Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Moose Shadow

If Moose wasn't already named Moose, "Shadow" might be a great name for him.

When we're walking, he positions himself near my right foot, in contrast to Winston's doggy neurotic need to be always left front and choking himself by straining against his harness. While Winston dozes on the bed or the couch, shadowy Moose follows me around the house or silently sits by my side, staring at me when I'm watching TV.

Since April, when the office carpet was cleaned and I added kiddie gates to the doorways to keep the canine monsters from further destroying it, I climb over the gate to use the Mac. At some point I'll notice my little brown shadow sitting on the other side of the gate watching me through the plastic screen. If I acknowledge him and say "Hey Moosey," he'll raise his doggy brows and look at me with his soft brown eyes. He'll take a step closer and raise up onto his hind legs, front paws on the top of the gate, looking at me as if he's wondering what the human mommy did to be sent to the cage. And he'll continue to watch me until I climb back out of the office, then follow me wherever I go.

When I'm in the kitchen, which Moose is well aware is the place where the edibles are stored, he is completely underfoot, waiting for something to drop to the floor. In those moments, "Dyson" or "Hoover" are also appropriate names.

I wish I knew what goes on in his doggy brain. Moose's facial expressions change, and I can only ascribe human emotions, because I don't have a clue what is really behind them. When he lowers his head and looks meek and even "guilty," is he just exercising a doggy technique to calm humans like I read about in a book?

When I'm talking to the TV when stupid things happen, he'll perk his ears and cock his head like the old RCA Victor dog at the gramophone. I get to talk to the TV often, because there is a LOT of sloppy work out there. Far too many shows use propmasters who need a clue and actors who need to learn to act. Granted, I have taken only two or three intensive weekend acting workshops and read practically none of the acting books on my shelf, so I'm no expert, but when "acting" like one is drinking a beverage, it might be more convincing if the actor held that (obviously empty) vessel as if it had some weight to it, and paused at the lips long enough to provide time for that pretend sip and maybe even swallow afterward, instead of moving the cup away after a mere nanosecond to deliver the next line.

Likewise, when the actor is carrying a paper sack allegedly full of groceries, it might be more realistic if the grocery bags weren't lifted like they are full of empty boxes and if the bag that we just saw leave the store didn't look all crumpled like it was pulled out of the trash. And what is up with the TV and film "drivers" moving the steering wheel back and forth? I've seen toddlers in toy cars with better fake steering technique.

An ex once said I ruined TV for him with my observational commentary. Well guess what? TV ruins TV for me with the constant lack of attention to detail. At least Moose and Winston don't seem to be too bothered by my cursed eye for detail.

As I'm voicing my displeasure at the steady stream of televised flaws, if Moose has been napping on my arm or lap, the poor little guy might startle at my sudden outburst, but he won't tell me to shut up. His head may pop up when I mutter, "Damn, I wish my grocery bags were that lightweight and portable!" and look at me when I exclaim "Who in the hell drives like that?" but mostly, he is quietly by my side ... like a shadow.

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