Friday, August 16, 2019

For Our Friend Enzo: The Art of Racing in the Rain's Enzo is No Match for the Original

I got an urgent request from my old friend and fellow blogger Enzo today.  When I abandoned my “Ask Aunt Foley” blog, Enzo picked up the gauntlet and has been answering our fellow dog inquiries diligently ever since.   But what if he who answers has a question?

Enzo is suffering a crisis of confidence.  For years he has been the one and true Enzo.  But this week a movie called "The Art of Racing in the Rain" was released featuring a golden retriever named Enzo.   Our Enzo is afraid he is going to become a second rate Enzo. To see if his worries were justified, I screened the movie.

Kevin Costner voices Enzo. He does a fairly good dog, but if I had a voice like his, I would sit by the bowl all day and say: "If I sit next to it, it will be full."  What a wasted opportunity.

The biggest issue with Movie Enzo's character is that he yearns to be human.  Why the hell would he want to do that? Dogs are the superior species. Our pre-prepared food is plopped in front of us at the same time every day.  Humans have to go to prison to get that sort of service. Dogs and cats are the only souls who have their poop picked up and disposed of for them. Cats get it done once a day; dog poop has to be picked up when it is fresh.  Most humans come home from a hellish day at work, look at the dog, and wish they could change places. Who would want to be a human?

Also unrealistic is the love story between Milo Ventimiglia and Amanda Seyfried.   Whenever a young woman falls for a middle-aged man, you can bet some old, balding guy wrote it.  It left me with the feeling that Jack was hitting on Kate's older friend. Creepy.

Then there is the scene where Milo meets Amanda.  Enzo smiles at her and in his Kevin Costner voice, he praises her grooming habits.  Ridiculous! If this were a real scene, Enzo would stick his nose in her crotch. That is how a dog judges a human, not by the color of their skin, but by the smell of their crotch. The world would be a better place, with proper hygiene, if humans did the same.  This is why dogs are better than humans. Our Enzo can sniff Amanda Seyfried's crotch whenever he wants. The worst thing that happens is he’s told: "down boy."  Kevin Costner sniffs Amanda Seyfried’s crotch once, and it is a whole #Metoo disaster. Dogs rule!

Many humans assumed that after the couple meets the film would be a cute dog story like "Marley and Me," but it's "Marley and Me and Manchester By the Sea."  There is death and crying and suffering and a lawsuit and death and death and death. It does stand as a tribute to a dog’s ability to stave off suicide. Casey Affleck became so distraught in Manchester By the Sea he tried to kill himself.  Milo takes Enzo for a walk and it's okay.

The most important question:  Does the dog die? I did not watch until the end. I fell asleep, but my minions told me that Enzo does indeed leave Milo heartbroken.  The movie tries to sell this as a happy ending because Enzo is reborn as a human, but we dogs know it is our worst fears realized.  

My synopsis of the movie:   Boy meets dog and falls in love.  Boy meets girl and falls in love. Boy sufferers immeasurable losses. Boy loses dog.  Dog goes to hell. Happy movie!

So, do not worry, my dear friend Enzo.  Unless you are a human wanna be, or a no crotch smeller, or a pup who is uninterested in food, or a dog who thinks there is a better life without their parents, then you are the only Enzo worth recognizing.

Don't give this movie a second thought. In a week it will be gone from the theaters. A year later, it will gather a little buzz when it is on HBO.  And then it will be forgotten. Being forgotten is something you never have to worry about.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Pocket Wonders if She is Her Own Worst Enemy

This summer has been excellent for walking. We have not had many bad stretches of weather.  There has been some storms, and days that it was too hot to walk, but they have passed quickly.  I don't think we have gone three days this summer without taking our constitutional — not a bad record for this vicinity.

This year we began taking our hikes in the front of our village near the old yellow barn. From there, we walk to the big field on the left.  We do this because my parents mistakenly think that River, and especially I, act like crazed dogs desperately in need of attention when we see humans, so they keep us away from populated areas. We only pass four houses on our new route. It has totally changed our waking habits.

Because the barn sees little activity, it has become a place for the creatures of the night to gather together.  When the sun comes up, they go back in their holes, but they leave behind the most amazing smells.  

If there is no room at the barn, the critters overflow to the field.  By the time we turn to go home, we are on sensory overload.

The different ways River and I sniff are an indicator of our personalities.  I try to sniff everything at once, my head bobbing up and down in the grass. River will find a single blade and bury her face in it studying it like a scientist examining a new flu strain under a microscope.

Still, we miss seeing our humans. Our interactions with them have been few and far between.

This week we were blessed to see two people on our walk.  Better than just seeing us, they stopped, smiled, and reached down to give us blessed attention.

We approached the couple the way we approach life.   River slowly, and silently walked up to the gentleman and gratefully took his scratches.  I went to the woman, excitedly barking: "Me!  Me! Touch me." When the woman did, I immediately went over to the man who had to be better at giving attention. I muscled River out of the way.  The man stroked me once. "Nope, the lady is better," I barked. I went back to find that she was not as good as I remembered, so I barked and went back to the man.  I kept this up for the entire two minutes and only got ten seconds worth of attention. How did this happen?

I barked at them as they walked away and then we went in the opposite direction. "You know," River said, "you would get more attention if you didn't act like a spaz."

Goes to show what she knows. A spaz always gets extra attention.

But, maybe River is right. Perhaps if I learned how to curb my enthusiasm, I would get more attention. Perhaps I am my own worst enemy.

Hark!  What is that sound?   Are those footfalls outside my door?  Bark bark bark. Off I go, exhibiting my enthusiasm.

It is something that should be celebrated, not shunned, even in the most spastic little dogs.