Where does the notion come from that wearing glasses makes a person look bookish? Or a dog?

Professor Marley, practitioner par excellence of the manipulative arts.

Professor Marley, practitioner par excellence of the manipulative arts.

We decided this weekend to see what happens when that notion is applied to our Marley. We agreed that the spectacles make Marley look bookish, too. So bookish, in fact, that “Marley” is too informal a name for one with such august bearing. That would be like calling a Rhodes Scholar whose name was Dr. Roosevelt Dr. “Rosey.” So for the sake of this post, Marley becomes Marles.

Now to what discipline would a canine scholar aspire? Given Marles’s inclination and accomplished propensity to beg, con, and self-promote, his discipline is surely the manipulative arts. I want to say it’s an honorary degree, because he never did anything to earn it, but then, what’s honorable about manipulating gullible humans? Nor can I declare him to have a pedigree, because he’s a worthless mixture who-knows-how-many mutts.

Since he came to us as a sick and imperiled stray running and begging from the mean streets of town, I suppose it’s fairest to conclude that as a survivor, he earned his scholastic merit from the school of hard knocks. That reality-hardened institute arguably provides learning that is superior to curricula in the most refined academies of higher learning, in spite of all their certificates of accreditation.

Yes, Marles knows: He knows how to get on the sofa when it’s against the rules; he knows how to coax a morsel of roast when table-food is forbidden; he knows how to dig a hole in the back yard when no one is looking to avoid punishment; he knows how gain admission to the dry coziness of the house when he has muddy paws; and he knows how to fetch a pat on the head when the humans around him ignore him. In short, he’s an adept and expert manipulator. And we’d have him no other way, for that’s who he is and what he does.

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