Dog Blog

Sunday, February 24, 2013


It's such a gorgeous day today, and you can feel Spring in the air.  You can see it in the blossoming trees everywhere in midtown Sacramento.  Dogs feel it, too, as they bask in the warmth of the sun outside the cafes with their people. The front window at Peet's is always good for dog watching.  From dachshunds and Pekingese to giant Schnauzers and a variety of good ol' mutts, the pup parade is endless. 

The wind was brisk and cold outside the Peet's Coffee and Tea at 20th and J on Saturday.  I enjoy that particular location because of the wooden deck that spans the MAARS building shops from Peets to the new Lowbrau brew pub.  One wonders why they named it Lowbrau instead of Highbrau, though.  The deck is a great vantage point for dog and people watching as well as train spotting, thanks to the SP line that runs through that area.  I love to hear the freight trains rumble past and read the multi-colored graffiti splattered on the cars.  Miss the red cabooses I grew up with, though.  Books should have a proper ending and so should trains.  But I also like to sit on the deck because people bring their dogs to sit there with them.  With only a few other people, I braved the chill wind because I wanted to sit out there so badly and also because every chair inside was taken.    

It was worth all the shivering to meet Scout, a fellow of uncertain canine ancestry who looked a lot like my first mongrel dog, Dusty, my sole companion throughout childhood.  Scout was such a friendly guy and just loved being petted.  A recent rescue dog, he seemed to like women more than men because he sat right next to me the whole time, not his master, showering me with affection and kisses.  What could be better than that for a dog lover, I ask you?  I managed to capture a quick sketch of Scout in my journal, which I hope to make into a more detailed pastel or watercolor.  It's so hard to get dogs to stay still long enough to render a drawing without the aid of a camera shot to refer to later, but he was a most cooperative subject.  I guess that sun just felt too good for him not to soak it up for a few uninterrupted minutes.  I look forward to warmer spring days I can share outdoors with more lovable, paintable dogs, including my own.  

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


                                          Whose bed is this, anyway?

I was rather relieved to see it was raining this morning when I awoke, because it meant the first dog walk of the day would be necessarily delayed.  For the past few days I've been a bit under the weather, even before it got here, so I didn't feel much up to dog walking.  It's a two-person job walking two 60-pound hounds, but with my husband convalescing from minor surgery the past week, I've been designated as sole dog walker.  When I came down sick, too, the dogs weren't about to let me off the hook.  The way my knees have been this past year, I keep threatening to hire a dog walker, but Peaches wouldn't tolerate that, I know.  She doesn't cotton much to strangers.  Plus, why have dogs if you aren't willing to spend time with them or give them the attention they crave? 

So, ailments aside, I took them out for a walk today during the first break in the weather.  If I didn't, they'd pester and sulk and make me feel so guilty they'd eventually get their way.  What can be more guilt-inducing than the droopy countenance of a basset hound?  There isn't enough Botox in the world.  I suppose it's a good thing we only have four-legged children, because we spoil them so badly.  I confess that I find spoiled dogs far easier to tolerate than spoiled children.  In fact, I'd like to see a whole lot more spoiled dogs in the world.

At least today's unexpected downpour afforded me a leisurely morning cuddle with Peaches and Beau in my bed, and if Dr. Beau and Nurse Peaches can't heal what ails you, then I don't know what can.  Fortunately, they hadn't already been out in the rain before they creapt into my bed.    

Thursday, February 14, 2013


                             My Furry Valentine, Beau


This great review of BRACED FOR MURDER, courtesy of esteemed Author John Dufresne:

"Nobody writes engaging canine cozies like Sue Owens Wright, and Braced for Murder may be her most engaging tale yet.  When Tahoe Tattler reporter Elsie 'Beanie' MacBean is called in to help investigate a gruesome murder at the animal shelter, she finds herself a target of the killer.  As in the best of plots, nothing here is as it seems.  Beanie’s steadfast Sleuthhound Cruiser has himself a new partner in the aptly named basset, Calamity. You might want to settle into your easy chair, grab yourself your drink of choice, and open the book. You’re home for the evening. You won’t stop reading this irresistible and heartfelt book until it’s over."

John Dufresne, No Regrets, Coyote (his upcoming book, July 2013)

Thursday, February 07, 2013


Looks like I struck a nerve with my latest Pets & Their People column.  Here are some responses I have received from readers thus far:

Hello Ms. Wright,

I am SO pleased you posted this article on Distracted Dog Walkers. This makes me nuts! & not just dog walkers, but parents w/strollers & toddlers, joggers, students crossing streets w/their headphones on. I have come so close to hitting someone because they don't even bother to look up when crossing a street. The cross walk is not a magic safety zone.

I walk my own dogs several times a day. My large older dog wears a bright orange safety vest & my little guy (who is deaf) stays on a short leash I clip to my belt buckle. I NEVER walk in front of vehicles, even at a cross walk because I have no idea what they are looking at--their gps, iphone, stereo or the road. And I have saved my own life on several occasions by being this cautious. One car, at a stop sign, didn't even stop, he blazed right through it.

For those people who wave their fists in the air, "it's my right to cross at an intersection or crosswalk" I say great, we'll be sure to print that on your headstone.

Keeping the dogs safe,
Debra Sherman

Just wanted to say thanks for a good read.
And to commend you on a worthy article!!
I hope those distracted dog walkers owners will take heed.
Thanks again,
Karen Bailey

Hi, my name is Amy ; I'm only writing to you, letting you know I read with great interest your article re: distracted dog walkers. I walk my precious dog every day, yes I bring my phone; you'll only see me using it in case of emergency. I hope others read your article and take it to heart as I have witnessed the same.

My thanks to those who have written to me.  Hearing from appreciative readers makes writing the column worthwhile.


Adopt a dog with a human face. They live with us, eat like us, act like us, and now they even look like us.  Weird but true.  Maybe dogs have been hanging out with Homo sapiens just a little bit too long.   

Tuesday, February 05, 2013


Are you a distracted dog walker?  Read more about it in February's Pets & Their People column in Inside Publications.