Tuesday, April 28, 2009


When it's dog versus car, the dog usually loses. And when it's a little Min Pin, it's got no chance at all.

It was an accident--a set of circumstances and timing that would never happen again. The sorrow and horror will not soon be forgotten by any of us who heard or saw. Worst of all, our dog-loving, kind-hearted neighbor will find it hard to forgive herself.

R.I.P., little Jazz.

Note to dog-parents (and to myself): teaching your dog not to cross the street ranks right up there with teaching them to come on command.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Working Dog

Boy, did I work hard today! This morning instead of feeding me, Mom said there is no such thing as a free lunch. Then she got the clicker. I love it when the clicker comes out because that means yummy treats for me if I can figure out what Mom wants.

Usually it's just one thing, like putting my back toes on the hearth. But today I had to stand right by her side in the kitchen. I'm not sure exactly where she wants me to stand yet, but as long as I'm close to her she seems happy. I got some new kibble for that. Then I had to remember which foot was Pa and which foot was La. (Just shaking hands was much easier, but I guess that's only for puppies.) Every time I gave her the correct paw, she gave me some of her peanut butter bars. Delicious.

Tonight was the BEST! She got out the tuna fudge! And all I had to do was jump through her arms. Golly, I hope lunch isn't free tomorrow either. Regular kibble is nice, but today was scrumptious.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Dust Bowl

Rain does this.

Even in the rain, I have to patrol my perimeter, just in case the scrubjays or robins or field mice or raccoons have trespassed. Mom doesn't like rain because it makes mud. Mud doesn't bother me, except I'm not crazy about Mom dunking each of my paws and wiping them clean. I'd rather just trot inside like on a sunny day and check out the kitchen smells.

Poor Kharma, she tolerates my mud routine but she doesn't like it. I'm not happy about having to dunk eight paws, multiple times on some days, each time she and Zelda come inside either. I'm grateful that we have a laundry room that can serve as a canine mudroom, with warm water and doggy towels.

This has been the worse year ever for mud. We lost lawn and gained dirt during our fence rebuild. By summer's end, all the construction was complete, but we had large areas of dirt--it turns out that if you don't water grass and if you have big dogs romping over a lawn daily, well, turf just gives up the ghost. The new landscaping has evolved s-l-o-w-l-y. Plans for altering sprinkler heads got postponed while the pond took precedence. New soil didn't get tilled in until we finished struggling to remove tree roots, so irresistible mounds of soft diggable humus beckoned puppy paws.

Two dogs, eight paws, three or four times each day...I'm sure I've washed at least a cubic yard of soil down the drain this winter.

Mom has been mumbling about sod all day long. She even talked about it on the phone. I smell change in the breezes blowing through the backyard. It smells...green?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Treat 1 - Soup 0

What's for dinner when the cupboard's bare? It's cold and blustery out as the storm front moves closer--how about some nice chicken noodle soup? Yummy!

Take three cans of soup, open them up, dump them in the big pot and add water. Listen to the wind howl outside.

Get another big pot, fill it with water, turn the burner on high until it boils. Add some nice whole wheat noodles (because we like lots of noodles in our soup) and cook them until done.

While the two pots are cooking, defrost the very last chicken breast (because you can never have too much chicken in chicken noodle soup). Decide that you'll strain out the cooked noodles when they're done and reuse that nice hot water to boil the poultry. Cut the chicken into five smaller pieces so it will cook faster.

Check the timer--the noodles still have five minutes before they're al dente--that's plenty of time to go upstairs and check my email before the bell starts dinging.

Ding. Ding. Ding. Go downstairs and transfer the cooked noodles into the simmering canned soup. Turn around to get the chicken. Look blankly at the cutting board. Why is there just a wet juicy circle on the board? Wonder outloud where the chicken went.

Notice that Kharma suddenly has a very guilty look while Zelda just looks hopeful. Put the K-dog in timeout.

Add some curry powder to the soup instead and call the guys for dinner. Try to wipe that half-exasperated, half-proud dogmom smile off your face before they ask why you're grinning.

Naughty dog! (Grin.)

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

If You Love Aussies

What an incredible trainer Jay Sisler was! And to think that this was back in the 50's makes it even more amazing. Enjoy!

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