Category Archives: dogs


There is nothing that makes my dog more happy than seeing the kids across the way. They visit town probably twice a year and she has known them for over five years.

When they were little they used to stand outside then whisper, louder, say and then shout her name until she ran to the front door. Grandma didn’t know. Now they’re older and playing all kinds of sports but older brother gave me a big hug yesterday and younger sister took her leash this morning, with Grandma’s OK, to walk around the block with Zoe and me.

I picked up the poop and sealed the bag. She then pointed out another set of poop from another dog and asked me to pick that up as well. We disposed of both appropriately. Good kids, who will be responsible dog owners when the time comes, partially due to time spent with our old dog Zoe. Cheers to responsible pet ownership! Dee

Dogs and Babies

I was offended the other day when a mother with a totally covered up baby in a stroller said she would not ride with me and my old mascot dog Zoe in the elevator. Zoe didn’t care about the mother or stroller at all, and was on a short leash. She still insisted on taking another elevator.

The only stroller Zoe has ever been interested in carried an elderly Yorkshire Terrier (Yorkie). She was a pup then and all she knew was that infants cannot do anything for her, look at her, pet her and give her a Cheerio. Strollers have not been interesting since that day and she’s coming up on 14 years early next year.

I used to take care of a wonderful “ray of sunshine” often when this old yellow Lab’s folks were out of town. He was a surgeon and she was a teacher, seven months pregnant. A “onesie” was out of the question for these smart folks.

I gave them a tape to play for the dog with baby sounds like crying, gurgling et al. They had just moved out of the neighborhood to a larger home and hadn’t met their neighbors yet as I brought their dog back after the move.

After I left they played the tape, leaving it on while they took the dog for her first walk in the neighborhood. Because of a loud tape with gurgly sounds and wailing, their neighbors saw them walking their dog, after leaving the “baby” alone in the house. I’m sure that over the years they’ve fixed that situation, and now have two healthy kiddos. Sadly their dog succumbed to disease and old age, as did mine at the time.

When people pick up a toddler or kindergarten-age child, heck, even a small dog to protect them from my 30 lb. Aussie “mascot” they do them a disservice. A young Swedish boy who lives nearby has shrunk from Zoe for years, hiding behind Mom but occasionally venturing forth to pet her hind end. Last weekend my husband told me the boy took her leash and walked her. I believe that is how one gets kids to get involved and appreciate pets, and dogs to learn how to socialize.

I’ve said for over 13 years that anyone could go into Zoe’s food bowl (if they’re fast enough, she’s a chowhound and usually done in a minute) and she would just look at me and ask “Mom, can I have some more?” That is what a good dog does. Dee


We grow up with things from “onesies” to Baby Janes to nightgowns. Now I choose my own. Nightgowns just twisted me up, especially everything knee-length or further. It didn’t matter even if it was pure silk.

Then I started pajamas. No way.

Now I wear silk long johns with an extra large tee shirt, either from FIDO (Fiesta Island Dog Owners, trying to save their legal dog leash free area from commercial development), or a really cool local guitar store. It is very comfortable and I rarely need the comforter.

Years ago when I asked my chiropractor how I should use this pillow to sleep on my stomach, he said, ahem, you cannot sleep on your stomach any more and have your neck straight. I learned to adjust the pillow moving side to side and on my back for a short period of time on a flat bed. In my sleep.

Moving side to side tends to twist up anything loose. Now, in the summer it’s usually shorts and a short top or basic stretch camisole, or the long tee and silk long johns.

If it’s the latter I can just throw on a coat before the sun comes up and take the dog out early morning, feed her and lift her back up on the bed.

There are two things, besides her “pack” made up of my husband and me: eating; and sleeping. I don’t know that Zoe would gain any world records on sleeping or eating but may get one on intensity of the endeavor. She is now sleeping at my feet, under my desk. I’m up at 3 a.m. and she sleeps ’til six. She gets extra points for crawling under the bed to keep from morning light (the shades are down) and get her beauty sleep.

Zoe just wears her fur coat to bed. When one is long-married there is a compromise between being hot under a down comforter or cold atop it. WinterSilks online for silk long underwear, any festival you attend with booths with zesty oversized or crop top t-shirts and you’re ready to sleep. Here’s to FIDO, Dee

Our Girl

Old dog Zoe is slowing down. It takes her longer to want to go out. She is very healthy, just getting old at nearly 95 in “people years.” A young guy stopped me last evening. He said she was the best dog in the neighborhood and stopped to pet her.

He asked how old she is, 13.5 years, and when we got her, the day she turned six weeks old. They gave us one of those cardboard boxes and she jumped out, I threw the box into the back and she sat on my lap with the window cracked about two inches and she sniffed the breeze and has loved being in a car ever since. It’s called “going with.”

We went through a lot with her, getting her hips removed due to severe dysplasia and growing her own from cartilage and physical therapy (my husband used to sneak her into pools) and I walked her as was advised by her surgeon.

The guy I met asked her breed(s) and where we got her. He said if he could have a dog like Zoe for nearly 14 years he’d get one like her immediately. Yeah, me too, I should lend her out so he can get a girlfriend and get married! They can get a dog. I always said dog before kids, I need to see how bad my husband is with a dog before we have a kid. He’s horribly good, the fun and walk guy. I’m the food wench and disciplinarian. When I leave to run errands, she sits at the door awaiting my return. She is happy to see him return from a week across the country or world.

I think we may do her DNA test and see what other breeds she has in her fascinating, herding, staring at us for what she wants, Kong, personality. It’s nearly six in the morning and she’s UBD (Under Bed Dog) as in summer, the sun comes up early so she goes underneath to get her beauty sleep. At 95, she looks better than me! Heel! Dee


Pollenation and Pee

We’re growing a tomato plant indoors. It has grown a couple of feet in the past three weeks and it is spindly and loosely tied to two stakes. It flowered for the first time yesterday and my husband learned how to self-pollenate using a brush or ear swab.

Fifteen years ago we had a plant outdoors and it was inundated with bugs and tomato worms. I think we got 2-3 tomatoes all season and not so tasty. We’ll see.

We cared for a challenging young pup last weekend and my husband, old dog Zoe and I have been catching up on sleep! I’ve worked with shelter dogs and feral cats for many years but this is an interesting dog who taught me things I’ve never seen before.

We were out with Zoe last evening and ran into said pup and her dad. When I walked up, she graced me with a “happy pee” on the bottom of my pants and top of my shoes. Graced, I felt. She is teething, bad, but she didn’t try to bite or have relations with one of my legs as I walked. I could tell she wanted to but daddy was there. She was calm and friendly in my arms when she asked me to pick her up. With time, attention and training she will be a great dog for this young, smart couple.

The pants and shoes are already washed and I’ve several pairs of the pants and even more Crocs. I think I’ve graduated from sitter she couldn’t let out of her sight because her parents were gone for the weekend, to member of the family. That’s good, because they’re our neighbors! She shook Zoe up a bit and Zoe had to put her kindly in line several times, saying “I’m an old lady, leave me alone to nap!” That’s what difference over 13 years, and slightly over three months, makes.

That said, I don’t know if I’ve another pup in me to raise, certainly not while Zoe is alive. Before, I had a rescue who was in a no-kill shelter for a year, after a year being raised by an abusive deputy sheriff and having rocks thrown at her over the fence by neighborhood kids. We got over that, starting the day I adopted her. Every kid in the tot lot called out her name at the park and their mothers would let them pet her. When she died all the dog owners and parents bought the city a tree, in the park, in her memory.

My husband arrived on the scene several months later, after 9/11. When we married and moved we decided to get a pup and start from scratch. No more older abused animals for now. Zoe is the best dog in the world, a mascot around here and the neighborhood. She’s like “Cheers,” everyone knows her name. Oh, when our Aussie mix is too smart for her britches, he always says “we should have gotten the dumb one.”

That would be a breed I love, Swiss cart-pullers, the affable and quiet Bernese Mountain Dog. Our lives would have been very different with that choice. Zoe had a hold on her but we filled out all the paperwork with the male Bernese as #2. Early the next morning we got a phone call from the shelter saying the hold was lifted, they didn’t want our Zoe (we chose the name) so we picked her up right away and spent the rest having her hips taken out as a pup. Hey, they don’t call me the dog lady for nada! Such a sweet girl, healthy but getting old.

Please spay/neuter your pets at the appropriate age (ask your vet) and adopt from local shelters. Over the past 30 years I’ve had four amazing pets, two dogs, two cats. I’m not going to “show” them except for a walk in the neighborhood. The dogs, wash & wear like me, the cats cleaned themselves mostly, or I did in case of emergency. No hair spray needed. I do have Dee’s Torture Chamber of Horrors, a plastic bag with combs and brushes and avocado oil spray to keep down winter heat sparks. Be kind, Dee


I’ve a sterling silver Claddagh ring. I actually bought it for my birthday a few years ago, thank you Husband! The hands are for friendship, the heart for love and the crown for loyalty. Mine also has a Celtic knot on the back which means everlasting.

The ring is worn on the ring finger of my right hand, as my left had already been taken over by an 18K gold band, a wedding ring, going on 15 years.

If one is single and looking, the heart is pointing outward and the crown is facing the back of your hand. If one is taken, the heart points to yours. Mine does, and will, always.

To get an 18K gold Claddagh I may have sources. It would mean a trip overseas and would have to be made for me. I do not need that right now. What is needed is to take care of my husband and our old dog. But I just found a men’s one from Ireland. Don’t know the size, though. I’ll look into it and let you know.

I’ve fitted out Zoe’s new handmade Asian silk Martingale collar (two loops, no clasp) that is of a pattern that evokes a computer chip. I also got him a charm for it with an Erlenmeyer flask, a graduated cylinder and a microscope. His roots are in math and science, physics.

He likes the heavy 16′ lead. I like 6′ twisted leather with a gold dragon pattern from the same handmade works for a collar. I’m older and have control of our old Zoe. He does not and is always on the phone, so she gets to eat icky stuff and vomit on our bed. Guess who gets to clean that mess up? Yep. Cheers, Dee

Do Dogs Dream?

Cesar Millan asked this question last week and his site would not allow me to respond. Yes, they do dream. Our 13 year-old Zoe just had one and I hated to leave her to come in here and write this. She’s a herder and will be by my side in under three minutes.

The tail wags, ears twitch, eyes open and close. Then the entire body twitches and the paws run like crazy. Sometimes she awakens for a walk and breakfast, and sometimes the REM phase just puts her back asleep. I like to guess whether it’s a squirrel, bunny or mouse. When she was young and faster she did kill two mice with precision and my husband took each out of her mouth immediately and fed them to the baby birds over the fence in the protected wildlife area. 1,200 acres, five feet away. Moose crashed a wedding and elk jumped the fence and crossed the highway. I used to make our bedroom balcony available for credentialed photographers. What a view.

The baby colts (young Greater Sandhill Cranes) would make sounds at night. I’d awaken and tell my husband that mom was going to the 7-11 to get them something to eat. There was no 7-11, and we didn’t see any this year. Years ago there was a fox that hung out there for hours every day, waiting for the 6′ parents to leave their colts. They never did, “married” for life and raised colts every year. The fox always left, disappointed. Hey, you just chose the wrong prey!

Yes, dogs do dream. She’s never had a thing for any bird, as there is a turkey who lives in our neighborhood and he is pardoned by all of us every Thanksgiving! She just ignores him as she walks by on leash.

She has been with me for 20 minutes and can jump down, just not up. Time for “last chance” and bed. You know who’s the boss now. It certainly is not me. Cheers! Dee