Marriage with human
males didn’t work out too well, but a marriage with my dog, this particular dog,
would. Of course such a union should carry medical coverage and appropriate tax
My dog is named Cejas. He is much more agreeable than any
human mate I've ever had, and I don’t care if his ancestry is uncertain. My ancestors
were from all over the place so, technically, that makes me a kind of mutt, too.
Mutts love to ride in cars. On a road trip east from Los Angeles to everyplace
else, Cejas never objected when I screamed obscenities at the GPS for directing
us into a tunnel wall in Asheville NC. And not once did he whine "Are we there
Between Nashville TN and Asheville NC, we went through a hard-hitting
hailstorm with huge icy missiles crashing onto the roof and hood of the car, annihilating
the paint. Perhaps Tiger Woods was teeing off and yelling “I’m champ again!” or
Minnesota Fats yelling “Hail ball in the side pocket!”
Driving in Kentucky,
I looked over at Cejas sitting next to me, all decked out in his black and tan
fur with the white tie, and said, "Hey, there's a sign saying it's only 20 miles
to Lincoln's birthplace. Wanna go?" He put his fortune-cookie-shaped ears in drive,
speed-wagged his tail in circles like the propeller on a helicopter and grinned
with anticipation of a side trip. As we headed south, Cejas clued me in that Lincoln
had given his dog the unimaginative name of "Fido." Very disappointing, considering
Lincoln's genius with the language. This was the man who wrote The Gettysburg
Address? It wasn't bad enough that Lincoln named his dog Fido, he named his horse,
"Bob." But I digress. Fido was a floppy-eared, rough-coated, yellowish dog who
waited outside the barbershop chasing his own tail for amusement, while Lincoln
got a hair cut. Cejas is full of such interesting trivia ever since he stopped
chasing his own tail and learned how to read.
Cejas also has a sense of
humor. When we were in Memphis, parked across from Graceland and next to Presley's
jet, the "Lisa Marie," his upper lip went into an uncanny Elvis-like sneer. It
did not detract from the effect when I finally realized his lip was caught on
We managed to get into a "no pets" motel in Albuquerque simply
because Cejas agreed to walk on his hind legs and wear a trench coat. In Amarillo,
I passed him off as a seeing-eye dog by wearing sunglasses and fitting him with
a fake harness I made out of an umbrella rib.
Best stealth trick of all
was the Hilton in El Paso. We sashayed up to the front desk and glommed on a prominently
placed sign: “No dogs allowed.” I said to the clerk, “This is no ordinary dog.
He is a retired movie dog.” Cejas’s alleged film credit caused the nervous reservation
clerk to seek advice from the night manager. The wiry young manager appeared,
walking with great authority, wearing horn-rimmed glasses and a bow tie which
he nervously snapped against his Adam's Apple. He leaned over the desk, looked
at the dog and, like a fan at an Oscars red carpet, said, “What might I have seen
him in?” I lied that he had been a stunt dog in “Benji,” and an extra in “100
Dalmatians” “Really?” said the impressed manager, “I think I remember him!” He
gave us a ground floor suite with a door that led directly onto a large grassy
area. Superbly mannered, Cejas left no reminders on the grass that he had ever
Another reason I want to marry Cejas is how well he handles
responsibility. When he has to see the vet, he doesn't moan and groan about hating
doctors and hospitals like human males do -- he just goes right along without
resisting. I’m sure he’d drive himself there if the DMV hadn’t refused to issue
him a learner’s permit. You know how much red tape there is at any bureaucracy,
so you can imagine what it’s like for a Canine application.
to having a dog for a mate is that I can introduce him to all my girlfriends without
fear they'll seduce him, since most of them probably wouldn't want to date such
a short and hairy guy whose nose is always running.
Groucho must've been
referring to Cejas when he said, "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend.
Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."
April 1, 2013 column
"A Balloon In Cactus" Columns
Related Topics: Dog
Stories | Texas | Online
Magazine | Columns |