Saturday, May 23, 2009

Advice For Bluey the Wine Dog at 50

Bluey, cellar master of Blue-Merle Winery, hero of The Gopher Wars and Chevalier de Legion de Vin de Chiens qui But, is 50 years old today. It was seven years ago (human years) on Memorial Day Weekend when the Queen caved in to the young Princess, "OK, we can get a dog." Before she changed her mind (again) we picked up the paper, turned to the classifieds and started looking for puppies. This method was slightly less scientific than our Commander & Chef and the results were quite unexpected. We started with A. "Hmmm.... Australian Shepherd," I announced. "Those were the dogs in the movie Babe." (In fact, those were Border Collies. What little did I know.)
"Oh daddy, daddy, let's get one. I'll feed him every day and walk him," said the Princess. "I promise," she lied.
I called the breeder. "Are those dogs good with kids?"
"Yes, but they might nip at their heels and try to herd them, but they love children."

"OK, hold one. We're on our way." So we piled into the white sedan and drove an hour from the coast into the hot, dusty, dry, country to the breeder's. This little pup with blue eyes came trotting out. "Oh daddy, daddy, he's so cute, let's get him," said the Princess. "I'll brush him every day," she lied. Even the Queen liked him, so they put him into the car, on which he promptly peed. He was a keeper. I took out my checkbook.

"He's a Blue-Merle," said the breeder. "That's $100 extra."

"A blue what?" I didn't know. I didn't care. The Queen & Princess were happy, and I wanted to get this deal done before she changed her mind (again). I wrote the check and we sped off into a future of marathons, vineyards and wine I couldn't foresee which he brought about.

I called up my friend Barry in Australia, whose business partner is also named Barry.

"I'm going to call this dog Barry in honor of you guys unless you come up with a better name."

Barry said, "That dog will change your life." He knew what he was talking about. "Bluey means swag man in Australian." I liked the name. His eyes were blue. He was a Blue-Merle, whatever that was. And the Princess liked the name, too. Bluey, the Swagman. Seven years ago.

I reckon Bluey is 50 years old now in dog years, so here's my advice to him for the next 50 years. (He'll have his chance to give me his advice in July when I turn 50.)

Bluey, you're 50 years old, and it's time to grow up and start acting your age. Here's my advice:

1. Stop eating grapes during harvest. You'll kill your liver.
2. Keep brushing your teeth every night.
3. Don't let other dogs lick your zi-zi in public. It's sooooooo embarrassing.
4. Stop dreaming about making puppies doggie-style with a bitch. It's not going to happen. (And keep your paws off of the beautiful ladies in the neighborhood, too.)
5. Stop asking for permission to go out with the coyotes at night. The answer is no.
6. Cats are not dogs. They don't like having their butts sniffed. Stop trying.
7. If you promise not to tell the Queen, I'll give you the steak bone.
8. I know you think I'm a lost lamb and you have this compulsion to follow me, but you better go to the Queen to snuggle up once in a while.
9. Would you mind to stay away from foxtails?
10. Watch your weight. (See # 11.)
11. Would you mind to stop leaping from 4 ft. walls?

12. Life is too short for bad wine; only taste the good stuff.
13. We're so grateful for the joy you have given us -- please stay away from snakes!

I've spent all my money on wine, women and vet bills, the rest of it, well, there was nothing left. Glad to spend it on you, pal. Here's to another 50 years, cheers!
What advice do you have for Bluey (and the author) on the occasion of their 50th birthdays?


Princess said...


Vinogirl said...

Happy birthday poochy.

Vinogirl said...

Is racking really necessary? We don't rack as often as we should in Vinoland and it always turns out who knows? But would I like to gamble in losing the lot? probably not.