Thursday, November 06, 2008

Two Dogs?

It's been almost four months since Ellie died. I still can't go to the cemetery without missing her, or a dog park for that matter. I was walking to my gym today and walked past a park I spent many hours in throwing a ball to Ellie; Maggie and Andy chasing after her but having no interest in the ball.

This past weekend, I took the Maggot and AndDog to visit friends of mine who are trying to decide what type of dog to adopt. He wants a miniature dachshund and she wants a boxer. Hmm...needless to say, they don't have a dog yet. They wanted to go to the dog park to play with Maggie and Andy. At first the park was empty, but when other owners and dogs started showing up, Maggie had to be restrained since it was a small fenced in area. Andy, on the other hand, only wanted to sit and get petted by the other owners. Brian and Keri had brought a ball to play with the dogs. I tried to inform them that the dog who would really appreicate a ball was no longer here. And while Andy wanted nothing to do with the ball, Maggie half-heartily would run after it until something better came up to occupy her. Hence, I ended up retrieving all the thrown balls. Pangs ran through me as I thought of my ElBell and how she could focus on a ball for hours, chase a ball for hours, flip for a ball for hours, and then hold that same ball in her mouth falling asleep. I still miss her.

But that said, Maggie and Andy have created a peaceful existence together. One that was not possible with Ellie.

Hmm, maybe Malie and Sasha will choose to take a chocolate lab to the white house...

Thursday, August 14, 2008

2dogs or 3dogs?...that is the question

It has been a month since my beloved chocolate lab Ellie had to be put to sleep. It still aches when I think of her. Or when I take my other two to play and neither of them want anything to do with a chuckit or a ball or a stick. It's just sniff and walk with 2dogs.

So the question has come up whether or not I should get another dog. Specifically, another Chocolate lab. There is the camp that think 2dogs is quite sufficient, especially considering the beast. This is probably the majority of my friends, family and co-workers. There are, however, a fleeting few who believe another chocolate lab is in my near future.

Yes there is the expense; and yes, there are logistics; and yes, of course, there is the beast. But there is also something missing in my household. It is hard to explain. Andy and Ellie were companions. Maggie and Ellie were playmates. Ellie and I were playmates...well, insofar as I held and threw the ball. Ellie was the glue between us all. Maggie, Andy and I are lost without her. Andy doesn't have anyone to snuggle with at night. Maggie tries to play with Andy, but Andy doesn't go for her four times my weight plus a mouth that can engulf me rough housing. Teeth get bared, separation following closely afterwards.

Every one's response is "isn't two dogs enough?" Personally, it has nothing to do with enough. If I was worried that all my money was going to the dogs, or that the logistics for having three dogs was too much, or that it was just one more pain in the ass to be responsible for...well then, I probably wouldn't have one dog, let alone three dogs.

So my answer. Definitely 3dogs. Am I going to run out tomorrow and get another dog. No. But I predict within six months there will be another little chocolate lab pup bouncing around the house, bringing us back to our original 3dogcache.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Eleanor Roosevelt Curry

Eleanor Roosevelt Curry
"Ellie Bellie"
9 December 2003 - 17 July 2008

Remembering Ellie

5:30am body slams and kisses
wake up, I'm hungry
hanging on to Andy's ears
Where's breakfast?
I'm hungry
Where's the ball?
I'm still hungry
Cecelia and Mark always have treats when they say hello
Dewey Beach
Trying to Drown me, save me
The Wells'
Heavy fast tail wagging
wet kisses
jumping high
Congressional Cemetery
serenading the firetruck sirens with my off key howls
riding waves
Amhearst, NH
chuck it, finding balls & fitting as many as I can in my mouth
Cocoa, Lydia and Olivia
settle, good girl, settle
wanna flip, wanna flip, wanna flip
are we there yet?
wanna run, wanna run, wanna run
shaking off mama's kisses
throw the ball already, wanna run, wanna flip
Deer Isle, Maine
The Papsters
Maggie, yikes
Teaching Cocoa hot dogs and dog doors go together
Banco, Va
Always something good to eat at The Smart
16th Street with Maude & Tucker
hmm, they can fight --- I'll just go over here and eat what they are fighting over
sleeping tight next to mama's curved back, gotta get closer
one leap onto the kitchen counter to get that cat food
Climbing Old Rag
a fourth dog?
Melissa & Booker
Ellie COME, good girl
the synthetic nipple
who's that white fuzzy puppy?
Who's that yappy girl dog named after my boy cat?
Hopewell, Virginia
Cashiers at Pet Smart...always a cookie in hand
Making Myrtle run after me down the sidewalk with nothing on except an m&m in hand...hehehehe
Yeah, I'm a food whore
I can find anything that smells like it might be edible
I'm still hungry
more food please

She loved her mama
Her mama loved her

I miss you Ellie Bellie

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Spoiled Dog...

Sleeping peacefully

Excuse me, that flash doesn't bode well with my shut eyes
Ugh, go away...this is soooo irritating
What's a big dog s'pose to do?

Friday, November 30, 2007

Dog Ugly?

A fellow dog blogger, who will remain anonymous, has declaired my 3dogs as ugly. "Ugly" a direct quote from his mouth to my ears. Now I ask you, does a REAL dog lover ever think any dog is ugly? He came about his dog late in life, well okay, in his mid-fourties. But up until then, I don't think he had any great love for four legged creatures...though to be fair, that is my thought, not his. And I wonder, how you can look at a dog, I mean really look at a dog, in their eyes, see and feel their unconditional love and think they are ugly? Of course, we always love and adore what is closest to us. And I can honestly say that this anonymous blogger loves and adores his dog. But does that warrant the comment that mine are ugly?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Fourteen paw reunion

After three weeks of separation, we're all home again. 3dogs were treated to a big walk in the cemetery and bones all around. Hmm, no pun intended. Madison wasn't too happy to be pushed from his lofty solo bed position my first night home. But three dogs quickly assumed the position and fell fast asleep. Must be nice to be off that hard cement "hotel" floor with bright lights and homesick puppies.

And the two extra paws --- those would be mine.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Paying It Forward...

3dogs have been living it up at the PetSmart hotel while I've been travelling around China. My intent was to participate in NoBloPoMo and blog my experiences (sans 3dogs) tromping around the mainland. Unfortunately, the mainland had other ideas. China is still a communist country and noblopomo, as well as blogger, were off limits. I could access, but that did not serve my quest to blog. I also had planned to do a bit of geocaching to drop off a panda bear TB* looking to visit China. Unfortunately, that site was blocked too, so I was unable to get any waypoints. Hmm, panda still sits in my luggage.

So my fellow dog blogger, Nat, aka Pappy's fella, recently began a new blog regarding art, or in this case: Nat Dickinson Doing Art. I love Nat's work (more recently he's been doing a portfolio on his dog's body parts), but I most enjoy his work detailing his beloved Deer Isle in Maine. We share a fondness for Maine. His art blog post for today talks about an emerging artist blogging about paying it forward. It being art. I was one of the first three to respond to Nat's Pay It Forward blog to receive one of his paintings. I in turn promise to pay it forward to the first three responders to this blog who also in turn promise to pay it forward, and in essence, creating a blogger's art exchange. I plan to post my recent photos from China on flickr within the next month. And the PIF respondent may chose a photo of their liking and I will frame it and send it on. Please forward a mailing address to


* A Travel Bug is a trackable item that moves from place to place, picking up stories along the way. Here you can add your own story, or live vicariously through each bug's adventures.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Development DoggieSpace?

A while back ago a few former colleagues here at the Bank left to begin their own non-profit, the Development Marketspace, now known as GlobalGiving. I'm not sure for the name change, except that a developing country is now referred to by its emerging market. In my childhood they were known as 3rd world. Or perhaps the name was too close to Development Marketplace, a grassroots seed funding initiative Dennis and Mari started here in the Bank almost ten years ago. Personally I think one of the better initiatives of the Bank. But enough of tooting the horn of Dennis and Mari.

But that led me to wondering if there were any organizations for helping developing countries with their animal welfare systems. I googled International Dog Aid and Rescue. The ones that caught my eye were IFAW, dog aid international, IAKA and International Dog Rescue. And yes, they are all set up to take your donations online to help those less fortunate Canis lupus familiaris around the globe. I guess there are Development DoggieSpaces so to speak.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


Calvin is a German Shepherd mix breed belonging to my neighbors. I have known Cal since he came to live with "the parents" when he was about a year old. Their son, then a student at Syracuse University, acquired him as a pup. One can only assume the life he led in a house filled with young "enthusiastic" college boys. "Hmm, let's get a dog." "yeah dude, what a great idea...he can be the house dog." If memory serves me, his litter mate got hit by a car and died as the two of them went flying across a street. Anyway, to the dismay of most of the neighbors, Cal came to be a permanent resident on our Capitol Hill street.

And Calvin lived up to the hype of German Shepherds. He couldn't be trusted around other dogs or people for fear of a bite. His barks and growls were not for show, but a warning of what could follow. As he got older, his territory became more sacred and thus his guard instincts stronger. One could not walk into their house without being accosted by a barking growling dog.

But that does not mean he did not have a sweet side. I myself never had a problem with Cal. Nor did my numerous dogs over the years. Even my cats got along with Cal. The trick was to socialize him outside of his house and without the P's anywhere near. He got along with Tisha, Teddy, Scout, Andy, Ellie, Pig, Madison, Stevie and Jack. And when the P's bought a house in the country, his list of friends and doggie companions doubled.

He did have his moments though. Many times Cal would come over and stay at my house while the P's were out of town, or it was the maid's "day." Because I didn't have a problem with Cal and no one in my house had a problem with Cal, well we went on as usual. That caused more than a few problems. Mainly my fault. My neighbor Billy tried to hit Cal upside the head with a two by six when I accidentally left him out in the front yard unattended. My mother, in the middle stages of Alzheimer's, came out to garden. And while Cal had left her alone while she was in the yard, the second she was outside the yard pulling weeds through the fence...well he growled and guarded and would not let her back in the yard. Billy went wild. My mother was fine, she just wanted to come back in the yard and finish gardening. Billy, on the other hand, was a shaken mess and demanded the dog be put down right then and there. Fear does terrible things to people.

Then there was the time when I was walking Cal and I mistakenly thought the man with the boxer pup said the two of them were friends. I let Cal off his leash and in one svelte swoop he was on top of that poor dog. I did what you should never do and stuck my hands and feet in the middle of the fight to drag Cal off him. I still have the scar from that mishap.

But I chalk most of these encounters of aggression as being my fault. I didn't see him as a threat so I didn't take the necessary precautions that the "P's" did. The Maggot has changed all that. I'm always aware there is a chance that she may do that head twist and spew, so I always keep a close eye on her. It doesn't diminish my love for her, or the extra effort needed to walk her and take her to a dog park.

A fellow blogger recently asked me "if it should be that hard to have a dog?" I wondered if we had been talking about children, or relationships with others if that question would arise. We love whom we love and we put effort into the relationships we value including our not so perfect pets.

I walked Calvin last night. He is thirteen years old. His bark is no longer ferocious and his gait is weak and wobbly. His hips are not strong enough to hold him through his bowel and bladder releases, so he has what I call the travelling pee and poop. Remembering how hard it was to euthanize my 16 year old terrier mutt a couple years back, I recently asked one of the P's if she had anxiety about Cal's age and deterioration. In her typical pragmatic fashion, which I love and admire, she commented that it was what it was and when his pain began overshadowing his quality of life, well then it would become a different situation.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Maggie Moo

I've been spending a lot of alone time with the Maggot and she is not the wildebeest I thought her to be. As a matter of fact, she learns and trains quite quickly and is very manageable both on a leash and when left free in the house. Ahh, but there is one catch. Ellie and Andy can be no where near or it quickly dissolves into the three of them determining their pecking order and totally ignoring me and my commands. What I've also noticed, is that if I spend time alone with Ellie, she too listens quite well. Perhaps I need to take the advice I give my clients: bonding with your dog means taking the time to totally focus your attention on him/her so they learn to focus on you.