December 1, 2010

Ala mode

It’s true, I have a fascination with human words. If you read this blog often, you know that I love the word “detritus” but recently, I’ve added another word to the list — ala mode. Most humans use it in this context, “Would you like that ala mode?” when asking if someone wants ice cream with their pie or cake, but really the word means “of the current fashion,” which really makes the ice cream question very if ice cream were the current fashion for one’s pie.

Dogs don’t really have fashions. Sure, humans give us fashions though I’ve always found it a bit demeaning to be dressed up in an outfit or worse, in a holiday costume for Halloween or Thanksgiving, but humans seem to enjoy doing that so I won’t judge. I’m just thankful no one at this house makes me where fashions — beyond my raincoat, though I hate that as well.

But fashion goes beyond clothes. For instance, it’s fashionable these days to feed your dog whole food and not that plain, dry kibble you always see advertised on TV. Still, if dogs could purchase their own meals, they wouldn’t be so fashionable — raw meat, chicken necks, maybe some berries from a vine all of which we hunted for ourselves. Not exactly the cutting edge of vogue now is it?

I actually think fashion and therefore the concept of ala mode is so foreign to dogs that that’s why I’m so fascinated by the word. It’s even fun to say — ala mode, ala mode, ala mode. I found myself kind of humming it all day long and then using it in the weirdest ways.

Our first walk was with Monty. It’s kind of the “fashion” that on our first walk with Monty, Gretchen forgoes the photographs so that Monty and I can really concentrate on being together and checking out the neighborhood we’re walking in. I appreciate that she does this, but today I found myself saying to Monty, as we stood sniffing something particularly interesting, “Would you like that ala mode?” Monty just looked at me like I was crazy and then said, “Does that mean a treat from Gretchen’s pocket? If so, yes please!”

After our brunch, I turned to Gretchen and said, “Will you be walking Oshi and Perrito ala mode?”

“What?” she said back with a peculiar look on her face.

“Do Monty and I get to go along?” I clarified.

“Sorry buddy, just the two little guys today.”

Oh well, it was worth asking and using some of my new found vocabulary.

Of course later, when Monty and I headed over to Saber’s house, I was back at it. “Do you think Saber likes ala mode?” I asked Monty.

“Who’s Ala Mode?” he asked. “Is that like Ali Baba?”

Funny, Monty. Very funny.

Saber was clueless too. “Had any ala mode lately?” I asked him as we posed for a photo, but Saber was up to his old tricks — chewing sticks, sniffing toward the backpack in case he could rob it, and watching Monty adjust his position right before he headed over to Gretchen for a treat.

Meanwhile, I decided to make my own ala mode and wander off in search of some pie! Saber lifted his head at the mention of pie!

I suppose being a dog dog walker really is my ala mode — a little something extra special on the side. Very fashionable if you ask me!

Until tomorrow,


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