Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

May 1, 2014

VALLEY: Raking news from the doghouse

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — My dog, Maggie, was in the backyard near her doghouse when I started raking the yard. Envious of her leisurely life, I asked her, sarcastically, if she wanted to help.

“You know, Maggie” I said, “it wouldn’t hurt if you at least tried to earn your keep and cleaned up around that house I built for you.”

Looking up from the stick she was gnawing on, she barked: “What’s got into you? Why all the energy?”

“Kathie asked me to help rake the yard, that’s all,” I answered. “And being the loving, caring person I am, I’m pulling my weight around here to help in any way I can. That’s how I roll.”

“Yeah, right. When did she ask you to do that?”

“Last September,” I shot back, without any shame. (Why be embarrassed in front of the dog? It’s not like she’s the Energizer Bunny around the place.)

“I thought you went golfing,” Maggie wondered.

“I did,” I said, “but I can’t stand to play with someone who cheats on every hole. It was horrendous — an awful display of poor sportsmanship. I couldn’t take it any longer, so I quit before finishing the round. I drove the golf cart over to my truck and threw my clubs in the back and left in disgust.”

“Wow! That’s somewhat virtuous of you. Who’d you play with?”

“No one. I was playing alone.”

“O-o-o ... kay,” she winced.

“And,” I added, “when, and only when, I find something more annoying than that, will I return to the course and play again.”

Changing the subject, I asked Maggie, “Is that a newspaper you’ve got in your doghouse?”

“Yeah, I was trying to figure out what’s going on. I can’t figure out how world politics work.” (Maggie is a voracious reader. Well, at least for a dog.)

“Meaning ...?” I asked.

“I thought,” Maggie inquired, “that the President was the president of the United States only ... and so I’m wondering why he is involved with Russia and the Ukraine? And trying to solve those countries’ problems instead of working on the ones in this nation … the nation he’s in charge of running?”

“I guess he’s just trying to see that the people in Russia’s neighboring countries are treated fairly,” I explained, treading lightly in the deep end of the international pool.

“So, am I to assume then,” Maggie surmised, “that everything in regard to the situation with our neighbor, Mexico, is hunky-dory?! That the immigration problem has been squared away to everyone’s delight?!”

“N-oo … I don’t think so. Why?” I asked.

“Well, what makes it OK for our president to interfere in another country halfway across the world and delve into their problems — especially since he can’t even fix a slightly similar problem in the only country he’s in charge of running?”

“Maggie, no pun intended to your canine heritage, but you may be barking up the wrong tree. I’m not sure if you’re being fair or understand all the variables.”

“Really? How would he and the people in this country react if Russian President Vladimir Putin took to the world stage and told us — in no uncertain terms — how to deal with Mexico or there would be grave consequences to suffer?”

I turned to Maggie and handed her the rake. “Here, you take this. I’ve gotta go.”

“Where are you going?”

“Back to the golf course!”

That IS …. the way it looks from the Valley.




Contact Tom Valley at tvalley@rochester.rr.com.