Tag Archives: Teddy

Emperor or Servant?


What do the neighbors think?

I wonder this almost every day, at the same hour of night, 10 pm. That’s when  I’m most likely to blast my song of the day. Or repeatedly analyze banal scenes of some filmed silliness. Or dance. Practice card tricks. My geek flag flies at full staff most 10 pm.s.

I could never figure out why. Even the worst days, both by emotional and physical measure, tend to pick up around 10 p.m. My nausea eases. My energy surges.

I’ve sought a professional’s medical opinion on this; she was as flummoxed as I,  though she did point out: “You do like to have your dogs as dance partners.”

That square dance and euphoria  still exist (especially to my new song, below), though I think I have an idea why. (Thanks for nothing, Dr. Quackenbush.)

It’s at that moment I’m most living like an Emperor in my world, not a Peasant.

How often do we confuse the two? Granted amazing dominion over our world (particularly if you are an adult American), only to choose a life of servitude? A job title that has become a definition? A bank balance that has galvanized into a vault of fears? A pleasure spiked to pain? A nurturer who has morphed to siphon, and hence Master?

What fuckery, this? Is it our primal need to serve? Religious history suggests every civilization creates a daddy issue. Or perhaps it’s our nature, to covet, to measure life by what we want, not have. And we have learned to want so much.

But consider the counter-argument for a moment: all that you do survey. How much is in your power. How much of your world that does bend to your will.

It doesn’t matter, the size kingdom. Whether you rent a 250-square foot efficiency in Tarzana or own a compound on Laurel Canyon, consider your empire. And the the living, loving subjects under your rule, from houseplant to house cat. Or the select list of people allowed access to your personal fortress. Or the rules of conduct and behavior within those walls. All ruled by you.

That reign could never be gauged in Facebook likes or reTweets. Yet they become measures up to which we must live. Even vote.


To some degree, we must be Servants. To our children. Our bodies. Our sanity. The cost of a pulse is to be indentured to that heartbeat. There’s nothing wrong with serving.

But aren’t We the true Masters to be served? As a newspaperman, I’ve covered beats from Detroit police to Hollywood film, and so a dizzying spectrum of kingdoms and rulers. To the last, they lived as Emperors in their worlds, not Servants.

And don’t we wish all could ascend their thrones? The abused to retaliate against abuser? The unhappy to insist on something else? The muted to turn chorus?

Well, 10 p.m. nears. Teddy and Esme are beat, having wilted in the 104 temperatures. But, as inhabitants of the Fortress of Scottitude, they know they must rise in a few hours for the nightly reverie. There will be music, dancing, intoxicants.

If the neighbors come by at the right hour, they may even see the dogs knighted.



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Mighty Casey at the Bark

Hello, my name is Scott, and I’m that dog guy.

At some point, you just have to accept it. I see miracles in any change in Teddy and Esme’s behavior, ones that I cannot help but anthropomorphize. So give me the beagle nose, or dachshund ears, or whatever equally ridiculous mask we make dogs wear. Funny-gif-dog-mask-butt For what could be goofier than chronicling the way hounds play?


They share a new toy, a beautiful Kong that looks and feels like a real baseball.baseballkong

Esme suffers it gladly; at least it’s something to fetch, even if it is barelybigenough to lift  and squirts out a dozen times before she manages, like Sisyphus, the return. Teddy simply loves it. The way it tastes, smells, stands politically, I dunno. But he’s desperate to gnaw it, like my wallet.wallet-300x193

One afternoon, Ted really had is Kong jones on. Took it to the yard first thing, plopped it between his forepaws. Homey was gonna chew that mother.

I didn’t want to ruin the old guy’s rare exhibition of possessiveness. He hadn’t displayed that in years. Still, I didn’t want to to penalize Esme for her brother’s will. I took the tennis ball, the fuzzy, chewable orb that is to her like catnip to a tabby, and chucked it across the yard. She brought it back rocketquick. ‘Ok,’ I thought to myself as I tossed it again, ‘They’ll both have their way.’

But then nothing. Esme didn’t return. A minute later, she emerged at the edge of the yard, baseball Kong, unwieldy and smelling like Ted’s slobber, balanced precariously in her maw. Stunned, I throw it, as Teddy, probably uncertain why it was taken from him in the first place, gallops dopily behind.

Was this Esme putting a value on the Kong because Ted had it? Because I preferred to throw it? Because she hated her dumbass brother? Like I said, I admit to being That Dog Guy, so I get to assume the smartest: That she is exercising revenge for Teddy’s youthful, out-of-reach torture in years bygone.

Because you can’t deny: Payback is a bitch.



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