I thrive on monotony. Therefore with the certainty of gravity, I invariably devour a bowl of chicken and rice every morning. Ditto at night. Not only do I never tire of this repast, but I enthusiastically lick clean my bowl of every sublime, salty trace.

I thrive on monotony. Therefore with the certainty of gravity, I invariably devour a bowl of chicken and rice every morning. Ditto at night. Not only do I never tire of this repast, but I enthusiastically lick clean my bowl of every sublime, salty trace.

Pursuant to thus dining, I muster up what dignity I can and openly "do my business" in the backyard. Afterwards, I snappily sit on command, athletically snatch a tossed biscuit treat from the air, and then exalt in a session of well-earned cooing and caressing. This revivifying routine - which I wholly embrace and rely on - proceeds like sun in the morning and moon in the evening. I couldn't be happier.

But last Friday promised worrisome - if possibly thrilling - adventure. See, I alarmingly overheard Boss' intention to corral me into the cramped back seat of our automobile with those two sawed-off, yet recurrently resurfacing Game Boy addicts - i.e. the scurrilous offspring of Boss' sister. If my nerves were on edge, I must also confess my fluff-tipped tail was threatening to wag its way off my handsome, tall frame. That's because the traveling potential was enticingly high for newly recruited caresses, sidewalk-harvested comestibles and a fresh batch of four-legged friends. But first there would be the traveling.

Luckily the "dear tykes" were tightly bound into kiddie seats, rendering the commute to German Village - albeit filled with electronic beeps and persistent squeals for french fries and bubble gum - relatively uneventful.

Our destination was the lovely Bakery Gingham, which now occupies a fancifully designed niche in what Boss calls "the always-gratifying Brown Bag Deli." Naturally my eyes widened with expectation and desire as we pulled up to that delightful old brick domicile where smiling congregants (i.e. potential caressers and crumb-leavers) lazed about on a sunny afternoon.

Shamefully, due to local Draconian laws of discrimination, I was inelegantly hitched to a common stop sign outside. Still, I was within reach of the water-filled cake pan Gingham had left out for my kind, and having a sip, I peeked inside.

Bakery Gingham

900 Mohawk St., German Village

614-716-9805

Web: www.bakerygingham.com

The tiny "cupcakery" was adorable - colorful and decorated with endearing paintings. I saw Boss pick out an intriguing lemon-lavender number as well as a pretty-looking coconut frosted hand-held dessert. More to the point, Gingham also brilliantly bakes "pupcakes" for my kind, and as I saw Boss procuring me one, I instantaneously broke out into an involuntary, swivel-hipped, head-whipping dance.

While I'm civilized and therefore trained not to lower myself to begging for food, it was difficult not to stare intently as Boss and friends ravenously dispatched with (in Boss' words) "moist and wonderfully aromatic cupcakes" and "beautiful Brown Bag sandwiches expertly garnished, crammed with good meat and bound between estimable breads" (for those keeping score, those sandwiches were "#1 on 10" - turkey, cole slaw and Russian dressing on nine-grain loaf; and "Leroy's Smokin' Sandwich" - pastrami, smoked ham, smoked cheddar, sauerkraut and Thousand Island).

Three Dog Bakery

611 N. High St., Short North

614-221-3647

Web: www.threedog.com

When I finally was fed my tantalizing pupcake, my emotions jolted! I wanted to chew, but the heavenly rush of peanut buttery and cornmealy flavors greatly abbreviated said process. This was pure bliss! This was the sweet shock of raw joy! This was indeed, I then believed, my raison d'etre!

I was still eagerly licking the ground for non-existent crumbs when Boss decided it was time to move on to the Three Dog Bakery. Well, I certainly wasn't going to object to visiting a place with a superlative name like that.

OK, mostly I'm composed. But when I first stepped paw into Three Dog - yes, this enlightened establishment, which exists only for my kind, allows us ingress - I admit I lost it. My tail and panting went into overdrive. I began pouncing and ecstatically leaping and, well, I suppose I was a tad over-stimulated.

But the store was perfect. It had boutiquey leashes, fantastic toys, all manner of rawhide twists and biscuits (some sitting on a stylish bone-shaped rack), beautiful photos and ... yes! ... more cakes!

Sweet lord, I thought my racing heart might sweetly explode when I examined the artfully frosted array of puppy pastries gleaming in Three Dogs' bewitching display cases. There were Drooly Dream Bars, "Mutt"-aroons, Puptarts and, and, and ... free samples!

Needless to say the rest of that glorious day is but a blur. And even now, as I gladly settle back into the rhythmic precision of my beloved routine, the mere thought of that amazing bonanza ices desire onto my delicious cake of memories.