Smith is under the weather, so this time I am taking over. I need to point out that I am a dog.
Dachshunds are capable of things that other dogs — like Labrador retrievers (yawn) — are not.
I can fold towels. I do it with my nose. That’s …
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I can fold towels. I do it with my nose. That’s how I earn my allowance.
Retrievers retrieve mud from the back yard.
I have seen some of my father’s columns. Doom and gloom, huh?
He’s lucky to have me, otherwise this would be one grumpy house. I lighten things up.
I am not one of those dogs that gets into trash bags and cupboards and eats diapers or that chews on belts or credit cards.
I don’t do those things because I got off to a rough start in life. I didn’t learn how to play. I never realized that I was supposed to have fun.
We have fun together, it’s just not chasing sticks.
Dad lives alone, but you wouldn’t know it. He talks all of the time. Most of the time he is talking to me, but sometimes he talks to someone named “Comcast” when there is no one here.
He reads to me too.
He likes to read the Sunday paper to me.
He started to read a story about a terminally ill woman’s dying wish. She wanted to see a Rembrandt exhibition at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.
She was wheeled into the museum in a hospital bed and given a private viewing.
That’s about as far as Dad could read before his eyes got blurry for some reason.
I sleep a lot. A lot a lot. I have bedding and a blanket in Dad’s studio, in the living room, in Dad’s office, and in our bedroom.
He takes care of me. It hasn’t always been that way. I wasn’t here until I was 5.
I am 11 now. I am not sure what that means. I used to be red all over, and now my face is gray. I am not sure what that means either.
I was sorry to hear about Brian Williams. Dad said that he was suspended for making something up.
When he told me that, we both just smiled.
Listen: Just about everything he writes about is made up or “improved.”
He says he writes “believable lies.” If you say so.
When he was a schoolteacher, he told his students that Monet and Manet were the same man.
He — they? — could make more money that way. Monet painted things like haystacks and cathedrals, and Manet painted people.
Some of his students thought he was telling the truth.
Dad said that he would probably be suspended like Brian Williams if he tried something like that now.
I could tell you stories about him that he’d never tell you. The shirts in his closet all face in the same direction.
He knows that he says things, writes things, that people don’t want to hear about. He can’t stand it when someone hurts an animal.
A dog was tied to some railroad tracks in Florida, and shot three times. I had to find out what happened to her myself, because my dad’s eyes got blurry again when he was reading about it to me.
She survived. A leg was amputated. She is going to be adopted by a good family.
I am unsure about cats. One of them stares at us through the studio door. It’s a glass door, so don’t get excited.
I wonder what the cat thinks about.
Maybe it knows that I have it pretty good in here.
Sometimes Dad just looks at me and smiles, and I never know why
Crabman will be back next week with more gloom. I am glad I had this chance to say hello.
Craig Marshall Smith is an artist, educator and Highlands Ranch resident. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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