Hangdog Days


Pardon me, readers, as I begin this post with a tangentially-related side issue; have no fear, I’ll gradually wend my way towards the real subject of this post.

Everyone has patterns in their life. This is partly due to individual character and partly due to those intriguing but inscrutable vagaries of fate. A couple of writers from days long past made parallel observations:

Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habit. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.

Lao Tsu (maybe…)

Heraclitus was more succinct:

Character is destiny.

My destiny has become convoluted and weird during the past week or so. One of those Fates has been screwing with me, I think. They get bored sometimes and I’m an easy target. All I can hope for is that one of the kindlier Fates will step in and say, “Hey give that poor fiddler a break!”

I’m being purposely vague, and the next series of observations will reveal why, overly curious reader! (I’m thinking of you, Joan!)

One distinct pattern in my life is that I write stuff down, people read what I’ve written, and I get in trouble. This pattern first manifested itself when my father read some shockingly frank journal entries of mine concerning psychedelic drug use. I was seventeen years old, and that journal meant a lot to me. My father burned the journal in our back yard, and I didn’t write again for twenty years. I’m not blaming him — he was at his wit’s end with me. I took off for parts unknown soon after that.

The insidious pattern eventually led to my divorce, relocation to Hannibal, Missouri, and eventually to my arrival here in Bisbee, thanks to Bev.

Now Facebook serves as an additional danger for me. I toss off comments, many of them witty, but others are like planting seeds of destruction. It’s all too easy for me to shoot myself in my much-scarred foot.

So… let’s segue to the present. I have some issues with my landlady and she thinks it might be best if I find another place to live. She lives on a few fenced acres out in the valley between Bisbee and Douglas. She raises guinea fowl, and a couple of days ago one of her dogs killed and ate a guinea. My landlady loves her speckled guineas, and decided the dog, a female named Lydia, was beyond redemption. She brought the dog to town and asked if I would keep it here for the time being.

Oh, great! Now I had a killer dog on my hands. Lydia is overly affectionate due to abuse which happened early in her life. That’s how she ended up at my landlady’s place. The first day she seemed sad, morosely slinking around and not eating. I couldn’t find a leash and collar which I thought my landlady had left here, so I couldn’t take the dog for a walk.

Well, due to recent circumstances I had some affection and kindliness to spare. Lydia is gradually coming out of her abject funk. I used that peculiar dialect of English, which is closely akin to baby-talk, which dogs almost always respond to.

I found the leash and collar and this morning went on my first walk with Lydia. Of course she loved it. So many intriguing smells!

So here I am with an unexpected companion! I’m a talky son-of-a-bitch and Lydia gives me an outlet. And she can’t tell anyone else what I say!

I hope this post doesn’t cause me any problems. Maybe no-one will read it!


7 comments on “Hangdog Days

  1. MadhatMike says:

    Ah, no such luck ye scurrilous fiddler, I read this one! Interesting about Lydia, she sounds like a cool dog, I think you may have picked a winner there, just a hunch. Anyway, everybody needs a dog, and some more than others…
    Fiddle project? : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4zRe_wvJw8

  2. Jamie says:

    Hang in there, Larry. I’m not privy to the particulars, nor do I want to be. Still, we all screw up every now and then. Or, weird stuff happens and we react however it is that we do. Or…Just keep on being yourself. Personally, I appreciate the heck out of you.

  3. bev says:

    It will be interesting to see how Lydia gets along with Sage and Shelby if she is still hanging out with you in a few week’s time. I think they met her last year and everything was cool.

  4. Larry Ayers says:

    Thanks for the first-time comment, Mike! That Marx Brothers musical extravaganza is one of my favorites! Learn the words and we’ll do it at the CQ!

    Oh, come on, Jamie, let me tell you every sordid detail! Of course I’m just kidding, I’ve beefed up my Discretion Engine with a new set of pipes the past few days.

    I think Sage and Shelby will do fine with Lydia (who will soon have a new name). This dog is meek in the presence of other dogs. She definitely wasn’t Top Dog at her previous home in the valley.

  5. Larry Ayers says:

    After three walks, the dog whom I think of as “that yaller dog” rather than Lydia, is tired. In this apartment there is an old broken-down chair which really needs to go to the recycling center. That yaller dog discovered it this evening:


  6. Rain Trueax says:

    Poor dog but looks like maybe she’s gotten lucky and found a home. With two other dogs and Bev, you all should get along great. I feel sorry for pets, so sorry for them as they are so easily discarded by some. It’s so hard to explain things to them. If she killed guineas, it’s just nature, not meanness.

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