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Lisa Kelley is away this week. Writing in her stead is her dog, Baxter:

I am grateful to finally have the opportunity for a platform on which to air my thoughts. It has been well over four years that Owner Dear has written this column, and while she mentions me with munificent frequency, not once has she relinquished to me her keyboard despite my longsuffering petitions. I am aware that, mere miles to our south, there is a feline named Otus who has had his own printed podium for years. My time is overdue.

Perhaps I should begin with a bit about myself. Furless Beings regale one other with quantifiable statistics of age, weight and stature, proclaiming to know one another. The fact that Owner Dear is a brunette Caucasian of middle age and moderate build fails to distinguish her from much of humanity. Therefore, I shall dispense with trivia regarding myself in lieu of details I deem more relevant.

I like bacon. I am, by any standard of measure, handsome. My virtuous features are many, but my eyes and nose are particularly fetching. I am a loyal companion and law partner with Owner Dear, having accompanied her to the office every day for most of the past decade. I shudder to think where she would be without my constant assistance. My primary duties entail taking her for daily walks, retrieving her dropped personal effects and notifying her of the proper hour at which bedtime should occur. She is amenable to most training practices save for the latter notion, and I remain ever vigilant not to reward her wayward nocturnal tendencies.

Owner Dear and I bear witness to important moments in each another's lives. We share in long road trips together, in romances that flourish and relent, in the death of loved ones, in the joy of Netflix marathons (I am notably fond of Columbo, thank you.) and in embarrassing times -- such as that unfortunate incident where I succumbed to my lower self and rolled on a decaying carcass. My favorite moments are those when we sit inextricably close together on the sofa while she reads. She will often share with me a passage from a book or commentary on yet another horrible act of world violence. I cannot reconcile many of the actions in which Furless Beings engage. These creatures pen timeless lyrics that stir the soul with love and affection. They take their own lives. They run into burning buildings to save one another. They drive trucks over one another. They walk as zombies with their attention directed to 4-inch screens and chase animated characters. They do not converse with the real beings walking beside them.

Perhaps, if I had a broader concept of the future and the past, I could appreciate the appeal of an augmented reality. Thankfully, my capacity for understanding lies primarily in the present, relishing activities that make Owner Dear and I content.

Owner Dear has picked up the rope that ties her to me while we walk. I think she fears getting lost, and I indulge her in this neurosis. We will walk to the Bentonville square where we will sniff and water vegetation every 2 1/2, feet. Parks and Rec, you are most welcome. Perchance in the future, I may expound on the wonders of cured meats. Until then, please try to be good to one another. And do tell Otus of my time in the sun.

NAN Our Town on 07/21/2016

Print Headline: Canine at the keyboard

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