Breaking Summer Down

If there is one lesson I have learned from the era of social media it is that you must get out in front of scandal in order to control the spin.

This is my Apricot Poodle.

Her name is Summer (Chanel) and she will flat out bark you into a shattered, whimpering hull of yourself. She doesn’t bark all of the time, only when it is necessary.


When you see people walking on the street with a quarter mile, she lets them know: YOUAREWALKINGWITHINAQUARTERMILEOFME!


Other than that she is a good dog.

As someone with a poet’s heart, I tend to experience life as a series of metaphors and symbolic events. The elevated trauma of an event renders it greater significance and therefore the associated symbols loom large. Hoss Cartwright, Turpentine, Barbed Wire, and THE CRASH OF GREAT CLARITY are touchstones on the epic journey of our protagonist, Juancho, a slightly fictionalized version of myself, Juancho.

Summer (Chanel) is no different. I now realize her name is no accident. Given to her by my beloved, a woman who suffers little nonsense and reveres straight-talk, this name is a direct challenge. In order to conquer summer, with its death-threatening humidity, mosquito-infestation, dysentery-covered gloves, sloppy smilax covered trails, and chafing chamois- I must conquer Summer- the Apricot Poodle with the big voice.

We have tried good cop/bad cop (I’m bad cop) and that does not work. We have tried positive reinforcement, force-feeding, isolation, inclusion, toy-motivating, food-motivating, and completely freaking out on her little, barking crazy ass.

Nothing seems to work.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the metaphor, I am out there riding with Taco, barely treading water. Slinging my extra 10 lbs over my shoulder (or wherever it settles) and suffocating my way around the woods. Every ride is a grim undertaking, barely survived. My new bike, paid for 6 weeks ago, languishes as a financial transaction, coded in pixels.

I am in need of some elegant solutions.

Summer (summer) must be broken.


12 Responses to Breaking Summer Down

  1. As I was trying to say, if having this dog inspired this kind of writing, you owe the dog some money or bacon treats or something because reading it just made my bad day better! 🙂

  2. hahhhaaaa! Good one Jauncho!

    Ok, it’s really simple and I know this from experience. Summer has to know that you are the BIG dog and you have to know that YOU are the big dog. Simple. Of course you have to communicate this information from the primordial depth of your being. It is much much more than a belief. It has to be your truth.

    You are a dog. A big dog. Say it , “I am a big dog” “I am the big dog”

    Practice, stretch that tongue out to it’s limits big dawg!

  3. oh, I got advice from J-trainer, just haven’t come around with it yet; it’s a clean option, sans bark collar.
    Just FYI, I’m close to curing these two dachshunds of a similar issue (two weeks baby!).

    still, bark collar will work.

  4. I would like to have seen the “completely freaking out on her little barking crazy ass” option.

    Something tells me that one should work.