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Is that lipstick on your collar?

Jon de Vos/Friday Report
Grand County, CO Colorado

They grow up so fast.

Isn’t it a shock the first time you see your six-year-old wearing lipstick? Trust me, it’s even more of a shock if that particular six-year-old is a basset hound, but there she was, standing at the top of the stairs, wagging furiously and grinning like she’d just swallowed a canary.

“Dear,” I shouted to my wife who was downstairs in the kitchen, “would you like me to hug your dog?”



“Why?” she asked.

“Because you probably won’t want to when you discover that she’s ransacked your purse again,” I hollered.



Our basset, Freeta Goodhome, is convinced that the meaning of life can be found at the bottom of things. Things like garbage cans, closets, purses and bags of trash. She doesn’t seem to be the slightest bit reluctant to ask life’s difficult questions, like: “What does lipstick taste like, anyway, and if it doesn’t taste good, why would she hide it way down here at the bottom of her purse?”

What little bit of writing inspiration I have is prodded along with sunflower seeds. There’s something about the repetitive action that makes me feel, well, like a squirrel, pounding on the keyboard, thinking little squirrel thoughts, pausing to crack open one of those salty little kernels before the next little squirrel thought comes along.

Trouble is, Freeta likes sunflower seeds, too. Actually, Freeta will eat anything that doesn’t run away from her and, like Captain Kirk, will boldly go where no dog has gone before, including clawing her way to the top of my desk to get to my little squirrel stash. This explains why occasionally it looks like a Kansas-licensed grain hauling semi-trailer has jack-knifed in the hallway and overturned in my room.

My wife suggested I could just raise canaries in there, too. Sort of like those little closed ecology worlds advertised on the back pages of Popular Science.

Freeta is six years old. That’s like 42 in people years. One would think she’d either outgrow that kind of malarkey or she’d be too fat to clamber up there, but, amazingly enough, sunflower seeds still seem to provide enough attraction that I am forced to keep them under lock and key. If I forget and leave them out, well, that’s why I keep a vacuum cleaner next to my desk.

Freeta delights in rooting around in my wife’s purse and trying on her makeup. Past chewing tobacco, men generally don’t have lip products or makeup in general. Freeta’s preferred choice in purse condiments are chapstick, lipstick, and lip gloss in that order.

I’m not sure what lip gloss is all about. My wife informed me that it’s to make your lips look like they’re wet. Why would you want wet lips? There’s so much about the opposite sex that is just a mystery. I don’t even understand my basset. It’s not like the lip products are sausage flavored.

“That was a twenty-dollar lipstick,” my wife shrieked, “why weren’t you watching her?”

“It doesn’t seem like I needed to,” I said, “just look how evenly she put it on.”

I wiped a tear and snuffled a bit, “It seems our little girl is growing up. Say, you don’t happen to have any pepperoni-flavored hair mousse, do you?”


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