Category Archives: Zoe


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


Look at the I’s. We inhabit a place. That would be me, my husband and our old dog Zoe. We get involved in the neighborhood, and interact with neighbors and passers-by,

Throughout this process for years, our dog has become a “mascot” in the community. She’s nearly 100 in people years and loves every human, dog and cat that comes her way.

She’s on a short, very loose leash and doesn’t move. I know everything she is going to do before she does it (bigger brain wins every time) and she has never showed excessive interest in a baby, stroller, toddler, adult, other dog or anything except perhaps chasing an elusive squirrel she will never catch. They climb trees. She has no hips and is on a 6′ leash. Got it?

Of late, parents are refusing to get on an elevator with us and community members are picking up their smaller dogs to protect them from the “beast.” Our beast is 30 lbs. soaking wet, a herder, Australian Shepherd/Border Collie mix we got from a shelter nearly 14 years ago. She loves everyone and we are both insulted when people avoid us like the plague. Mom says “let’s cross the street, you don’t want to run into a stray old dog on a leash.” Kiddo is waving at her asking to pet her.

Zoe has never growled at anyone and would let a toddler take food out of her bowl and just ask me for more. Grandmothers bring their grandkids to visit her and do tricks for treats. They stay to make parfaits with fruit and yogurt for their entire family while throwing her “precious,” that is a squeaker inside an impenetrable ball.

Two kiddos we love very much stand by our door and whisper, then say “Zoe!” until she lets me know they’re visiting the grands for the weekend. They are desperate to see each other and depending the time of day I let them throw her ball or ask Grandma if we can go for a walk. Of course the kids share the leash, half and half. When they were little I wouldn’t cross our street, but now they’re all grown up and into sports but still love their Zoe.

Zoe and I share a bathroom. She has an entire setup in there and loves having a bath every two weeks. She hates the comb-out two days later after she dried. She eats frozen and dry grain-free food filled with nutrients and her coat is softer than human hair. Even local kids who are afraid of dogs reach out and touch the hind end just to pet her.

I’ve always said that perception is reality, especially in politics. Do you really think Anthony Wiener is ever going to be able to run for any other office? Do you think Zoe is a bad dog and that I am a bad female, near 60-year “mom?” I think not. Cheers, Dee


“The Book” is being finished. It is a technical tome that I’ve not read. As a writer and editor I do not like to look at what my husband writes every day because I need a fresh eye to look at it and mark it up. Both of us are concerned not about content but readability and as he is physics/software engineer and I am a soc/psych I’ll be a test reader! Awaiting the day he’s ready.

I love having a blog because I write what I want to write. I do in 15 minutes what he does in five hours. He gave me this blog ten years ago to challenge me, and he did. I was a consultant before he married me and dragged me throughout the country and world so I retired.

At least I got a dog, who is now very old, kind and as my brother would say, “needy.” She’s a herder, what would one expect? Except she was even afraid of baby goats I named Rosa (Parks) and Eleanor (Roosevelt) for strength. Not here, at his parents’ farm where I learned how to feed baby calves. That’s another story.

There is something to be said about marrying someone who is brilliant. I’m smart and can keep up with him on many levels, not physics but in social interaction. I’ve a resume of my own that brought us together for 16 years, married near 15. I’d like to renew our vows near his family home because we eloped and his grandmother would want it. Shhh, don’t tell her! Cheers, Dee


A Yellow Tomato

We’ve been growing a Sweet 100 tomato plant in the house for a couple of months. Last time was 15 years ago, outdoors, and we had bugs and worms and three tasteless tomatoes all summer.

Finally we have about fifteen, more to come, tomatoes and one turned yellow today. When it turns red and is ripe, I plan to halve it and we will cheer. It suffered for a few weeks even though it was re-planted to a larger container delicately. Now it is growing tomatoes over a cage and watered every day, and we have new flowers that have been pollenated.

Our major coup was to find and adopt our hip-less wonder dog Zoe, and keep her happy and healthy for 13.5 years. She is a light in our lives, and many others, a neighborhood mascot. A sole tomato plant is only the icing on our cake. Zoe is the cake. Don’t ask me what kind of cake because it will determine north and south and the “war of northern aggression.” Let’s call it what Mom used to make for our birthdays. Viennese Chocolate Pecan Torte. I don’t have the recipe and she’s gone nine years. 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



Yes, I know it. My husband, father, brother and I all do it in our sleep. That’s what awakens me at 3:00 a.m., with ideas. I cannot let these ideas go to waste so write and some actually come to fruition.

My husband and I have different ideas but similar ideals. He is home writing a book and tries to cook and do dishes and makes a mess everywhere so I follow him and pick up the messes while thinking I could have cooked in 1/10th the time and everything would still be clean! I don’t even start to do physics or coding. I was lucky to get out of college math. Religion was tougher but I stood through both.

He and I chart the same course and get there by differing ways, his is scientific and mine artistic which is probably why we met, and married nearly 15 years ago. My father was a genius, with people. Don’t get me started. Dr. B got his doctorate decades ago. Mom had the math smarts that went directly to my brother. I am the bleeding heart who saves puppies and kittens. Not that way, we have one dog nearly 14 years old who we adopted from a shelter at six weeks of age. I added formulas to the impressive written regimen documented by the foremost feral cat spay/neuter “operation” in the country. That is what I do, legislation, volunteer lobbying for legal leash-free areas and any business-related paperwork my husband needs. I also do taxes et al. Our taxes.

I also buy the dog educational games, the first of which I’ve given away twice. She solved it in four minutes the first time, then down to 45 seconds. A year or so ago I got her a new game that took her 14 minutes to solve as every piece involves two brain segments, moving and removing, in order to get the treat. She only played it once, at least six months ago. We’ll have to try it again. People think I’m nuts for buying doggie education games but if it keeps her brain active and young despite her age, I’m all for it.

What? You got Mom-opoly for dogs? I didn’t even know there was such a thing! Well, Zoe knows about it. And once you show a herder something, once, it is “routine.” That is our life in a nutshell. Like putting her in the back seat of our car and driving my husband to work. She would watch him crossing the street to his workplace across from the bus station. Zoe would jump up from the back and take over the passenger seat like a person, and everyone at the bus station would laugh out loud. “Look, she thinks she’s a person!”

She was, and is, that person we love so much. Cheers! Dee






Mom Was Right

My husband is a sweetheart. A messy one. He is not called the “human tornado” for nothing. I named him that 15 years ago.

At first it was OK for him to get water above the shower and around both sinks. He’s been home for a bit writing a book, so he wants spaghetti and meat all the time and the sauce goes all over the walls.

Then he wants to do dishes, which means water all over the counters and floors. I’m a trained chef. Mise en place and clean up whatever you mess up, right away. I have to follow him like Ratatouille cleaning walls, counters, bathroom mirrors, floors.

I helped fellow graduates cook graduation dinner at the James Beard House in Manhattan. Yet to meet my love, my family was the largest to attend so got the best table in the House.

It was James Beards’ bedroom, with mirrors on the ceiling. If I’d have known my husband way back then, he would have gotten tomato sauce on the ceiling. That is my human tornado. I hope the book is done soon so he can be out of my hair a few hours a day.

Even our old dog Zoe doesn’t want to be up on our bed any more. Talk, turn on a re-run or touch her fur with your toe and she goes UBD. Thats Under Bed Dog. She crawls under on my side where I can’t miss her and leave without walking or feeding her. Smart dog. Herder. Whenever she misbehaves, my dear one says “we should have adopted the dumb one.” I disagree. I occasionally tell her we can take her back to the animal shelter. Well, I can’t yell at her or touch her! Nearing age 14, or ever in past or future, would we ever take her in for return. We’re in it for the long haul. Here’s to being a dog parent and spouse of the human tornado. Dee