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Now, that being said, the saga of Tobias and Sir Stubalot. As most of you know, Toby is technically the neighbour’s dog who thinks that he belongs at the Casa. Initially, they made noises about the hairy little interloper hanging out over here all of the time, with us trying to shoo him homeward, only to find him on our doorstep every morning. Some months ago we gave up fighting it; if they wanted Toby at home, they should put him inside is my official position on the matter.
So, now at the first hint of life at the Casa, the Tobester comes rocketing through the woods to assume his (in his own mind) rightful place amongst the inmates.
Recognizing a couple of pushovers when he sees them, Toby decided to spread the word about the Casa, and occasionally brings along a guest. I had most of these critters in mind when I scribbled these words in Charlie’s poem: “some go and some stay, not one’s turned away”.
But one has recently refused to leave: the Stubbmeister. He is a part hound whose defining features are his soulful eyes, his twitching stub of a tail, a healed ear that is split completely in half due undoubtedly to an altercation from his sordid past, and an impressive set of clackers more appropriate on a bull than on a 45# dog.
Then there’s his sense of loyalty. It’s almost impossible to get a proper picture of him, as he stays so close that I can’t get much more of him in the frame than an eyeball at a time. When I’m out in the cave piddling on a bike or a post, he’s right under my feet; the other inmates are not a fan of his chumminess, but the Stub doesn’t seem to give a rip. And I have to admit, it feels pretty dang good.
But for every action, there’s an equal and opposite reaction. When it comes time to cut off the light and come in for the night, it kills me to let the other dogs inside and leave Toby and Stubb looking forlornly through the patio door. But what to do? The only answer is the same as what you get when you cross an elephant and a rhinoceros:
All you can do is the best you can do and worry about it at night; it’s always a party at the Casa del Whackos.