This is the tenth episode in the saga of Ellie Mae (or May Not), whose reputation has drawn the interest of ExploiSational Press, and its morose editor, Max. The following is a tawdry bit of business, set in the back rooms of ExPress, taken verbatim from the notes of Flash, rogue reporter for this glitzy newsstand staple.
|"Lies... nary a word of truth..." Ellie [May Not]|
Cigar smoke permeated the cluttered editorial offices of ExploiSational Press, despite the NO SMOKING sign clearly visible on the wall. Leaning back in his executive Ergonomic Gaming Tilt Swivel High Back Leather Office Chair, Max glared around him at his staff, as if daring someone to speak.
“You got nothing? You were sent to bring back the schiznik, and you bring me nothing?” The dour editor waited, and then growled after an interminable delay. He pronounced the word nothing, nuttin.
Flash leaned back in his own metal folding chair, leveled an amused look at his boss and replied, “Because…there was nothing?”
|There's not a fence made I can't crack...|
“Argh! Has to be SOME-THING: Says so in the manual. I told you I have been following this schmuck who is writing about Ellie Mae (or May Not), an “alleged” rescue dog out of the Humane Society for Inland Mendocino County, and I’m not buying his line of malarky.” Max took a swig off of his coffee and grimaced.
“Malarky? This would be a good time to explain that.” Flash’s amusement was clearly evident.
“Oh, come on. The way this guy paints the picture of that mutt, you’d think it was some sort of Wonder Dog. I know there’s more to the story than he’s giving us, ‘cause I know rescue dogs. If it was as easy as this knucklehead would have us believe, then so many folks would be lining up in front of the shelter, the shelter would be obsolete.”
Amusement transformed itself to incredulity. “You think the author of Mark’s Work is lying?”
“Whoa! We don’t use that word here at ExploiSational; I prefer embellishing the truth, but yeah, I think it’s just a tad too easy for old Mark. I mean, don’t you?” The ash from his glowing cigar chose that moment to drop off, splashing down into his coffee, without Max noticing.
Flash’s head swiveled, as if he sought another voice to help him out, but clearly he was flying solo.
“First of all, from what I observed,” he began, “it’s not easy. This hound is a genuine country dog, reared in Covelo, and already a legend as an elite escape artist. Said so on the paperwork that accompanied her from the shelter. According to what I saw, there was nothing alleged about Ellie Mae’s skill-set. Never saw a dog so adept at going under the wire.”
|Ready for action-ready for danger!|
“I knew it!” roared the salty editor. “So you got some good footage, I trust?”
“Not much to see. There’s a hillside, it’s loose and covered with rocks, leaves and branches, and the fence is almost impossible to dog-proof. Ellie escapes, the old coot goes out and piles up a bunch of rocks and branches against the fence, and hopes for the best. As for footage, Ellie Mae is so quick there’s not much to see.”
“No!” Max bellowed. “Not footage of the dog-footage of the old guy jumping up and down, screaming at the dog! Do I have to teach you everything?”
Flash nodded, comprehension dawning on him. “No, nothing like that, but I got some great footage of him talking to the dog, explaining how he knew there were deer, foxes, mountain lions and bears, not to mention squirrels, chipmunks, ravens and cats, all there exclusively for her entertainment.”
“Not only that, I heard him prattling on to Ellie Mae how the old bulldog who used to live there, had short stubby legs and could not fly like the wind, chasing the deer. The old bulldog never once tried to escape. Didn’t make him better or worse-just different.”
“On the other hand, whenever he walked the bulldog, he had to worry that the old sod would keel over, if he wanted to walk at all. Such is not the case with Ellie Mae, who can dance circles around the old dude, and who appreciates the time spent with her.”
We leave the murky editorial backrooms of ExPress and return now to the editor’s desk at Mark’s Work, where Sunday’s post is about to hit the newsstands, er cyber-stands.
|Ellie Mae and Emma (and Margie to the right)|
Indeed, eager to romp with the free-spirited Emma, who lives a football field up the driveway from Ellie Mae, our little hound dog has taken to living up to her reputation. She has been going “under the wire” pretty routinely now for about a week.
BossLady has returned her at least twice, Gluten-Free Mama brought her down from the farm once, and I have let her back in the front gate at least three times. I tried tough love and left her at the front gate once, but when she just sat at the gate and waited, I gave it up.
I’m a pushover for a set of limpid brown eyes, ones which express adoration every time they flash my way. I’ve also been a country boy for 35 years now, living five miles up a dirt road, off the grid and deliriously happy for it, so I understand country dogs. Independence is pretty central to life.
|"Like, I didn't hear that?"|
Dozer the bulldog could only see the deer and fantasize; Ellie Mae sees the deer and wants to chase them. Different strokes for different folks, and because I have all of the time in the world, I can give this matter my full attention.
When Ben-JAM-In was here with his pup, Delta, he gave Ellie Mae a present on behalf of Delta, who appreciated how kind Ellie Mae was to her. The present is a squeaker chew toy with a low-key squeak, one meant to be tossed and retrieved, and Ellie has quickly learned how to do just that. I was hoping a few thousand tosses would tire her out, but I was the only one who needed a nap when we were finished.
With Ellie Mae’s obedience classes starting in January, I am looking forward to this next leg of our journey together. I never took Dozer to obedience school, he being a bulldog and predisposed to doing things his way, so this should be enlightening.
I mean, I do enjoy the challenge of trying to fence in a curious, inquisitive, country-born and reared hound dog, but I also suspect I have met my match. She just keeps going to the same spot, scoffs at my puny efforts, and burrows under, below and through whatever minor impediments have been placed in her way.
Evidently, it’s easier to fence a dog in and take it out of the “country,” than it is to take the “country” out of a dog. On the other hand, we have had two consecutive escape-free days, so I am holding my breath.
Metaphorically speaking, anyway.