Dean's Newsletter  - Well, um...
Volume 3, Issue 3 - March  7 '99

Dear Whoever -you-are-sitting-there-reading-this,

First of all, thanks to all of you on my email list who have written in with encouraging words inspiring me to persist with my music in the face of all common sense. You make it seem as if I'm home on the range. (You know: "....Where never is heard a discouraging word, etc...")

As a matter of fact I haven't seen any antelope lately but there was a family of deer right outside our window yesterday munching on grass until they were frightened away by 90 pound Lylah our tubular Dobedore (part Doberman, part Labadore). She's fat but we like to refer to her as 'tubular'. I get teased about this because when we picked her out she was the runt of the litter and, thinking she'd stay small, I said "Take her, she'll be just the right size."

Just the right size to sink boats, as it turns out. What's worse is she thinks she's a lap dog and thinks nothing of sitting on you, oblivious to the fact that she's crushing the life out of you.

Alison put her on a diet since we got back the states and now she's comparatively svelte. Well, not exactly svelte, let's say she's slightly less tubular.

I feel free making fun of Lylah in this way for the simple reason that because she's a dog she can't read. I'm not being patronizing when I say this, I'm just stating a simple fact. Lylah can't read.

Now, I don't mean to imply by this remark that I'm a chauvinist when it comes to canine intellect. I'm not like these naive and specist scientists that actually believe animals have no feelings or language or that dogs don't see in colour.

She may lack our version of colour receptor rods at the back of her eyeball but I have no doubt that she sees in colours we can't imagine. And even though her grasp of English is limited (approx.50 words) she's got a rich and expressive vocabulary and has no trouble at all make her desires known.

I'm just pointing out the fact that Lylah is illiterate. Now, I have read of experiments with dogs where they've demonstrated an ability to distinguish among characters and icons on customized computer keys and can type out requests and responses using their paws and a modified keypad.

This is mildly interesting but besides the point. As far as I can determine Lylah not only can't read, she has no particular desire to read. She's much more interested in chasing after squirrels or lying in a patch of sunlight all afternoon than she is in digesting human literature (although she's happy to digest almost everything else in the house).

So, am I being heartless by making fun of this innocent but admittedly illiterate four legged creature? Is it meanspirited of me to be making these kinds of flippant remarks about a member of our household? It's not as if she doesn't contribute to the household in innumerable ways. Aside from the obvious - that she's a fearsome watchdog (chuckle) - she really keeps our feet warm on those cold winter nights. That kind of contribution is worthy of respect, not teasing.

So, do I feel guilty about making public her academic deficiencies?

No and no.

Most of all because she could care less! As long as she's fed everyday and has a warm, dry place to hang out in inclement weather, and gets to hang out with our pack, she's content. No bills to worry about, no IRS, no job pressure, no responsibilities with the exception of occasionally barking at the UPS man or the ConEd guy. Jealousy might rear its ugly head occasionally. She can't stand it if Lacey or Amelia or Biddy or Sunny is getting attention and insists on inserting her tubular self into the conversation.

I guess what I'm trying to say is...

Well, I'm not quite sure what I'm trying to say. Maybe I'm not trying to say anything. Or maybe I already said it. Or maybe there's nothing to say. Or maybe, maybe...

I don't know, it's all too complicated to think about.  You're probably reading along wondering, "What the hell is Dean talking about? When the hell is he going to get to the point?"

Good question.

Well, maybe there is no point!

Maybe it's just a rainy day in Peekskill and I had nothing better to do than sit at this computer babbling away. Maybe if I had paws instead of fingers I'd be out chasing squirrels or knocking over garbage cans or barking at some truck speeding down the street.

I did always wonder what it would be like to have a tail. Imagine the stuff you could do if you had a tail. Amelia has a tail.

She can't read either.

I'm kinda getting hungry so I think I'm gonna stop now. Try to relax a little. This thinking all the time can get a little tiresome.

Anything good in the fridge?

Take it easy,



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