So we needed a name for Marcie’s new puppy when we picked him up about nine months ago or so.  His breeding is British, and we were devotedly plowing through every episode of the British TV series “Inspector Lewis” at the time so guess what we named him? It didn’t occur to us the series would end! It was a spin-off from the long running “Inspector Morse” series, and the formula and the actors made it great fun.  Nonetheless, it is ending, and one wonders whether the initial self-congratulatory pat we gave ourselves on the back for our cleverness was premature?

Anyway, Lewis and I were not initially buddies.  To start with, I don’t like small dogs. I think they should all be named “Punt,” for the physical activity for which I believe them most suited.  We have never owned a small dog, and I watched with morbid curiosity whether either of our larger (sometimes hungry), dogs would eat him for lunch.  So size was one handicap.

The second was appearance.  Lewis is a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel.  Sounds grand right? Sort of a dog the Three Musketeers might own!  But no, it turns out King Charles had a sense of humor.  His Cavalier is a cross between a spaniel and a pug, those goofy looking squashed-face things like the sidekick in “Men in Black.”  It was evidently a deliberate attempt to produce some positive result by crossing these two breeds versus a through-the-fence accident type of thing.  IMHO – it was a deliberate attempt to produce – laughter!  I mean, these are funny looking dogs! I literally smile every time I look at Lewis, his eager, friendly, bug eyes smile at you and the other two people he can look at with his alien wide-set eyes. Ever see Marty Feldman as Igor (Pronounced Eye-Gore) in Young-Frankenstein? If you have not, bucket list it. Classic! I digress…

As well, I suppose referring to him as “that bug-eyed little turd” was particularly unhelpful in our developing relationship – me, the big dog liking owner in law, him the pee wherever you like Johnny-come-lately.  We took him for walks in the snow, and ended up carrying him about 3/4 of the time, forcing Marcie, ever the defender of the weak and innocent, to dub him a “Weinous.”  What is that? It’s the dude running for Congress, or whatever, in New York, the one with the TMI photo problem on his phone.

But surprisingly, I have grown quite fond of the little BELT (Bug Eyed Little Turd).  For one thing, I admire his spunk. He plays fetch with the big dogs.  Not ordinary fetch folks.  Our lab Roni (aka Doof and Mimi) had only one serious priority in life, and that is to play combat fetch.  If she has the object, she wants everyone to chase her and wrestle for it, if another dog has it, they won’t for long.  She will monkey stomp them and take it.  Day or night, rain or shine, monkey stomp is the order of the day.   Lewis plays like he does not know he is smaller than the other two by about a factor of four.  He gets monkey stomped again and again but he keeps coming back.  I like this.  I know it means he is not too bright, but neither is Roni (though she does know all three of her names.)  He is still small, but now that he is almost a year old, he is not the Weinous he once was.

He could also be a world champion eater, both in terms of volume, but equally impressively, for the variety of things he will eat that no one else would.  Well, cat cookies (poop) are a given, almost any dog will eat that!  I mean the more exotic poops, many of which we have in residence! Rabbit poop? Nom Nom…Goat? other dog poop? Bird? Certainly!  The list goes on and on.  He is also an active grazer, wiping out the alfalfa varietal in his part of the yard, to include any dead twigs or other debris within his sphere of constant prowling.  Impressive, especially when you consider he never throws up. Just in, out, repeat! Like small dogs or not, a guy has got to admire that.

I would have to admit I like Inspector Lewis!  He has risen to the number two position in dog hierarchy, not close to Doof,  but just edging out the former number two, the Coyote (aka Wilma).

Stay tuned for a guest blog next week with obituary writer Jason Blair!