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My Dog, my Pal Lamont Defuses Simmering D.C. Racial Tensions

13 Jan
Lamont Defuses Simmering D.C. Racial Tensions

Lamont Diaries continued:

By Nate Thayer

My pal, Lamont, has made it clear he wants to be active on the high powered Washington social circuit, to hang out with the Big Dogs.

And he insists that cannot be accomplished in front of the computer, on the couch, from my living room. Requiring someone to carry Lamont’s (poop) bags, means that I have been forced into the maelstrom of the canine cocktail circuit in recent days, attending the dog equivalent of receptions, diplomatic functions, book signings, block parties and grand openings that Lamont has crashed. And each has offered new, surprise encounters.

Today, on our way to schmooze with the regular after-work gathering of the neighborhood canine hoi polloi in the dog park, a frightening scenario appeared on the sidewalk rapidly bearing down on us.

Four young African American men headed in our direction on an isolated side street, perhaps twenty five meters in front of us. They were swaggering purposefully, loudly engaged in boisterous smack talk, two of them well over six foot 5 inches tall, dressed in baggy jeans and wife beater tank top t-shirts, with long dread locks, sunglasses, and do rags on their heads.

They were holding chains attached to choke collars, which were restraining  two huge pit bulls. They all fell silent as they approached Lamont and I.

I had an ominous flashback to a 1970’s Charles Bronson flick.

My instinct was to cross the street, but Lamont would hear nothing of the sort. He tugged tightly at his leash, rapidly wagging his tail, making it impossible to remain either inconspicuous or neutral, insisting on giving the teenagers a proper hello.

Lamont, you may have miscalculated this one, pal,” I muttered.

Lamont at rest after a hard day's work addressing D.C.'s racial problems

Lamont at rest after a hard day’s work addressing D.C.’s racial problems

Within seconds, I was surrounded. And Lamont disappeared under the saliva dripping jowls of the two Pit bulls, who, in comparison, made Lamont look more akin to a gerbil than a dog.

“How old is he?” said one of the Crip impersonators in a monotone. I attempted to sound relaxed and answered.

“What’s his name?” said Crip number two.

“Lamont,” I replied trying not to sound meek.

“This is Slick and that is Rufus,” said Crip number three, pointing at the killer beasts who had my virgin Lamont on his back only slightly visible under the rippling muscles, shaking jowls, hooded eyes, and flying saliva enveloping him on the sidewalk.

I felt a lingering unease that, at any moment, my fate would be similar at the hands of my human counterparts.


Lamont Hard at Work Solving the World’s Social Ills

Lamont, however, appeared to be enjoying himself thoroughly.

He leaped from beneath the killer pit bulls and jumped up on the leg of Slick’s owner, wagging his tail ferociously and, looking two meters skywards into the sunglasses framed by dreadlocks, demanded a smooch and reciprocal gesture of affection.

“He is sssooo cute!” exclaimed Slicks sidekick. And the rest of the gang melted in unison offering a series of cooing sounds and baby talk.

We exchanged pleasant conversation for a couple of minutes, punctuated by smiles and easy laughter, before moving on our separate ways.

The Great Lamont had singlepawedly diffused the tension.

Or refused to recognize any where it didn’t need to exist. Either utterly clueless or unpolluted with preconceptions, Lamont wiggled and wagged and whistled toward the park, looking up at me.

“What?!?! They seemed like a pretty friendly bunch to me!” he said. “Relax.”

Lamont is either a reckless idiot or a genius. I may have learned something today. Perhaps Lamont just had nothing to unlearn.



Lamont and I have a Serious Chat

12 Jan

Lamont and I have a Serious Chat


Today, Lamont and I had a serious talk about how the earth spins, and that his conduct of late is throwing it off its natural trajectory.


Today, while partaking in his daily cardio vascular regiment in the park, Lamont insisted on making the rounds of the gathered humans, and greeting them in his inimitable way.


By peeing on their legs.

For the fourth day in a row.



More than once, I was forced to walk up to an unsuspecting victim and say: “Uh, I apologize on behalf of my dog, Lamont, for peeing on you.” Which was followed by downward glances at the moist spot on their pant legs. Which was followed by a dumbfounded expression of “I really don’t know what to say to that.”


Lamont, also, galloped at full speed, leaping through the air, and attempted to chew the foot off a baby in a harness attached her Mom’s chest. This now makes Lamont’s assault and battery count on neighborhood children dangerously nearing the triple digits.


We were metaphorically frog marched out of the public park and returned home.

“Lamont, pal, trust me on this: You are not building popular support by peeing on people’s legs,” I said to the mutt, as he sat staring up at me on the floor by the couch. “Human’s don’t think like you. They do not see it as a bonding moment. And as for attacking their progeny, no matter how loving your intentions are, let me be clear: This will only end very, very badly for you unless you cease immediately.”


I told Lamont he was at considerable risk of being banished from the dog park, the center of Lamont’s universe, unless he changed his ways promptly.


Lamont was silent for a moment, taking in these new revelations.


“I thought peeing on things was a sign of respect acknowledging they were important to me. I didn’t know, Nate. I’m sorry,” he said, his droopy eyes looking hurt and sad. “I love the Park. I will try and not pee on anything with a circulatory system from now on. Please don’t stop coming with me there. I don’t know what I would do without you.”


“What about assaulting the children?” I said.


“Well, I think assault is a bit harsh. I was just trying to smooch them.”


“Lamont!??!!! Just leave the short humans be, OK?!? They get plenty of smooches without your assistance. Believe me, their guardians are organizing defensive measures as we speak. You have not seen the wrath of God until you cross a young mother. And you are riding on the fumes of your reputation at this point. Trust me. There is no room for negotiation on these two matters.”


I repeated that his future as a member in good standing of the dog park canine contingent was in serious jeopardy.


Lamont’s eyes got very wide as his mind raced. “I will try my best,” he said after a long pause.


That is all I can ask of my pal, Lamont. I am not hopeful.

My Pal, Lamont, and a Day in his Washington, D.C.

12 Jan

By Nate Thayer


Lamont and a day in his Washington, D.C.


The Great Guru Lamont took me on a long outing to survey is domain and his people from which we just returned. As usual, there were pleasant surprises awaiting.


It seems anything that makes a noise, movement, or has a circulatory system merits the singular laser focus of Lamont, who, like all the great politicians,  bestows his undivided attention making one think they are the only thing that exists on the planet for the briefest of moments, leaving one breathless and swooning before moving on to the next voter.


After leaving the gates of our estate, Lamont took his obligatory long pee. For which he was rewarded with obsequious congratulations and a cookie.


On the way to the park, Lamont and I took a shortcut through the alley.


First, he focused on the cockroaches  which he has recently discovered emerge in the urban summer heat and make for wonderful light entertainment rooting out from the concrete crevices and batting around.


Then he spotted a furtive fellow hunched in the shadows of the alley. Lamont tugged and wiggled, insisting we go over and give the man a proper hello.


The man seemed hesitant. As we got closer, I spotted him awkwardly juggling a hypodermic needle in one hand and an elastic, thin Bunji cord in the other.


But Lamont ignored that he was a bit preoccupied, and whined and wagged his tail stretching his snout out in a decidedly non judgmental gesture of bestowing his stamp of affection and approval until he had the man’s attention and heart.


The man smiled and turned to Lamont: “Aaaww, go on with your bad self!” he said sweetly.


Satisfied he had evoked a grin from the man, Lamont trotted on forward with me on his leash.


At the corner was a man standing looking across the street waiting the arrival of a smiling woman in a flowing sundress heading our way.


Lamont ignored him and focused on the apparition of beauty cascading his way.  They met midway across the street and Lamont went to work. He glowed and glistened, smiled and swooned, leapt and demanded smooches.


“Oh you are a cutie patootie!” she cooed as she bent down to take Lamont and pull him against her ample bosom.


By this time the light had turned green  and Lamont was holding up traffic. But no horns honked, all eyes on Lamont. Some seemed to be taking notes.


It wasn’t clear whether the gentleman waiting on the corner was amused.


We finally reached the park. Lamont’s home base. Although technically dedicated to Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the United States who freed the slaves, in practical application it is the domain of which Lamont both reigns and rules under a very benevolent dictatorship.


We passed the child’s playground where hushed murmurs of “Look honey, there’s Lamont!” were  heard as the masses stood still while the Great Lamont wiggled by.


Lamont headed towards a circle of teenage girls sitting in a circle on the grass, apparently part of a a summer Bible Study outing from a local Baptist church. They cried out in unison: “That is the cutest puppy ever!” and I unlatched the leash holding Lamont back from bestowing his smooches on His people.


He bounded at full speed over and leapt through the air into the middle of the crying, nearly-in-tears gaggle of teenage angst, as if he were a canine incarnation of Justin Beiber and Mahatma Gandhi.


Lamont vigorously, from inside the circle, smooched and yelped signs of approval at each and every one of the young gals, going round and round the circle, making sure to give extra attention to the ones with acne and extra poundage, and they responded in kind. For ten minutes.




Lamont posing for His People


With them all sated in tears of joy, we moved on, to the statue of Abe Lincoln in the middle of the park. It was there that Lamont met Grumpy, a floppy skinned mutt of Basset Hound descent who, after a moment of reluctant pause, was smitten with the young Lamont. And they bounded about roughhousing.


“ He is awfully cute,” smiled Grumpy’s lovely young human.


“He is,” I said, “he seems to have figured out the essential ingredients of happiness.”


Lamont returned with a crab apple and dropped it at her feet.


“Lamont seems to have taken a liking to apples, “ I said. He had brought one home yesterday and then swiped my half eaten one from the bedside table later in the night.


“I make a great sweet potatoe pie,” she said.


“I do love sweet potatoe pie,” I said.


And then we all went back to Grumpy’s place. She wasn’t fibbing. We all enjoyed her homemade sweets, and after some time, Lamont and I headed home.


“See, I told you if you stuck with me I would take care of you!” said Lamont on our way home, rather proud of himself.

My Pal, Lamont, is a Cheap Date

12 Jan

Lamont Diaries continued

Lamont is a Cheap Date

My new pal, Lamont, is a cheap date.  And a bit of a shameless hussy. Sometimes it is a bit alarming, but he seems to think that is my problem.

He was gracing the neighborhood with his presence today, strolling, sniffing, wagging and peeing, interrupted every few minutes to insist on greeting warmly all manner of passing strangers for idle chit chat.

These people now comprise a growing body of what can be best described as Lamont’s cult followers. Or Loyal Subjects. Or Reserve Harem. Or maybe they just like him. I am a bit confused. It isn’t normal.

At one point we encountered a cardboard box on the sidewalk with a taped note attached: “Free.”  Lamont thrust his snout indelicately into the contents, sifting through the utensils, knick-knacks, and out of date computer attachments, and surfaced holding his selection: A brown and yellow striped stuffed tiger.

Clenched in his teeth, he then sat and looked up at me with those irresistible watery, droopy eyes and asked me: “Can I keep it, pal?”

“Sure you can, Lamont” I said. “It’s free.”

Lamont lit up, rose to his full height of ten inches, ears perked at attention, nose held at an angle skywards, and started to prance and trot down the street showing it off as if it was the Hope Diamond.

Lamont employing his bedroom eyes to encourage extra swooning and smooches from friend and stranger alike

A few meters ahead Lamont spotted an attractive young woman taking in the early evening breeze on the front stoop of her house. He froze. Then whimpered. Then wiggled. Then tugged, insisting I get with the program, and headed her way.

He stopped momentarily at the stairs leading up to her.

“Hi sweetie! What’s your name?” she flirted.

And Lamont bounded up the steps into her open, welcoming arms. They smooched for a second. Then Lamont placed the Hope Diamond on her porch and focused on her sundress, under which he showed a singular interest. She giggled, faux objected, and they exchanged more smooches.

I, meanwhile, stood mute on the sidewalk holding a clear plastic bag of Lamont’s poop.  I think she smiled at me. It isn’t entirely clear it wasn’t a gesture of pity.

Lamont then bid a wiggly farewell and we continued, greeting a few more of his growing band of devotees as we sauntered, pranced, and trotted on home, his stuffed tiger held prominently aloft.

Lamont gave me a sympathetic look at our front door and said: “Don’t worry pal. You will get the hang of it. Just stick with me.”

That sounds like a plan.

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