Some of us on this blog will remember January 1, 45 BC although we will likely refer to that year as 709 A.U.C. (ab urbe condita—”from the founding of the city,” meaning Rome.)
That was the day the Julian calendar was adopted which put to a well-deserved death the earlier Roman calendar system which had gotten so screwed up that it had January falling in mid-autumn.
The Julian calendar became the predominant calendar throughout Europe for the next 1600 years until Pope Gregory reformed it in 1582. In fact, some countries adhered to the Julian calendar until well into the twentieth century. For example, the Julian calendar was used in Russia until 1917 and in China until 1949. The Eastern Orthodox Church adheres to Caesar’s calendar even to this day.
The Julian calendar, named after Julius Caesar and not his brother Orange, also gave us the month of August. It created the Ides of March as well which didn’t work out so great for the calendar’s namesake, but I digress.
After Julius’s grandnephew Augustus defeated Marc Antony, Cleopatra and her bodacious asp named Kim K, and became emperor of Rome, the Roman Senate decided that he should have a month named after him.
Interestingly perhaps only to me, Julius and Augustus were the only Roman fat cats who permanently had months named after them—though this wasn’t for lack of trying on the part of later emperors. May was once changed to Claudius and fiddler Nero instituted Neronius in place of April. But these changes were short lived.
So what has all this to do with a small white dog in Hawaii? Well, not much, except to note that August has been a tough month for the pup.
In the beginning of August, Max managed to scratch both of his eyes and develop an ear infection at the same time. Always an over-achiever, the Fluffpup then chewed his little paws raw making it a perfect veterinarian trifecta.
We’re not sure how he scratched his eyes. Maybe while rocketing along the carpet in his after-bath dance or bad aim with the hind-leg-scratches-the-face-maneuver or perhaps by sticking his face in bushes seeking out the elusive sidewalk chicken bone.
Whatever the cause, the result was a big vet bill, several medicines for eyes, ears and paws and doctor’s orders to wear the cone of shame for an extended period. It was a combination of these factors, plus very hot and humid weather, that led to Max being named Mr. Stinky Face for the obvious reasons.
As a series of impotent tropical cyclones have rolled past the islands this hurricane season, the storms have cut off our usually reliable trade winds. Temps have been consistently in the low 90s and we have sweltered in our little condo home balancing the relief of air conditioning against a crushing power bill. The fragrant Malt has not been happy and the AJF hasn’t been a bowl of cherries either, if you know what I mean and I think you do.
Yeah, yeah, yeah – guy in Hawaii complains of weather, break out the very tiny violins. Look, I don’t expect much sympathy but give a Malt a break. Hot, injured, afflicted with stink face and then required to parade about town with an Elizabethan collar. Oh the humanity, or huge manatee if you are in Florida.
Today, Max was scheduled to have the cone taken off for short periods of time to assess if he would be self-destructive. As we prepped for our first walk sans cone, the AJF scooped up the Pupperoni and planted a big kiss on top of his furry little noggin. That would have been fine (if a bit demonstrative for my taste) except she was going out for a lunch and had applied fresh lipstick.
No ordinary lipstick, this stuff was the cry proof, tears proof, nuclear holocaust proof concoction you see advertised on TV with cryptic names like “Rude Passion.” Yep, right on the top of Max’s head.
We tried to scrub the lip print away but to no avail. It was impervious to soap, water, dog shampoo and probably acetone and kerosene had we tried those. Of course we ran into all of Max’s friends. Everyone asked what happened since the trace of lipstick looked as though he had been clobbered by a stick.
We even ran into Uncle Fish who took one look at the doglet, gathered Max into his arms and asked accusingly, “What did you do to this dog?” I said the mark was lipstick. Fish asked if I was the one who kissed the dog. It was humiliating for all of us.
I blame Augustus Caesar. Or Julius. Or the salad. Max doesn’t care. He’s back in the cone.
Late edit: It could have been worse. From the “dog shaming” website: