Today was a sad day for the canine world. President George W. Bush’s beloved Scottish Terrier Barney passed away after 12 years of faithful duty. Coincidentally, while running yesterday, I stopped to talk to a guy on Stillwater Ave. who was walking his Yorkshire Terrier, Buddy. Vin Bucci is from Medford, Mass, and his dog has a pretty interesting history. It seems that Vice President Dick Cheney had gotten him as a puppy, but when he brought him back to his ranch in Wyoming, Buddy didn’t get along well with Cheney’s two Labradors. (It seems that the Labs have a “history”… one was banned from Camp David for attacking his boss’s dog, Barney.)
Anyway, VP Cheney asked his aide if she could take the little Yorkie. Being a Good Aide, she said, “Yessir, of course…”, and then dumped Buddy off on her best friend, Vin’s daughter in Boston. Then Vin’s wife saw little Buddy and fell in love. “Sorry, Vin; you’ve just been demoted. Make room for Buddy in the bed!” I have something in common with Cheney and his Labs; as I was petting Buddy, this tiny little Yorkie tried to eat my headphones and then snapped at me when I took them out of his mouth… the little dogs are always the most dangerous! Like our little Gretchen, Buddy should be known as “Ten Pounds of Fighting Fury!”
I was thinking about the name of our local town, Lady Lake, and wondered if had anything to do with our Word of the Day… Lady of the Lake, n., a supernatural woman who plays various roles in Arthurian legend, sometimes considered to be the same person as Vivian, the lover of Merlin. (Turns out that the town was named for a nearby lake which is somewhat shaped like a woman.) This painting is a rendering of the myth of the seductive Vivian reading from a book of spells to the infatuated Merlin. (A pretty face will get you every time, Dude!)
The Lady of the Lake is also referred to as the Lady of Avalon, and is said to have been the person who bestowed the sword Excalibur on young Arthur after he broke his sword in battle and became King of England. Excalibur is said to translate as “cuts iron or steel”, a worthy title for a regent’s sword.
Moving from English weaponry to somewhat disparate golf and bovine topics, I was bemused by an ad on the front page of today’s local paper… it vaunted the fantastic benefits of a new natural-motion golf shoe, made of breathable Tibetan Yak leather, three times stronger than cowhide. An amazing feature is the 800 traction angles said to provide excellent grip in any conditions. Yaks (Bos grunniens) live in south-central Asia, in the Himalayas and as far north as Russia and Mongolia. They are considered a “vulnerable” species due to low reproduction rates. Because they were bred at high elevations, they also suffer from heat exhaustion at temperatures above 59F, primarily due to their thick layers of subcutaneous fat and almost total absence of sweat glands. Yaks and their manure also have virtually no odor, and their wool is naturally odor-resistant.
Well, that’s wonderful, I thought… but what about poor Mack the Yak, who has to give up his precious hide to help some Old Coot Golfer in The Villages get a grip on that loose sand in the bunker on number 2 at Amelia? Come on folks, isn’t the hide of a Texas steer that’s heading for ribeye and hamburger good enough for our golfers? Why go to the Himalayas looking for Mack the Yak? Let’s show some common sense here… but maybe we could import a few shiploads of that “no-odor” manure… it might be an improvement over what we get from the government these days.