Author: Karsemeyer, John

Dog Talk

“I'm getting worried,” Labby said to his friend Doby. Doby questioned, “Why?” “Well, there is this big event coming up in Grass Valley, California this June. A bluegrass music festival, where there will be thousands of people. And for the first time, in a long time, dogs will be allowed,” Labby answered, with a concerned look on his face. Doby questioned, “So what's the problem?” Labby paused for a minute and barked, “Some humans attending the festival are for dogs being there, and some are against it.” “Oh, much like the current political debates taking place now,” remarked the sleek, brown coated Doby. “How true Doby, how true.”

The confident Labby went on to say, “The whole thing will be a Dog Days pilot project, to try and determine whether or not dogs will be allowed to attend future bluegrass festivals at Grass Valley. After this upcoming festival in June, the California Bluegrass Association's Board of Directors will evaluate how the dogs impacted the festival, and go from there.” After hearing this, Doby thought to himself that he would be especially nice to any CBA directors he would come in contact with at the festival (he knew his owners would be going, now that dogs are going to be allowed). But he wondered, “So Labby, how is it you know about these rules?” “Oh, my owner read the rules to me from the CBA's Breakdown monthly newspaper. We have what most people would say is a very unusual communication between dog and man.”

After an unexpectedly sumptuous lunch and a rabbit-chasing dream filled nap, the curious Doby asked Labby what some of the humans' concerns were so far. “Well, some campers want to be in their usual spots, but accompanied by their dog. There are dog rules out now, so humans should check the CBA website.” “Dog rules!” snapped Doby. “As far as I'm concerned it should be DOGS RULE!” With a firm look on his friendly blond haired face, Labby said, “I see where you're coming from, but that's not the way it's going to be. We have to be very careful about our behavior, to pave the way for dogs that want to come to future festivals.” “Okay, okay,” Doby submissively relented. “But just what are some of these dog rules?”

“No dogs are allowed in the small lake,” Labby went on, his blue eyes fixed on Doby. “What about the large lake?” Doby queried. “There is no large lake, my fast, four legged friend.” “Okay, that means the duck hunting is out,” Doby remarked, with a depressed look on his face, salivating just a little. But then his face lit up as he said, “Okay then, how about a romp in that water ditch I've heard about. That would be great on a hot day.” “Nope, sorry, dogs have to stay out of that too,” Labby informed him.

“Well then, being a dog that just loves bluegrass music, I think I'll spend a lot of time in the stage areas, getting my fill of live music. Sometimes I like to howl along in the same key with the bands, and I'm thinking about playfully nipping at the heels of that aerobic dancer guy I've heard about, who is there all the time near the side of the stage on the lawn,” Doby howled with glee. Labby grimaced, “Can't do that either, at least not this year.” “Well then, what's a dog to do around that Grass Valley place?” The alert Labby thought for fifteen seconds (exactly), and with a big grin said, “You know, there are eighty acres of trees. That should give you something to do for awhile.”

“By the way Doby, what's your favorite CD?” “Oh, that's easy Labby. It's Dawgnation, by the David Grisman Quintet. The best part, for me, is when you can hear dogs barking.”

“Thinking about it, Doby, that's a lot of rules, especially for a dog. But there are more, and dog owners should keep checking the CBA website for updated rules as the festival gets closer. No dogs are allowed in the Tent Camping Only area. I suppose you can go tent sniffing just about any other place.” Doby reflected, “I hope that's the case, cause, bow-wow, that would be ruff on me if I can't get near any tents at all. I just love the smell of tents, all tents, new, old, and everything in between. In fact it makes me tense, just thinking about tents. My favorite thing to do is to go up to a stranger's tent about two in the morning and start sniffing. You ought to see those humans come out of their tents like a flash of lightening, yelling and screaming. Except for the ones snoring so loud I can't hear myself sniff, they just don't move. But I suppose you can't do that, cause there will be a leash law at Grass Valley.” “Right you are,” snapped Labby, “And one more thing. No inappropriate leg lifting!”

“Okay, okay, okay, I'm getting the picture. Nuts, gee, what would Snoopy do in a case like this?” sighed the exasperated Doby. “I don't know,” Labby said truthfully. “But his master, Charles Schulz, said that happiness is a warm puppy. I think he was referring to humans, so maybe that's what the humans who are at Grass Valley who don't want dogs there should be thinking.”

“You know, speaking of thinking,” pondered Doby, “I really don't mind the leash rule, in fact I think it's a good thing. It's really just a strap that attaches to your collar, enabling you to lead your owner where you want him or her to go.” Labby heartily agreed.

After evaluating the Grass Valley Dog Rules, Doby realized that they exist for a reason. Over the years he had developed some dog rules of his own to live by, and he planned to implement them as much as possible when he visited Grass Valley this coming June. Here's Doby's dog rules (in no particular order):
--If you stare at someone long enough, eventually you'll get what you want.

--Don't go without I.D. (think dog tags).

--Leave room in your schedule for a good nap.

--Always give people a friendly greeting. A cold nose in the crotch is not the most effective.

--When you do something wrong, take responsibility (as soon as you're dragged shamefully out from under the bed).

--If it's not wet and sloppy, it's not a real kiss.

--Make friends by wagging your tail instead of your tongue.

The Golden Labrador and Doberman dogs had a good talk, and decided that no matter what happened at the Grass Valley festival in 2012, they were going to make the best of it. They were going to be friendly to the other dogs and humans alike. No matter what the other dogs did, Labby and Doby were going be model dogs. No fights, model behavior, and no unnecessary barking during the day or night (which will be really tough, because that is like asking humans not to talk). And in the big picture, the two dogs decided they would be poster dogs for the upcoming “Bluegrass Dog Fest” (their title for the event).

Labby and Doby were somewhat uneasy, and not sure about what was going to happen at the 2012 CBA Fathers Day Bluegrass Festival in June. But they were sure of one thing. They both were going to wear their bright, white dog tee-shirts, with print that jumped-out in big, bold, blazing red letters, “DOG is GOD spelled backwards.”

Posted:  2/11/2012

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