Shock and Awe

We moved 1,500 miles away. We stopped at the Grand Hotel Cheyenne WY for the night with our dog. It was interesting and we’ve been back since that time.

The air was very dry. There were brass Native American plates outside of every door. We learned how to get a little shock each time so not to be blitzed when we went to the elevator, which holds perhaps four guests with no luggage.

The awe is that there was this Mrs. something pageant and all these older women had their husbands or boyfriends carrying gowns and suitcases and they each walked ahead with their makeup bag.

We ordered takeout, took the dog out, with several elevator visits shock and awe-worthy and went to sleep. They let us take the dog into the restaurant for breakfast. Her leash was around my chair. They gave her water, so kind. We checked out and our car was loaded out front while we had bacon and eggs. Don’t worry, we had our dog’s food on ice.

It was an interesting, historic room where they allowed us to stay with our pup and we got some local color as well! I’ve told Trip Advisor we’d stay again. Cheers, Dee


I don’t do that any more. I did about 1,000 pet walks, visits and sleepovers and asked for help once and everyone was busy. My mother was dying in hospice 1,500 miles away, and finally someone came up to the plate and took care of Zoe.

Now people want me to do it here. Free. No reciprocity. No No No!

Emergency care, yes I’ll do it. I’m getting too old for this kind of duty outside of our own dog and have asked folks not to recommend me. I know, that will mean I’ll have to charge through the nose. No, I’m not going that route.

I am a retired consultant with a great husband and hip-less wonder dog nearly 12 years old. Oh, we brought one dog with bone cancer out on a cart to use the local facilities. He died over a year ago and we still place water on his favorite tree. For Wurli as well, a dear neighbor. You might know his owner, the rock god Plush. Dee

Dogs In Town

The rumor is that there will be no more dogs allowed on outdoor patios at restaurants and that no business owner will be allowed to place a water bowl out for dogs outside their door.

An environmental expert for the city just told me:

“The … Health Department does allow dogs in the outdoor patios of restaurants and other places that sell food and have a patio.  We require that the operator/owner of a food establishment ask us for a variance from State Code to  allow for dogs at the outdoor seating area.  Not all food establishment(s, sic) want dogs at their outdoor seating area but that is their choice.”

No word yet from the people I elected.

I think I need to move to Italy. There, even inside the restaurant your dog can stay at your feet or in your arms. Not that I want a Paris Hilton boutique purse dog. It’s enough to “Otis” my 30# hipless wonder to the bed four times a night. No, it’s not glamorous. And heaven forbid she wear silk pajamas. No, don’t even give her the idea. It’s enough to get on her winter coat for severe rain and snow. My husband bought paw mitts for ice but I can’t get her to wear them as I’d just like a fresh dog towel inside for her to sit on, dry her paws and roll around. Woof woof, Dee


When I went to the grocery store today, without the dog…. Let me go back. I did not have the dog with me because it was too warm for her to stay in the car although she loves “coming with.” I paid for 30 minutes on the meter and got back with 20 left.

The owner of a gorgeous rescued Greyhound came up to me (and let me pet his dog). As a volunteer for rescued Greys for six years it was a treat for me. He told me the city had just banned dogs on outside restaurant patios. Also, that businesses are not allowed to place a water bowl for dogs outside their door.

Two more men came up to me and told me the same story. Why? Kindred spirit? Again, I was not with my dog. They urged me to take action. I’ve tried to find the new law, have emailed the Commissioner and our Alderman to find out the truth about what’s happening in our district.

What I’ve said is that we have a couple months of summer, one each spring and fall and the rest is winter. People bike (cycles and Harleys), run, walk dogs and eat outdoors at restaurants with their dogs. There is a very slim window for us to do so. For our city, county or state to deny this to its tax paying, law-abiding, voting responsible dog owners does not make sense.

My dinner was beautiful sea scallops sauteed on the stove, with room temp marble potatoes and asparagus from yesterday. Yum. I made my own fresh bread crumbs from a brioche roll and dinner was delicious. Cheers! Dee

Looking Up

We always want options. We look to the future, whatever it may bring. After I got to know myself, it took a while, I got into the business of change. My husband and I are vastly different in personality and abilities but we’ve been together nearly 14 years and have a great dog.

We both effect change. It doesn’t matter the size or type of organization. If it’s broken sometimes we can fix it if the tumblers are in place. If not, our work will be sabotaged and those who are only about CYA will show us the door.

We are people, too. We do not like to put our best foot forward (I say this as I’ve broken a little toe and walking is painful) only to be shown the door because people do not want to be their best for themselves and the company that pays their salary, benefits and 401(K).

I’ve rehabilitated institutions. It’s in my blood, thanks Dad! Retired now, I rehabilitate dogs. Ours is nearly 12 and has no hips. I can’t tell you the amount of research I did in two weeks to decide on two FHNO’s three months apart before she turned 10 months old so she had an 80% chance of recovery. That is a femoral head and neck ostectomy, a removal, aka no hips. She grew her own from cartilage. Yesterday she ran around like the proverbial Tasmanian Devil from old cartoons. CHANGE.

A few months ago my husband wanted us to move. I started the process but knew he was coming home and wanted to make the MBR a Tuscan retreat. He returned and said “you’re not packing, you’re nesting!” He was correct. I was as well because we’re still here and have a few pictures on the walls and I told him anything I can see, I can pack. There are rules around this issue.

Oh, I found the corn pudding recipe I’ve made and want to make it into a quiche with puff pastry. Change. Yesterday my husband’s favorite picture (I drew it in crayon age five of all the characters from The Wizard of Oz) fell off its “command” strip and broke the only thermostat so we had no air.

I cracked a window and opened a door, despite nasty bugs from the MMPA swamp on the old train tracks many floors below. I was told that it was an issue not warranting maintenance attention. I begged to differ. I literally was closed in, breathing my own carbon dioxide because the door tolerances are so great that the gnats were getting in anyway so my husband put weather stripping around it so it’s solid. Waiting, I cracked one window and opened the front door all the way knowing our loving dog would never leave my side.

Maintenance, T, showed up with a container from food I gave him. Story is J, who trained him, had a container of my corn pudding as a going-away gift. T, who was staying with J, ate it. J calls it corn quiche and loves it. T was in the dog house that day.

My mission, if I choose to accept it, is to make a true corn quiche for T to thank him for coming back after hours to make sure I was OK. My husband was out of town until very late and he would have made things work but T was there so he’s going to get a puff pastry quiche. Or Mom’s simple pastry crust quiche. I’ve parchment paper and beans for blind baking and look forward to a challenge.

T also found that no-one has been around to change air filters and ours was really bad. Luckily my husband has several micro filters for his allergies so T put one of those in as well. He does deserve a good meal! I think I’ll add ribs. To Change! Will the late Andre the Giant find us two white horses? Dee


They’re essential. I broke my fourth toe the other day on the wooden post that sits up our sofa. I think I broke a few bones but do not want even an air cast because that would be useless. Ice packs and a bit of OTC pain reliever has brought it from a sharp pain to a dull ache but stepping on it is problematic.

Don’t worry, Zoe’s going out as my husband is home for a week or two and she loves going out with him.

Not much cooking going on but before the swelling I did make some nice St. Louis style ribs with a rub and sauce. I then placed the remaining three ribs in the oven yesterday in foil, in a dish for about 40 minutes while cooking par-boiled potatoes and making a salad. That’s the least I could do. Today we had frozen pizza for dinner. It was good.

I wanted to talk about doing things and being unable to do things as I get older. This is definitely one of my five-year “klutz weeks” where I injure myself in mysterious ways. It was certainly not my intention to break my little toe.

Years ago I was a long-term volunteer at an animal shelter every Friday. I awakened one morning and could not move my neck. After seeing the doc I found that I had a congenital malfunction since pre-birth so was given drugs and a neck collar and told not to go volunteer with the dogs and cats.

When I got home I called the volunteer coordinator and told her I would not be able to resume my regular duties for a few weeks but if it’s OK I’d like to sit in her kennel with Chani because she needs me. Chani had been abused by an officer for a year then left in the shelter for another. We started there the same day and became close. We just sat with my neck brace, and talked. Soon a fellow volunteer turned staffer told me they had a meeting about her and as one of the first no-kill shelters put off a decision to euthanize for a week.

Apparently she presented a danger to men (especially in uniform) and children, who used to throw rocks at her over the fence. That was in her file. The next day I adopted her and took her home for ten years where she learned to love me, me jumping over her instead of kicking her, every child and even men in uniform. The neighborhood donated a tree to the city in her memory and I can see it on It is doing well and has a great view!

Change is the theme. My first kitten was flown across country by my brother at my sister’s request. Burmese mix, a talker. He was five weeks old and didn’t know how to drink water. I gave him milk and it was so hot (no A/C) that it curdled while I was at work. He watched PBS and the nature channel at night which were the only channels available while we tried to wire the city.

Nathan became a really cool cat. He was named for Kevin Kline’s character in Sophie’s Choice and the hot dog empire. He learned to walk on a leash and love my dog and never let me get the last word until the very last moment.

I like to learn something new every day, also to give back. Passion, compassion, Dee

I Know Why

I like NCIS so much. Gibbs-a-thons. I just realized that Gibbs is the Navy Captain USN Ret. who married us and was like a father to me for over ten years. Yes, Mark Harmon, you’re much younger, it’s just the presence.

Gruff, but with a marshmallow interior that lets certain people in, including, luckily, me and my husband.

He asked his bride out twice, she had other plans, and swore the third time was do or die. They wed five weeks later and were married for 62 years. His sons are my older brothers. He married us. How’s that for solid family values?

My Captain is at Annapolis, interred. Of course we went to various ceremonies that day with family and friends. His widow got to meet SecNav and was given a coin for their service to our nation.

Thanks, Gibbs, for giving my “Mom” a SecNav coin that no one can ever trump. That is her husband. Not the coin. With deep respect for those who serve and protect all of us, Dee