In Almost Iowa, there is a place where guys can brag about their kids, complain about their wives and argue over the minutia of everyday life.
It is a tavern named The Pit and contrary to popular opinion, cannot be found on the other side oblivion – though one can clearly see oblivion from there.
It serves a necessary social function, much like the relief valve on a pressure cooker – and not to be left out, our dogs enjoy a similar pit of perdition.
Their place is The Ravine and to no one’s surprise is an actually ravine hidden deep within The Minnesota Mosquito Refuge and whenever a dog has a chance to steal away, it is where they go.
The only difference between the two places is that the barking is louder at The Pit.
What follows is what one would hear on a typical afternoon at The Ravine.
“Say Ike, what’s on tap today?”
Ike is a burly no-nonsense Chesapeake Bay Retriever who runs the place.
“Same as every other day: ditch water.”
“Then why is that cute thing at the other end of the bar, sipping fresh spring water?”
“Spring water is for the poodles. You a poodle?”
“Geez Ike, lighten up, I was just asking.”
“You gonna drink or whine?”
“I’ll hold off on the ditch water because I only get let out twice a day.”
“Twice a day?” a dusty dog of dubious origin muses. “My old man only lets me out once at 6:00 am – then HE spends the entire morning drinking coffee and trotting down the hall to the can.”
Ike shakes his head and growls, “No consideration.”
A terrier perks up. “Talk about consideration, my people blew $85 at an Italian Restaurant last week.”
“Then they hit the discount shelf at Wal-Mart for my dinner.”
“$85, huh?” reflects Ike, flicking away flea.
The terrier nods emphatically, “I saw the receipt.”
“Canned discount brands,” a basset groans, “taste like roadkill. Maybe it is.”
At that a yellow lab perks up. “Did someone say roadkill?”
“Aint’t you suppose to be sitting with the coyotes,” Ike asks of him.
The lab slinks off.
“Oughta 86′ him,” Ike says mostly to himself.
“Aw, he’s harmless.”
“Only when he’s downwind.”
“You know what I hate most,” the basset moans.
Ike raises an eyebrow.
On that there is a consensus.
“It’s so one sided. Why the other day, I tried leading my human around. All I wanted to do was whiff a dead skunk. You want to see an old lady get frantic? Try that.”
“You know what’s worse?” This was from a spaniel wearing a pink crocheted sweater.
“What’s that?” Ike asks with all the indifference a big dog can muster.
“What’s the matter with love?”
“You’re not wearing a pink crocheted sweater, are you?”
“I concede your point,” Ike tells him.
“There is nothing wrong with love, per se, but it needs to be spread around. When you focus love too much, it burns like a magnifying glass in the sunlight. Someone needs to tell people that.”
“Tell us about it,” two Pekinese snarled in unison.
“I dunno,” an old dog said, “my old man mostly ignores me and to tell you the truth, I ignore him. I wouldn’t say there is no love lost or found between us, rather I’d say what we got is the epitome of love. He knows what pleases me and I know what pleases him.”
“So what pleases you?”
“A bottomless feeder of dog food, an afternoon in the sun and the freedom to pee anywhere I want in the yard.”
“And he gives you that?”
“What do you give in return?”
“I don’t chew his stuff.”
At that, The Ravine falls into quiet revelry as each dog contemplates what his dog-heaven might look like…
A few dogs sprawl into sleep, a few rest but remained attentive and a few chew and sniff at things dogs tend to chew and sniff at…
“Who said that??”
Dogs bolt and bound in every direction and The Ravine clears out.
A few minutes later, a battle-scarred barn cat pads softly through the grass.
“Coast is clear. All the dogs are gone,” she calls out.
A steady stream of house cats, barn cats, bin site cats and alley cats flows down the banks.
“Say Nellie, what’s on tap today?”
“What? You picky?”
“Nellie, you know what I really hate about sharing a watering hole with dogs?”
37 thoughts on “Thursday Night at The Ravine”
I really like your blog. A pleasure to come stroll on your pages. A great discovery and very interesting blog. I come back to visit you. Do not hesitate to visit my universe. A soon 🙂
That was a fabulous story, Greg. Loved it!!
Hilarious! So true about both the dogs and the cats. Totally agree about the dress up and baby carriages. Every time I see one, I hear a thousand dogs and cats laughing while I struggle to keep a straight face.
I think this is exactly what the dogs are saying when they gather at their local watering hole! Too bad more people can’t hear it…. And I love the way the cats managed to clear them out!
At least they aren’t running up a healthy bar tab, unless you count flea powder and the annoyance of removing ticks.
I know someone who’d like to chime in about grasshoppers and broccoli.
Too funny. The only thing you left out are the owners who ‘walk’ their dogs in baby carriages with nets for the bugs and small baby water dishes.
let’s not forget talking baby talk to dogs. [shudder]
Great dog conversation. Sounds like you know your audience well. So tell me Greg, is rolling on a dead skunk or a dead fish worse? And which makes a dog happier? –Curt
I have to say that Scooter has never rolled around on a dead fish. I’ll have to get him one. 🙂
Um, probably not Greg 🙂 If you do, be sure to let it sit out in the sun for a few days to get the full effect. Speaking of skunks, however, I slept outside in the summer as a kid and once my greyhound climbed up on the bed, as she always did and I went to pet her and found her fur wet. She had been sprayed by a skunk. Don’t remember how many times I washed that hand, but it was a lot. The bedding was trashed. –Curt
I feel suitably enlightened 🙂
Enlightenment is easy. It is keeping the lights on that is hard. I, for one, get all these great ideas, which then fade as I expose them to time and the opinion of others.
Love talking dogs. Always!
There is something about talking dogs and cat videos that is oddly compelling.
The dark side of Disney. 🙂 A fun story, Greg. We had a beagle named Bugsy who loved camping trips because she could roll in eau de skunk perfume. 🙂
I think dogs do that just to shock us. 🙂
Haha, and they went back to their masters and forgave them immediately and for no reason.
Dogs do that, it’s why we get along with them.
Hahaha! There’s a similar meeting place for the cats of the neighborhood where I grew up – they called it the dirt pile. And that’s exactly what it was. A dirt pile. And they would all sit on the dirt pile and have their town meeting 🙂 Nice to hear how it goes down in canine world!
If there was a lot of snarling and back-biting, it might have been a cat legislature. 🙂
Woof! Hoomans who dress animals to look cute should be rolled in dead skunk!
Hang on, just heard about a rabbit, gotta go!
On that, we agree. 🙂
Thanks John, but this doesn’t hold a candle to the weekly conversations with your dogs.
I certainly liked it. 😁
Heck, their conversation is better than what I hear at our local pub.
Actually, most bar conversations are rather profound – or seem that way after you have been there for hours.
Not on my part, I was merely the typist. 🙂
I SOOO love this!
It’s about dogs. Need one say more?
But…is it ONLY about dogs?
My cats loved this!!
I would venture to guess that they loved the ending.
Mine too, dogs are SO easy to fool😀
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