Monday, July 20, 2009

Poor dogs

My mother grew up in a poor logging town in northern Maine during the depression, so many of her stories of her childhood emphasized her family's poverty. When she was in the Coast Guard during WWII, she met a woman who was also from a poor family in Maine, and they used to engage in storytelling contests to prove who was poorer. Mom's friend would say, "We were so poor, we didn't have chairs in our house. We had to sit on the packing crates my dad brought home from the mill." And Mom would say, "Well, we were so poor, we didn't have chairs or packing crates. We had to sit on the floor." (None of this was true, but once they got started in this vein, they couldn't stop until everyone was laughing.)

Well, my dogs are poor. Here's how the contest would go with them.

Mom: We were so poor, we didn't have beds. We had to sleep on mattresses on the floor.

My dogs: We're so poor, we didn't have beds or mattresses. We have to sleep in our food bowls.

That's right. They sleep in their food bowls. They have dog crates out in their clubhouse, plus a huge water bowl and three food bowls. They're big food bowls. Mr. P. got them at the farmer's co-op, and for all I know, they're meant for feeding cattle. The dogs ignore their crates and compete to get into those bowls to sleep. I guess they're cosy, and with the lingering smell of food, they're full of happy memories.

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