Maltese Manipulation

Despite my best efforts, I have been unable to find a plague doctor mask for Max.

I thought this might be a clever canine social commentary but it seems most people find off-putting the notion of a Maltese walking around with top hat, cloak and pointy-face costume.

Plague doc

This would also provide excellent protection for the Malt when out walking.

My fruitless search for a dog costume did take me to some bizarre web sites including one that inspired me with a new perspective on how to handle squirrels, Max’s archnemeses. And, yes, that’s the correct plural form.

Behold, the squallet!


Squirrels! Not only good eatin’ but handy, too! Gucci, pay attention!

Meanwhile, I could see that the little white dog had something up his figurative sleeve. I asked him what he was up to.

“I don’t know, DogDad. I’m feeling a little down, a little melancholic. I was just thinking that if the Covid-19 gets me, at least I had a great life.”

“Whoah there, Maxwell,” I interrupted, “Nothing’s going to ‘get you’.”

“I don’t mind,” he said. “I’ve had a great run. It’s been a full life with you and the DogMom. I’ve had so many great experiences. I’ve seen the pyramids along the Nile; watched the sunrise from a tropic isle.”

“Hold on, Puplet. That scam’s not going to work on me. I know you’re quoting song lyrics. Jo Stafford if I remember correctly. Mid-1950s. Let me guess, you’re putting on a sad act to cadge a few treats that would miraculously perk you up, right?”

“What? No. Well, I guess a couple of treats wouldn’t hurt. I’ve seen the marketplace in Old Algiers, too, you know.”

I went back to sipping my Quarantini.


A Quarantini. The clove-studded lime is a nice touch.

“Not gonna work, Max,  go ahead and try your schtick on the DogMom and see if she gives you some cookies. Good luck with that, pal.”

He moved off to practice his wiles on an even tougher customer. I couldn’t hear everything that was said and at first it sounded like his sales pitch was being rejected by the AJF.

Malt manipulate

What? What? You can’t blame a dog for trying.

Then I heard Max whisper, “DogMom, I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. …mumble…mumble…mumble… all those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain.”

I could see his monologue had touched the AJF who is unfamiliar with many US movie memes. She was bamboozled and was reaching for the cookie jar.

“Don’t buy his malarkey, hon” I shouted from my easy chair, “He’s quoting a movie scene from Blade Runner!”

That dog is incorrigible. But he got his cookies.

57 replies

  1. How lucky Max is, enjoying tasty tidbits and Jo Stafford. Jacques is trapped in Paris, with Jean-Yves bored out of his mind and taking a sudden, and to Jacques’ mind, wholly unsavory, interest in dog grooming. Every time I see him on Facetime he is clearly in a « time to die » frame of mind. The day before yesterday JY proudly announced that Jacques was eating his kibble! All the time! That explains why he looked so sad. Yesterday JY called Jacques over so he could show off his latest handiwork. « Look, I trimmed his ears! And his eyes! » Jacques crept over, then veered quickly to our house guest, jumped up and snuggled in, licking the guy’s face for emphasis. He was not going near the groomer. The ear thing was a step too far. Yes, some little white dogs are living in a cruel world.

    Liked by 2 people

    • So what you are essentially saying is that YOU have been a bad influence on poor Jacques all along and under a better tutelage in Paris he has become more obedient and, frankly, better groomed. Obviously Jean-Wives has the touch when it comes to doggie care. Don’t berate yourself! You are an excellent designer and gardener; that’s enough super woman. I’m sure Jacques misses you (from time to time) and is looking forward to returning to his quieter pastoral home…and the mud. 👿

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Okay, the squallet is freakin creepy. The depths to which your mind can go Tom is really scary! Murphy suggests that Max’s antics are a result of his being quarantined with DogDad for so long!

    You might consider showing videos of Max launching his new acting career. They would be far more entertaining, not to mention delightful, than the usual stuff shown on TV.

    I’d be watchful though Tom. Max may not only con extra treats from the AJF, he may soon be lapping up a Quarantini of his own! Lol.

    Hope you can stay corona free…..except for the beer, of course!! 🤗🤗
    🐾Ginger 🐾

    Liked by 3 people

    • Come on, Ginger, admit it…you slow danced to Jo Stafford at the prom, didn’t you? We all did for one generation or another. For me it was the 60s and The Duprees doing the crooning. Shoots, as late as 2014 Anne Lennox came out with her cover and it’s darn good, too. Beats mot modern music to my Boomer ears. Max is a consummate actor, a master of his craft. He’s got the puppy-eye look down pat and can play the victim on a moment’s notice. I don’t fall for his tricks but the AJF is soft-hearted.


    • Helen, Helen, Helen…you know me better than that. I don’t that stuff. I’m too busy reading Marcus Aurelius in the original Latin, parsing irregular French verbs and practicing Chopin to spend time on TV. You must be thinking of another plump and balding beer drinking fool. I wish Max was able to mix drinks but for now that job falls to me.

      Liked by 1 person

          • And mix drinks….without which, the sun not yet being over the yardarm, something has been nagging away in the back of my mind and with the hour of gin and tonic swiftly approaching it has wriggled its way to the fore…
            That picture of the plague doctor….it finally brought back a phrase used by my grandmother’s neighbour – a formidable lady with a formidable vocabulary. Spying a young man of the neighbourhood all spruced up for an evening out she would, if in good humour, describe him as’ all got up like a dog’s dinner’ or if in normal mode as ‘all dressed up like a pox doctor’s clerk’. Please do not attempt to dress poor Max as either.

            Liked by 2 people

    • I’m not sure how best to carry a squallet. I was thinking I might put straps on the legs and wear it as a small back pack. No, even better – Max could wear it as a back pack. Oh that would drive him crazy to have a squirrel on his back. I like that idea.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. How have I lived my whole long life without a squallet!!?!!!?!!!? 😮 😀

    Cooper said Max deserves cookies every day! 😉

    OH, Max, your face brings me smiles and joy! Thank you! 🙂
    HUGS to your Mom and Dad, and PATS and RUBS for you! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jo Stafford was mid to late 50s. The Duprees were mid 60s so they were my version too. Snuggle up time at the high school dance. There have been other versions each decade, some better than others. The most recent cover I found was 2014 by Annie Lennox and that one is very good too. I guess these oldies but goodies (like us) just keep on working their magic.


  4. I am at a loss for words. This is something that has only happened once in recent history. I’m not sure I like it.
    Squallet. We have squirrels galore who live in terror of the Bear. Perhaps his shooting and tossing over the bank needs to be rethought

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Do you know, I’ve never heard the Jo Stanford version of the song. It’s lovely. Like your quarantini, I picked some coronita too. Now I have a new way to …stretch it in case it goes the way of t-paper 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s because you are too young Wait, one can never be too young. Anyway, I like Jo’s version because it has that 1950s old fashioned smoky cocktail lounge vibe and she infuses a lot of believable emotion. Many others have covered the tune with varying degrees of success (imho). Patsy Cline and Annie Lennox did nice versions; Carla Bruni turned out a horrendous rendition. Here in Socal I appreciate the wisdom of our leaders who designated liquor stores as essential businesses.

      Liked by 1 person

All comments are welcome, so speak! Speak! Good dog.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.