Dog Blog

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

It's been a boo-ti-ful Halloween. We took Bubba trick-or-tree-ting downtown dressed in his Sherlock Bones costume. His treat was sniffing all the trees while we enjoyed looking at all the houses spooked up for the occasion. The posh Fab 40s area in East Sacramento draws people from all over the city just to see how they've decorated their homes for Halloween. They spare no expense, and some even have fog machines. Many of the houses look a bit spooky even without decorations. However, I don't think the displays this year were as spooktacular as last year's. Even so, it was fun to see all the kids (and adults and other dogs) out in their costumes. There were so many people, though, you could hardly navigate the sidewalks. I'm not sure how much Bubba enjoyed it because the kids were rowdy and screaming, and he's not used to that. He got a lot of attention, though. I heard lots of "awwwww's" and "Look at the weiner dog!" Not much different than any day with a basset hound, only you get a lot more of it when your basset is in a costume. Bubba has gained a little weight since the last time he wore his Sherlock cape. The strap would barely meet around his middle. Since we lost Daisy he's been getting a double share of treats. We must watch that because we don't want him developing any health problems.
Happy Howloween!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

We took Bubba downtown today to walk around some different territory. He had fun collecting some new scents and piddling on new plants. There was a block sale on 41 Street so we did a little sidewalk shopping and Bubs got lots of attention, which he loves. We passed one house that had another basset behind a chain link fence. When she saw Bubba she began to howl with excitement. We took him up to meet Polly, who was eight years old. I got the feeling that she was a backyard dog because the children were playing out front while she watched from behind the fence. She seemed starved for attention. It made me sad because she was such a nice, affectionate dog. So friendly. Her owner kept telling me how she had had 10 puppies (not recently, I hoped!) and how he'd had a dog when he was 20 and his wife thought he should have another. Whether he really shared that opinion or whether he should have had another dog was debatable from what I observed.

This evening we went to a harvest festival up in the El Dorado foothills with my brother and his wife. There was some awesome tri-tip and samplings from a chili cookoff. The winner was a "stringy rattlesnake chili" which was to die for (and I may!). Man, that was the best chili I've ever tasted. Spicy to the extreme and really smoky tasting. I hope it wasn't made out of real rattlesnake, but if it was, then tonight I discovered that I love rattlesnake chili! My niece couldn't come to the festival because she was finishing homework she'd promised to complete and hadn't in time to attend, but we joined her later at my brother's house where we all told ghost stories and read some other tales of the macabre. It was a fun family night on the cusp of Halloween that I won't soon forget.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

That horrid wind died down today, thank doG. That was one basset ear-blowing gale that blasted through the valley yesterday. I spent most of the day wiping debris from my eyes. No bike ride, either. Glad there wasn't a leaf rustling today. The good part about the first October blow is that it knocks down the neighbor's magnificent walnuts from the tree for gathering. They are two inches in length. Not like the tiny ones you buy in the grocery store. This year the squirrels have beat us to most of them, though. They hollow them right out with their little buck teeth, leaving a round hole in the shell. I wonder if that's a sign of a bad winter? The squirrels have gotten downright vicious in the Bay Area. They've been attacking people because their food source was cut off when the garbage can lids were squirrel proofed. Film footage on TV showed one pillaging a baby's stroller tray. To keep hysterial mothers happy, officials have set traps to kill those nasty killer squirrels. Did anyone think of feeding them peanuts or some other kind of food so they wouldn't be so ravenous? Seems like there is a simpler, less cruel solution here.

I finished book 3 in my mystery series today and it feels so goooooood! Now on to a nonfiction book proposal and then I can get back to the fourth book I started some time ago. Keeping occupied with writing projects takes my mind off of Daisy, who I still miss terribly. She visited me in my dreams night before last for the first time since she died. It seemed so real. I could feel her soft fur beneath my hand as I petted her. She was munching her biscuits in her bed in front of the fireplace, making a crumbly, drooly mess like she used to. Then she was beside my bed, nudging my hand with her cold wet nose like she did each morning. As my friend said, whatever the reason for her visit in my dreams it had to do with love.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Last night was the Reigning Cats & Dogs Gala fundraiser to benefit the Sacramento SPCA. It's always a fun night of food and wine tasting plus lots of interesting gifts and artwork to bid on. It seemed like the bidding wasn't very brisk last night, though. I noticed that most of the bid cards were empty or only had one or two bids on them. I think it's because the starting bids were set too high, which discourages bidding. However, I'm pleased to report that the two copies of my books and one of my pastel giclees I had donated for the event were sold. I donated two paintings: "In the Golden Afternoon" (shown) and "Bitches and Stitches." I am pretty excited about the sale of the pastel, since it is the first such sale of my artwork. The fact that the subject matter of "Bitches and Stitches" was of two of my dear departed bassets, Dolly and Patti, snuggling together on a quilt I made makes the sale all the more special to me.

Monday, October 16, 2006

On Sunday my mother and I took our old dogs to Parkside Community Church for their first annual Blessing the Animals ceremony. With her two Scottish terriers and Bubba Gump along we joined the others who had brought their animals to be blessed, including dogs, cats, Guinea pigs, fish, and a turtle. It was a lovely ceremony, but Bubba kind of stole the show when he vocalized along with the choir. He took a real shine to a female Golden Retriever and got so excited that he tried to mount her. I've never seen him do that to any other dog, except Daisy on occasion when they were younger and more playful. It wasn't very proper behavior in church! Now that he's been blessed, he's been sprinkling the neighborhood with holy water.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

It was a surprisingly warm day today, but it was good bike riding weather. Doctor's orders for my injured knee. There was no head wind to fight on the bike trail, for a change. Seems like every time I ride, no matter which direction, there'll always be a wind to fight on the way back.

The weather has been kind of unpredictable lately. A couple of days ago it was in the 80s down in the valley and it was snowing up in the mountains. I could see the ominous black storm clouds clustered on the eastern horizon. As I watched, it began to rain here, and I suddenly realized that the storm front was moving backwards, from east to west! How weird is that? I've never seen that happen before in my entire life. I began to wonder if the earth had begun spinning in reverse. If it did, could we turn back time, like in the Superman movie? One thing is for certain, if we do not stop abusing our delicately balanced planet as we do with underground nuclear tests and everything else we do to damage her, she will turn against us. She already has.

I found out today that my next book, "Bow WOW! 150 Ways to Keep Your Dog Active and Happy," will be released in April 2007. I'm very excited about that. It's already available for pre-order on I'm nearly finished editing book 3 in the Beanie and Cruiser mystery series and can't wait to get back to writing the sequel. I was already 1/3 of the way through, but got sidetracked with the events of the past year.