Sam in his corner of the world: his living room chair. Illustration by Gimlet Rose
Should we stay, or should we ... go?
Go ahead and market ourselves? Become commodogities? Three wire fox terriers and a cat, assorted hand puppets and a presidential pup, taking our place on the pop culture stage?
Or would that be pup culture?
The Fab Four-Leggeds?
Never mind. We're noodling it.... a bumper sticker has been designed and ordered for the Doodlemobile (a Toyota RAV4 in disguise). We're going ahead with our memoirs, designing logos (dogos?) and all types of little dealies that may seal our fate (and definitely take our time).
And yet ...
We're dogs. Not so much into self-promotion and self-help books as into self-heeling.
Would everyone get excited at seeing Sam in fleece form? Would Gimlet's very furry and cute image make the most fabulous stuffed doggie toy in the PetSmart window? That's if PetSmart had storefront windows. They're a little too corporate for our taste.
And you see, looking out the window? It's something we like to do in our Mr. Doodle's Dog offices. We like it very, very much. In fact, we've made a career of it.
But corporate America, where marketing is so important? Not so many windows, or window-gazing opportunities. We've built ourselves out of the storefront window frame of mind, and maybe pushed ourselves out of the storefront culture. We no longer gaze longingly at displays of American-made toys or pastries or wishes or desires. We sit in windowless boxes and point and click our way to credit purgatory.
Remarkable. No storefront windows, but we're in everyone's debt.
So ... do we market ourselves? Do we come up with slogans such as "Do The Doodle"? "Got Doodle"?
The Doodle you say!
Sam. He sits in his corner, on his favorite chair, with his favorite toy and a worn sun hat and he contemplates all of this.
Admittedly, his chair is in a corner of the living room, far away from the front window, but that's Sam. He's a bit shy. Tentative. Thoughtful.
Who is thoughtful anymore? Has that quality vanished? Has it flown out the window?
Gimlet. Too cute for words, but perhaps not the cover of theBark. The new "It" Dog. Clara Bow Wow, incarnate.
Is that Gimlet? Yes, Gimlet could manage that ... the marketing, the barketing and theBark. She's one little dog who can be onboard with stuffed images, animals and book tours and movies starring Madonna's voice. (Oh, what a comedown from Katharine Hepburn.)
But Sam. He sits on his chair. Sighs. He remains unconvinced.
Sam thinks he knows his place. He is happy with a small world, a comfortable chair in a familiar corner. He looks out the window, but is always ready to bark at any change in the scenery.
Gimlet gazes. The front window may as well be a Macy's storefront from years gone by... She is that doggie in the window, but with a very sharp eye on her future.
Bumper stickers, anyone?