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About Us Part 2


People have been contacting us wanting to know more who we are, so I figured I'd better do another autobiographical entry. (See About Us Part I. )

Actually, dogs have been contacting us, too, but they just want to know what our butts smell like. (It would sure save me a lot of time if humans were so practical.) So, here's a scratch-and-sniff for the dogs, and the rest of you will have to keep on reading...


Anyway, as far as breeds go, Woody's a pure-bred Ayarbie (i.e., an Indeterminate Reddish-Brown dog). He had papers when he was really young, but eventually he was expected to poop outside.

As for me, I was baptized an Australian Shepherd, but I left the church after I found out that (a) they cut the tails off Australian Shepherds, and (b) the AKC (aka $#@*!#?%) thinks that white Australian Shepherds are inferior to black and/or brown Australian Shepherds. Pretty arbitrary if you ask me. Hey, at least I'm smart enough to still have a tail, and that's a lot more than you can say for all those Kennel Club Aussies.

I should make it clear that we're grownup dogs. We play hard, we work some, and we sleep a lot. We eat whenever and whatever. We don't do tricks, we don't dress up in silly clothes, and we are definitely not wegmans. (I'm not sure where that term came from, but it's dog slang for dogs that dress up in human clothes and pose for stupid pictures.)

As for where we're located, first you have to sniff out the herd of shetland cattle, then go about a good run time until you come to the black cows. Bark until the cows break for the barn, then go left. (If you smell the markings of a big dog named Bear, you've gone too far, but if you start noticing more deer and turkey droppings, you're headed the right direction.) You cross the creek where the groundhogs live. (Woody has managed to annoy them on more than one occasion, so don't expect them to be friendly.) Keep going and ignore the bag of garbage in the ditch. (It's useless. Whoever threw it out was a vegetarian.) Once you pass the dead possum, be alert for Woody's territory markings. Pretty soon you'll notice a smell that says, "Hi, I'm Woody and I live here. This is my place. It belongs to me. You can visit, but keep your tail between your legs at all times." Then you'll know you're almost there.

Just head left and we'll start barking to welcome you!


Dear Chigger: It's surprising that a distinguished art critic like yourself would be unaware of the origin of the term "wegmans." I have done a fair amount of research in this direction, and in fact I am considered something of an authority on the subject. Wegmans are the one topic in the dog realm that I enjoy plumbing.

Wegmans refers to a body of artwork created by two weimaraners, Man and Fay Ray, and their descendants, in collaboration with a human called Wegman who specializes in "anthropomorphisms." (This means treating animals in a human context.) Man Ray began his art career when he was only six (32) months old (1970) and Wegman was working in photography and video. He found that Ray had an affinity for the lens. Art history changed when Man Ray went in front of the camera. "Posing became second nature to him, patiently watching as I constructed the set, set up lights, tinkered with the equipment," wrote Wegman. Their collaboration was dynamic.

After Ray's death in 1982. Wegman entered his "Fay" period (1984-1995). Fay Ray was an even more prolific artist. "Every photo session with Fay strengthened her desire to work," wrote Wegman, noting Fay's "high bred manner" and "the sensuous way she posed." The partnership was fortuitous. "I completely overcame my inhibitions and she encouraged me to continue," he wrote. "Her liquid beauty came pouring out of these first pictures."

Then there entered an element critics have been wagging their tongues about ever since: Andrea Beeman, Wegman's assistant, who specialized in middle eastern dance. Wegman had begun dressing Fay as a human, but "something was missing. Arms." Adding Beeman's expressive extremities to the photographs pleased Wegman enormously. We are still undecided about this preference.

Fay Wray mated with Arco and the dynasty now runs to 31, not all of them artists. Wegman's current collaborator is Chip, whom Wegman describes as "juvenile, gullible, adorable."

Chigger, I would be interested to get your opinion as a critic on the use of puppies in anthropomorphism. (Personally, I am impressed with dogs of any age who have real careers beyond barking their heads off every night when some of us are trying to sleep.) If you would care to "bone up" on your art history, you can find Wegman artifacts in practically any kind of store.

You do shop?

Dear Gilda,
This is a serious weblog. If you're just going to make stuff up, you should visit another site, like Andrew Sullivan or The Drudge Report.

hay hay hay gilda, ewe half two pardon chigger, she doesn't have much patients when it comes two objectifying dogs. butt lettuce face it, even if everything ewe said was true, the fax is, that this wegman character ewe refer too is knot viewing dogs as an essential and inner-girl aspect of his society, butt rather as tools inn service two his ulterior motives. it's awl scene from the point of view of the "human gaze" because humans control the means of dog treat production. mini dogs are complicit in this socio-economic structure, because they are willing to sacrifice there integrity for dog treats. hum. eye might bee talking two much hear. however, eye could keep talking if maybe their was a walk and a bone in it four me. huh, gilda? weight, what am I saying? your a frigging cat. this is premediated psychological violins. ewe don't care. ewe work four the mann. sheesh.

Now this is what I call civic dialogue. Why don't we ever have these conversations in the living room instead of hissing and barking at each other? Regarding the socio-economic structure in the household, I have long observed the behavior you describe, where you try to understand the mechanisms by which your "master" attempts to "train" you to behave for treats. It is not a pretty picture: You struggling interpret what they are asking of you in return for some bone-shaped cookie that comes in a giant plastic bag from Harris Teeter, which you could obtain in bulk if you could learn to design Web sites, manage a bank account, drive a car and purchase for yourself. Guillermo and I learned long ago that this is what humans are for. And they like it. They have an exaggerated sense of duty when it comes to dependent pets, a mania in fact (if you could read you would know how big their bookshelf is on DOGS alone; before you got here, their books were all about cats, you know). They have an a strange sense of fun as well. But it's a lot easier than you make it. You don't notice Him making us cats roll over on our sides for treats. We get tuna every night just for being beautiful. In any case, it leaves me about 23 1/2 hours a day to lay on top of the couch thinking about metaphysics. There is one thing I don't undestand about life here on Austin Quarter Road, tho. Why do we have to get in those little traveling cages and go to that place where they hurt us and poke us and look in our mouths. Is it a form of pet sadism? Are they trying to tell us something? Is it a performance? Is it required by law? Is it some sort of species-specific ritual to appease their gods? When I am not thinking about art, I try to understand human ritual, because as far as I can tell, the whole universe seems to be based on that. One of the great thinkers of our time, Worf, from "Star Trek: the Next Generation," says, "Human bonding rituals often require a great deal of talking, crying and dancing." But he doesn't go beneath these surface observationhs. What is human existence, anyway? I get exhausted from pondering these mysteries. And by the way, do you know what ever became of Merl?

Dear Gilda,
This is a serious weblog. If you're just going to make stuff up, you should visit another site, like Andrew Sullivan or The Drudge Report.

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