Dog Blog

Saturday, March 21, 2009

I know this poem was written for the loss of a beloved human, but is printed here for our dear Bubba, for he, too, is beloved and worthy of such a beautiful tribute.  No one has ever expressed what I am feeling today on this sad, gray day better than W. H. Auden.  

                        Funeral Blues 

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone.
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.

Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling in the sky the message He is Dead,
Put crepe bows round the white necks of the public doves,
Let the traffic policemen wear black cotton gloves.

He was my North, my South, my East and West, 
My working week and my Sunday rest
My noon, my midnight, my talk, my song;
I thought that love would last forever, I was wrong.

The stars are not wanted now; put out every one,
Pack up the moon and dismantle the sun.
Pour away the ocean and sweep up the wood;
For nothing now can ever come to any good.


Friday, March 20, 2009

BUBBA GUMP  1995 (Gotcha Day 11/27/97) - 03/20/09

It is with heavy, aching heart that I must inform you our beloved Bubba, my best friend and literary muse, crossed over Rainbow Bridge today at 1:30 p.m.  It is some consolation to know he is no longer in pain and to remember that he lived a full and happy 14 years as King of his castle, which is far longer than he would have had if I had not rescued him on his last day at the Sacramento County pound the day before Thanksgiving in 1997.  We'll always be thankful he came to stay with us for so long and gave his fullest measure of love to his mom and especially his dad, who he bonded with most strongly.    

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Yesterday I almost witnessed an easily avoidable tragedy.  I was walking on J Street toward Peet's Coffee and spotted a low-slung basset/shepherd mix with her family sitting out in front of the coffee shop.  I intended to makes friends with the dog and chat with the owners, but before I could get close enough to do that, the dog spotted someone across the busy street and stepped right out from between the parked cars into the stream of traffic.  I screamed to alert the owners, but it was too late.  All I could do was cover my eyes and wait to hear the screech of tires and the yelp I feared was imminent.  But it didn't come.  By the grace of doG, she made it safely to the other side of the street.  And even more fortunate for the mother she had spotted across the street and the father who took off after the dog, his two young children who stepped out into the street right after their dog were not hit by a car.

Satisfied that the dog was out of danger, I gave Bonnie some affection, educated her owners that scent hounds cannot be trusted off lead, especially near busy streets (they had adopted her from the SSPCA six years earlier but were clearly ignorant of the breed's traits) and went on into the coffee shop, but I was still shaken by the incident.  Patrons were gawking to see what had sparked all the commotion outside.  Seeing a dog and child run over would really have spoiled the otherwise beautiful pre-St. Patty's Day Saturday, not to mention the dog's and her family's day.  I didn't ask them if they were Irish, but they were certainly lucky...this time.

All this drama and near disaster could easily have been avoided if only the leash that lay on the sidewalk where Bonnie had been moments before had actually been connected to her collar.  I saw another dog later that evening loping ahead of its owner across a busy street without a leash.  The dog already had a bad limp.  I wondered if that was from previously getting hit by a car.  I get so irate whenever I see someone walking a dog off lead near traffic.  I have seen a dog killed that way, and it's an image that I cannot erase from my memory.  It does not serve to demonstrate the intelligence and obedience of the dog, only the stupidity of the owner.       


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My latest book in the Beanie and Cruiser Mystery Series is titled Embarking on Murder.  It will be released on May 15, 2009.  Both Publisher's Weekly and Kirkus Reviews recommend it to cozy mystery fans who love dogs.  


Monday, March 02, 2009

Geez, Louise!  Another miserable rainy day.  We have gotten our entire year's rainfall in one month, it seems, and the dogs are bored, bored, bored.  I know, I know.   I should be implementing some of the activities in the book I wrote, 150 Activities for Bored Dogs.  The weekend was particularly challenging since there was not a break in the torrents of rain all day long.  Bubba is not much of a problem because he's old and doesn't play much any more, except for "roll out the bagel" and "the biscuit game."  When he stops wanting to play those games, I'll know something is really wrong, but he sleeps a lot, even under normal circumstances.  

Peaches has plenty of youthful energy that must be regularly expended.  So we played with Foxy Loxy and Barky Larky and Sock Monkey, all of which squeak.  Peaches has no use for a toy that will not squeak.  We played Nose Sock with the smelliest socks in the hamper, the ones with the most piquant flavor pups like her relish.  The game is to stick her nose inside the sock and then she must get it off as quickly as possible.  This was also Dolly's favorite game.  Of course, Peaches tries her best to keep me from putting the smelly sock on her nose.  Who wouldn't? Phew!

I wrestled with her, gave her belly rubs, and even got her to catch a ball a few times.  I finally knew she was worn out when she stopped nudging my elbow for my attention while I sat at the computer or on the sofa.  There really should be a horror movie spoof of The Grudge called The Nudge.  It goes something like this:  Just when you are completely relaxed with your cup of tea and least expect it, suddenly you feel a strange wet, cold sensation upon your skin.  All at once you are startled from your calm and react involuntarily.  A screech of agony shatters the inner sanctum as scalding liquid sloshes from your teacup onto your lap.  It's the dreaded dog nose, and it has come to get you and give you The Nudge.

Fortunately, the sun came out this afternoon and the dogs got their usual walk.  More sun expected tomorrow, thank goodness, so I'm safe from The Nudge...for a little while...until the next dark, dreary day when the rains come again.