubling you?

SCAMP: I have Escape Syndrome.

DR. B: A la “avoidance” issues?

SCAMP: La-la nothing, Doc. Sing on your own dime. I’m talking about what happens every time my human leaves a door or gate open and I lam outta the house so fast you’d think my glands were on fire.

DR. B: And why do you think you do that? Do you feel mistreated at home?

SCAMP: Are you kidding?! I’m living la dolce vita, Doc. I get all the food I want; I’m allowed to beg at the table. I get more than my required belly rubs per diem. I can drink out of the toilet when it suits me, lick myself in front of company. Maybe I have imposter syndrome.

DR. B: A la, you think you don’t deserve any of this?

SCAMP: Singin’ again, huh?

DR. B: No, Scamp, “a la” simply means—

SCAMP: Then there’s the isolation/transference matter.

DR. B: Whoa, there! That’s a hefty combination noun!

SCAMP: Well, what would you call it when my human says, “Who’s a good boy?” and “There’s a good boy”? If he means me, why doesn’t he just say, “You’re a good boy” or even “Here’s a good boy”? I keep looking around in the fear he’s adopted another dog! I think that’s why I keep escaping. Never have wanted to overstay my welcome anywhere

DR. B: Now, you know he’d never do that! Scamp! Roll on your back and I’ll rub your belly.

SCAMP (resisting): No, I can’t, I just—(DR. B administers five minutes of belly rubs) Oh, geez, Doc. I feel so much better!

DR.B: There’s a good boy!

SCAMP: Where?

Ed Goldman's column appears almost every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. A former daily columnist for the Sacramento Business Journal, as well as monthly columnist for Sacramento Magazine and Comstock’s Business Magazine, he’s the author of five books, two plays and one musical (so far).