Dog Blog

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Bubba Gump has become something of a legend since last year when he participated in the first Blessing of the Animals in honor of St. Francis of Assisi at Parkside Community Church in South Sacramento.  I wrote about the event in my Pets & Their People column for Inside Publications, and was told that readers enjoyed it, especially the line about how Bubba was sprinkling the neighborhood with holy water ever since being blessed.  He was invited to be the poster dog for this year's event on April 13, and I was happy to accept on his behalf.  

On a very rainy Thursday last week, I chauffeured my publicity hound to the church for his photo shoot.  He was still a little damp from being bathed that morning, but along with the downpour and repeated anointing to get just the right shot, he was one wet dog, probably the first of his kind to enter the church sanctuary.  He was a good sport the whole time and sat so nicely on the altar with Reverend Susan while the shots were being taken.  I've never seen him be quite so cooperative.  It was as though he understood the sanctity of the occasion and that, as a dog that was adopted to a loving home on his last day at the county pound, he is truly twice blessed.  The moment we left after the photo shoot, my holy hound wasted no time in anointing the shrubs outside the sanctuary.  

This year we may try to take Peaches, too, but I'm not sure how that will work out since she is still wary of new experiences and shy of strangers.  But I'd like to have her blessed, too. 


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I'm not one who follows the dog show circuit with much interest or enthusiasm, but for educational purposes in my line of work, I do enjoy seeing the best examples of the different breeds in this show. That said, I've never attended Westminster at Madison Square Garden in NYC, even though the DWAA awards are held right across the street. I was laughing and even crying as I watched the winning beagle, Uno, do his stuff in the ring. It really moved me. Here was Everydog, Snoopy, The People's Pet, an "honest dog," as a Sacramento Bee writer so aptly put it, finally getting his due reward for being an American favorite over the years. I was glad that for once a pom-pommed poodle didn't win, even though I've had poodles and they are great dogs, too. It was so delightful to watch this little guy win Best of Show. It's no wonder. What a great dog! Simply beautiful! His golden color was amazing, but I have a weakness for that coloring in hounds, and a weakness for hounds of any kind. Evidently the judges did, too.

I loved his reaction to the enthusiastic cheers of the audience. I have always questioned whether dog shows are more for the people (and profit) or for the dogs, but seeing Uno in the ring answered that question for me, at least in part. He was obviously reveling in all the attention he was getting. Of course, that's what dogs love most--our attention. I wish I could have heard his joyful vocalizations more clearly. I'd have been giving him a standing ovation, too, had I been there. Hooray for Numero Uno! Kudos also to the thought-provoking ads from Westminster's sponsor, Pedigree, and to the show commentators, who frequently reminded viewers to do their homework and research the dog breeds before choosing one for a pet. Perhaps these responsible efforts on their part will help to reduce some of the "littering" that is sure to occur in the wake of Westminster.


Sunday, February 03, 2008

Groundhog Day is over, but I felt I should report that Punxatawny Peaches also saw her shadow yesterday. We had just come home from dinner last night and were settling down to watch TV when Peaches stood frozen in the entrance to the hallway barking an alarm. We were a trifle worried that something might be amiss. Was a burglar lurking in the back bedroom? Was it a rat? A ghost come inside to dry out on a rainy, blustery night? (This was not so hard to believe since we had just come from seeing a rather creepy performance of the Sacramento Opera's "Turn of the Screw.") Since there were no intruders of any kind to be found, we couldn't understand why she was still standing there barking her head off. Then I noticed our shadows being thrown on the wall by the floor lamp. We laughed and began making shadow rabbits on the wall with our hands. Then the game was afoot, and she barked even more.

I just hope this doesn't mean we'll have six more weeks of winter! If they could just get Punxatawny Phil to bark, we'd be celebrating Grounddog Day from now on.