The Daily Digital Photo
Chronicling the life of Clayton and Spenser, with memories of Scooter

May 16, 2007


We like to think of Spenser as our cowboy. A tough guy. After all, he has chased deer across hundreds of acres of woods, suffered cuts, abrasions, lacerations, required stitches, hour upon hour of tick removal, you get the picture. But sometimes Spenser is a bit of a woos. He doesn't like loud noises. Hunters, nail guns, and of course thunder. I woke up the other night to find Spenser ON my pillow, pawing me. It was thundering. I put my hand on him and fell back to sleep but no, I had to BE AWAKE. Fortunately it was a short storm.

Last Sunday after we returned from a Mother's Day brunch in Brooklyn (I will not bore you with our Verrazano Bridge story but trust me, it was not a good time) Phillip set out to replace the decaying doggy door ramp with steps. He put them up remarkably fast and when he was done he called me outside so we could watch the boys try them out. (Please note that the power tools are purely for dramatic effect and were removed for safety reasons immediately after the photo shoot.) First we called Spenser, our cowboy.

Spenser poked his head out the doggy door and surveyed the steps. Now, there are two types of people and I'm starting to think two types of dogs. One for whom change is good and the other for whom change is bad. Spenser, alas, like so many of us, appears to fall into the latter category.

He examined them for a few moments more and then proceeded to BACK UP and disappear into the house. We could not control our chortling and for this I apologize.

Next we called Clayton. He stepped out fearlessly, then paused for a moment as he considered what had happened to his ramp. It had become steps! Yes, these were clearly steps, but they were different, longer than most steps he was used to. These steps required some thought as to the proper synchronization and placement of his four paws, and although we sometimes make fun of Clayton's IQ he proved himself up to the task.

Now, as those of you with doggy doors know, when one doggy goes out the doggy door, any others in the immediate vicinity are pulled along in a kind of gravitational wake, and before we could say "I bet Spenser will come out," Spenser came out. Well, sort of.


He stood, half in, half out. He looked around. He remained dubious.

Then, as Clayton prepared for his dismount, a lightbulb seemed to go on over Spenser's head. We don't call him Spenser the Mensa Beagle for nothing, and as fast as you can say "get out of my way little brother," Spenser had, I don't know, solved a couple of Fourier transforms and figured out the steps LIKE THAT!


Yes sirree bob. They call him MISTER Cowboy.