Yesterday dawned early for me. 5 AM found me flinging borrowed garments into a bag, feeding sleepy goats along with bemused dogs, and waking an ornery child from a deep slumber. Time to go!

My 6:30 AM cattle call 45 minuets away meant the Starbucks run would have to be crammed in there somewhere. Drop off kid. Drop off dogs. Coffee. On my way.

The destination: A park up in Miami Gardens where the hair and makeup RV awaited. Lots of professional primping, wardrobe-ing and miscellaneous prepping later, I was ready for my turn in the spotlight: fifty-plus attempts at “Rrrrrrrolem!”

No, it’s not my big break…just another TV commercial for some vet’s-day-off income and a chance to get out of my “normal.” (We all need that, right?)

This was a CapitalOne credit card commercial. Funny…they won’t lend me money but they’re happy to pay me.

My co-star? One “Monty the Jack Russell,” a star in the making as far as I can tell. He’s got looks, spunk and pizzazz in a calm-but-spoiled sorta way. He’s my kinda dog.

We bonded. Here he is enjoying a break with his trainer, a sassy and smartly opinionated Ms. Marino from West Palm Beach.

And here he is proving that when you’re short and fabulous, the camera comes to you.

Needless to say, we had fun. And while I was getting chnaged in the RV’s curtained-off back room, I got the chance to overhear that the produces were paying Monty double my human fee.

Jeez…is there no one left on set who commands less than the “talented” vet? Monty’s tax deductions alone probably amount to more than my yearly take on this sideline income. Guess they’re paying more for looks and less for know-how, though Monty probably beats me on both counts.


Oh well, can’t complain. It’s a pre-Christmas bonus for me…for doing next to nothing.

As if to compensate me fairly for an undeserved freebie, some higher power took it into its hand to deal me a special blow on my return. When I pulled onto my street I spied my copper Smith&Hawken mailbox (a gift from my sister), dethroned from its perch and lying desolate on the swale in front of my house.

What evildoers have been here? Who would do such a dastardly thing? Was it a garbage truck malfunction? Would I find a neighbor’s gracious mea culpa on my front door?

Nope. Getting closer, I realized the mailbox hadn’t been hit by a truck; it had been imploded.

An improvised explosive device had been inserted into its belly, causing it to suffer extremes of personal damage, most likely at the hands of our friendly neighborhood vandals (or perhaps a disgruntled Dolittler fan in disagreement with my take on feisty Chihuahuas?—joke).

Here’s a pic of the damage, with police presence in abundance (pipe bombs raise eyebrows, even in Miami—see the bomb squad truck in the background?):

Here’s a close-up of the IED, a muriatic acid infused, aluminum foil ball-packed Coke bottle (someone’s been looking up Anarchist Cookbook-sponsored YouTube videos):

Good news is on the way, though. What the neighborhood vandals don’t know is that my McMansion-owning next-door neighbor has a motion-activated video camera sweeping the street 24-7. And another neighbor heard the blast at 2:30 PM. In the end, we’ll get those kids before they can manage to put “juvenile detention” into a reasonable sentence.

Monty could teach these idiots a thing or two about appropriate human behavior. With all his experience playing co-star to prima donna veterinarians he’s gotta know more than the average teenager, right?