Dog Blog

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Announcing the Second Annual 

Sacramento Writer's Brush

What did Charlotte and Emily Brontë have in common with Kurt Vonnegut and Sylvia Plath, besides writing? Come find out at the second annual Sacramento Writer’s Brush event.

Can’t wait for the answer? Here is a hint: They all used both sides of their brains, the right to create art and the left to write. Some of our greatest writers were also artists. Sylvia Plath’s mother once told her she had to learn to write as well as she drew. Some writers even achieved a separate fame with their artwork, such as Lawrence Ferlinghetti did for his paintings.

In the tradition of these literary greats, the second annual Sacramento Writer’s Brush features local writers/artists Jennifer O’Neill Pickering, Frank Andrick, Lawrence Dinkins, Sue Owens Wright, Jeanine Stevens, Frank Graham, Tim McHargue, Susan Kelly DeWitt and others in an art show and reading of their literary work. The art show is eclectic and includes the art mediums of collage, video, photography, painting and, of course, writing.

This Second Saturday event will be held on January 8, 5-9 p.m. (reading 6:30-7:30) at the Sacramento Poetry Center, 1719 25th Street (25th and R Streets), Sacramento. The art will be on exhibit during the month of January. Admission is free.

Monday, December 27, 2010


What a great Christmas we had at Pelican House, the place we rented in Bodega Bay, with Peaches and Beau. This was their first trip to the seaside, and Peaches got quite an introduction to the ocean when a large wave crashed down on her. Good thing she was on the leash or she would probably still be out there paddling around with the seals. She was unfazed and took it all in stride (better than I did) and seemed to love our trip, as did Beau. Seeing them so happy made up for never getting to take Bubba and Daisy to the ocean when they were with us. Peaches and Beau were in their element with Sandy Claws and muddy paws. Because of the rains, our Christmas Eve hike along the cliff path was muddy, and the dogs were black up to their bellies from trudging in muck.

The waves would get a lot choppier as the weekend progressed and the torrential storm hit on Christmas Day. The rain, which came in buckets all day long, streamed down the expanse of windows and made us feel like we were under a waterfall. We had nowhere to go, no technology to fry our brains, and almost no TV. Without screens to stare at mindlessly, we were able to appreciate the spectacular view when it wasn't raining. It was splendid when the sun lit the distant hills and an ancient lone tor that jutted from the landscape. Christmas night after the storm we were treated to a magnificent sunset with a brief flaming ball of a sun that seemed to roll along the horizon in a streak of crimson before sinking into the sea. There was nothing between us and the ocean to obstruct our view--this alone was worth the rent.

I was still learning to use my new Bloggie, so I didn't get as much good footage as I wanted to. I've included a couple of clips here, though. Dolly Parton sang about a Christmas to remember in Tahoe; this was our Christmas to remember at Bodega with our two happy salty dogs.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


We loaded up the 4-wheel-drive sleigh with bags of pet food and Peaches and Beau, too, and headed out to the Sacramento County Animal Shelter before the rain started up again. We let the dogs run in the spacious dog park to get some fresh air before we dropped off the donations. While I was there I had to go see if Strawberry, the basset pup I posted about earlier, had been adopted. Fortunately, she had been adopted. It's a good thing, too, because I fell in love on the spot and would certainly have brought her home and had three-wet-dog nights (like I had with Beau last night when he came in from the rain) from now on.

What a little beauty Strawberry was, and so sweet. Oh, those wonderful paws! Big old flippers that she will surely grow into. Though technically a tri-color, her coloring was predominantly red. Her head was entirely red, and she was far prettier than most bassets I see in shelters. I can't imagine how she ended up there, unless she has issues that weren't immediately apparent.

I can't help but think of our little Bramble, the basset I adopted in 1996 from the city pound. He was about the same age as this dog, four months old. He developed distemper, and we lost him just 16 days later. It was the worst 16 days of my life. Four different vets misdiagnosed his condition as kennel cough, pneumonia, and just about everything else. but never distemper. Discharge from eyes or nose is never a good sign, and can sometimes be more serious than kennel cough. Just a cautionary tale about adopting young pets from facilities where they may have been exposed to diseases. Always get them checked out thoroughly by a veterinarian right away to be sure your pet is healthy. Having said all that, I hope that it's Strawberry fields forever for that beautiful basset pup and her new family.

The Sac County Shelter was a beehive of activity this morning. Though I did see a couple of people drop their pets off at the surrender office, which bothered me mightily and made me want to ask them why they would do such a thing, especially at Christmas, I'm happy to say that a crowd of people was lined up to go in when we arrived near opening time (noon), presumably to adopt a pet. Now, I'm very glad to see so many people adopting pets for Christmas, or any time of year, but I fervently hope that those homes will be forever homes and there will be no returns after the holidays are over and reality sets in again.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


This beautiful Basset Hound pup needs a home ASAP.  She's being held at the Sacramento County Animal Shelter on Bradshaw Road, which cannot hold animals for long with the tragic constraints of the current budgetary crisis.  I urge you to go see this girl and give her the priceless gift of a forever home, if you can.  

Of course, there are many others at the shelter in dire need of loving homes.  It's best in most cases to wait until after the Christmas craziness is past to introduce a new pet to your home, but desperate situations call for desperate measures.  Help the county empty their shelter for the holidays by adopting a homeless dog or cat.

Make the Howlidays happy for a pet in need. 


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

BOW WOW! I'm in the TOP 100 in
Hong Kong

150 Activities for Bored Dogs is listed as #45 of the top 100 Pet Books on CD Wow
Price $135. Not American dollars, of course.

Monday, December 13, 2010


Peaches struts her stuff in Foxy Loxy boa to get her Beau's attention.  

Beau met a beautiful blonde at the dog park today, a flirty young Golden Retriever who really took a liking to Beau. It's not often that he meets a dog at the park he likes enough to lose interest in sniffing long enough to play. Today was different. He and the golden girl ran around the park with her twirling in front of him to keep him interested in the chase. He loped after her as fast as his bandy legs would carry him. But, as is often the case in life, a talk, dark, handsome stranger (a sleek black Lab) made an entrance on the park scene, and the short, dumpy guy quickly got dumped.  It was fun while it lasted.  

Peaches didn't take it all lying down and put him in his place after they got back home by giving him a good ear gnawing.  You go, girl!


Thursday, December 09, 2010

News for writers among my readers:

Mark your calendar--The Writers' Circle presents an Evening of Poetry and Prose and a Book Signing Party on Monday, January 3, 2011, 7:30 p.m., at the Sacramento Poetry Center, 1719 25 St. Sacramento, CA 95814. Come hear the following local authors read from their works: Jennifer O'Neill Pickering, JoAnn Anglin, Mellen Lunn, Sarah Stricker, Diane Lovegrove Bader, Patricia L. Nichol and Patricia Tollefson.

For more information visit:

On a doggy note, I hope all you dog lovers are enjoying the outdoors with your canine companions on this gloriously warm, sunny day. What greater joy can there be than this for pets and their people?

Wednesday, December 01, 2010


If you're anything like I am when the holidays come around, you get pretty doggoned distracted with all that hall decking, tree trimming, shopping and entertaining. Yes, we may make a stop at PetSmart to buy some treats and new chew toys along with those silly felt antlers we think are so adorable but our canine companions detest and can't wait to shake off.

If they could ask Santa Paws for one thing while enduring that annual holiday photo shoot with him for your greeting cards, it would be to spend more quality time with their favorite humans. So, this season give your pet the gift he or she most desires: your attention and companionship.