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Millie Noe | December 18, 2017

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Leonard Tails

Funny tails about the late great, world’s best, worst dog.

Leonard Tails – Five

September 13, 2015 | 5

Leonard Tails 1

LEONARD 1989 – 1999


A day at the cottage


I met an ancient, yellow lab, named Blue.  His face was white and he had no teeth. He spent the entire afternoon fetching rocks, out of a lake.

“Doesn’t he ever get tired?” I said to his mother.

“This is tired,” she answered. Read More

Leonard Tails – Four

April 18, 2015 | 2

Leonard Tails 1

LEONARD 1989 – 1999


The Billy Goat

I should preface this story by noting, not all of Leonard’s behavior is to be blamed on Puppy Kindergarten. (See, Tail – One)

During the Brady Bunch era, Leonard was mascot to my sons, Marques and Rene and Sven’s daughter Adrienne and our dining room was and it still is, made of windows.

The table at the time, was one of Sven’s many creations and this one happened to be surfaced with ceramic tile.

Now, to a guy like Leonard, a guy who’d scored highest in his Puppy Kindergarten Class in table climbing, it was only fitting that he’d want to show off his advanced skills, at home, or wherever he happened to be.

That’s just one of the many reasons Leonard wasn’t invited to very many places.

He was sure that he was a watch dog and he was positive that Sven hade made that table solely for his use.

It never occurred to Leonard that a table was supposed to be a place for the family to gather.  A place for the family to eat dinner. A place to for us all to sit down and enjoy each other’s company and to share each other’s day.

Well, we didn’t use that table very often.

But, then again, there was always a ninety pound watch dog, laying on it.

Which came first, that table or that dog on that table?

I don’t remember.

To be frank, we Brady’s didn’t always enjoy each other’s company all the time, anyway.

The words that would best describe our situation would be, teenagers and step parents.

The only one under the roof who took no notice of the eggshell walking and the air that you could cut with a knife, would have been Leonard.

Adrienne, the oldest at fifteen, wasn’t fooled by Leonard’s little watch dogging act.

She dreamt one night that a gang of bad guys, slinging guns, broke into our house and tied us all up.

According to Adrienne, Leonard led the stubble-faced crooks, right to us and he wagged his tail all the way there.

The next morning, during breakfast in the living room, she bitched, “He traded us in for a freaking hotdog.”

Leonard didn’t say a word.

None of us were surprised.

He really did like hot dogs. Read More

Leonard Tails – Three

December 20, 2014 | 6

Leonard Tails 1

LEONARD 1989 – 1999


The Jehovah’s Witnesses

Once upon a time, on a nice summer day, before Leonard, when we lived in our other house, the house with the porch that went past our bedroom, our living room and then to the front door, Sven and I ran inside and took cover, because we’d just seen a group of Jehovah’s Witnesses heading our way.

There we were plastered to our bedroom carpet.

We heard a knock.

We looked at each other and grinned.

There was another knock.

I suppressed my laughter.

We heard them mumbling to each other.

We held our breath.

They knocked once more.

Still there was no response from the two adults who were hunkered down on the floor next to their unmade bed.

We could hear footsteps coming back our way on the porch.

We stared wide eyed at the window and didn’t exhale as we watched them leaving one by one.  It was all good, until Read More

Leonard Tails – Two

October 27, 2014 | 6

Leonard Tails 1

LEONARD 1989 – 1999


Puppy Kindergarten

That first summer it was apparent that our little yellow lab was in need of a little bit of schooling.

So I enrolled him in Puppy Kindergarten.

I’ve been looking for the 8 x 10 certificate to prove to you that he really did graduate.

It used to be in a frame on the wall so that I could point to it when people complained about his bad manners.

But I can’t find it.

In my search however, I ran into this guarantee for Englishtown Cutlery, which is weird because I don’t even have any Englishtown Cutlery.  And it says here that I can replace any piece that does not give satisfactory service.

enlishtown cutlery

Well, none of them do.

As far as Leonard’s certificate?  You will just have to take my word for it.

I remember the night well.

“He passed?” Sven asked all surprised.

“Yeah, well everybody passed and Leonard did have perfect attendance,” I snapped and opened the refrigerator.

It’s funny when I think back to how hopeful I’d been when I’d signed the little guy up for Puppy Kindergarten, six weeks earlier.

Yep, we were going to be the proud owners of a very well behaved dog.  The kind of dog that everybody would wish was theirs. The kind of dog that would make people say things like, “Why can’t my dog be more like your dog?  Look at him.  He doesn’t jump on people, he doesn’t beg, he doesn’t bark, he doesn’t whine, he doesn’t even shed.”

Read More

Leonard Tails – One

October 18, 2014 | 12

Leonard Tails 1

LEONARD 1989 – 1999


The Beginning

He was sound asleep. That’s why we picked him.

You see,  the Easter Bunny was going to bring the kids a puppy that year.

And our mantra had always been, “Dogs need to run and we don’t live in the country.”

Well, then in 1986 the house burnt down.

And then in 1987 Sven built a new house on top of the burnt embers.

And then in 1988 Marques’ and Rene’s legs grew too long for us to all fit in the living room and we only had one bathroom and Adrienne was always in it and the next door neighbor was a stay at home mom who believed in breast feeding her kids until they were as big as we were and she had a lot of time on her hands and I did not and she was always waiting for me when I pulled in the driveway.

And I’m kind of a bitch.

So we had to move.

I’d seen a sign one day on my way to work about twenty seven acres for sale. That seemed like enough.

Sven and I went exploring the land on a day that giant flakes of snow were falling out of the sky, the kind I remember as a kid.  The great big ones.  And millions of them. They were the kind that I used try to catch on my tongue and the kind that I would examine as they landed on my jacket sleeve to see if they all really were different from each other or if that was just a bunch of shit.

Anyway Sven and I were sold. We scrambled to get our finances in order, which meant that I dipped into my 401K about thirty years early.

Sven, along with help from family and friends, first built a workshop and then a big house, on those twenty seven acres.

In 1990, we as a family, were preparing to move into the almost finished place.

Sven and I knew it was just a matter of time before the kids would realize that we would be living in a place where a dog could run.

So, we did the grown up thing.  We decided to surprise them with a puppy.  That way we could pick out the kind of dog that we wanted and we could name the dog ourselves and skip all the drama that would surely ensue if all five of us had to agree on two enormous things like that. Picking out a Christmas tree together every year was enough trauma.

We didn’t want some little fru-fru dog.  If the pooch couldn’t clear the coffee table with one wag of his tale, then he wasn’t for us.

And furthermore, we didn’t want to be standing outside and yelling things like, “Here, Fluff Ball,” or “Drop it Princess,”  or, “Hulk Hogan, get over here!”

So the Saturday before Easter Sunday, we picked out the cutest, quietest, fuzziest, little yellow lab from a Victorian house in town, paid big money and we brought him home.  And that night the two of us named him Leonard.

leonard puppy

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