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 open the door she barks: THEDOORISOPENTHEDOORISOPENTHEDOORISOPEN!
When you see people walking on the street with a quarter mile, she lets them know: YOUAREWALKINGWITHINAQUARTERMILEOFME!
Sometimes she barks:ITISTHEMIDDLEOFTHENIGHTANDITISTOOQUIETINHEREWENEEDMOREBARKINGANDIDONTLIKETHATCAT!
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.