The Trouble with Dogs


All the girls enjoy exploring the “jungle.” This is Bess.

The trouble with dogs is that they just don’t live long enough, right? If they weren’t so dang perfect and loving it wouldn’t be so hard.


Sophie likes to walk the wooden rails.



But mostly she just likes to sit next to me.

But I want to talk about the OTHER trouble with dogs, especially rescue dogs. Basically its a crap-shoot, trying to figure out what’s gone on in their former lives. Sometimes you know a little bit of information. Several of my dogs have been formerly owned by older people who could no longer care for them. I really like giving these little dogs a second chance. If they were owned by a “grandmother” sometimes they are very socialized, which is good, since once they get to my house there’s not much socialization opportunity. Other times, like Sophie, I don’t think they ever saw another person. She is still very shy when people come over. Sometimes, like Zoey, they weren’t very housebroken. She was a grandmother’s dog, and then the grandkids decided they didn’t want her any more. I know why :/  Luckily, I have a doggie door, and Zoey has embraced the concept of the doggie door fully 🙂


Zoey enjoying the sun.


Now sometimes you don’t know a thing about the dog, like Bess, who along with a male Pug, was just dumped out in the country. But sometimes you get little hints that you don’t pick up on. When I was there to get Bess, the shelter people were explaining to the other couple that was interested in her that it would probably be best to separate her from the male pug, because she tended to “boss” him around a little. Well, I didn’t pick up on that. Bess is VERY bossy. And opinionated. She and Sophie sorted out their differences a while ago, and manage to co-exist peacefully. But then Bess decided that Chloe (young Pug’s) energy level was way too high. While I agree with Bess on the energy level, starting a fight is not how I would choose to address the problem. Chloe took her corrections for a while, and then she decided to start fighting back. We are still working on this problem. Honestly, the only thing that saves them is a typo Shelley made one day, writing “I didn’t know Pugs were so viscous!” Now I laugh about my viscous pugs. But it is tiring to always be breaking up fights. And being a “bully” breed, once they start, it is very hard for them to stop.


Bess keeping track of Sophie and Chloe.

Oh, and now we come to the unknown in Chloe’s personality. If you recall (haha, I know you don’t) Chloe was listed on a shelter’s website, and then when I inquired about her, she wasn’t “ready” for adoption. Months later, I was contacted by the foster mother, and Chloe was now available for adoption. My theory is that this foster mother actually wanted to keep Chloe (she gave me a ton of toys and clothes when I picked up Chloe.) But Chloe was raised with NO LIMITS whatsoever, and I think it was just too much for this young mother. Chloe has a lot of energy, and she howls and barks to “direct” you to do what she wants. So we’re working on learning normal acceptable doggie behavior. Of course, taking her for walks helps with that excess energy.


Chloe can be calm too 🙂


But buying a puppy can be just as much of a crap-shoot as the rescue dogs. Do you remember the story of my going to get Noah? He was the puppy they pictured in the newspaper ad because he was so pretty. Well, I got there, and the people were hosing the patio off. His sisters were milling about, but I didn’t see him, and I asked, “where is the white puppy?” Oh, he’s hiding–he’s afraid of the water. HINT!!!! Noah is a genetically anxious and fearful dog. He acts all brave, and barks at things, but I know that inside he is worried. He is seven years old now, and with a LOT of training and socialization, he is so improved. But I still hear the underlying panic in his voice sometimes.


Noah keeps a close eye on the next door neighbors.



And when he is satisfied that those neighbors are behaving, he goes and checks out the neighbors in the other direction 🙂

Well, all this sounds like a lot of complaining, but really its not. I totally love having dogs. I love each of these little people, and enjoy their company. It was my dream as a child to have a lot of dogs, and I guess I’m living the dream. I just wanted to talk about these things–maybe it’ll help another person thinking about getting a dog.


Sophie checking out the pink flowers. Although these have been plentiful all year, they don’t seem to meet her taste expectations.

Oh oh oh! Gotta add this blast from the past–ran across it in my archives yesterday–


This is me at age 30, at my lowest weight ever, surrounded by all my dogs!

The Other Dog Days of Summer

Sophie pointed out to me that I had misrepresented the Dog Days of Summer. “imagine, if you will, the nerve of her doing a post and misabusing ourselves and then not even a mention of us, except in the most exculpatory and unflattering way possible.” (said in the high squeaky voice of a little dog who does like to put on airs.)

So here, then, is a photo essay on “the other dog days of summer.”

There’s something over there.


When Chloe is excited (which is a majority of the time) she has to grab her bone for a chew.



Whaaaat??? Don’t you know the sun is in my eyes?


There’s SOMETHING over there.


Sophie caught chewing on a plant that USED to have pink blossoms.


Really. There’s SOMETHING over there. Why don’t you believe me?


All four girls got a bath today. Doing my best to stave off the dog days of summer 🙂



Lots has been happening. Life goes on, even when I don’t blog about it. Here’s a picturama of the past month.

I just returned from a fabulous trip to Southern California. Being a Northern California girl through and through, I am not a fan of driving to southern California. But man, it sure is fun to be down there for a week, wearing flip flops and t-shirts! I went for a week with my rug hooking friend, Mary Lynn, to a “California Getaway” rug hooking retreat.


Mary Lynn and I go a day early, so we can visit Crystal Cove (where the beach cottage from the movie “Beaches” is located!) We sit in the cafe and eat beignets and watch the ocean. This year we saw a whale!!


We stayed in the Ayres Hotel, which I thoroughly recommend, and took a shuttle each day to Gene Shepherd’s studio, where we hooked and designed, and were surrounded by beautiful color and inspiration for four days. Gene’s wife, Marsha, is a wonderful cook, and we had delicious lunches served each day. We have already signed up to attend next year.

The “wall of wool.”


Gene teaching a dying technique:


Earlier in the month, between rain storms, a new project was underway. J. the contractor was coming back to run the electricity underground from the house to the dog room. MLG had the great idea to add a water line, so I would have a hose up at that end of the yard. MLG got nominated to dig the ditch, which is no easy chore, since the ground here is mostly made up of rocks and roots.


The dogs were most interested in the new project.


And the beginning of a new renovation project. This is the old “laundry dungeon.” Its just a small room, about 6’X15′, added on to the side of the house. I don’t know what the original purpose was–probably just a storage room, but at some point the people I rented from added a washer and dryer. The walls were never finished, so all those exposed beams meant there were lots of places for spiders to build their webs. And since I am afraid of spiders, I only knocked down those webs maybe once every two years. Thus, the laundry dungeon.

Anyway, I thought it would have to be demolished when J. the contractor did all that work on my house. The siding and the door were rotting, and there was a huge tree stump growing into the side of it! But he said it could be salvaged, so it will be a “wet studio,” where I can do my dying, and also have a tub for washing the little girls. It will even have a stove for when I need to dye wool. And lots and lots of shelves for storage.

This is a picture after it had been cleaned up a bit, and some work had already been done on it. We added a big 3’X4′ window that I saved from the house re-do, and I also saved the old kitchen cabinet and the leftover granite from the new kitchen!


This is just a meal I had sometime during the month. But very yummy, so thought I would share. a turkey burger with enough lettuce and tomatoes for each bite. And rutabaga “fries” (baked) with a bit of BBQ dipping sauce.


Cute dog laying down:


Cute dog sitting up:


Getting as close to my lap as possible:


Miss Bess has not been feeling well lately. She has a probable herniated disk, and is on steroids, muscle relaxers, and pain medication. Hopeful that this will do the trick.


Yesterday, in the yard. Noah keeping a close eye on the suspicious neighbors up the road:


And one camellia still blooming!


Queen Sophie was giving me the evil eye for not including her in this post, so I took a picture of her–she stole Bess’s perch this morning.


As always, on returning from a trip, I am so happy to get back to “food as normal.” Shopped on Sunday for mostly vegetables and fruit, and yesterday morning I had a marathon cooking session. Surprised even myself. I started out making my “Fabulous Quinoa Breakfast.” Then I started a batch of yogurt. Since I had the milk out, I decided to make some SF chocolate pudding. And then, I decided to go ahead and make the broccoli salad for lunch. And THEN, since I was still in the kitchen, I thought, what the heck, and a made up a batch of taco meat. Half went into the freezer for future taco salads, and the other half I added corn, tomatoes, and onions to, and made some taco soup.

I haven’t made it back to the gym yet, but I am doing my PT exercises and got out for a long walk with Noah and Chloe yesterday. If you want to see more of what I did at my rug hooking retreat, check my other blog!

What IS it?

Bess is definitely the most obsessed with anything new in the house. A little while ago she was in the kitchen barking at the grocery bags on the counter.


Sophie took one brief sniff, and then took advantage of Bess’s obsession to snag herself the best seat in the house (right next to the wood stove.)


Zoey doesn’t care. She just works at being as cute as she can be at all times.


Noah: “Whatevs. Its not a bone or a stick. Can I go back outside now?”


Bess is now wagging her tale. Something in the crate is snoring.


Bess has now retires to the bed, but she is still keeping an eagle eye on the contents of the crate.


Yes. I got ANOTHER dog. How could I resist?


She is really a pretty pug. One friend said there was no such thing as a “pretty” pug. harumph….


Shelley speaks dachshund much better than I. Here is her interpretation of Sophie’s reaction:  “…and den mom brot home anodder minion, and den ANODDER one – I have to work so hard to keep dem in line!”

Photo on 12-5-15 at 11.52 AM

The Queen demands equal time.

This is long enough for one post. I’ll try to be back tomorrow to give you the back story. For now, just know that I am refusing to admit that I have five dogs. I have one large dog, and one unit (maybe I should call them a pod) of small dogs. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.