Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A Good Stick

As every smart dog knows, the best thing in the world is a stick, a good thick one, about a foot long with some heft to it, one that can be thrown far and makes a nice solid sound when it hits the ground. Nothing with leaves and sharp points, of course. No, the best sticks are naked and smooth as bone, with a hearty earthy tone, a brown suede melting into an elephant-ear gray. Twigs will do in a pinch, sure, but nothing is as grand as a stick accidentally stumbled upon in the course of a walk. It's got to be the kind of stick that begs to be thrown, needs to gnawed upon–with maybe a small knot or two thrown in, just to really work the jaw. It has enough give to crunch between the teeth with a nice brittle snap but is sturdy enough to bounce without breaking when it crashes back to earth. A stick like that is why dogs–real dogs– evolved in the first place. Without them we'd be stuck with showy little rat-like things that yip and sit on our laps. A dog like that is practically a hamster and hamsters chew on cedar chips, not sticks.

Of course there comes a point in every dog's life when not even a stick is good enough. When that happens there's only one place left to go–up. And what's above a stick?

Why, the whole damn branch, of course.

1 comment:

Ruth said...

Dunc looks kinda pissed in that top photo. Like maybe he thinks you might try to take his stick.