18. Of Lumps and Pups

Dear Boomer,

‘Tis the season when Alpha and the Pup bring trees indoors again.[1] I’m a wiser dog now.  I know better than to make any effort to leave my mark on this tree, the way I do on the trees outside.  I content myself with watching the way the reflected light glimmers on the walls.  When Alpha and the Pup are decorating the tree, sometimes the glimmer skitters across the floor, and I pounce.  But there is nothing to touch, and no smell.  The glimmer remains one of nature’s mysteries.  The Pup thinks this is great fun, watching me scrambling after glimmer as it darts this way and that.

She Who Must Be Obeyed came to the house last week to drop off the Pup’s karate gi and discuss plans for Christmas.  Every second week, the Pup goes to stay with her, leaving Alpha free to take me for long walks late at night.  I don’t know what the Pup does while he’s away.  I hope he has enough sense to leave his mark on the grass, the sidewalks and the shrubs outside the new lair, just as I’ve tried to teach him to do here.  But I’m afraid that Alpha and She Who Must Be Obeyed discourage this kind of territorial imperative.

I’m not sure what to make of these humanoid pups.  I see that your Lump has graduated to full pup-hood – now capable of throwing a ball far enough to provide a challenge.  I suppose it’s time that we stopped referring to him as the Lump and acknowledge that he now is indeed a pup. 

My Pup is evolving into a very good friend – although I’m not sure what to make of his attentions when he tries to crawl into bed with me, or when he decides to shampoo my fur.  Still, we’ve reached the stage where, if I lie on my back in the living room, sometimes the Pup will come over and scratch my belly.  He’s learning how to do it just right.  I guess this business of adding new humanoids to the pack may work out well for us over the long term, although I confess that it has confused me in the past, and I sometimes resent my descent in the hierarchy.  All in all, it’s a good thing.

And so we’ll have to counsel our friend Wembley when he comes back from camp.  He’s been away for a long time.  I’m afraid when he returns, Wembley’s going to be in for an awful surprise.  First of all, there’s the addition his humanoids are building on the house.  He’ll have a lot less back yard, but then, when you live beside Windsor Park, maybe this doesn’t matter as much.  But the biggest change, of course, will be the new addition to the pack.  I remember very well the look and the scent of She Who Must Be Obeyed when she was with Lump.  The same transformation is taking place in Wembley’s she. 

We’re going to have to welcome Wembley’s lump -- for lump he or she will be until mastering the art of ball throwing. I can imagine the humanoids singing in their curious warbles the festive song in honour of the pending birth:

For onto us a Lump is born.

For onto us

A Lump is given.

For onto us

A Lump is gi-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-i-ven.

And the Lump shall ride on Alpha’s shoulders.

And its name shall be callPd



The tiny thing

The never ending story

A pending pup.


We’ll have to help Wembley teach the Lump all the ropes.  This is a wonderful place to be a dog or to be a humanoid pup, with parks and pup kennels, stores that give us dog treats, and riverbanks that provide homes for all sorts of wonderful creatures to sniff and chase.  It’s a place where we all get to know the other dogs, and our humanoids seem to make friends with one another too. So bring on the new lumps, let’s train the next generation of pups.  And the circle of life continues.

                                                            Dog bless us every one,


[1] See “Indoor Trees,” Windsor Chronicles, Part 8, December 200