Bella the Beagle: Act IV in a Tremendously Long Life

Whenever hubby and self Skype (He’s visiting his Mom in Manila), self can’t help but remark that his eyebags are tremendous.  Well, you see, being in Manila, there are all these opportunities to go out at night and —  Self!  Cut it out!  You know you’re just jeal-jeal because when you were ensconced in Bacolod, you were too much of a fraidy cat to venture out on Lacson Street by yourself at night!  And your most adventurous cousin was off dancing at The Pavilion and you were not invited!  Oh yes, you did make it to Trattoria Uma or Café Uma once or twice, and yes the receptionists were all so worried about you because, as they put it, “Ma’am, you never go out?  What do you do?”  Once, the receptionist told her:  “Ma’am!  I saw you eating by yourself!  At a restaurant!”  After which, self made it a point to only venture as far as Ripples, which as most people in Bacolod know, is not exactly a purveyor of fine cuisine.  But it was too humiliating to eat by herself every night.  Geez, Bacolod is a really really small place.  One night, she attended mass in the Carmelite monastery in Mandalagan, and the next day, at least two different people told her they had seen her.  Worse, they had seen her leave right after Communion.

So, anyhoo, it has been a very peaceful sojourn, it really has, being at home in Redwood City, with the 16-year-old beagle Bella, who every night collapses on her pillow, ass pointed directly at self, the better to ensure that self gets the benefit of the full blast of her fruity, non-stop farts.

Hubby made self promise to lavish care on this ancient, and hubby certainly didn’t need to remind self, that after the sudden and shocking demise of poor Gracie (She died of a broken heart, self is sure of it, because self was so much away), we have only one dog left.  So self bought Bella a brand new doggie pillow!  And she changes the water in her water dish three times a day!  And takes her for daily walks!  No, not just daily, twice-daily walks!

It has come to pass that Bella finds it too much of a hassle to go outside when she wants to “do her business.”  For a week, self had to clean up puddles all over the living room and kitchen.  Until she realized that if she took Bella out for a walk in the morning, and another walk at night, Bella would then willingly do her business, and all self would have to do would be to encase the crap in plastic and then dump in the nearest trash can.

The daytime walks are quite pleasant, but at night, self is too lazy to change, and anyhoo she assumes all the neighbors are asleep or watching Gaddafi get bludgeoned to death on CNN or Fox News, so she always ventures out in — hold your breath! —  slouchy cargo pants, baggy T-shirt (sometimes with holes), and rubber slippers.  But, twice now, she has bumped into neighbors and has had to deliver really long explanations about why it is she and not hubby walking the dog now, and isn’t it sad about the sudden demise of Gracie (Yes, it really is sad.  Self did not stop crying for a month), and have you seen the cat that belonged to the other neighbors, and what part of the Philippines do you come from, and so forth.

So, after stumbling home, Bella is suddenly awfully frisky, and just will not settle down.  Until self gives her a cookie (Boy, it didn’t take long for this creature to figure out how to extract maximum attention from self!).

After the night walk, and the picking up of the crap, and the cookie, Bella is now ready to doze off.  Strangely, it is always at this point when self is suddenly seized by a mad desire to write.  And the stories she’s been writing, these past few weeks have been crazy!  Absolutely crazy!  One was set in a desert in the year 4546, another was set on the 105th floor of the World Trade Center, and yet another took place in Redwood City, in a house remarkably similar to the one self presently resides in.  Yup, self is on an absolute tear (that is, where her writing is concerned).  And just to prove it, her Submishmash account is suddenly hectic with colors:  blue (for In Progress), green (for Accepted) and red (for Declined).

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

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