Dog Blog

Friday, December 28, 2012


                            Pretty Peaches then and now

Six years ago today, a little tri-color basset with a white fish stripe down her back dashed into the get-acquainted room where I was sitting at the SSPCA and plopped right down on my foot.  I knew I had been selected, even before I selected her.  I never had met such a fearful dog as her, and the only thing she wanted was to get out of there with the first person who would take her.  So I did.

When I adopted her I was told she was 3 1/2 years old. That would make her close to ten now, though of course you never really know for sure with most shelter dogs.  Our wonderful time together has gone by so fast, and I long for so much more with her.  She's come a long way in the time I've had her, though some situations still make her nervous, such as busy dog parks and kids playing with balls or just about anything kids play with.  I'll never know what happened in her past life, but she's no kid's dog, that's for sure.  Her once beautiful russet-colored muzzle is now frosted with white, but she is a very young 9 1/2.  I hope that she will be with me for as long as our Bubba was, a record 14 years of all the bassets we've had.

It's interesting to note that on her special day I also received a box of advance review copies of my fourth Beanie and Cruiser Mystery, BRACED FOR MURDER.  It's been a real doggy day, my favorite kind.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012


                                          "Is it over, yet?"

This is what I saw when I went into my bedroom the other day. You can come out of hiding now, Beau.  The coast is clear.  It's all over for another year.  Happy Boxing Day!

Saturday, December 22, 2012


Fly, fly little wing
Fly beyond imagining
The softest cloud, the whitest dove
Upon the wind of heaven's love
Past the planets and the stars
Leave this lonely world of ours
Escape the sorrow and the pain
And fly again

Fly, fly precious one
Your endless journey has begun
Take your gentle happiness
Far too beautiful for this
Cross over to the other shore
There is peace forevermore
But hold this mem'ry bittersweet
Until we meet

Fly, fly do not fear
Don't waste a breath, don't shed a tear
Your heart is pure, your soul is free
Be on your way, don't wait for me
Above the universe you'll climb
On beyond the hands of time
The moon will rise, the sun will set
But I won't forget

Fly, fly little wing
Fly where only angels sing
Fly away, the time is right
Go now, find the light 

By: Celine Dion

Wednesday, December 19, 2012


         Remember, it is better to give than to retrieve.

Sunday, December 16, 2012


I'm very pleased to announce that Pets & Their People, which appears each month in Sacramento's Inside Publications, has been nominated for the Maxwell Award by the Dog Writers' Association of America in the newspaper column category #2.  This is my 10th nomination since 2001 for this prestigious national award to the best writing on the subject of dogs.  I think of it as the Puppy Pulitzer Prize.

The awards ceremony will be held in New York City on February 10, 2013, right across the street from the Westminster Dog Show at Madison Square Garden.  If I can grow a fur coat by then, I might consider going again, but it's so doggoned cold there that time of year. I nearly froze to death in 2004. I'm thinking about it, though. Just once I'd like to be present when they call out my name for an award.  

Friday, December 14, 2012


Some very good reasons not to buy a puppy for the kids this Christmas.  

Adopt a shelter pet.  Many are waiting to be homed for the holidays.  You'll never regret your decision to give a homeless pet a happy ending, and they'll repay you for your kindness ten thousandfold with a very special kind of love and devotion. 

Friday, December 07, 2012


Last night I had the pleasure of attending Barks for Art, the 13th Annual Dog & Cat Art Show artist's reception at Adamson Gallery.  What fun!  The art displayed there was just amazing.  Such a wonderful array of work.  Lots of color and whimsy!  Many pieces had already sold by the time we arrived.  The turnout was great!  The place was packed solid with pet art lovers, and there were even a few four-legged art appreciators in the crowd at this pet-friendly gallery.  Last night Robin Hagy, the photographer who has her studio at the gallery, was taking photos of people with their dogs. Same goes for Saturday night's reception.  

The Placer SPCA, which this show benefits, was present with an adorable little white Chihuahua in need of a loving home.  She was the sweetest, most friendly dog.  She had come to the shelter four months ago with a rare disorder of her eyes that caused hair to grow in them.  If you've ever had a stray eyelash or a hair poking your eye, you can probably understand how uncomfortable it would be to endure that constantly.  Fortunately, Placer SPCA paid for special opthalmic surgery to correct the problem, and this little girl is as good as new. You could just tell she felt so good, dancing on her hind legs.  All she needs now is to be homed for the holidays.  I hope someone will give her the happy forever home she deserves.  

I hope all you pet and art lovers will attend the Second Saturday reception tomorrow night at Adamson Gallery, located in the 10th & R building next-door to The Fox & Goose, whose owner and building landlady gave her blessing for the gallery to be pet friendly.  (I highly recommend the Fox & Goose's English sausage rolls, which we had last night after attending the art reception.  My Brit mother-in-law used to make these yummy treats on rare occasions and these are every bit as good as hers, better actually because these were served piping hot from the oven with HP sauce to dip them in.)  

Gallery Owner Colleen Adamson plans to host other pet events in her gallery in future, including adoption events.  You'll never meet a kinder, lovelier lady than Colleen.  The Dog and Cat exhibition will be on display December 6, 2012 through January 5, 2013.  I hope you'll check it out and support your local pet-loving artists and the homeless pets that the sales from this show will benefit.  

Tuesday, December 04, 2012


When I was still living in my parents' home, we always referred to one of our three poodles, Tuita (Tail Up In The Air), as our UTT Dog, an acronym for "Under The Table Dog."  That's because Tuita could always be found under our dinner table at suppertime waiting for scraps to find their way to the floor, as they most often did from my dad's plate and my little brother's.  You could have called Dad the Lord of the Rings because there was always a ring of food debris around his plate after he finished his meal.  

Last Friday, when we went out for dinner to a popular restaurant in East Sac, I noticed a woman come inside with her miniature poodle and sit at a table.  She might have sat in the outdoor heated area where most people take their dogs even on rainy nights like this one, but not this time.  The poodle was small and black like Tuita was and very well behaved.  It didn't appear to be a service dog but just someone's beloved companion whose owner didn't want to leave shivering outside in the cold or shut up in a car while she ate.  She was discreet about it.  So was the dog.  It never uttered a sound, and I expect no one but I made any note of its presence among the diners.  The dog stayed quietly under the table while the woman ate her meal, and no one ejected her and her polite little dog from the establishment.  

Score another point for tenacious pet lovers and their faithful UTT dogs.  I hope the trend continues and that no one ruins it for everyone by bringing a bad-mannered or unsocialized dog indoors.