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