Category Archives: Wylie’s Tale


Hide and Seek

Wylie enjoys lounging on the couch, particularly on the reclining section furthest from the window. When I’ve had guests over, and the couch was full, he’s been known to hop up next to a “squatter” and nudge that person until he or she moves out of his spot.
Wylie evicts a squatter from his spot on the sofa.
When Wylie is alone on the couch, he likes to curl up toward the back where the cushions meet the back. He tends to drop down into the space in between.
Which leads to an important tip: If you can’t find your dog, don’t forget to check under the sofa cushions. (This also applies to loose change.)


A piece of my stir-fry didn’t go down quite the right way with the result that I had a minor coughing fit.

Throughout the incident, Wylie looked at me with a look of grave concern, clearly worried. From the way he held himself, it was clear that there was only one thing on his mind:

If you choke to death, can I have your dinner?


Talk Like a Pirate Day was (of course) back on September 19. I’m just a wee bit late posting the photos. Time for me to get with the program and take care of not only this, but a number of other things which have been on the back burner.
First up, we have Wylie demonstrating that he can still get the girls.
Wylie getting skritched by a pretty girl.
Blaine recently had a birthday and spent some time trying to blow out anything that looked like a candle. And since at the time it was still mosquito season, there were tiki torches all over the place.
Blaine attempts to blow out a "candle."
Wylie agrees that the name “Wylie and the Pirates” has a definite ring to it, but his band will be keeping the name “Wylie and the Coyotes” for the other 364 days of the year.
Wylie and the band of pirates.

The Comment of the Beast

About five or six months ago, I was surprised to note that the number of comments on Dividing by Zero had reached the point where there were more comments than posts. I haven’t really been paying attention to the number of comments since then. Tonight though I just happened to take another glance at the numbers:
Screenshot of the comment count.
As of this evening, Dividing by Zero has received six hundred and sixty-six comments, 666.
So what was “The Comment of the Beast”? Well, it came in response to the post about The Eastern Setter when Luke wrote in to say, “when i die, i wanna come back as an Eastern Setter.”
Screenshot showing 'the comment of the beast.'
It’s a sentiment I can certainly understand. Take a look through those photos and you’ll see that Wylie’s surrounded by a lot of pretty girls. He’s the neighborhood rock star after all and chicks dig the fuzzy guy.
It’s ironic that Luke should be the person who left comment #666 though. He’s in seminary and can tell you in far more detail than I can about how all dealings with the devil come with a great deal of peril. You might manage to get exactly what you asked for, but there’s always going to be a vital detail you didn’t think of.
In those photos, Wylie is getting his back skritched by pretty girls, and what guy wouldn’t like to be in that situation? But here’s the detail Luke overlooked: Wylie has been fixed.

The Eastern Setter

Ol’ Wylie is pretty much the neighborhood rock star. When we go out for our regular after-work walk, the neighborhood kids frequently flock to his side. The kids inevitably want to pet Wylie, and many remark on how soft his hair is. (He uses shampoo with extra-conditioner.)
One of the most frequent questions the kids ask me is what kind of dog Wylie is. They’re never satisfied with “I don’t know” so I’ve tried variations such as “Black” or “He’s a Wylie.” None of those work either. Some Wylie-historians claim that Wylie is an Irish Police Dog from Scotland Yard, but Wylie insists that this is a gross exaggeration and he only ever worked with a small constabulary on the outskirts of Dublin.
So far though, Wylie hasn’t been willing to discuss his origins. Until now.
Earlier this week, Wylie and I were talking about the problem with the kids not accepting any of the standard answers. He admitted that it always bothered him to be putting me on the spot like that, so he’s decided to share his secret with the world:
Wylie is an Eastern Setter.
For those unfamiliar with the particulars of this breed, the Eastern Setter is native to North America with a range covering the mid-Atlantic states, going North into New England and as far West as Indiana.
Here we see the Eastern Setter in his natural environment — setting on the couch.
Wylie, setting on the couch.
Likewise, here we see the Eastern Setter in another of his favorite settings — setting on the deck, getting his back skritched by a pretty girl.
Wylie, setting on the deck, with a lovely pirate girl.
And again, the Eastern Setter, setting on the couch, getting his back skritched by two more pretty girls. (It’s truly a dog’s life!)
Wylie on the couch with two more pretty girls.

Dog Park

In order to shake up the routine a bit (and Lord knows, the routine needs shaking), I’m planning to take Wylie to the dog park this weekend. In order to avoid any scheduling conflicts, I asked Wylie what he thought of the plan.

Wylie’s response was, “‘Dog Park’? I was thinking ‘toga party’, but sure, the Dog Park would be fun too.”

I have to admit, Wylie’s idea would definitely shake things up, but with Talk Like a Pirate Day coming up the following weekend, I’m not sure throwing a party this weekend is practical.

It does go to show however that some things never change.

Waving Goodbye!

Whether I’m heading out for the office, or just a few errands, I usually give Wylie some sort of treat before leaving the house.

Wylie’s reaction to this ritual is mostly bored disinterest with the occasional wistful “when will you be back so I can get my ears skritched?” sort of look. He does get excited about the treats though and makes them disappear before I finish putting the gate up.

When I left to run some errands this afternoon though, Wylie’s reaction was something I’d never seen before — He waved goodbye! He immediately started sniffing at the treats, but then he waved a second time. And again! Just a short flapping of his left paw, the sort of “goodbye” wave that children give.

Genuinely surprised by this new behavior, I went to give Wylie a quick skritch on the head to let him know the gesture was appreciated and that I’d see him again soon. Wylie waved goodbye yet again, and now I was able to see what was going on.

That little clown had somehow got his dewclaw hooked on his collar and now he couldn’t get it loose! What I’d been seeing as a series of “waves” were actually repeated attempts to get himself untangled.

I got him unhooked in short order and knowing what happening does take something away from it. But I’m sure Wylie would have waved anyhow if he knew what it meant.