Chloë Learns How to Dominate

Novice NCAA picker.

The final results are not in yet, of course, but there’s no doubt that my NCAA Tournament bracket is going to trounce Mike’s. All of his Final Four picks were gone the first weekend, and I’ve still got three alive heading into the Sweet 16. As Jimmer would say, “Fredette about it, Mike.”  And although it’s already mathematically impossible to win the pool in Heather’s office, I made a big improvement over my NCAA bracket last March. Of course, I was only five weeks old at the time and not quite as familiar with the nuances of the college game as I am now.

Frankly, as we approach the start of my second year here at the ol’ Magnolia Manse, I’ve figured out that getting my way is how I like it. Mike keeps telling me that Heather is our pack leader, but I’m not buying it. Not while she’s at work, anyway, which seems like most of the time to me.

I like to dominate my canine friends, too, so if I don’t think they’re willing to play along with my game, I won’t even bother engaging them. As they approach me, I can tell right away, so I either lie down or turn my head away from their glare and pretend to sniff something until they pass. More than size, it’s their attitude. These dogs want to be the boss, too. I can tell. Swell, let them–as long as they boss around somebody else, not me.

Chloë and Kiki (Photo by Lynn)

I like dogs who see things my way. Like Moose, a golden retriever puppy, whom I met in the park last week. He was just three months old, about the same size as me but not nearly as coordinated. He was perfect for rolling around with on the parade ground. Tons o’ fun. And Kiki, a 1-year-old white Havanese who I went to visit a couple of times with my buddy Lynn. Kiki’s a little lighter and a tad bigger than I am, so we were pretty evenly matched. We have similar play styles, too, which means chasing each other around, hiding behind furniture for ambushes, tackling each other and rolling around, bottoms up and front paws in a bow, with lots of playful growling and launching ourselves for midair collisions.

Chloë flies at Kiki (Photo by Lynn)

Kiki thinks that we took turns being alpha dog, but that was just my intended ruse. Since we were playing at her house, I tried to be polite, when truthfully I could have been her boss for every second I was there.  All I had to do to control her was swing my butt around, knock Kiki on her backside and go in for the pin. If Kiki tried any butt swinging, I moved blithely out of the way. So let her think whatever she wants to; I was just being magnanimous for a change. Not always, though, as you can see from the photo below.

Chloë gains the upper hand (Photo by Lynn).

Now that it’s officially spring, I’d like to extend my domination to the wild parts of the animal kingdom–at least the parts of it located within the boundaries of Discovery Park. The rabbits were put on notice several months ago, right after I got that rat outside the house. The voles and field mice must have gotten the message, too (or maybe the hawks and bald eagles that have been hanging around the South Meadow got them all). But those damn squirrels, they are my current aggravation. I think I can outrun one in a fair race, but they all seem to run vertically up a fence or a tree when they see me coming. I haven’t been able to get farther up a tree than a few feet, and it’s not from a lack of trying. I might still be at the base of that tree, barking and looking for a foothold, if Mike hadn’t yelled to tell me it was almost my dinner time.

Chloë climbs a tree in quest of squirrel.

But don’t cry for me yet, Argentina. Squirrel domination will yet be mine. Just don’t Fredette about it.


One response to “Chloë Learns How to Dominate

  1. Chloe – I have grown very fond of your flexibility in handling what life tosses your way. The tree climbing skill (defying gravity) has got to be one of my all time favorites. As you know, I have cared for many dogs since 1986 – so I have seen my share of squirrel chasing and yes even a few of the spoils – but only in the form of tails. Got to be honest with you the tails are pretty bare, just a bunch of fluff, so not sure it’s worth all the efforts. In all that time, I never ever saw a squirrel (body) get caught. But, if any dog could do it – it would surely be sweet “Chloe-bear.”

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